I’ve enjoyed a good theme park creation game, with even the not so great ones offering at least a decent amount of fun. The one game that I enjoyed the most – aside from the RollerCoaster Tycoon series – is Thrillville. And the reason for liking it has little to do with the theme park side of things. Well, that is part of why I like it, but the major reason is to do with one thing. Everything available within the parks can be played in some form.
Built a ‘coaster? Ride it or play a score-chasing game. Need to restock the burger shack? Here’s a puzzle game to help you do so. Even the training of the staff had you playing some sort of game. But the best part about it was every attraction having a game attached, with some feeling like full old-school games. Games such as Sparkle Island and Bandito Chinchilla have multiple levels to them, while others only have one level but offer a lot of replayability.
As one single package, it was absolutely worth it, with multiplayer also offered on many of the games. There was a range of genres on offer, and with the ability to create your own race courses to zoom around on, the theme park management side of things could easily be overlooked. But even that theme park management offered its own fun, what with the on the ground management style. In other words, you had a player character who could freely wander the parks.
Thrillville has been left in the dust since Off the Rails released in 2007, but the core of the game – in fact all of it – could offer a games publisher who controlled a vast library of IP the ability to use most of it in one single game in a much greater capacity than any other collection could. Think Nintendo Land but magnified a hundredfold. And that idea is exactly what I’m concepting in this article.
In lieu of an experiences or first impressions article, I felt it would be worthwhile instead doing this. An ideas article that draws from what I felt about Bowser’s Fury. Just as with the remakes of older Mario and Luigi titles, an additional story has been included with Super Mario 3D World, and like with those Mario and Luigi remakes, that additional story has been included as part of the title.
But the thing is, those Mario and Luigi games were remakes. 3D World is just a port with a bit of additional work to make it run better on the Switch. So why would Bowser’s Fury be here? And be given the importance of being included as part of the game’s name? It’s not like 3D World was in the hands of millions originally. It would have sold well regardless, even if it never hit the 190% sales difference from that original version.
But Bowser’s Fury has been included, offering something different from 3D World’s gameplay even if it shares the same mechanics. It could be said that such was to entice new fans from Odyssey to buy into the game, but when every new Mario game has changed things greatly from the previous one, that hardly seems necessary. What I see it as is introducing the concept of the next big thing to come to Mario. A full open world platforming adventure.
Power Rangers has been going strong since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers first graced television screens in America. While I might not have started on the train until Dino Thunder was all the rage (then lapsed after SPD for a number of years), I’ve enjoyed going back to the start to watch all the way from that starting series to the current end. I’ve been less impressed with the few games I’ve played, though.
There’s been a few that managed to at least be okay, but not a single one could be considered truly great. Then Legacy Wars came, a mobile hit that celebrated the franchise with its simple rock-paper-scissors fighting mechanics. From that came Battle for the Grid, a console 3v3 2D fighting game that attempted the same tactic of celebrating the franchise (though leaned heavily in Mighty Morphin’s favour at launch).
Across these last few years, we’ve had some great content that has added to the franchise. The comic series that expanded on the Mighty Moprhin’ Rangers, bringing with it a host of alternate versions of powers and a new set of Rangers in the Solar Rangers. The 2017 movie that, while not the greatest, gave a new interpretation upon the original team. The Hyperforce RPG series that also introduced a new team, incorporating them into the lore of Time Force.
With Hasbro now holding the reigns of the series, bringing new life to the franchise with Beast Morphers and hopefully repeating that success with Dino Fury, as well as another movie coming soon and more comics in the pipeline, the franchise certainly looks to be on top form. With expansion coming from all these forms of media, it’s time for the one remaining link to get in on the fun.
Two years ago, I had an idea. An idea to merge racing and RPGs together to create a concept that provided a new way to experience both. Within it, I outlined a few of the details such as how players would start and the overall narrative of the story. Paying homage to my history – to one of the stories from my original era – I had labelled the concept Zincite Storm.
As I was looking back on it, I did indeed have something, but I’d focused a bit too much on the racing side of things. Or at least there was little in the way of RPG elements aside from the experience system. If this was to be a combination of both, it needed a few other RPG elements to really make it.
For this Racing Month, I thought it would be good to bring the concept back, loaded with a few new ideas and changes to what had been seen before. I’ll also dive into some of the details I’d touched on before. The first thing to note, though, is that the world as I’d described it last time is changing, or at least evolving.
It’s been directly one month since I looked at The Skywalker Saga last, giving a rundown of what is set to be within the game and a few of my ideas. I held hope that perhaps this month, we would see something about the game. After all, Star Wars Day would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.
While we didn’t get any gameplay, or even any trailers, we did get to see the key art of the game, with a slip up from the official Star Wars Youtube channel revealing what seems to be the official date of the game. Such a date does fit, what with recent releases for LEGO and Star Wars games. I assume EA are aware of this release, and have no plans to release anything that might cause conflict with TT Games’ effort.
So while there’s no new information to be found (except more confirmation of how much TT are putting into this), I felt it might be worthwhile getting a few more of my thoughts and ideas about the game and how it will play out for all to see. I’ve got a good idea of how I’d want the exploration to be handled, so I’ll start there.
I’ve previously admitted that Sonic Generations is a great game. It’s got to have been for it to have solidified my interest in the series. The celebration game of everything Sonic the Hedgehog, with a wide variety of music tracks and a number of favourite levels.
One thing I wish it had done, though, was use more. Sure, the adage that more doesn’t equal better, but Generations… could have used more. I’ve talked before how there didn’t feel like there was much interaction with the worlds or characters (for any character not a Sonic or Tails, anyway), and I wished there had been.
Here, then, I aim to present an idea on how it could have been expanded. More levels and more interaction between characters and the worlds. Unlike with the Redesigned Galar concept, I won’t be sticking to as strict a guideline. By providing expansion, it needs more room to do so.
Last month I offered up some ideas for games within the Pokémon franchise, with the three fitting roughly into the labels of main game, side game, and spin-off. This month I am doing the same for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.
Now, it would be easy to say for a main game Adventure 3 – specifically Chao Theory (that old concept of mine from back in 2013), but I’m not. What I want to see from a main series game these days is something that Lost World failed to execute beyond basic implementation.
The Galar region showed a lot of promise when it was first unveiled, taking a lot of elements from the UK and mixing them into what is the most diverse region we have seen in a main game.
It did deliver on that, but it also felt incredibly linear and unconnected, with certain sections of the map being cut off from access except by train. It made the whole region feel smaller than it should have been, not really helped by the Wild Area restricting design for half of the map.
So what would be the best way to set about making the Galar region a better place to be? Well, top priority is getting a better way to connect everything together, and that’s where the Wild Area comes in with its new name of Route 1.
Yesterday a Pokémon Direct was announced, and tomorrow at 14:30 GMT is when it will air. The obvious choice for such an announcement is about Home and what things that will give us (aside from storage capacity and the importing of ‘mon from previous generations, of course). However, stating the obvious is no fun. It’s time for some wild predictions.
The main series goes open world, but not in the way you think. Diamond and Pearl are announced as the remakes to come this year, with a trailer showing off the beautiful work done in recreating the world in a fully 3D environment.
The GTA series has been based in America since its inception (with one London-based exception), but the locations have always seen a complete overhaul from one era to the next. Los Santos and the greater state of San Andreas, Vice City, and Liberty City have been the three main locales whenever a new GTA comes along.
There are others that appear, such as Alderney and Ludendorff, but you won’t find them filling out an entire game other than Anywhere City, but since GTA 1 featured all three major locales in one game it was expected they’d try something different.
However, while many would want to see an HD revamp of Vice City (perhaps even extending it out to include more of south Florida), I feel the time is right to try something new. A completely new location offering completely new opportunities for exploration of not only a location, but story, world building, and the references to real world experiences.
With the rumours and leaks, it seems both are happening, and I made a rendition of the Project Americas stuff previously. This time the detail is much greater as I launch into detailing how I would go about making a GTA-verse Michigan.