First Impressions: RollerCoaster Tycoon (PC) ~ Build Those Parks

RCT 1 (1)Link to Wikipedia entry

So, lately I have been playing Rollercoaster Tycoon on my old Windows 98 machine. This was one of the games I played as a kid over and over again. I couldn’t get enough of it. I remember that I didn’t have the patched version and I didn’t have the expansion packs. So, I didn’t get all the content and I got one nasty bug. I was unable to load save files. And to make matters worse, my sister and I were only allowed a limited time on the computer. We always asked our parents to not shut down our computer so the scenario was able to finish. Meanwhile we were hoping that nothing happened so we wouldn’t lose the scenario. Because everything can happen. While I was playing the game the other day, I was so close in winning a scenario… When just before the deadline, one of the most reliable and oldest rollercoasters crashes and I lose the scenario. Anyways, enough stalling. It’s time to take a look at this game. But for this article, I will take a look at the whole package. So, the two added expansion packs and patches are installed. “Loopy Landscapes” and “Added Attractions Pack”. As per usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this game and/or the content of this article.

Build, build and build some more

RCT 1 (3)So, in this game, there isn’t a story to speak off. Well, some missions provide some minor backstory to the park you are going to play. But it doesn’t go very in depth about it. This game is about building parks. You have to build the attractions, roads, stalls, manage staff and prices and etc.

In the original game, there were 20 missions. But, if you install the expansion packs, you more than double the amount of missions. Surprisingly, both expansion packs add a lot of content. Here in Europe, the first expansion pack is called: “Added Attractions Pack”. In the USA, you will know this game as: “Corkscrew Follies”. Which is a way better name in my opinion, since it doesn’t mislead the player. Since the “Added Attractions Pack” adds more then attractions alone.

In any case, each mission is more difficult than the last. I have currently finished 4 missions and I liked them. The first park is a nice small park to get used to the mechanics and the last park was a tiny beach side park I had to build. So far, each mission brings something unique to the table. I wonder how far they took this, since I fear that this might end up in similar ideas with different skins.

This game was originally released in 2000. Sixteen years later, this game still looks wonderful. It aged pretty well. The attractions looks colorful and bright. The only thing I would have changed is that some guests had a more female look.

When you aren’t happy with the colors of the attractions, you can choose from a pretty wide color pallet. Want to paint the supports white? Well, you can. And the best part is, it changes in real time. And you can change the color of almost everything. When you get the color drop down, you can make it the color at your heart’s content.

The animation in this game is top-notch. It makes the game come truly alive. The walking animation of the guests are really adorable in my opinion. The visual presentation and the animation of the rides and guests of your park give a certain charm to the game.

Learn on your own

RCT 1 (1)While the missions have a set goal to reach like for example, have a rating of X and X amount of guests in your park before the end of month X. And then it’s up to you. This makes the replay value of this game extremely high. I’m quite sure, that no two parks are exactly the same. Every playthrough is different.

Here and there, there is some down time. When you are bored in the game. Mind you, that happened quite rarely with me. You can click the balloons the guests let fly to pop them or click the ducks to make them quack. Lovely attention to detail.

 

The most important thing you will need to play this game is a mouse. Everything is done in the UI. I really like how simple everything is set-up. The UI is so well designed, that I can pick up this game every time and I don’t have to look where everything was. There are a few keyboard shortcuts, but honestly, I rarely use them.

Play how you want

 

RCT 1 (2)

The game is can be unforgiving. When you fail your mission and you haven’t saved often, be ready to restart the whole mission. Some missions can take several hours to complete. A golden tip from me, save every few months. It will be easier when you need to roll back when you made a stupid mistake.

Something I really like is that even when your mission is finished, you are allowed to continue to play in the park.

I could talk for hours and hours about the gameplay of this game. Let’s just say that this game is pretty in-depth and has a lot of variety to offer. When you are bored with managing your staff, you can go build some attractions. Bored of managing the finances of your park, you can go and landscape your park. And so on and so forth.

But this game has a few problems in my opinion. The music is pretty nice to listen too, but I remember that when I played this game in the past without the expansion packs, I couldn’t let the rides play music. So, I ended up listing to my own music instead. The expansion packs added the feature to let any attraction pack a nice selection of music. Yet, some minor bugs stop me from enjoying it. When you let two rides play the same music, they play out of sync. And I had some music cut out on me when I just moved the attraction one pixel off screen.

Also, sometimes the game doesn’t save my settings or change them without asking me. Out of curiosity, I started up the tutorial and it changed the screen resolution. And I have to set the option: “Use real name of guests” each and every mission.

Oh, and there is not an easy way to go to the options from the main menu. You have to be in a mission before you are able to change any settings.

Something bugs me about the message to raise my entrance fee. When my entrance fee is already 30€, and some guests come only with 60€… Well, he spends more than half of his budget. Then, when I read the thoughts of my guests, I get complaints that rides and such are too expensive.

I also wished that there was a sign to stop my staff from entering an area. You have only a sign to stop from doing that.

Something I truly disliked was that, even when I put a security guard in the area; I still got broken benches.

In conclusion, I think that this is a very nice game is truly worth playing. I enjoy myself a lot while playing this game. It’s very well put together and challenging. There were a few things that could have been polished up a bit more. But the game we got is a real classic. This game is on Steam for 6€. It’s truly a steal for that price!

So, that’s everything I wanted to say about RollerCoaster Tycoon for now. When I ever finish all the missions or come close to it, I will write a review of the game.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing this article. I hope to be able to welcome you in the next article, but until then; have a great rest of your day and take care!

Review #038: Pokémon Gold, Silver and Crystal (GBC) ~ Pokémon 2

Pokémon_box_art_-_Gold_VersionWikipedia entry

I have an objection. This game can actually be played on the original gameboy. Well, only the Gold & Silver versions. Crystal has to be played on the good old original gameboy. Anyways, you might have seen this one coming. Since I played this game a lot as a kid, and I’m writing the final articles for the GB(C) month, well, why not talk about this game? It’s one of the biggest in everybody’s top 10 lists. It will appear each and every time. So, yeah. Without further ado, I’ll review the first Pokémon game I actually finished. As always, feel free to leave a comment on the content of this article and or the game. 

Story

grass-hidingI have a big surprise for you guys. My best friend was recently playing this game, so why not ask him to do a co-op review of this game? So, let’s both give our opinions. He played Pokémon Crystal and I played Pokémon Gold.

Mizard: I think that some people are wrong. Some people think that the end of the game is beating the elite 4. Yet, this is the mid-way point in the game. Team Rocket is still present in the game, but they aren’t the big bad.  There is actually no real story. The game is just a series of side quests, with a vague goal.

Some area’s are totally optional and can be skipped without hindering your progress.

Me: The story is just lacking. Miz asked a valid question, is there actually any story? After some discussing, we both agreed that the game is just side-quests with a vague goal. As soon as you reach Kanto, the amount of side quests go down.

The game was first supposed to be a sequel of Pokémon Blue and Red, but somehow it evolved into Pokémon Gold and Silver. Truth to be told, the fact that there are side-quests, is an improvement over Pokémon Red & Blue, they were completely absent in that game.

Music and sound

Mizard: It’s pretty cozy, but when you ride your bike a lot… It can get annoying and repetitive quickly. I don’t like the PokéCenter tune. The cries of the game are pretty sweet. Steelix and Espeon are one of my favorites.

Me: I agree with Miz, but the sound when a pokémon is on low health. That’s extremely annoying. I’m so glad that they somewhat fixed this in the 3DS releases. The surf theme is actually one of my favorite themes.

Graphics, (world) design and animation

gfs_15878_2_26_midMizard: The animation is pretty basic, but that’s due to the gameboy’s limitations. It does give a different atmosphere. Because it’s all similar, nothing is bad. Graphically, the game is pretty sweet. With the limited resources, they did manage to give you the right feel.

The first few routes are just too big and too empty compared to all the other routes, while the other routes get really lively. At some routes, you can barely evade the grass.

Me: Something I didn’t like is that the battle animations where exclusive to Pokémon Silver. They were included in Pokémon Crystal. But I played Pokémon Gold. Why didn’t they include them there? I agree that the animation is basic, but it serves as stepping stone towards the newer generation.

Some puzzles still work on my nerves. The ice sliding puzzle is one of the worst. While it’s a fun concept and great puzzle, I got stuck several times. Even worse is the time that you had three switches to open doors in the basement of the mall. When Miz and I were discussing our opinions for this review, it turns out that we both don’t like that puzzle.

Gameplay & controls

Pokemon_Crystal_Version_GBC_ScreenShot4

Miz: The controls are pretty solid, but the bike controls can be pretty annoying to control sometimes. Compared to newer generations, the controls aren’t that good. But we can’t blame the game for that, since the gameboy color was limited.

Some items are totally overpriced. Like a Repel. It’s a handy item, but it doesn’t last long.

The overall gameplay didn’t get much new things, but they tweaked a lot of features. The item holding for example was a nice addition.

The improved breeding is also a great update in my opinion.

Me: Well, I clearly remember that you need to restart each HM before you can use it’s action. This made the stone sliding puzzle in the Ice Path tedious.

The addition of the XP bar is one of my favorites. I can finally see how long it will take before my Pokémon levels up. Another nice addition where the berries. You can either make Pokéballs out of them or use them to heal your Pokémon.

The intern clock and the events is just a fun addition. But something I didn’t like was that some legendary Pokémon can only be caught on certain days. Speaking about the internal clock, the biggest update to the game is the day & night cycle. It has effect on the wild Pokémon. According to Miz-, it’s more occurring in the Crystal version.

Difficulty

Mizard: This is a weird beast. When you rush through it, it might give you trouble. But if you play it normally, the game can get easy.

Me: I can’t add anything special to Miz-‘s statement, but the cheat/glitch of cloning is just a cheap way out.

Postgame

Both: There is barely anything to do anymore. Apart from the Battle Tower in Crystal, there is nothing to do.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Difficulty can be selected by playing.

– The music can become repetitive/annoying.

– The unneeded calls of trainers.

– Boring postgame.

– Kanto has some wasted potential.

The good:

+ High replay value.

+ Good animation, world design for it’s time.

+ Day & night cycle.

+ Better story then the original.

Final thoughts:

Miz finds that this game is a long term arcade-ish game. Here and there is a challenge but you mostly continue to play. Most of the times you can set your own challenge. 

To me, it’s the biggest Pokémon game out there. While the game isn’t perfect, it does start to show it’s age. But honestly, it’s so well crafted, that the negatives can be overlooked for the hours of fun it provides.

Anyways, I think we mentioned everything. There might be some things that we didn’t mention that are for you guys and girls to discover. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Until the next one! Take care~

Score Miz: 82/100

Score NekoJonez: 80/100

Our score: 81/100

Game Music: My Favorites – Numbero 11: GB(C) month special.

GameMusic_InArticle

Let’s start off with an article that last month’s theme lacked. An article about video game music. In this series, I take a look at my favorite game tracks. I can’t pick one track as my favorite and since I want to talk about so many tracks, I started this series. This time I want to talk about my favorite tracks of some gameboy (color) games. Keep in mind that these are my favorite tracks and they might differ from yours. Also, this isn’t a top 10 or anything like that. So, don’t be mad if your favorite track isn’t in this article. Man, I’m sounding now like I’m introducing the wrong type of article and trying to make the introduction longer. I’m totally not doing that, believe me. Okay? Anyways, the rules are simple. Only one track of a game per article. Oh, and feel free to leave a comment on the tracks, content of this article and or your opinion of the soundtracks of the GB(C) games. 

#1: Pokémon Blue & Red (GB) ~ Battle Theme

Blue-and-RedLink to my review – Link to the music

Who doesn’t remember the good old gym leader theme of Pokémon Red & Blue? As a kid I was always pumped whenever I heard this melody pop-up. I wanted to defeat that gym leader.

Whenever I hear this melody, I get hyped. I know that something big is coming that has to do with Pokémon.

I even remember that I sometimes let my gameboy play just hear this song. Since it’s the only way I can hear it “clean”. What I mean by that is that near the end of almost every version of YouTube, Pokémon battle sounds start playing.

But hey, it’s still a memorable and nice track to listen too!

#2: The Legend Of Zelda – Oracle Of Ages (GBC) ~ Nayru’s Song

260px-OracleofagesReviewLink to the music (extended)

There are two songs that makes me sometimes tear up of nostalgia in the Zelda series. One of these songs is Nayru’s song. The reason why is because it’s the first puzzle I solved in my favorite Zelda game. It was the start of a thrilling adventure I never forgot.

As a kid I didn’t have a console or a good PC. So, I played a lot on my gameboy. So, that’s why my love for the gameboy games is so big. While I don’t remember if this was my first Zelda game or the NES remake on the GBA, but it was one of the first.

It was also a different game then I used to play. Different from the pure puzzle games and platformer games. Yeah, the memories.

#3: Super Mario Land (GB) ~ Overworld

250px-SupermariolandboxartLink to the song

The hate this game gets is just… Well, it’s mixed for me. At one side,  I understand how this game is a mediocre Mario game compared to the other Mario games. It isn’t in color, it’s outside the Mushroom Kingdom, the story is about another princess, the fireballs bounce, you can’t save…

At the other hand, it’s the Mario game I grew up with. It’s the first Mario game I ever played. Even when I played the NES game at my cousin’s house, I found that the NES game wasn’t as much fun as Super Mario Land. Something didn’t click with me.

Wow, I got sidetracked extremely fast. But the memories behind this game are just too big. Maybe I should write an article about it…?

#4: Tetris DX (GB/C) ~ Type A

2209074-tetrisdxfrontLink to the music

So, I got a gameboy color… And what’s the first game I get myself? That’s right! Tetris DX! Why? Because my grandmom got a Gameboy color herself.

In this gaming nostalgia article, I talked about how my aunt’s brick, I mean oldschool gameboy died. The only two games I could play on there were Pac-Man and Tetris. So, when I saw this, I wanted to play Tetris again.

I have multiple stories about this game, but this game is the sole reason why the Tetris theme is so memorable to me. It’s one of the biggest tunes in gaming is it not?

#5: Harry Potter and the Chamber Of Secrets (GBC) ~ Main Theme

61JZMX48MJL._SY300_Link to the music

I was a kid right when the Harry Potter craze was in full swing. Besides Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Ho, Harry Potter was extremely popular with the kids.

While this game was also made on the PC and several other consoles, I played the Gameboy Color version. I didn’t have any fancy consoles or the game on PC.

But I enjoyed myself. I had both games, from the first movie and the second movie. The reason why I picked this track is because I had a hard time finding the music of the first game of the gameboy version. And this popped right up in my search results.

Closing words

As I feared, this article turned into a sort of gaming nostalgia article. When it comes to gameboy and gameboy color games I always want to talk about more then just the music. I hope you can forgive me for that.

So, till Christmas, I will write a few articles of gameboy and gameboy color games. I’m going to try to do my best to not be overly nostalgic like in this article. It’s for that reason why I kept this article shorter then my usual articles.

I hope you enjoyed reading it! Hopefully I can see you another time here on my blog for a new article. Take care guys~

Gaming Music – My Favorites #10: Ten to see.

timthumbDon’t mind the title please. A title of an old Belgian TV show fitted well here. “Tien om te zien.” or freely translated: “Ten to see.” was an interesting music show at one of the cities at the beach. But in this series I talk about my favorite video game music. I’m not allowed to put more then one track of a series in one article and I’m only allowed to post originals. Remixes aren’t allowed. Although, I think I’m going to allow it in this special article. I’ll give you 5 remixes or video game related songs and 5 of my favorite video game music tracks. Enjoy listing to them while I talk briefly about my memories, why I selected the track or something else. Anyways, feel free to leave a comment on the content of this article and or with your opinion and or your favorite video game music tracks. 

Game related tracks and remixes

#1: Dj S3RL – Green Hills

sonic1Link

I was on the train when I suddenly heard some Sega sound effects playing. I wondered to myself, since when did I put the soundtrack of Sonic on my mobile? It turned out that I found another track of S3RL that is very game related.

When I heard it for the first time, I was hooked. Together with Pika Girl, these are my favorite tracks of this DJ.

The people who know me in real life know that I adore electronic melodic and fast music. This remix fits the bill perfectly. It doesn’t even have the annoying stop for the sound effect as in the Pika Girl song. Give it a listen for sure!

#2: SkyMarshall Arts – Forever Gamer

Loot2 Link

Wouldn’t it be a shame if I didn’t talk about SkyMarshall Arts? I mean, this guy made some album names referencing gaming culture.

The only thing I dislike about this song is that it’s rather slow. It’s a trance song, so it’s slow by definition. But I told you guys earlier, I’m more into faster songs.

Yet, I really enjoy this song. Just listen to it and enjoy the lyrics. I can truly relate to the feelings in that … appear (?) in the song. Oh, and when you enjoy this kind of music, don’t hesitate! Give the other songs of this artist a listen. He makes some pretty good stuff.

 #3: Midibar Remix – Bravely Default – That Person’s Name Is

bravely-default-europe-box-art

Link

I already talked about another remix of this game in one of my previous game music specials. So, since I wanted to talk about more then one track, I had to wait until a chance like this one to talk about it.

This lovely tune is a remade theme for battles and it sounds even more catchy then the in game variant.

The music sounds and feels more alive. The big difference is the ending. I love how the ending of the ingame track doesn’t loop out. So you can barely hear where the track starts or stops.

Well, the people who remember the game music better then I do at then when I’m writing this article… Is it really as good as I’m telling here. I’m kind of sure, I’m telling the truth. Now, let’s wait for the next special to talk about another remix.

#4: PokeRemix Studio – Game Studio Remix

Pokémon_box_art_-_Gold_VersionLink

How do you make an extremely catchy and memorable song even “worse”? You make an awesome remix of this song of course.

This song appeared while I was doing research about the history of Pokémon. I started listing to it and since then it’s a proud part of a my collection folder of amazing game theme remixes.

Now that I’m listing to it again, I feel that this tune should go to my mobile. I love it that much. While I enjoy listing to remixes, only the best ones I put on my phone. Since those are songs I need to be able to listen to over and over again without getting bored of them. That’s mostly because I forget to put on new music frequently.

Anyways, I won’t spoil anything about this track. It’s up to you to listen to it. But let me tell you, it’s a catchy Pokémon tune made even more catchy. Be warned in advance.

#5: ZREO Orchestra – The Legend Of Zelda series

The_Legend_of_Zelda_Phantom_Hourglass_Game_Cover

Link to their Wind Waker Orchestra

I’m terribly sorry that I didn’t talk about this group before. Each and every Zelda fan has the right to know about the group.

The melodies of the Legend Of Zelda series are translated so well into an amazing orchestrated piece of music. Amazingly, as good as every main theme series game got an orchestral “remix”. I’m a bit sad to see that my favorite games didn’t get their whole soundtrack remixed (yet)

You could visit their website, but the last time I visited it, it was down for I think construction.

Anyways, you should really give these guys a listen! They are totally worth it. Please, don’t come complaining to me when you became addicted to their music.

Game music tracks

#6: Chrono Trigger DS – Chrono’s Theme

Chrono_Trigger_DS coverLink

I heard a lot of rumors about this game. That it’s a good game and all. At first I looked at it as one of those popular JRPG’s with a deep story that got a cult following. Rather recently I started playing.

I directly understood why this game is seen as one of the better JRPG’s. It’s such an amazing game.

What is even more mindblowing is the fact that the “remake” on the DS is more of a port then a remake. The music even sounds and has the feel from the SNES area.

I just fell in love with this game. I had to put it down for a bit recently due to a section where I needed to grind. And you guys all know how much I hate that. But in any case, give the soundtrack a listen and give the game a shot! It’s very worth it.

#7: Ducktales Remastered – African Mines

DuckTalesSpritesLink

Time for some nostalgia. The DuckTales games bring a lot of memories back to me. I never owned a DuckTales game but I was always allowed to lend it from a cousin of mine.

One-a-days, I barely see or talk to that cousin, but when I started playing DuckTales Remastered on Steam and heard the music, like the African Mines, the memories came back in full force.

It made me put down the controller for a second and take it all in. You should do that with this track too. It’s really that good and catchy on it’s own.

#8: Kirby Triple Deluxe – Techno Factory

KirbyTripleDeluxe

Link

I only recently finished this game’s main story. It was quite a fun game. I agreed to myself that I only played this game on the train to work. That’s so hard, since this is an amazingly addictive and fun game.

While a lot of hardcore gamers say that Kirby is too easy, please consider that it might be aimed at the youngest gamers. Besides, you can make yourself some rules like not using Kirby’s copying abilities to make the game harder.

Anyways, enough of that. I am planning to write a review of this game sooner or later. In any case, we are here to talk about the soundtrack. It’s what you expect from a Kirby game. Very memorable, upbeat, melodic and fun. Oh, and catchy as well.

Anyways, give it a listen and tell me what you think. I would love to hear it. Since this game might just be my favorite Kirby game ever made.

#9: Tomb Raider Underworld – Unnatural encounter

Tomb-Raider-Underworld-Pc-CoverLink

My first ever game of Tomb Raider was Tomb Raider Legend. When I bought it as a 12 year old youngster, I didn’t realized what I bought. The kick of playing a 3D adventure game with such updated graphics blew my mind.

Since then I’m pretty hooked on the series. I bought the next PC game so I could play even more Tomb Raider fun.

Then Underworld released and I was bummed out, my old pc couldn’t handle the game. So, I had to play the game in a different way. My mother was so kind to me that she actually bought the game on my DS for me. While it isn’t a very good game, the emotional bond I have with it makes up for it.

Then I got my laptop, the very same one I’m writing this article on, and I got myself a copy of Underworld. When I found out that I was able to run and play it…. Well, I had a few sleepless game nights.

So, that’s why I’m so nostalgic about this game and it’s soundtrack. I really advice you guys to give it a listen. It’s pretty amazing.

#10: Monster Tale – Windmill Plains

Monster_Tale_CoverartLink

So, you are in the final area of an amazing Castlevania-inspired game. You have fought your way through enemies and a lot of though bosses. Now, you hear a song that starts very similar to the main theme.

But a few moments later, the bass kicks in. It gives you that extra urge to finally defeat that one character that has been making your life a living hell through the story. You finally want that character to bite the dust.

The music drives you through the final parts of the game, your skills are being tested. Everything you learned in the game will be put to use now. Meanwhile you can look back on the amazing experience you just had. Well, that’s how I felt when I played this game when this track played.

Finishing this article.

I already said it on Tumblr, but I have been extremely busy lately. That’s why I don’t publish so many articles this month. Thankfully things are looking up for me. Soon, I’ll be finishing more games and I’ll be able to write more articles.

Lately, I’m doubting if I shouldn’t aim for less articles but maybe have better content. I seriously don’t know. But this isn’t material for the end of this article, isn’t it?

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this article and listening to the music. Maybe you discovered a new game or two. Who knows? I had a lot of fun writing this, you may be sure of that.

Feel free to suggest a game I should take a look at next! I love requests. But until then, I hope to welcome you a next time on my blog. Take care guys and girls.