Review by Mawkawkaw

"Now ride the rides!"

And that's about where the excitement for this game ends. It's a sad day when a great series “sells out” and releases a game that's sub par. It's a really sad day when a company named “Frontier Developments” takes a big dump all over years of another company's hard work. Unsurprisingly, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, or RCT3 for short, was one of the most anticipated PC games of all time, due to strong sales of its predecessors and good marketing. However, reality not only fell short but also fell short of short.

The goal of making sequels is ultimately to, you know, make a game that has fewer problems than the preceding one(s). Unfortunately, RCT3 takes all of the problems of the last games and supplements them with new ones. On top of that, the representation of new features is completely appalling. There are some attempts to weave in some elements of creativity and cutting-edge graphical displays, but they all fail miserably.

Speaking of graphics, let's start with that. They're awful. Seriously, I would rather look at the “bad” graphics of the first two games: at least I can tell the difference between a roller coaster and a Ferris wheel in the first games. Moreover, the 3D graphics are supposed to be paired with another feature that allows you to “ride the rides”. This feature is a great idea, but since it's paired with horrendous graphics, there isn't much you can do with it.

Then there's the valiant attempt to inject the game with new, creative ideas. The most prevalent of these is probably the amount of new rides. There are all kinds of new rides, ranging in creativity from a karaoke concert stage (stupid, but actually creative) to an old roller coaster from RCT2 with a paint job (obviously, not creative). Ultimately, you're probably not going to be too excited by the selection of rides RCT3 has to offer.

Another wonderful idea is giving the tycoon more options when it comes to customer service in food and drink stands—so much that it allows you to choose whether you want to dictate the amount of mustard that goes on each guest's hot dog. Really, who cares? I could care less whether a 2 cm tall person wants mustard on his or her hot dog. I guess it could be funny to torture guests by making them put ketchup on their hot dogs, but that can only entertain for so long.

Of course, what would a terrible scenario-based game be without terrible scenarios? I'm not sure, and I'm glad I don't have to find the answer to that today! Yes, that's right; RCT3 is saturated with embarrassingly awful scenarios. These scenarios will make you wish you were playing RCT2's Six Flags scenarios. Each one offers multiple goals that may occasionally include keeping a famous person happy while he is at your park. I just love how realistic the game is. Honestly, why would any tycoon care about a celebrity's opinion of his theme park?

The realism continues. Guests now can somehow survive falls of hundreds of feet and can tread water for weeks on end. Crashing roller coasters was one of the few things that made coaster building such a challenge in the first two games. I guess they just have too strong a sympathy for anthropomorphic blobs of pixels.

In the end, RCT3 strips the franchise of any nostalgic value remaining in RCT2 while failing to add anything new or interesting. Of course, people will still play it because it's there. However, you can't ignore its enormous flaws. As the saying goes, “Ignorance is bliss,” so it's probably better if you go the rest of your life without ever experiencing what a mess this game is.

Reviewer's Rating:   0.5 - Unplayable

Originally Posted: 02/22/11

Game Release: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 (US, 10/26/04)

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