496 of 519 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2004
I am certainly impressed by the sexy new 3D graphics, but sadly, some features from RCT2 have been lost, and some old problems still exist or have gotten worse. I hope most of these issues are just bugs that will be corrected shortly with an update or two, although I'll never understand how such a popular game was ever released in such a state. So here are a few good news/bad news review points of RCT3.
Good News: The 3D graphics really are impressive and riding the coasters via the all new coaster cam feature is a lot of fun, especially on coasters you build yourself. The ability to zoom in and out and view your parks from any 3D angle and see some parks lit up at night is great. You can even zoom right down on a path and see your park from a Peep's perspective. Bad News: You'll need plenty of horse power in terms of CPU, memory and graphics card to get the full effect. I have a 2Ghz 2900+ Athlon processor, 512MB of memory and a 128MB GE Force graphics card. I can run the game satisfactorily at the Medium graphics settings, although refresh rates start to drop as you add more rides to a park and your park fills up with Peeps. I'd hate to see the graphics and responsiveness (or lack thereof) on a PC with minimum published requirements. The game has locked up or dropped back to Windows on me about a half dozen times in less than a week.
Good News: Peeps and/or park inspectors now respond to park esthetics, and will even complain if your theming is inconsistent or your fireworks displays are stingy. They can also recognize VIPs that visit your park and hound them for autographs, a new feature RCT3. Bad News: AI for Peep navigation has taken a few steps BACKWARDS! THIS IS THE MOST DISAPPOINTING ASPECT OF RCT3 and needs to be addressed before I can ever endorse this game. Peeps can't navigate parks very well unless you keep the pathing system extremely simple, as in a simple straight midway. Put a turn or two in a ride exit path and some peeps will have difficulty finding there way back to the main path and you'll get an alert messages to check your exit path for the ride. Peeps tend to wander aimlessly around the park, or worse yet, huddle in their groups without moving for days (and days and days and days), without queuing up for rides. Hungry Peeps walk right by food stands even when prices are free, and they zoom right past rest rooms while holding their groins because the really, really need to go to the bathroom. I'm NOT making this up!
Good News: The Terra Forming tools are fantastic, a major improvement over RCT2. Hills and mountains and canyons and craters are incredibly easy to make and look great. Bad News: Aligning sloped or raised paths with uneven terrain is a big headache, and I don't find the raised/sloped pathing tools to be very intuitive or friendly. Building structures on uneven terrain is also quite a chore and can even be tricky on seemingly level terrain. Put down two shops side by side, the first sits level with your path and the second levitates inexplicably above the path level and Peeps can't get to it.
Good News: The system for assigning patrol areas to janitors and mechanics is much easier and precise to a single square. Very slick. Bad News: Janitors and mechanics stray from their assigned areas and there's no way to see what areas of the park have already been assigned to other staff. On top of that, park staff can now get tired, bored, and/or cranky, so now you have to try to keep them happy too along with your Peeps. Oh, shops and stalls break down and need maintenance just like rides in RCT3. "Information Booth 01 has broken down"???? Yes it all adds new levels of complexity to the game, but I'm not too thrilled about it.
Good News: You can easily zoom in, zoom out, or view the park from any angle while placing rides and coasters, and they've added new track pieces like zero G rolls and hyper banked curves. Bad News: The handy feature in RCT2 that allowed you to flip the coaster to a mirror of itself image is gone. All you can do is rotate the coaster 90 degrees at a time, resulting in a lot less flexibility in building/placing coasters in your park. The new interface for building coasters, in fact the whole interface for RCT3 in general, seems clunky to me. It doesn't adhere to Windows standards. Tool tips would be nice. The game also circumvents the standard Windows save file dialog when saving coasters. If you've already saved a file with the same name, it automatically appends a sequence number to the file name rather than giving you the option to overwrite the existing file.
Good News: You can now program fireworks displays and Peeps love them, especially expensive, extravagant displays. Peeps complain if you're stingy on the pyrotechnics. Beside the 3D graphics, this is probably the most interesting new feature in RCT3. They evidently put a lot of work into this new feature, hoping to provide something more than just a 3D version of RCT2. Bad News: I have yet to find an Undo feature anywhere, something people have been suggesting in RCT forums for a long, long time. The fireworks are great, but I feel should have been saved for an expansion pack while other issues and requests from RCT2 were addressed in this release.
Good News: There's a sandbox mode built right in as promised. You don't need to use a cheat code or solve all the scenarios. It's on option on the game menu where you can build and play with out regard for funds or attendance or park ratings. Bad News: There doesn't seem to be a way to figure out why your Park Rating is dropping like a stone while playing scenarios. The Peep thought summary window from RCT2 is nowhere to be found in RCT3. The documentation states that an Opinions window is available by clicking the Park Rating on the dashboard, but there seems to be a bug because nobody has been able to make it work yet. Park Rating is much more volatile in RCT3. I've actually received an award for Tidiest Park immediately followed by and award for Best Toilets, immediately followed by a fine (yes an $800 FINE!) for Most Disappointing Park. Weird!
If and when you buy RCT3, be prepared for some frustration. The interface has changed quite a bit, and not for the better in my opinion. I would say there are a LOT of bugs, a lot more than I would expect from a game as popular as the RCT series. When I play the game, I can't help but get the feeling that it was never really played or tested by any member of the original RCT fan base before it was released. According to the official game forum, the first update will be released within days. I think it may be the first of 2 or 3 updates before the hard core RCT fans are satisfied. Don't get me wrong. This game really does have a lot of potential. But it is a pretty buggy release and I feel has lost some of what made previous versions of RCT so much fun to play.
166 of 175 people found the following review helpful
Anyone who enjoyed Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 (RCT2) will enjoy RCT3, though there are some problems with the game.
The joys - Ride The Rides! Design your own ride, full the surrounding area with appropriate items, and then ride the ride in 3D. This is a lot of fun, and RCT3 is the first RCT to offer this feature.
Gamespeed control! For those who would walk away (leaving the computer running) because they had completed an RCT2 scenario, but the time was not yet up, this is a huge benefit.
Career Mode - Now there is more of a purpose to each scenario, though not everyone will like this aspect of the game (there is still sandbox mode).
Music - Import your own MP3s and use them in the game. Whatever music you have in MP3 format can now be the music of each of your rides, or the park itself.
Fireworks - You can design your own fireworks display You can even time the fireworks to music of your choice. This means you can have fireworks to co-ordinate with MP3s you import into the game. Very cool.
All in all there are a large number of very good improvements in RCT3. The graphics are a huge upgrade, while the basic gameplay is still something any RCT veteran can jump into and use.
Life is not perfect in RCT3, however. Along with the benefits, especially in graphics, comes a cost. The game runs sluggishly on mid-level machine (well above the recommended, never mind minimum, requirements, e.g. 512meg system memory, 128 video). Stuttering is fairly common, the computer will "freeze" for one second, then resume. It's not awful, but it's not good either.
Clumsy interface in places - Example, the only readily accessible button in some tutorials is "quit", so you'll have to restart a few times if you're not careful. If you meet a scenario's achievements while you are on a ride, getting out is difficult. Also, the overall user interface is, well, clumsy.
Harder - the game might prove frustrating, especially for younger players. While RCT2 was arguably too easy, in terms of making money, that's what made it great for younger kids. Now, with frequent penalties for "Most Disappointing", and an overall harder economic model, the game may not be playable long term for younger kids who really enjoyed previous RCT titles.
Overall I have to say that the game is a great deal of fun. The new features are not simply new paint on an old box, they really add to enjoyment of the game. The problems, while noticeable, will not stop most people from having fun. Further, the problems are the type of thing a patch can repair, so the game might well be five-star in a few months.
If you don't mind a little more challenge, a little harder interface, and higher system requirements, then Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 will be a great experience. For the rest, it is still more fun than a great many other games out there.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2004
RCT3 has been a very enjoybale purchase for me. To begin, the graphics are gorgeous. The developers have paid attention to details and really excelled at the 3D mapping, shadowing, and light effects. In particular, the transition between daytime and nighttime is a joy to watch. Following that transition the fireworks show lights up the night sky.
The new Coaster Cam feature allows you to ride ALL the rides in your park. So once I completed one of my crazy coasters I get to ride on it and experience all the loops and spins like I was actually there.
In terms of gameplay, RCT3 has a tutorial that teaches you all the basics so that you can get up constructing your parks as soon as possible. After a short time experimenting, taking an idea for a coaster from your head to the game becomes quite smooth. There is also options of placing food stands, bathrooms, drinking stations, the whole works. And each has a deeper level of customization to make everything feel personal.
Overall, I love playing this game and think that anyone experienced or unexperienced would enjoy the game.
49 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2004
The GOOD STUFF:
Yes, the camera function for the coasters and rides is wonderful. Also love the new selection of thrill rides.
Also appreciate the "autofinish" for designing coasters, so i dont have to spend an hour trying to get the end of the track to line up with the station.
Ride extras like volcanos and sharks jumping out of water...fantastic.
And, getting down to eye level and looking at your park is just a thrilling experience.
Moving around the park and zooming in is a pain in the *@!. Yes, I figured it out, but I hate it. It is a chore.
The scenarios are ludicrous. The sandbox mode is the ONLY way to go here.
The employees dont do their jobs, need training, have to be fired, etc. And drink stands and food stalls break down. I did not buy Rollercoaster Tycoon to learn to be a human resources manager. I want to play with an amusement park. This aspect of the game is largely a nuisance.
Fireworks...nice, but I'd rather have more rides.
You can't make tunnels!
Love the night scenes, but you cant put lights in the coasters, so they are just these dark blobs in the middle of the park.
In all, the sandbox mode will keep you occupied. But after playing a few times I'm fairly bored with the game. It's radically different from the previous games in spirit and execution, and will really take some getting used to. I'm just not feeling that urge to play with it again.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2004
RCT3 attempts to continue the great line of RollerCoaster Tycoon titles and in several ways exceeds past versions. The graphics are well done and the number of rollercoaster creation options are excellent. Several features that all past RCT fanatics have been wanting have been put into RCT3, foremost the ability to actually ride your own creations. In addition you can now create and save your individual rollercoaster creations for later use.
The game at initial release does have a number of problems. There are numerous Artifical Intelligence problems with the "peeps" who tend to not find rides, get stuck in entrance gates, fail to find shops, get thirsty or hungry but never buy food or drink and never leave the park. In addition the park workers are fussy and tend to quit quickly.
Elements such as tunneling which added greatly to RCT1 and RCT2 are missing.
A major update patch is being worked on and should be released soon. Hopefully some of the initial problems will be fixed. As the game is now I would not recommend RCT3 to anyone who is not a hard core RollerCoaster Tycoon gamer.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2004
I played roller coaster tycoon 1 with and without both of its add-on packs. I must say i was addicted to that game more than any othe rgame in my life. If you know the seriesm you will feel very comfortable playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. There are no negative differences between this new one and the old ones. All that was done to the game was positive. The feel of the game resembles the previous versions but the layout is a little different. Some cool new features include the much anticipated coaster cam, which is pretty astonishing, especially with people on board( the reactions are humurous at the least), there is also an addition of nighttime and fireworks. The fireworks are incredible and with the custom design, a sichronized, elaborate firework display playing next to one of yur favortie songs is possible. The most impressive quality of the game is the sheer leap in graphical eye candy from its predocessors. Atari did a great job in making everything look great.
Each person in the game has his or her own personailty and with his or her own clothing. An exciting addition to the people is , there are various sizes of them ; children teenagers tall short people, it really is overwhelming.
The career mode is fun and includes a very free waqy to achieve awards. Instead of the time based awarding system , atari introduces us with a neat way to just go at your own pace by having set criteria to work your way up to. You really dont have to if yu dont want to or dont want to unlock new scenarios. I personalyl like this stressless method of gaming.
there is also a sandbox mode, one mode i never got to play with in the first rct. There is even more freedom here. The abil;ity to do whatever you want, bulild whatever you want without any restrictions on type or money. Very fun and ots of room for creativity.
The game is relaxing and is a beautiful demonstration of A game developer's maturity into this generation of games. This title will definitely be played to death in my home. So if u loved roller coastert tycoon 1 or 2 then pick this up and relive the adventures of those two in 3d. If youve never ever played this sort of game, and are interested in some sort of creative fun game, id still advise you to pick this one up, It is well worth it. Have fun building.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2006
I began the Tycoon adventure with the first RollerCoaster Tycoon. I was here from the very start. Number 2 fixed each and every problem I had with number 1, from flipping pre-made rollercoasters in every way imaginable and more food stands than you could ever use.
So when Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 came out, I was pretty excited. I did not rest till I had bought it and installed it on my computer. Then came the disappointment. I have a good computer, able to handle all sorts of games. However, for Tycoon 3, it had the graphic settings on medium--just barely--and the game slowed up whenever there were too many guests. I don't even want to think about what kind of computer you need to have a high graphic setting during a busy season. A normal person with a normal computer won't be able to run the graphics at optimum performance so it ruins the fun of the new and improved graphics!
After being disappointed by the graphics, the next thing you realise is that everything that No.2 fixed, No.3 lost. When you build a rollercoater, if there is so much as one little rock underneath it, you won't be able to build it. That's right; you have to demolish each and every rock underneath the thing. Imagine if you want to build a rollercoater winding through a forest? In No.2 the trees and rocks were deleted for you upon building.
Furthermore, for an experienced Tycooner, I found this game almost impossible to play. People don't ride rides and don't buy food; they stand around doing nothing all day. However, they buy souvenier's like crazy. There is an incredible amount of tweaking to be done to each ride, from the speed to the price to the number of trains. While many of these features were available in no.2, in no.3 they can make or break a ride and are far more complicated. For a computer game its far too much and not really worth the time. There is enough for me to worry about without constantly having to tweak each ride I build.
Another bother was the way the roller coasters can only be rotated 180 degrees. In no.2 you could mirror-image it, so to speak AND rotate it, giving you eight different positions as opposed to four. This makes a huge difference when trying to fit a coaster into your park.
One more thing was the fact that there was no 'apply to all' button. In other words, every stand you build you must modify. Every single one. In no.2 you could fix one and apply its settings to the whole park.
The stars of the game were the VIPeeps; I enjoyed them and the new challenges. Also, the idea of unlocking challenges as you beat them has returned, which was great.
So the final word? Too much fancy surface work, not enough game quality. The fireworks are pretty but enough to make up for the lack of content. I wouldn't have minded the oversights but when they made mistakes in no.1, fixed them in no.2 and brought them BACK in no.3, it gets on my nerves. There really was no reason for them. The game took a step forwards graphics-wise and two steps backwards game-wise.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2004
I'm not a big computer game fan. The only immersive game I've ever owned was an old copy of the arcade favorite "House of the Dead" that I got on clearance for $5. It was a blast, but had to be retired when an operating system upgrade rendered it obsolete.
I have Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 and 2, and I have enjoyed them immensely. They appeal to my creativity. RCT3, however, WILL COMPLETELY BLOW YOU AWAY! The graphics are simply astonishing. I particularly enjoy sandbox mode, whereby you simply build stuff and ride it without worrying about the game rules. It's a great way to kill a few hours and expend some mental energy. If you're a doodler, you'll love building attractions and then getting to ride them via the Coaster Cam. It's also fun to build attractive tableaus and simply glide through them with the camera, checking out the stunning visuals. One caution: Read the minimum system requirements and heed them. Slower systems will play a simplified version of the game, but to get the really awesome visuals you'll need a robust graphics card and a good processor. Highly recommended!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2004
I have been, and will always be, a Rollercoaster Tycoon fan, but this latest game has questioned my devotion.
Sure, it's very fun, I mean, you build, and now can ride, your own coasters. You also can manage and watch as your peeps walk through your park to ride rides, buy ballons, eat your overpriced food, and watch your firework shows. But it's not perfect.
The game has been totaly re-written from the previous versions, and as such, the game isn't as polished as the older versions, and there are glitches. Randomly your rides change raiting from normal, to highly intense, to mind-nubming dull. Ofcourse, the peeps would ride the rides, if they could find them. Rides that are placed even SLIGHTLY off the main, straight path will fall the wayside. Then there are the breaks, which are funny, as in bad funny. The regular breaks can't stop a train at all even if 10 are put back to back, yet a block break, one singe one, can stop a train to a slow roll.
Glitchy, oh yeah, but there's a patch now, but still, I would wait for some expansion packs to see what they add.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 28, 2005
Cut to the chase, the fun wears off pretty quick. You want to build a park, but all you get to do is build bathrooms. You eventually spend 80-90% of your playing time dealing with pain in the butt janitors and mechanics who never do thier work, if you assign them an area they either become immediatly bored and quit or wander off. They should rename this Puke-Tycoon, NOBODY throws up as much as these peeps. Yes you can watch from any angle, cool for a while, but it just means now you can watch your janitors quit from any angle, peeps not go on rides from any angle, ride break down from any angle. Its a pain in the neck from any angle! YAY! A quick solution would be to allow the player to decide how much micro-managing he/she wants. I buy these games to build parks not pick how much ketchup to put on the hot-dogs. The tedious nature of these tasks really takes away from the excellent graphics, cool atmosphere, and great music, although volume levels are hard to regulate, overlap(two songs at the same time) is terribly annoying. The themes and rides are really cool but you never get to enjoy them. You become to busy being the Condiment-Puke-Tycoon.