Review by Gauntlet Man 99

"One Word: WOW!"

Last November I was browsing through my local Babbages for a new computer game to buy myself for my birthday (I can’t count on my parents to get me anything. They haven’t bought me anything since I was 4). I picked out Baldur’s Gate and walked to the checkout. On my way there I tripped because I was looking at a hot girl and I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. From the ground I saw a game called “Roller Coaster Tycoon” on the third shelf from the bottom. Roller Coasters have always been my favorite part of amusement parks (I like the ones where you stand up and go around loops), so I picked it up. After about five minutes of deciding which game to get I used the always 100% accurate system of “eenie meanie meiny moe”. It turned out I was getting Roller Coaster Tycoon. Now, half a year later, I have finally bought the last expansion pack called “Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes”. It adds lots of new stuff like, rides, and shops, and scenarios. Also, as the name suggests, Loopy Landscapes adds, well… loopy landscapes like snow covered mountains, and Hawaiian volcanoes. Now, back to the story of my Roller Coaster Tycoon discovery. When I got home I installed it with the easy to use installation process. At the beginning I was greeted by the familiar “Chink chink chink chink chink” noise of a roller coaster chain and then a cool theme park tune. I seriously played from one in the afternoon to three AM the next day. Normally, I’d be pissed because I missed basketball practice, but I had the time of my life screwing around with the game. If you choose to hear more about the sweetest game ever made, keep reading. (305 Word Mark)

Graphics- 10 out of 10
The graphics in Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes are AMAZING! That was what they were in the original and the first expansion pak, but now somehow they’ve improved them again. I didn’t think that was possible, but it was. Every single little object is surprisingly detailed and colorful. Now, for an annoyingly detailed example: One day in your nice peaceful amusement park, one of your steel roller coaster cars goes out of control and flies off the track right into a seafood stand. The people beneath the crash site scream and make an attempt to get away, but it’s too late. As the coaster car hits the hamburger restaurant it explodes, along with the restaurant and the people. You see fire, body parts, seafood, and machine pieces flying everywhere. Picture all of that in great detail and color and then you have witnessed a standard roller coaster crash in Roller Coaster Tycoon. But the game is not always so violent. Now picture a day in the kid section of the park. Little Simkids walk, run, and skip merrily to their favorite rides, like the merry-go-round and bumper cars. Then, all of the sudden the merry-go-round malfunctions and bursts into flames. You see little kids caught on fire, running- umm never mind. Heh heh. Like I said, everything is peaceful. (532 word mark)

Good Points-
*Superb detail
*Colorful landscapes
*Several camera angles
*3D feel for a Sim game
*Surprisingly detailed and improved graphics

Bad Points-

Sound- 10 out of 10
Now visualize the coaster crash scene again, but this time add sounds. Seconds before the crash, all was happy and typical carnival music was playing. Then, the innocent people around the crash site look up and see a roller coaster car plummeting towards them. They’re filled with terror and start screaming. When the coaster crashes the amusement park is filled with a heart stopping “*BOOM*!!!” and the sound of shattering glass. Now you have “seen” and “heard” what a roller coaster crash is like in Roller Coaster Tycoon. If that doesn’t impress you, then just play the game and you will be. Besides that, there are many different tunes for each scenario in the game. And even better, Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes adds a lot of new music and sound effects too. On the topic of music, certain rides, like the Bumper Cars and Merry Go Rounds have their own musical scores. Aside from music, Roller Coaster Tycoon spans well over 100 different sound effects, and each ride has is own sound effect too. Besides all that, Loopy Landscapes adds dozens of new sounds too. Each new scenario has a new tune and new (notice something here?) sound effects. (763 Word Mark)

Good Points-
*Great variety
*Never gets monotonous
*Sounds good
*Easy on the ears
*More variety than the last game and the previous expansion pack
*Interesting songs and sound effects

Bad Points-

Play Control- 10 out of 10
The play control in Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes is amazingly impeccable. Sure, there are tons of menus, but to access any of them, all you have to do is click on its icon in the toolbar at the top of the screen or press the hot key for it (see the end of this section for more info). Even in the menus, where there are loads of options, they’re all easy to access. Most of menus from the toolbar will have their own toolbar of options. And if they don’t have another toolbar it will have drag down menu or a list of choices. And accessing all of the option and editable properties is a cinch too. Just click it. To move what part of the screen you’re on, just move your cursor to the edge of the screen in the direction you want to move, or use the arrow keys on your keyboard. Now all of this clicking and mouse moving may seem boring to you, right? Well, it isn’t. Just trust me on this, OK? The play control in Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes is the same as in the original and the expansion pack because they only added one new menu. Free Hint: You can assign certain menus “hot keys” from the options menu for even easier access. (1026 Word Mark)

Good Points-
*Smooth movement
*Assessing menus is easy
*Navigating the menus is easy too
*User-friendly controls
*Still just as easy to use the menus as it was in the original version and in Corkscrew Follies
*Use of hot keys simplifies the controls

Bad Points-

Game Design- 10 out of 10
Not only is Roller Coaster Tycoon tied for the title of my favorite game, it’s also 100% original! Even though it’s still tied with Gauntlet Legends for the title of my favorite game that doesn’t mean it’s not better than the first and second. Before it was just on the same “perfect” level. Gauntlet Legends was on a higher “perfect” level, but Roller Coaster Tycoon is catching up fast. Maybe if Hasbro Interactive makes a fourth Roller Coaster Tycoon game it’ll beat out Gauntlet Legends. The only game even remotely like this is Sim Theme Park (which I strongly recommend to all you Roller Coaster Tycoon fans, and even of those of you Roller Coaster Tycoon haters) and it came out after RCT, so this is not a rip off of Sim Theme Park which I’ve heard people say. There are over 100 (175 now!) different rides and shops for you to add to your amusement park. Also, there are _TONS_ of editable properties for each of them too. You can even name the guests in your park. Plus you can download things called “Trainers” from the Internet which add new rides and other cool features. You can also download new ride tracks and scenarios too. And as the name of this expansion pack implies, Loopy Landscapes definitely has some “loopy” landscapes. Some of them are islands ruled y huge volcanoes waiting to erupt, while others are pyramids in Egypt or huge Japanese gardens in Japan (duh). With all of this cool stuff Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes easily proves that it is much better than Sim Theme Park. Also, on roller coasters you can choose from a HUGE variety of types of coasters, like Standup Steel Coasters or Heartline Twisters, and you can also add cool track elements like an On-Ride Photo section or half loops and water splashes. (1390 Word Mark)

Good Points-
*Lots of editable things
*Great variety of rides
*25 different kinds of coasters
*Thousands of cool downloads
*Tons of scenarios
*Original idea
*Trainers and downloads from the Net add even more rides and attractions
*Lots of new rides like the seafood stall and hot dog stand
*Nifty new landscapes and terrains

Bad Points-

Box Design (Mini-Category)- 10 out of 10
When you see Roller Coaster Tycoon at the store its box will instantly grab your attention. It has a colorful roller coaster and some other rides like a merry-go-round and bumper cars, and it has a hamburger and a popcorn stand too. Unlike the original box and the first expansion’s, this one is really sparkly. In the center it has “Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes” in big multi-colored print and beneath that it says “Expansion Pack Add-On Number 2”, and beneath that it says “Hasbro Interactive TM 1999”. On the back there are a few screenshots of some new landscapes and rides and a brief description of the game. It’s pretty easy to find it in a store, so if you plan on buying it don’t expect a half hour long search. (1588 Word Mark)

Instruction Manual- 10 out of 10
The instruction manual in Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes is informative, and gives you hints and tips to creating a successful amusement park. There isn’t much of a difference between this one and the first, except that this one gives you coverage on all the new rides too. It’s 82 pages long, give or take a few pages, and each one helps you out a lot. Also it helps you to create roller coasters and other rides too. And unlike most other computer game instruction manuals the pictures in this one are in color. The cover of the book looks just like the front of the box. (1704 word Mark)

Challenge- 10 out of 10
Rollers Coaster Tycoon is truly one of the hardest games I’ve played in my whole entire life. And that’s saying a lot considering all of the games I’ve played. There are a number of scenarios, which I’m not even going to bother trying to count, and Loopy Landscapes adds several more, and you can download even more from the Internet. And also, not all of the scenarios are available from the start, only four are unless you’ve already beat some on the original game or Corkscrew Follies. Then the ones you’ve beat are available too. And if you install this after you’ve installed the first, don’t worry, you’ll still keep all of your hard-earned progress and save files. When you beat one (the game gives you objectives which you need to complete, like have 2000 guests in your park and 4 functioning roller coasters with a yearly income of over 1000 dollars with a Park Rating of 700 by the end of October, Year 2) one more scenario is unlocked. The first few will be easy, but then they tend to get very, very, very hard. (1898 Word Mark)

Good Points-
*Tons of scenarios
*Scenarios get much harder as you progress
*The scenarios each have a set of objectives that need completed by a certain deadline
*More scenarios added and rides too
*You can keep all of your previously completed scenarios from the last two games

Bad Points-

Replay Value- 10 out of 10
You remember how I told you I got Roller Coaster Tycoon back in November? Well, I still play it several times daily. With all of the rides, attractions, and stalls you can build, all of the stuff you can download, the new landscapes and terrain, and all the other cool features in this game, it will keep you going for a long time. If you decide to buy this expansion pack it will keep you playing even longer, as if forever wasn’t already long enough. Even after you beat a scenario, you can still play it over again from scratch or build onto your previous one. After you beat a scenario, you’ll want to play it again because there is so much you can do differently than the last time you played it. Also, with all of the varying effects like weather and stuff there is a whole lot of stuff to get you to pull an all nighter playing this game. (2119 Word Mark)

Good Points-
*Holds your interest for ages
*All of the extra little tidbits you can access will keep you playing
*Tons of unique and hard scenarios
*Downloading a Trainer will add months onto how long you’ll play the game
*More rides and attractions to keep even the most attention span deprived happy
*The new terrain and rides will add more hours of play time on

Bad Points-

Overall- 10 out of 10
Overall, Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes matches Gauntlet Legend’s perfection. Since it’s a computer game, you can have as many save files as you want, provided that you have the hard drive space. Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes is easily the best simulation game, and it’s not made by Maxis!!! Well, if you’ve played any of Maxis’s newer games like The Sims (ugh, I should censor that word out) then you’re probably thinking that my last sentence said this game sucked, just in different words. But Maxis used to make excellent games. So, if you’re looking for a great game at a reasonable price, do yourself a big favor and buy Roller Coaster Tycoon. And if you want to really make yourself happy, buy the expansion packs too. Also, it’s rated “E” for Everyone by the ESRB rating board. (2334 Word Mark)

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/20/01, Updated 01/18/02

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