Disclaimer: I am late for my review due to Atari shipping on the day of release to all retailers. Y U NO SHIP AHEAD OF TIME, ATARI?
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3D (3DS)
Released: October 16th, 2012
The Rollercoaster Tycoon series has a big place in my heart. It's probably because I grew up playing the series and every time I played it I was always amused for hours on end trying to make my park as fantastic as humanly possible. I don't think i've ever hated any RCT game and all of them have made me want to see more and play more. I don't know if I will ever hate such a good franchise but this can always change.
This is the newest iteration following Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and is also the first handheld release for this series. A handheld release for this franchise isn't bad as everyone has always wanted a handheld sandbox game for their consoles. It was only a matter of time before it became reality. It's just trying to figure out what had to be simplified for such a release and what elements stay true to the series as a whole. Will this latest iteration live up to the sandbox expectations of such a creative franchise or forever be forgotten?
"You have to walk before you can crawl."-Chappy, the old guy who your father puts on you who gives the worst advice ever.
So where to begin? Lets start with the gameplay in contrast to the last release RCT3 and see where we head. Gameplay in RCT 3D has the options of allowing you to place rides all the way from junior rides to coasters with your placement of the rides being the only limit and the fact that everything has to make some sort of sense. Even if the ride physics don't exactly make that much sense. Which I am probably going to cover now.
Ride physics are a joke. A joke in contrast to any of the previous installments. Coaster going up a hill where you think it should lose some of the momentum it already has? Haha. Who's kidding? No coasters seem to lose the momentum especially on a straight up incline where it should lose most if not all as the speed should have drastically decreased but it didn't. It just kept barging through and i'm not talking like a real life coaster like Top Thrill Dragster. No, this thing could go on more than forever.
I should probably mention the main story about how it guides you through the basics of a running a park. It shows you how to place paths, build an crappy coaster, and quite honestly hire people because you don't know how to do that on your own. Chappy, your dads go-to-guy-for-all-things-coasters has found it in his best interest to teach you how to run a park. Chappy finds it best to give you advice on things he should probably never give advise on. If holes in your shoes letting your feet breathe is any sign of him being homeless then we have a problem.
Coaster Creator is the Thrillville but not Thrillville side of RCT. Being that Thrillville was a Frontier creation, you think Atari would learn to at least do some element of it right. You can create coasters but you cannot actually save the coaster in any single form. Not that I could tell and not that it would let me. Not like you can name any single thing anyway. So why should I save this ungodly Inverted Coaster? Not like anyone with a brain would ride it anyway.
Graphics of this game are fairly average for a 3DS title. The 3D is pretty well fine but it doesn't add to much in terms of game play. I mean you can obviously see that rendering is not exactly one of the things this game has going for it. Specifically mentioning peeps and how if you go even a little bit away into the sky from the peeps then they suddenly disappear. People in your park? Not anymore! Best you zoom back into even see if your ride even has any riders. The peeps are probably the most highly detailed part of this game and that is saying something.
The menu on the other hand looked like someone went onto Adobe Illustrator, made a rectangular box, put a gradient inside the fill layer, and added some text inside of it to make it look like a menu. Seriously, it looks like the menu took all of 5 minutes to do. The budget seemed to consist of no actual aesthetic navigation as it alone is abyssal. I'd say more but that's enough.
Sound is the next one and this is probably the only soothing part because the music is pretty good and the ambient sound of ride goers might be the only redeeming quality of this title. It's, of all things, no Kid Icarus if we're playing Compare Nintendo To Atari with Atari thinking 12 months of development is good enough for such a well known title. But the sound quality is fine and I might just launch it to hear peeps just for the fun of it.
My final judgment:
Oh lawd. You think Atari wouldn't let us gamers down but with them leaving the console market due to their "Lets try and crash the market mentality" with crappy games then they sure keep producing them even if n-space was the developer. Who seriously thought a year of development time was enough? Why? This title deserves like 3. It might have been polished enough to the point where it might actually seem enjoyable. But it just seems tedious and has so many problems. Outright, I give this game a 1 out of 5. The music/ambient scenery sounds might be all it has going for it.
I, as a gamer who has played the RCT series since RCT 1, feels like my favorite game has been shamed. I should not have expected much from Atari. However, expecting anything good from them could have honestly been a stretch.