Ever heard of Isambard Kingdom Brunel? Yep, it's a ridiculous name, but I'm guessing most of you enlightened DCJY followers have read many, many volumes on Brunel's genius - but for those who haven't, here's the science bit.
But why, pray tell, am I bringing Mr Brunel to your attention? Well, it's because he has something to do with my latest Dreamcast-related purchase. Sort of. You see, Brunel built railways. Not personally of course - he employed yokels and vagabonds to do it for him (and paid them in broken dreams and dysentery, or so I'm told); and with my latest acquisition - you too can indulge in a bit of railway building 'action':
Railway Tycoon 2 has arrived at platform 758!
Exciting, I know! It's a game...that lets you build railways! Across fields! So you can transport textiles and passengers to different towns! Not only that, but the back of the box states:
- All new 3D game engine!
- Addictive and deep gameplay spanning from 1804 to 2000 and beyond!
- 60 Engine designs!
- Realistic stock market enabling take-overs, mergers, stocks, bonds and bankruptcy!
A REALISTIC STOCK MARKET! STOCKS! MERGERS! Take 2 Interactive - with this number of insanely exciting features you are spoiling us!So, Railway Tycoon 2 then. It's a bit like the bastard lovechild of Sim City and Command & Conquer. With trains. You start the main game in the early 1800s and have to build rail connections between various little towns. As the game goes on, you'll be given more arduous tasks such as transporting goods (like milk, eggs and flour - now there's a recipe for disaster and/or pancakes) and building bigger and better stations. As the years 'fly' by (not in real time, you understand) you'll be able to buy more advanced diesel and eventually electric engines. The game also promises to yield 'futuristic' flying trains with machine guns, lasers and matter displacement cannons on them, but in all honesty you'll either go bankrupt before you reach the 1930s (something that happens with alarming regularity in Railroad Tycoon 2) or just lose interest altogether, turn the Dreamcast off and go for a shit/piss/pint (delete as applicable).
Should really think about reducing their carbon footprint
As far as I'm aware, there are only two real time strategy games on the PAL Dreamcast - this and Conflict Zone, and even though I've been a tad critical of Railroad Tycoon's subject matter (c'mon, trains are hardly exciting), it's probably the better of the two. Graphically it's pretty accomplished - especially when played in VGA mode. The landscapes roll impressively and the building and train models are superbly detailed - you can zoom in and out and rotate the view to your heart's content and it never stutters or slows down. The sound is a little less impressive, but you'd never expect to have SUM 41 or Nine Inch Nails blasting out whilst your steam locomotive struggles to get up a hill.
If only the DLR ran this smoothly
If you're the kind of person who shuns human contact in favour of the scale model representation of South West Trains' rail network in your attic, and you also happen to own a Dreamcast - then get a bit of Railroad Tycoon on the go. You won't be disappointed.