Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review On PC

The sequel to one of the biggest selling titles ever is hear, can Chris Sawyer pull off another beauty?

Well no, not really. Both the best and the worst thing about Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 is that is sticks rigidly to the same formula as its predecessor. So much so that if you look at the screen shots you will probably have some difficulty seeing any differences from the original. You can play the game at a higher resolution now but that can make RCT2 unplayable due to the small people and coaster parts. The truth of it is, graphically RCT2 is no different to its big brother. Almost three years and the visuals are just the same, no improvement. You would have expected something even some smoothing on the landscapes. When the game was originally released the graphics where acceptable as some machines would have struggled to push the game at 1024x768 resolution. Even a two and a half year old laptop with a 16-meg graphics card will run RCT2 perfectly.

That's not all apparently the code underlying the game is all new. If it is new code, why hasn't anything changed apart from a new landscape editor and a few other things? Such as the rollercoaster designer, scenario editor and the new save feature but these all form the game in some way anyway. The rollercoaster designer will allow you to build and save rollercoaster's outside of the scenarios, the scenario editor isn't much of a help as the games default scenarios are good and varied and there are 20 to choose from; you can choose any scenario at the beginning of the game so you may pick and choose between scenarios. If you do fancy making your own scenario you may choose the size of the land plot, edit it and choose the variations on what needs to be done to finish the scenario. The landscape editor is much the same but now you can lift or lower land from one point to make a nice looking hill of indentation.

Unfortunately the list goes on, the clumsy interfaces have not been improved either. If the interfaces had been changed it would have made the game easier to handle and as a result more fun. Creating rollercoaster's can be quite difficult when areas are surrounded by scenery and even editing the landscape can be a tricky and time consuming job.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review On PC @
Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review On PC @
Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 Review On PC @

Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 really should have been 3D with a good camera featuring good movement and a decent zoom facility. Taking something that was good in the original and making it twice as good in the sequel is what Rollercoaster Tycoon should have been. Instead this is a half arsed effort with some new features that could have been given away on the RCT website.

The main draw for Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 will be the new rides. There are new rides, new shops and new ride scenery. You won't be blown away by how many new rides there are though, there are a couple that let you do weird and wonderful things with the track that where not present in the original or the expansion packs, otherwise your not really missing much in this department. There are a few more gentle rides but these aren't the real guts of the game. There is a load of new shops so there are even more ways to make some serious cash. The most flaunted of the three is the all new scenery which can house rides and make then much more pleasing on the eye. If you are thinking about building a ride and making it look nice with scenery you had better make sure you have a good amount of spare time on your hands as this is a very painful and irritating task as you can't always see where to place certain items. This is as good as it gets really.

One thing I do have to say is that is something isn't broken, why fix it? I have spent many hours playing the original with the expansion packs in the past and Rollercoaster Tycoon entertained me for a long, long time. Unfortunately after playing RCT2 for an hour you will discover nothing has really changed and you will soon get board of playing it and as a result be very disappointed. Rollercoaster Tycoon should have been sold as an expansion pack for half the price of this.

It comes down to one thing, which is the best theme park management game available. Well the answer is Rollercoaster Tycoon 2, but if you have the original there really isn't any need to purchase unless you just can't help yourself or you're a rollercoaster maniac. On the other hand if you are a Rollercoaster Tycoon virgin then you should give this a go because it is great fun and you should get months of game play for your cash. Let's hope there is a completely new and revolutionary Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 on its way that will feature an all new control system and new 3D graphics for the modern day gamer and PC.

6.5 out of 10