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Old 26-08-2005, 04:34 PM   #1
Eagle of Fire
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Valleyfield, Canada
Posts: 4,892

In the end, it always come down to your expectations.

Maybe I'm just starting to be an "old schooler". Maybe I just can't manage to grasp the meaning of the new games which get out nowaday. Maybe it's only because I'm beginning to be too old to really enjoy games. But deep down inside me, I was hoping that this game would be the exception which confirm the rule.

And it failed miserably.

Don't get me wrong here - the game is excellent! Run well, good play, no bugs in sight... This game been nutured with extreme love from it's creator... And it show. A lot.

What might be the problem then, you may ask?

Well, as I was saying, it's all about expectations. When I purchase a followup of a game I loved to play, I expect it to be roughly the same game but with improvements which increase the gameplay. Not something completely new or a game which changed so much that you can't relate it to it('s) predecessor...

Good examples come to mind. Dune and Dune II would be one. Yes, I know, they didn't been made by the same company... But would you expect someone who loved the strategy/adventure game which is Dune to also love playing the RTS game which is Dune II if he was expecting to play a sequel (thus, the same genre) of the first game? Another good example would be Apocalypse VS the two first Xcom games. Xcom: Apocalypse is a good game by itself and take place in a story vaguely borrowed from the two first games story. But that's it. It's nowhere like the first two games in term of story and, to an extend, gameplay. Because those two points changed so radically (the game is really made for RTS even tough you can still play TBT) that you just can't relate the game back to it's predecessors. Still, you see the name Xcom in the title. Xcom: Interceptor would be an even greater example of this, too!

Locomotion has a good point tough, and it is that it is not really linked to the TTD name directly. It is mentioned everywhere on the box that it's made by Chris Saywer, the creator of TTD and Rollcoaster Tycoon, and you would really expect this game to be the successor of TTD because all what you see on the box shots is rairoads and trains which is incredibly similar to TTD. This even follow you to the installation sequence. BUT... The game doesn't try to steal TTD name since the name is Locomotion, and not Transport Tycoon II. At least Chris Sawyer is intelligent enough a man to stick to this, and I respect him for that.

So, the game is good. Playable, interesting, full of "new" ideas (VS TTD)... But I personnaly don't like it. Everytime I want to add something to an existing rail set or want to merge two train routes together, I feel like falling asleep and starting a nightmare anew. I hardly ever got so frustrated by a strategy game in all my gaming life! With training and time it easily look like I would manage to get over this and enjoy that part of the game... But on the other hand, why would I ever want to do that if I prefer the way it was done in TTD and that I have TTD available on the very same computer..?

Another bad point for me is that the game, partly because of the last paragraph too, feels more like a puzzle game than a strategy game. I played the game for a few hours now and ended the first few campaign missions (which is one of the nice improvements to TTD) only to realize that the computers were skyrocketing their way up in months while I was slowly but steadily trying to improve my existing routes instead of creating new ones.
Basically, I was trying to fit in a strategy I polished in TTD in Locomotion, and it failed miserably. The way the AI works, it's almost impossible to have too many trains linked on the same route unless they all work in serie, meaning if you want to append a new route to your old one, you're screwed and are better to actually run the new line up to a new station next to the old one. So, your best strategy, at least in the start, is to make the biggest number of different routes as you can as fast as you can... And that's not my idea of a strategy game, where you need to think before doing something instead of relying on quick decisions and reflexes.

For all those reasons, Locomotion really failed to give me a "classic game" feeling. The game is good, it's well made... But, instead of saying that I feel like "something else is missing" to really highten it to the rank of a classic, I would rather say that something is too much. There is so many possibilities, so many new features which give you more freedom of action... It's simply too much. At that point, the game become so complicated that the fun resulting is not enough to really scale the effort needed to manage something good.

Bottom line; if you are the kind of gamer who loves to micromanage and build things endlessly until everything is perfect, Locomotion will (probably) bring you years of enjoyment. For those hardcore strategy gamers who like old games graphics (like me), you'd probably just be better still playing TTD...

If you feel like disagreeing with me, the 10$ required to buy the game should be a good point enough for about anybody to go out and buy the game to try it. And unless you can't spare that extra 10 bucks, I'd say you'd be missing something if you just don't.

Corrected a small mistake; Dune is a adventure/strategy game and not an adventure/rpg like it was stated by me before.
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