Review by Sitorimon

Reviewed: 09/20/03

Fancy Choosing The Colour Of Your Themed Toilet?

Rollercoaster Tycoon II is the sequel to what is arguably the best theme park sim of them all. On the surface nothing has really changed, but once you dig underneath the surface, you’ll find that things have been opened out to let you create almost anything you feel like!
Lets start off with the way the game works, which remains unchanged from the original. You are given a piece of land (notably larger lots this time round) and you must reach the targets asked of you in that scenario. You must control your cash flow, the rides and the staff while the parks visitors flood in and cause havoc.
If you, like me, found these increasingly harder goals get a little repetitive there’s no need to worry as also included in the game is a scenario creator! You can size up your land and add the rides you want and then make your own goals to achieve. This option can be quite useful as it potentially gives you unlimited possibilities and endless game play!
Furthermore, the other new part to game is the roller coaster designer! This golden nugget lets you take almost every customisable ride in the game into a virtual design park and let your imagination go wild. You will lose hours in this section alone, as you can save all your designs providing they work properly. You can then build these straight away in the real parks you are building. Roller coasters now come with many new sections you can add and now you can make the most complex rides around.
The actual main game itself though takes it’s hugest leap in how you can customise nearly everything new build. You not only change the colours, but also add scenery and all kinds of little gizmos to make the park yours. You can make tunnels, bridges, house’s, giant station buildings, artistic queue lines, water sprays placed to make the guests wet, whatever you can make! The only thing that can stop you is your imagination, and that’s why this game can last you for years. You’ll be discovering things you didn’t realise you could do and combinations of scenery you never thought would go together.
The shear amount of rides on offer is excellent too. Some of them are only slight permutations on other rides, but they do give a different experience and taste to your park.
Despite having all these customisable options, there is a sense throughout the game that it’s not so much a sequel as a polish up. Nowhere is that made more noticeable than the graphics, which looks exactly the same here as they do in the original. The above and slightly behind view gives the best view for the game really and the graphics are very detailed, but so many people have complained that Infogrames should have made the graphics better. Personally, they do more than enough for me and they give more people the chance to play this game.
Finally, the AI of all the people is improved somewhat too. They get tired and weary, hungry and thirsty and have their limits on the rides. The extra little actions they can do make them more complex and harder to please!
Rollercoaster Tycoon II has a slight dilemma on its hands. Does it offer enough to tempt all the fans of the original onto this one? Technically I would have said yes, but if sitting around making flowerbeds and making the scene is not your cup of tea, the shallower original will do you just fine. This is a game that’s all to do with how far you want to go to make perfection, and if you want it…get this game and you wont be disappointed.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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