Theme Park: 486sx fun on Nintendo DS

Typical Asian

Typical Asian

I just wanted to comment on the picture and mention that I think I’ve been desensitized to asian stereotyping. I didn’t even pay any attention to the commercial until after John Stewart used it as an example of current racial stereotyping. I thought to myself “You know what self, should I be mildly offended”. Of course, then there’s South Park that takes it to a new level.

I first played Theme park when it was a DOS game that would be unplayablely slow on my 20 mhz 486 when I set the resolution to 1024×768. I didn’t have a sound card, so the barfing sounds of the people getting sick from the rollercoasters were just digitized beeps.

It was glorious. It was why god invented a processor that could run at 20 million herz a second.

The DS version is also pretty good, and mimics the gameplay of the original faithfully. That’s good because the original is pretty fun. If you like city building simulations, this game does a good job of making it new and interesting.

There is a dark side though. There was one mini-gameplay element that caused me to put the game down for good. Once a year, you have to renegociate the pay of all your employees. It causes a break in the action and it is minigamegonewild. If you ignore it, then you have to pay your employees a lot more. If you do it, well, it’s only interesting for so long. In the end, I just could not play it anymore.

There are also a lot of other options that I’m not sure what they do. They have a stock market system, but every time I try to invest in something, I generally lose all my money (I guess that’s a little bit like real life). It’s interesting, but doesn’t really make it more fun.

They do have “carebear” mode which removes some of the options, but there isn’t a good balance of what gets removed. When you choose easy mode, it pretty much makes it so simple that it’s no longer interesting at all. I think I could have really used something like Civilization’s method of letting you choose exactly which challenges you wanted, while you could turn off all the frustrating ones. It’s like Oregon Trail, but instead of a cast of people you can choose from, you could only be the doctor (which was an automatic win) or you could be a goat. The difficulty just didn’t skew right, you know?

Anyhow, it is a decent game, but not the must play that Final Fantasy 4 for the DS is.