Review by Galactus21

"Up, Down, Left, Right, and Spin It All Around!"

Kids love it, and parents hate it. It's a teenager's dream to hang out and check out all the girls in their skimpy bikinis. It's full of mascots and never-ending lines of excitement and anxiety. Are you afraid of the Intensity? It will jolt you, it will flip you, and it will certainly send a rush down your spine. What can I be possibly rambling about? Rollercoasters, silly. A national theme park, with insane rides, and a place where perverted boys gather to check out girls, but in the end, it certainly is a type of place where everyone can have a sense of excited. Well, except a parent that is. Random mother: “Oh…Don't go on that ride, it is too dangerous, or Honey, you're not tall enough”. Well, in Rollercoaster Tycoon, you can live through this real live ordeal in a simulated situation. Rollercoaster Tycoon for the Xbox is a direct port from the “oh so” popular series on the PC that was released years ago. With addictive gameplay, mishmash with its everlasting value and amazing design implications, it made for an awesome experience that many enjoyed on their PC.

what's your favorite ride?

The game allows you to choose from several locations or existing theme parks, and depending on the difficulty, the landscape and amounts of ride at the beginning will be provided accordingly. For example, one theme park will provide a very attractive and intense rollercoaster, but a higher difficulty would be a park with barely any rides and the landscape is harder to build on. Of course, like any major theme parks, the biggest factor is the variety it provides. As time progresses more options will be opened to you, but when you first start, you get several categories for different types of rides you can build. Of course, the most common types are Merry-Go-Rounds, water slides, etc. Depending on the type of ride, building these rides will cost a certain amount of money. However, depending on how you market yourself and how you present your theme park, you can quickly gain capital through service revenue. While the entrepreneurial aspect of the game can leave a lot to be desired, it is an appeasing aspect that was implemented along with the simulation part of the game.

Similar to a business, you will be in control of the prices. For example, when opening your park, you can decide on how much you will charge the entrance fee. As time goes on and more rides are build, your theme park will become more attractive to the consumer. With that, you can slowly increase the prices. However, keep in mind that increasing the price by too much can also decrease the amount of people willing to pay for the entrance fee. There are 2 ways to tell if you are charging the right price and first way is by looking at how many customers walk towards the entrance, only to leave at the mere glance of the price. The second way to tell is by randomly clicking on customers and seeing their thoughts. Usually if the thought is positive, then you shouldn't have anything to worry about, but if negative comments become a recurring trend, then you need to rethink your strategy. Being successful, also includes how much you charging for a certain type of ride. Depending on the type of ride and how old it is, will determine how much the customers are willing to pay. Like most businesses, you need workers to help you succeed. With workers, there are always salaries to pay, but they are needed in order to keep your theme park up and running. By hiring a worker, you have agreed to pay them on a monthly basis. All expenses, including salaries are deducted from your current salaries. Of course, the most basic accounting formula, revenue minus expenses plays an integral part in this game. So as you are playing this game, you can take pride on how much money you earned.

Not only is this game a simulation type game, but it also requires strategy to go with it. Depending on how you build and what types of rides, architecture, affordability, cleanliness, and easy accessibility, it could go a long way in the success of your theme park. If you play your cards right, even the most hard-nosed consumers will conform to the pressure. So the player will want to build bathrooms and food stands to provide easy accessibility for the customers. Also, the player will want to provide both crazy and intense rides, along with rides that aren't quite as thrilling. This way, you can appease both crowds.

The structure of your theme park is ultimately up to you. You can always purchase more land and expand your empire. With it, you will have to build roads to provide easy assess to your rides. Building these roads is quite simple, but planning on how to build it so you can provide the customers with easy assess to your rides are key. Another great aspect about this game is the ability to create and design your own ride. Of course, building your ride is quite expensive and time consuming, but in the end, it will leave you with a satisfaction of creating something so Cool!

A port is a port…

Being a port of a PC game that came out years ago, it leaves me much to be desired for. For one, the graphics to simply put is quite outdated. But, of course, you can't really blame the game for its dated graphics, given the advancements in technology. However, the gameplay of this game remains strong and is still quite addictive. From a quick glance, Rollercoaster Tycoon looks more like an N64 title, rather than an Xbox title. The character models are bland and there is a fair share of ugly textures. The game runs exceptionally well and has short load times. But that isn't really a feat considering how bad everything else looks.

Perhaps, the worst part of the game is the sound. There are certainly screams to go with that quick jolt or double loop, but the noise seem out of place. There is a lot of background chatter, but it sounds more like mumble jumble that seems to lack any quality. The sound of cashiers ringing as your capital goes up is also an annoying implementation. The soundtrack is quite solid, but even that is your typical and generic theme park type music.

One thing for certain is this game has a lot of hidden value. At a glimpse of an eye, it probably seems like a type of game where you won't have any fun, but the truth is, once you get pass the learning state, this game is quite addictive. There is plenty to do. And it is quite pleasing to watch your business become successful. As your theme park grows, you slowly develop a feeling towards your little empire. As a whole, the game has plenty to offer and will provide countless hours of fun.

A little dated, but still very fun!

While the game is definitely out of date and the people who already own and played this game to death on their PC, won't find anything new to warrant a purchase, the people who has never played this game is in for a treat. The game certainly has its flaws, but considering the value it provides, even after all these years is a testament to how much fun this game is. For a port, this game holds up quite well from its transactions. There is plenty to like about this game, and I am sure the majority of the people that are willing to give this game a try will find much to love. So, if you are an Xbox owner and do not have the PC version, then by all means get this game and give it a go.

Pros
+ Plenty of attractive themes
+ Unmatched value
+ Designing your own coasters
+ Highly addictive
+ Being able to run a simulated version of your own business
+ Watch your theme park grow
+ Designing the over all structure in your theme park

Cons
- Background noise leaves a lot to be desired
- Certainly outdated
- Probably the worst looking Xbox game to date

Final Score: 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/30/05


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