reviews\ Dec 29, 2002 at 7:00 pm

World's Greatest Coasters - PC - Review

Sometimes the true intent of the game is good, but the game just doesn’t quite have what it takes to pull it off.

World’s Greatest Coasters 3D, from Take Two, is an example of that. While the rides are certainly well done, the game suffers from some frame rate problems at the different resolutions, and the five thrill rides, amazingly recreated here, lack the adrenalin-rush that strapping in to the real deal generates.

For those roller coaster fans that just can’t get enough of the whirling dervish style of ride, doing 360s and sheer drops of unprecedented heart-stopping terror, this game might be enjoyable.

World’s Greatest Coasters presents five of the world’s top attractions: The Raven in Indiana, U.S.A., Gouderix and Tonnere de Zeus in France, the Pepsi Max in Great Britain, and Katun in Italy. Players have the opportunity to take a trip on these rides, complete with the clanking of the links getting that momentum started, and then afterwards (or before), they can jump into the architect mode and build the coaster, or at least one similar to it. And yes, after building it, you can take a ride on it.

Give credit where credit is due – these rides are very well rendered in this game, complete with optional camera views and 360-degree panoramic viewing. You can look off in the distance when being whipped through a 360 or taking one of those seemingly 90-degree turns when gravitational forces threaten to catapult to the side.

The game does come with a variety of screen resolutions, and therein lays the problem. Too high a resolution and the ride lacks punch or thrill and seems agonizingly slow; too low and the game lacks dynamic graphical quality.

The build aspect is the true star of this program. The construction panel is relatively easy to navigate through, and you are building on the site of the coaster of choice, though you are not tasked to duplicate the ride. Every aspect of the ride is available to would-be engineers, from the incline to where the chain to yank the ride along is located.

The game even has a keyboard hot key designated to allow you to scream during rides on the coasters. But because this game is lacking that intangible something that makes roller coasters so scary, the button seems to be meaningless.

This game really won’t pull in the gamer that lives to build their own roller coaster, but may have some appeal to those who would like to preview a gut-wrenching ride (albeit in a very tame manner) before venturing abroad to test it out personally.

This game is rated for Everyone.

Gameplay: 6
While the rides move seamlessly, there are frame-rate problems and distance rendering is limited, which steal from the thrill of the ride.

Graphics: 7
The panoramic view from the ride is excellent, and it is apparent that great care has gone into simulating the ride from all angles, but while the tracks and ride itself looks very good, the general environments are lacking.

Sound: 6.5
The clanking of the links is loud and annoying. The ride itself seems to have all the sound elements in place though.

Difficulty: Easy
This game is designed to allow even though without a lot of experience easy access to its various aspects.

Concept: 6
Hats off to the designers for the way they have simulated the 360-degree panoramic vantage point of a rider on the coaster. That actually provides more thrills than just sitting and watching the ride move along.

Overall: 6
This game just doesn’t have the punch or gut-wrenching thrill of the real thing. It does try to emulate that but falls well short of the target.

Above Average

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