Review by DaBomb2000
"Could use a little more work..."
It's a pretty good game, with good graphics and tons of new features, but some of the basics are lacking or poorly designed.
The graphics of RCT3 are really good at most times. The terrain is detailed, and everything from trees to birds and coasters to shops look great. Peeps have actual faces and expressions, and the CoasterCam lets you ride all of your rides with amazing realism, plus all of the rest of your park shows up and flys by! I have a crazy computer with dual top-of-the-line NVIDIA graphics cards, so some stuff you might not see, but it seems to be not too taxing on my processing power. The thing that bugs me the most, however, is the way the peeps walk on sloped paths. Sometimes it's fine, but most of the time half of the peeps' bodies are sticking through the path. Also, when you ride the rides, you see the peeps get on, but just their heads and hands are there, or they come through the ride entrance and disappear altogether. The last graphics problem is when you are placing a large ride, the game freezes for 5-10 seconds before showing the outline, and lags horribly when you move it around.
The sound is fairly good. You can hear peeps scream like heck on the rides, hear the music in the are where the camera is positioned, and, if you have a subwoofer, hear/feel the rollercoasters rumbling along the track. The only thing that I don't like, which put the sound rating down so far, is the fact that you don't hear anything when you are just looking out over your park. When you zoom all the way out, you hear the background music, but in the middle there is nothing. I do like the fact that you can import your own music, too.
The gameplay is good once you get used to it, but getting the hang of it takes a long time. Designing roller coasters is fairly easy, and I like the autocomplete feature - if you're almost done, hit it and it finishes the ride for you - but having to click to select the piece you want and then clicking it again to build it gets kinda annoying. Camera control is not that great, and it is hard to zoom in really close on something, along with seeing inside buildings. The button to make scenery invisible turns off buildings, paths, rides and shops, making it very hard to build paths or shops inside buildings. Research is improved greatly over the previous games, allowing you to select exactly how much of your researchers' work goes into each category - coasters, water rides, shops, scenery, etc. - so you can get the things you want when you want. The original version didn't let you build underground - only dig a trench - but the newest update lets you go under. That really bummed me out when I got the game, so be sure to update before you start playing. The fireworks are a nice new feature, but are a bit hard to manipulate at first. Path construction is also difficult at first, and takes a long time to become comfortable with. I do like the fact that you can make your own peeps - you can make your family and friends - but is limited in choices of styles and colors, so you can't make an exact replica. Staff interface is more interesting. You can see how lazy they are, discipline them, and train them. They will also quit if they don't like their job. Shops are more interactive, allowing you to chose items sold and the toppings on each one. The scenarios are bigger and better than ever before: there are 3 skill levels in each scenario, each level with its own 2-4 challenges. The 18 scenarios are all different and fun to play. One major problem is the time it takes to load a new scenario, especially after the last update. It takes a good minute or two just to get started.
Replay value: 9/10
The many scenarios and different skill levels make the game very interesting, along with the sandbox mode with no cash limits. One of my favorite things to do is fill a sandbox park with tons of rides and just sit and ride them all! The peep, building, and scenario editor also give you a lot more to do.
The gameplay is fun and can last you for a long time, and there are some great new features, but some of the basics, like 3D depth and camera movement, are very lacking and need major work. I hope more updates will keep coming out to fix all of these bugs. Despite the glitches, however, the game is overall fairly good, and very fun.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/10/06
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