Jump to content
Mendon

VERY disappointed in Theme Park

Recommended Posts

I received the Jag version of Theme Park from GoAtari (another quality product quickly shipped) Wednesday. I was really looking forward to this game as I love simulation style games (Sim City, Sim's, Roller Coaster Tycoon, etc). But after playing it for 3hrs, I must say that I am VERY disappointed in the game for one simple reason: your park does not save, only your money. I don't want to have to go back and create a brand new park every time I load up the game. Saving only your money is like playing Iron Soldier and having only your weapons saved while having to start from Mission One each time you want to play the game just to get back to the screen you were last on.

 

I don't know if it was impossible to save your whole park because of save memory constraints on the cartridge or not, but not being able to save your actual park is one of the biggest blunders of all video game programming time.

 

This is just my opinion and others might differ, but for me it was money wasted as this is a game that I won't be playing again. Sixteen Jag games I own now and this is the first one I've got a real gripe with.

 

Mendon

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only problem with this game was the fact that the lettering is so friggin small and you need a magnifying glass to read everything :x

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL! I never had problems with that. The only thing that bugs me is the problem that Mendon said, that I don't have sound and every (new) level you have to do the research all over again! ARGH!!!! I always get broken too :D. GAME OVER :x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think it would be a problem due to memory constraints, just look at a game like Towers II, it saves a TON of stuff, like it should, being an RPG...it's probably more of a case of short-sightedness, or just not giving a d*mn. I know that Bullfrog (Peter Molyneux-did I spell his name right?) was never too impressed with doing games on the Jaguar (he said so in several articles), not because he thought the system sucked necessarily, but he though Atari management sucked and the system wasn't going anywhere. It could be a case of not caring to put the extra effort into the projects and just getting them done per required contract, although, I'm not even sure Bullfrog did the actual port(s). Both Syndicate and Theme Park could have been much better graphically and in other ways; like many games on the Jag, they certainly didn't take full advantage of the hardware. Even a simple passcode type of save could have worked to place object in the correct areas, it's not like the game would have to have room to save every pixel of your park... :ponder:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think it would be a problem due to memory constraints, just look at a game like Towers II, it saves a TON of stuff, like it should, being an RPG...it's probably more of a case of short-sightedness, or just not giving a d*mn.

No offense, but what you've just said here is pretty dumb. Towers II really has very little info to save. Just character stats, inventory slots, and quest vars. Automap is not saved. It's reconstructed using best-guess based on the quest vars.

 

Theme Park layouts, OTOH, can have thousands of objects on them. Every ride, every tree, every signpost, every path square, every chunk of fencing... it all has to be saved. Considering that most Jag carts only had 128 bytes of NVRAM, there's no way they could have done a meaningful savegame.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I don't think it would be a problem due to memory constraints, just look at a game like Towers II, it saves a TON of stuff, like it should, being an RPG...it's probably more of a case of short-sightedness, or just not giving a d*mn.

No offense, but what you've just said here is pretty dumb. Towers II really has very little info to save. Just character stats, inventory slots, and quest vars. Automap is not saved. It's reconstructed using best-guess based on the quest vars.

 

Theme Park layouts, OTOH, can have thousands of objects on them. Every ride, every tree, every signpost, every path square, every chunk of fencing... it all has to be saved. Considering that most Jag carts only had 128 bytes of NVRAM, there's no way they could have done a meaningful savegame.

 

First off, there is no need to call what I said as Dumb, it's only a theory and it's perfectly legit. It is quite possible to compress the data to fit most of the important stuff in that nvram. Regardless, there are plenty of ways to get around it like keeping track of everything via code like I ALSO suggested, look at the other Bullfrog title, Syndicate, it also save quite a bit of information and as a matter of fact I do think all the stuff that is save in Towers II is impressive considering the 128bytes. I still believe Theme Park could have had a decent save routine regardless of what you think. :roll: :roll:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/28/2003 at 9:00 AM, Mendon said:

I received the Jag version of Theme Park from GoAtari (another quality product quickly shipped) Wednesday. I was really looking forward to this game as I love simulation style games (Sim City, Sim's, Roller Coaster Tycoon, etc). But after playing it for 3hrs, I must say that I am VERY disappointed in the game for one simple reason: your park does not save, only your money. I don't want to have to go back and create a brand new park every time I load up the game. Saving only your money is like playing Iron Soldier and having only your weapons saved while having to start from Mission One each time you want to play the game just to get back to the screen you were last on.

 

I don't know if it was impossible to save your whole park because of save memory constraints on the cartridge or not, but not being able to save your actual park is one of the biggest blunders of all video game programming time.

 

This is just my opinion and others might differ, but for me it was money wasted as this is a game that I won't be playing again. Sixteen Jag games I own now and this is the first one I've got a real gripe with.

 

Mendon

what the ****!  i was contemplating buying this game because it looks interesting and is one of the cheaper Jaguar games. But now that i found out you can't save all your progress, I sure as hell won't waste my time. I thought one could have spend days or weeks crafting a strategically well laid out and profitable park- saving each progress made step by step along the way- whatever the reason the developers couldn't have a save as you go feature, it sure sucks. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Shinto covers this a bit on his podcast from last December. Yeah it was a surprise to me too when I found this game at my local retro game store. I suppose they could have better saving if they had put this on Jaguar CD and saved your park to the Memory Track Cart. And I'm basing this on absolutely nothing.

From what I gather, the player is supposed to start the game, build a profitable park, sell it, save your game and when you come back buy a park at a new location and start over. I'm not really sure how building a theme park in Antartica will have an effect on sales but...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, tripled79 said:

I think Shinto covers this a bit on his podcast from last December. Yeah it was a surprise to me too when I found this game at my local retro game store. I suppose they could have better saving if they had put this on Jaguar CD and saved your park to the Memory Track Cart. And I'm basing this on absolutely nothing.

From what I gather, the player is supposed to start the game, build a profitable park, sell it, save your game and when you come back buy a park at a new location and start over. I'm not really sure how building a theme park in Antartica will have an effect on sales but...

:D Antartica IS already a  theme park

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played the 3DO version extensively and do not remember it not saving your park.  I just could never get into the Jag version so I did not even know it had this limitation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris Brockman said:

I played the 3DO version extensively and do not remember it not saving your park.  I just could never get into the Jag version so I did not even know it had this limitation.

It's pointless building up a theme park to sell it just to save the money and then go about life until next time when one has the time to play it again- from the start. It would have been more complete if the player could have kept coming back to the already created park or parks and managing it - with all the bells and whistles previous installed. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played Dino Park Tycoon for 3DO (reproduction copy) and really enjoyed it; so was thinking of giving Theme Park for Jag another go.  As i recall it has a bit of a steep learning curve and the UI is a little clumsy. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Chris Brockman said:

I played the 3DO version extensively and do not remember it not saving your park.  I just could never get into the Jag version so I did not even know it had this limitation.

I just read the manual for the 3do version, it looks like it supported saving, but didn't save the status of customers in the park. So when you load the game, you have zero customers. 

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, madman said:

I just read the manual for the 3do version, it looks like it supported saving, but didn't save the status of customers in the park. So when you load the game, you have zero customers. 

Since the Jag version came out after the 3DO I would think it would at least support what the 3DO did.  I guess the Jag Cartridge memory was not enough to do this 3DO has built in memory, but not that much but it was utilized much better by a compression program that came out late in the 3DO life which was distributed via Magazines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, no doubt the small EEPROMs the Jag used were the culprit. IIRC the SNES and Genesis both supported far larger battery backed SRAM sizes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The PS1 version had the same blurry text issue. I think that plagued every version that wasnt played on a PC monitor.

 

I dabbled a bit with the DOS version of the game. Spent tons of hours on the PS1 version. It featured proper full state saves. No way would I tolerate losing everything but my money. I dont want to spend hours and hours and hours on each session playing a park till I'm done with it and selling it. On average that was 2 to 3 play sessions on the ps1 days. Not being able to save and pick back up exactly as I left off hurts. The blurry unreadable text is an issue as well, the tips and hints contained in them are vital. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I played the heck out of this game I'm the day. A roomate had the ps1 version got me addicted.  Got it for the Jag, had fun time, the guys random tips, all had sound codes, and I never had that much of an issue with blurry text, you'd see the rides getting overworked etc.  The jag version had weird glitches such as making the games super easy to win change probabilities to 80 90 percent charge 50 bucks for a 60 dollar toy, then keep increasing the amount to play same with the drinks and the ice, putting cheap salt food next to it.

 

The money thing if you start with a ton,you can throw it all in to developing rides, speed up the time table, and be back to wear you were pretty quickly.

 

Just like almost every jag game, yes a better version was made for PS1.  Should you buy it? Who knows, I mean if Jag is your only system and you like Sim games, this is it.  If you are a Jag completists you need it.  Also, it's not even in the top 10 of worst games on the system.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before people jump all over the Jaguar version, it should be taken in context that Bullfrog staff have made clear the Jaguar was viewed as a development platform that didn't have the commercial legs to warrant much development time and only Mike Diskett showed any interest in it. 

 

Mike talking about his Jaguar work:

 

Syndicate and theme park are both very simulation heavy games designed to run on a high end 486 (at the time) and even on PC suffer slow downs, without a major simplification of the game it was never going to run at a constant great framerate. With more time we could have made it run better, but I guess projected unit sales were so low it wasnt worth the business guys at Bullfrog have us spend more time and maybe make a loss on making the games.."

 

 

I've no bias, i hated the game (and Theme Hospital) when i tried it on Playstation 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was fantastic that Mike actually stepped up and said yeah I'll do it or we wouldn't have either game. 

 

Atari should have supplied better development tools and the games wouldn't have these problems. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...