Review by Sekken

"Different, Yet in a Way, Still the Same..."

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. The long awaited sequel to the popular, and classic, RCT. With original included plus expansions, does it really stack up...?

Gameplay/Controls: 9/10
RCT is popular for its gameplay and controls, and Chris Sawyer made sure RCT2 didn't fail. The gameplay is very much like the original. This makes it easy for people who are used to the series, and also easy for those new to it.

The controls are also the same. The main use of the mouse is a big feature, however keyboard shortcuts make it all that much easier. Navigation through the park is simple with the map and pinpoint tool. Building land and clearing scenery is a breeze. And all the windows and tools are straight-forward and user friendly. They even use pictures to differ the tabs. Even with all this ease, they still throw in a tutorial.

Another big plus is the ''Roller Coaster Designer'' and ''Scenario Creator''. I'll start off with the ''Roller Coaster Designer''. This nifty tool not only lets you design roller coasters free of financial limit, but it also lets you create any ride that can be custom built. This is real handy if you don't want to clear scenery or waste money in a scenario. Next the ''Scenario Creator''. This tool would have to be the best feature of the game. You can custom create a scenario up to a size of 256 Blocks x 256 Blocks. Trust me, it's massive. You can create mountains, lakes, rivers, etc...

Graphics: 7/10
First off, let me tell you that the graphics are different to RCT1 + Expansions. How?, You ask. Well RCT2 has much more refined and slicker graphics. The graphics engine was updated, but only slightly, still giving the classic effect, although they are different. It has been mainly the rides and attractions with smoother textures, however other things were also made better. (And I use this term loosely). The scenery, ground, water, entrances still look the same. Although I really didn't expect much of these to change as Chris Sawyer would want to keep the feel of the game.

Sound: 7/10
A few improvements. New music types for rides and other things. However the sounds of roller coasters running along the tracks seems to sound a lot better. Nearly all the rides have improved sound. The guests, on the other hand, still have the same old laughter and muttering sounds. Overall the sound has only had a general improvement.

Story: 10/10
What can I say? You build a theme park with some of the most massive roller coasters and attractions. Haven't you ever had a dream of owning a roller coaster or theme park? A game like this is an easy 10/10 for story.

Replay Value: 9/10
As the Chris Sawyer games are; one of this games (and series) major selling points has been replay value. Even though you've finished all the scenarios, built all the ride types, and mastered the game, you still come back for more. A game like this only comes around once in a blue moon (slang for 'rare' if you don't know). Replay value is well present within this game.

Features: 9/10
Nothing to say here as most of them have been covered in other sections.

+ Much smoother and slicker.
+ Awesome new rides.
+ Still as fun, if not, then even more fun.
+ Easy controls.
+ Appeals to all ages and anyone can buy it.
+ Massive scenarios.
+ More of a challenge.
+ New features.
+ Wide variety or rides, attractions, theming, scenery, shops and stalls.
+ Fairly good audio experience.
+ User-Friendly.
+ Cheap to buy upon release and even cheaper now.

- Very limited in ride creation and scenario creator tools.
- Limited scenarios and no unlockable one's.
- Some features taken out. (As such, mountain tool while in game).
- Pre-made parks aren't very good.
- Longer loading times.
- Some theming taken out.

Overall: 8/10
Yes I highly recommend this game to you or anyone in that matter. It is very addictive, fun and user-friendly. Although it has its flaws, like all games, I believe RCT2 has easily found its way into the market as one of the best simulations/strategy games ever made.

Go pick it up today!

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/03/03, Updated 07/03/03

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