Here is the long awaited Roller Coaster Tycoon review. RCT is a theme-park simulator, where you are given a plot of land that may or may not already have some rides/scenery on it and told to make it into a proper themepark. Similar to the STALKER review, I'll be covering all 3 RCT games (even though the 3rd one totally sucked, except for making amazing coasters coasters.) These games let you design your own rides, which of course leads onto some of the most epic rollercoaster creations ever seen, and a load of other cool stuff too.
RCT1 was the first in the series, and the one I spent most time on as a kid. You had a long list of themepark scenarios to complete, moving up in difficulty as you went on. The objectives were all kinda similar- to have a certain number of people in the park by a certain date, with a park rating (how good the guests thought your park was) above a certain point. It doesn't sound like much fun in writing but jesus, you could play it all day and never get bored. The game let you use your imagination to create crazy new rollercoasters, but you also had to cater for the guests- they need to eat and use the bathroom, so you had to build stalls and toilets around your park. Some guests also didnt like big scary rollercoasters, so you had to build more gentle rides for them- like merry-go-rounds and haunted houses. I always found it fun to create a pretty, orderly park, but you could pretty much build your rides anywhere as long as the guests could find them.
Now thats a nice park, all tidy-
MY HEAD HURTS.
RCT2 was pretty similar to the first game, but it had a few less scenarios. However, their victory conditions were harder- sometimes you had to have a certain amount of money, or park value, by a certain time, as well as the usual conditions from RCT1. What RCT2 included that was really cool was a rollercoaster editor, where you could make and save your own rollercoasters with no money limit. I always had fun with this, but some people on youtube went mega crazy with it:
"MOMMY I WANNA GO ON THAT ONE!"
Sadly, RCT3 was a huge disappointment (for me, anyway.) Atari had noticed the success of the first two games, both made by a Scottish guy called Chris Sawyer, and threw money at him until he game them the rights to the game. Rather than using the same graphics as the first two games (which Sawyer made entirely out of assembly language and C code), they chose some happy go lucky colour pallette and made the graphics "ultra realistic".
Even Morrowind has better graphics than this.
Being a big fan of the whole isometric 2d graphics of the first two games, I was a bit put off by this. Atari then continued to the butcher the game by completely changing the whole scenario setup and introducing "difficulty level" by basically making the victory requirements higher as you completed more scenarios. I could go on about how much I dislike the game, but I'm not gonna bore you with my opinion, as many people think it's the best of the series. However, I wont dispute the fact that it is the best game in the series for making insane rollercoasters, especially since you can get inside the oasters and ride that sh*t. This first person view was awesome. It added a whole new level of fun to the game, and rollercoaster designers loved it as they could design the whole coaster to look good from the seat view, letting them cut corners on design. The result? Some truly awesome designs:
Again, holy sh*t.
Sadly, you can only find these games online, as they are all pretty old; RCT1 came out in 1999, which is 12 years ago. The fact that I still play it today speaks volumes about how great these games are. If you can find them on the net, BUY THEM. If you can't. . .
Piracy is your friend.