RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 impressions

We check out the sequel to the popular theme park builder.

Infogrames was showing off the latest build of RollerCoaster Tycoon II at its press event. Citing its incredible commercial success, the development team is staying as close to the original RollerCoaster Tycoon formula as possible, but fans of the original game will find a host of improvements. Potential park size has been substantially increased to a 256x256-square area, allowing players to build larger parks with even more roller coasters. In addition, the graphics engine has been refined not only to allow for smoother scrolling but also to let you see different areas of the park. For example, if you want to get a good look at one of your roller coasters, and one section of it is located behind an object, then you can go into the menu and toggle scenery off and on to get a better look. Likewise, you can make the rides disappear as well if you need to get a direct look at the land.

RollerCoaster Tycoon II also features actual parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain, which had 2,775 guests walking around in the demo we watched. As we saw, RollerCoaster Tycoon II will let you track information on each of these visitors and find out how they're feeling about the park and how much time they spend in particular areas. This is helpful for changing your park around to suit the needs of your visitors.

The game also comes packaged with a scenario editor that lets you define a number of settings, ranging from the types of objects and themes to the types of footpaths. The scenario editor also lets you manipulate the environment with relative ease--all you need to do is select a particular tileset, such as water, and then designate the area that it covers and, in the case of hills, designate the altitude. In addition, trees and other similar objects can be put into the map in batches.

The roller coaster designer is also designed to be easy to use, though it may seem a little overwhelming at first. You can construct your roller coaster with various parts, and when you're done, you can test it out and measure the number of G's your guests will experience in parts of the ride and then determine what parts you need to change to make it more enjoyable. We'll have more on RollerCoaster Tycoon II before its October 15 release.

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