over badly managed theme parks and make them flourish. The objectives have changed somewhat in this third instalment, now you will take over a park and you will have to meet some objectives, once these objectives have been made you will then get a new set of objectives and then again you will get a third set of objectives. This is basically the difficulty level, the first set of objectives are classed as apprentice to the third set which are classed as tycoon. If you complete the apprentice objective you will unlock the next level and it is possible to open all objectives apart from the last two which require you to complete the rest of the game up to the tycoon level.
The new 3D graphics make much of the game a lot easier to deal with, for example it is far easier to build a new coaster from scratch as you can zoom in and rotate to see exactly where the track is going. This also aides when building queue paths and exit paths from compact rollercoaster’s that have very little space to play with. Apart from making some building easier the 3D environments look fantastic, it really makes the theme parks look and feel alive. Also new to Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is the on board ride camera which lets you sit on any or your rides and see what they look like from a first person perspective, this is quite a cool feature and is best used when you create your own new rollercoaster. It’s quite a sense of achievement to ride your own coaster.
RTC 3 features a transition between night and day which adds another challenge for your park building skills. Obviously you will need lighting to light up part ways and even rides when the sun goes down. A well lit park is very important so your peeps can find their way around your park. As day turns to night you also get the pleasure of making firework shows. You can set up displays and then decide when you want the fireworks to start. To create the display you use the fireworks editor which is very similar to an audio editor. You have a display with a time line and about five separate lines so you can choreograph up to five fireworks at one time. Each firework has a different duration so you can create great displays with a little time. The peeps love fireworks and it is always a good idea to have a firework display now and again to up your park ranking.
VIPeeps are also new; they appear in the career mode as an objective. So the first VIPeep you will come across has a very low tolerance to litter and it just so happens you have taken over a park that has a real litter and rubbish problem. You will have a couple of months to sort out your park before the VIPeep will arrive. If you don’t sort out the litter problem you will fail one of the objectives and not be able to progress unless you replay the scenario. The VIPeeps are a great addition and provide a new way of presenting objectives. The great thing is that you can follow your VIPeep around the park and even set some way points so he/she will take your preferred route through the park. While on the peeps it is worth mentioning that all peeps now have a unique appearance. You can even create your own peep families and customise the uniforms of your employees. Peeps are also separates into groups, you have young peeps that like the gentle rides, the teen peeps like the extreme rides while the older peeps prefer like a bit of relaxed entertainment. This isn’t a massive innovations but it certainly adds a little bit more depth to the game.
Anyone who has played any of the Rollercoaster Tycoon games in the past will know there is a sense of excitement. The music perfectly portrayed that the feeling of a theme park. Unfortunately this time around the music is no where near as good as it has been in the previous two games. Now when you build a ride you have to decide which music you want to play. You can even import music from your own music library but it isn’t quite the same. There isn’t any background music anymore, the only time you will hear music is when you zoom into a particular ride you will hear the music you have selected. RTC 3 just lacks the atmosphere that was so greatly captured in the previous two games.
Unfortunately Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has a pretty large bug that can affect the game play and make building a park quite frustrating. You can build a ride either a pre built one or a customer coaster and you can find that non of the peeps will actually go on the ride. You don’t get any notices to say why the peeps are not using the rides like the price is too high. In fact if you drop the price of entry to a ride, even to give the ride away for free the peeps will still not use the ride. This is a glaring error that can damage the playability and drastically affect the profitability of your park. Even if you decided to shut down the ride and re-open it, this will still not get the peeps to queue for your ride. Hopefully Frontier and Atari will deal with these bugs in a future update or patch of the game. The real shame is that Frontier couldn’t have spent just a little bit more time ironing out the bugs by putting the release back a few weeks.
On a brighter note Rollercoaster Tycoon three features various different themes for you theme park which include Space, Wild West, Spooky and generic. On top of this great new feature is the ability to moving scenery to your rides. You can make a usually boring train ride exciting by adding exploding track side mines and you’re your water rides more interesting by having a huge white shark lurch out of the water. Frontier has done a great job here by trying to give enough functionality to replicate famous theme parks of the world.
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 really does have everything you would wish for, the visuals are brilliant, the building systems are much easier to use and the game as a whole is fantastic. Lets just hope Frontier and Atari release a new patch or update that will fix the present bugs that will make the good playability because something great. Some nice cheerful background music wouldn’t go a miss either. Any one who was a fan of the first two games will undoubtedly love everything on offer here. People who haven’t played any of the rollercoaster tycoon games to date will be lured in and hooked certain to loose a great amount of time making their own custom parks.
8.5 out of 1