Posted on Saturday, September 24th, 2011 at 12:13 PM by Guest
Theme Park World was about the best game that I had ever played to date. Sitting in my room creating a theme park, which would be awarded all these golden tickets that I wanted to receive, and making really chaotic roller coasters for the visitors of my park to enjoy was all part of the experience… Not to mention seeing them throw up whatever fries, burgers and ice cream they had eaten beforehand! Fast-forward a good few years, and I still think that Theme Park World was one of the best games I’ve played, however it doesn’t look as good on modern day TVs.
Even after several years of not playing Theme Park World, I found the controls really easy to pick up again and was soon back in the swing of things like I was all them years ago. Soon, I had my own park up and running with an overflow of kids rushing in through the gates, handing over their money like it was on fire!
Although, all my fun soon came to a bit of a standstill, thanks in part to an anthropomorphic exclamation point with a Scottish accent, which feels the need to provide you with “handy” tips every two seconds. He’s like the person on Twitter that tweets about every little aspect of their day and never shuts up – you soon get annoyed with them after a while. I will give him some respect though: he does provide some useful information with regards to whether the people in your park are enjoying themselves, and what could be done to improve things for your visitors. Most of the time, however, he likes slagging you off and mocking you from behind the glass of the TV screen. Something I found amusing was the various costumes he appears out in to say his little comment or advice. Where he keeps them, I’ve still to find out though!
A feature that I would consider a minor downfall with the game is the message inbox which you can access by hitting L2 to make it appear on the left side of your screen. All that is in here is the same stuff the little exclamation point is telling you. After a while (and by a while I mean about five minutes) this becomes pretty darn full. It’s not a feature I normally use whilst I’m playing the game althoughlike I said earlier, it does seem unnecessary.
The more I expand my theme park with shops, rides and pointless trees (the exclamation point was forever saying I didn’t have enough features in my park, what more does he want from me?), the more I see the hours go by on my clock. Theme Park World is one of those games that you cannot seem to pull yourself away from for any lengthy duration of time. You soon find yourself either wanting to fill up the seemingly large area available to you or actually wanting to please the wee Scottish man behind the exclamation point.
As I carry on with my success, I manage to gain access to more and more parks to build in. With each park comes a different theme which can vary from spooky, space, prehistoric and even gnomes. Each park provides me with a good couple of hours of fun at the bare minimum and is still highly amusing to a person that has almost reached an age of twenty years. I feel like it’s my not-so-guilty, guilty pleasure. The music for each different theme fits in quite well, even if it’s pretty cheesy. I cannot deny however, that I wasn’t sitting dancing along to it whilst waiting for my researchers to come up with a new ride to stop the moody kids from, well, being moody
Speaking of guilty pleasures, let’s speak about the games camcorder mode which lets see from a visitor’s point of view. Although this could be put to effective use by seeing how far it is to walk from a certain ride to the fries shop and then to the toilets just to ensure your paying customers are satisfied, I use it in a better way – seeing what it’s like to be on the rides! Even though it doesn’t give you the joy and adrenaline as you would in the real life and can only be used on a select amount of rides., the camcorder mode is very well done for the game being the age it is. Soon after discovering this and noticing your roller coaster maybe isn’t quite what it could potentially be, you’ll soon find yourself creating endless hours of work to construct a death trap of a ride, all just to see what it’s like in first person mode! Unfortunately – no matter how long you work at this, there is no way of making the kids come flying off your rollercoaster to plummet to their demise– trust me I’ve tried! *sigh*
Rearranging your park can be quite of a bother. Since you’re unable to close it temporarily, perhaps sort out where you want to place the big fancy fountain you’ve just researched, or make the park a little less of a maze in itself, you have to work around everyone. By “everyone” I mean ensuring the kids have decent access to the rides and shops, making sure your staff are still working in a set area and not wandering around hopelessly. I think that it would have been pretty good to have the ability to close your park down for a set amount of time to arrange everything out with any disturbances, although it’s not a major flaw in the game and doesn’t take anything away from it.
Theme Park World provides anyone from the age of five to fifty five an enjoyable experience, even if the game has aged in some aspects in the eleven years since its release. There’s plenty to do, and the game has a decent running time if you spend several hours on each park and collect the 70+ gold tickets to unlock rides that the researchers don’t even know about. I would recommend anyone who reads this to pick it up whether it be on a PS1 or by downloading it from the Playstation Market. It will be a game you won’t want to put down!
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