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Theme Park Roller Coaster (PlayStation 2) artwork

Theme Park Roller Coaster (PlayStation 2) review


"Iím not a big fan of simulators. Video games are supposed to be a release from the stresses of everyday life. Theyíre supposed to be a virtual vacation or a wonderful fantasy where you can step into the shoes of someone you may never be. It shouldnít be a look into the seedy world of puke cleaning and ride repair. Itís why I didnít like Theme Park: Roller Coaster. Well, that and a few more reasonsÖ "



Iím not a big fan of simulators. Video games are supposed to be a release from the stresses of everyday life. Theyíre supposed to be a virtual vacation or a wonderful fantasy where you can step into the shoes of someone you may never be. It shouldnít be a look into the seedy world of puke cleaning and ride repair. Itís why I didnít like Theme Park: Roller Coaster. Well, that and a few more reasonsÖ

It looks like youíre typing a letter.

Anyone whoís ever typed a header in MS word knows that quote and that annoying, mouthy little paper clip that is supposed to help you. He doesnít and neither does EA sports crude mockery of him, The Advisor: a tiny cartoon-looking ant that you are going to be seeing a lot of. He is meant to be a tutor of sorts, popping up to tell you what your park may need or guide you through some of the more complicated aspects like setting up rides or building a coaster, but he actually exists as a motivator. A lot of people may think this game is about building several, successful theme parks but my goal is strictly to shut that mouthy son of a bitch up.

Something that I never got to do.

The advisor is helpful when you start a new venture or open a screen that you have yet to see; it tells you how things work. The problem is that every time something bad or good happens in your park, that little bastard pops right up to tell you about it. Every time you need a janitor, every time you need a mechanic and every time someone is unhappy you get to hear about it from Senor irritating.

It would help if you could actually make a difference say byÖ oh, I donít know actually doing what he tells you, but heís never happy. He never, ever goes away. I raise the ticket price, he bitches. I lower the ticket price to appease him, he bitches. I donít need a vomit update, yes I realize I have no bathrooms, of course the staff is overpaid, everyoneís thirsty, everyoneís hungry, I need more games, I need more entertainment. Leave me alone damn you! Why?! Why must you children continue to throw up in my park? Youíre only going to make the Advisor angry. Then heís going to pop up in the corner with an update like a newscaster on Meth. Gods give me peace.

I CANíT TAKE IT!!

Ahem. Sorry. I just get a little frenzied when I think about it. There is an upside however; barring the insane little insect everything else is simple. Coasters are easy to build. The game warns you about any obstruction beforehand so you donít end up building one that isnít even going to work. And the best thing is, you can actually ride them. Hey, youíre the boss.

The other rides--as well as the shops--are even easier; you simply have to find the right place and build a path to them. Once theyíre up, provided you have the right crew to maintain them, they stay up. The game provides plenty of space for you to go crazy with rides, shops and entertainment. If your mind can devise it, it can be built.

Once thatís done, though, the game leaves you with only two options: Suck all the money out of your account by building even more things until people canít even move or switch to another park. The latter can be a plus because each new area has a theme--new rides, new attractions and new mascots. But once youíve built that park dry, you have those same two options. Itís like building a clock. You can design, build it and set it loose, but eventually youíre just watching it. Everyone does theyíre job so well that you donít have to deal with anything. You could set your park up, walk away and things would all turn out okay. Makes the game a bit too easy--and a bit too dull--in my eyes.

It takes a lot for me to actually enjoy a simulator and sadly, Theme Park just doesnít have it. Itís not as intense as games like Caesar or as addictively mundane as The Sims. Yes, the game looks good and building Roller Coasters can provide brief moments of amusement but in the end, it just gets dullÖand really irritating. Die hard fans of the genre may like it, so long as they can tune out annoying tutorials, but for anyone looking to play an entertaining change from the usual violence I would look elsewhere. This park is closed.

Rating: 3/10

True's avatar
Community review by True (March 21, 2006)

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