STAFF REVIEW of Roller Coaster Tycoon (Xbox)

Tuesday, June 17, 2003.
by Yellowlab

Roller Coaster Tycoon Box art There are just some games that you know exactly what to expect when you buy them (The Sims, Crash Bandicoot), and there is little room for surprises. Well, Roller Coaster Tycoon is one of those games. If you enjoy games like Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, etc... then you'll probably like RCT. Overall, it suceeds at it's purposes, expands on a few elements of this style of game, and delivers the addictive gameplay you would expect. Just prepare to spend a hour or two learning how it all works.

In RCT you build a theme park and maintain it. The unique thing about it, is that you can build custom Roller Coasters in your park, instead of just using your the pre-designed models. Building your own can be fun, but it is a challenge as it uses realistic physics, so if you don't plan ahead your coaster can crash or not make it over a hill. Also it rates the ride, and you have to be careful to make it so that it is exciting, but not too overwhelming or nauseating. There are several different areas to build a park on, and lots of different scenarios to try. You can also start out with a pre-made park and try to maintain it. It does take a while to learn how to navigate through the various windows, and I thought they could have devised an easier system that would be easier to learn. Building also takes a while to figure out, but after a few hours, it becomes easier.

Graphics are what you'd expect from a game like this. I thought the rain effects were a little on the bad side. It looked more like my TV had static than rain falling. But, everything else is good.

Average sounds and sound effects are all that is to be found. Some of the ride noises and screams get repetitive and annoying after a few hours. A custom soundtrack option would have been nice, for when you are building things.

Overall: 8.0 / 10
Gameplay: 8.0 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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