Park Beyond Review

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Park Beyond Review

Life is a Rollercoaster... 

For the last few months I’ve been privileged to have covered Park Beyond from being initially previewed during the pandemic, right into its release. Now with the title out, it’s time to experience the simulator at its max potential, and as of now I can say that Park Beyond while a satisfying grind, can be contradictory of its set goal in mind. The idea of becoming a tycoon based off your business’ success, placing your trust within quirky and clashing investors and eventually building your zany ideas surrounding the “impossification” of capabilities can lead to more than what you bargained for, quite literally. Park Beyond may aim to generate an utterly ridiculous fantasy in its premise, but its charm wears quick when your assets and bank roll deplete faster than any interest in maintaining your park itself.

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Park Beyond’s fundamentals are loosely based off the successes of Limbic’s Tropico series, given the simulator’s concept for cultivating successful entrepreneurship, selling ideas to partners, earning cash but its crux in creating the unimaginable is its appeal, despite in-game costs and other features that ultimately clash with quality-of-life mechanics. It’s one thing to blueprint an anomaly and have enough money to create it, but the reality of its longevity comes into question and how one could profit. This is where Park Beyond becomes a venture rather than a gaming experience, and tends to teeter on trepidation instead of encouraging the player to go wild. Yes, it delivers on its initial promise of simulating a fantasy theme park, but its business savvy lacks stability in a multitude of facets that suffers from living life in the fast lane, so to speak. 

Module Money-pit...

SOLID POINTS

✔️ Impossifying rides is an insanely creative and fun idea for a construction sim.

✔️ Free Play mode gives the player a blank canvas to go nuts.

✔️ Limitless potential in generating the theme park of your dreams with multiple genres to boot.

❌ Lengthy campaign is hard to accomplish due to financial ruin.

❌ A buggy mess.

Grasping an understanding on how one would essentially cultivate their ventures from being a pipedream into an insane joyride, Park Beyond brings this to life promising wonders from an established and renowned theme park tycoon Phil, a pioneer of theme park businesses whose visions of grandeur through the “impossification” is encouraged throughout your time in the title’s campaign. While Phil aids your inquest to become a successful theme park engineer, Izzy controls a marginal stake in both Phil’s and your venture while keeping a sensible, level headed approach to all business handled including expenditure, maintenance and safety of the park’s visitors.

Baby steps are taken to introduce you into Park Beyond’s vast catalogue of modules to unlock along the way, including rollercoasters, ferris wheels, carousels, and other mainline attractions to modify. My qualm with Park Beyond’s entire premise is delivering nonsensical fun that turns wonders and wizardry of prying a dream park into a quick hit money-pit, that spirals quicker than a kraken down the drink. While brimming in excitement, customising my park to exactly how I envisioned it after hours of work, I found myself broke quite a number of times. It’s encouraged that you spend to attract waves of patrons, but the business side of it all tends to pulverise the gaming experience and turn it into a second job.

There are opportunities to expand your park from a small, run-of-the-mill carnival attraction to a fully fledged eye-catching destination for people to visit. These are all unlocked through levelling your park’s appeal in the amount of money earned, number of visitors, cleanliness, preservation and quality. The more you level, the higher your park capacity will permit. Other attractions that will aid your park to a positive experience overall are quick stop snack bars, park benches, vending machines and ATM’s. All luxury items are again unlocked through means of levelling, and can be selected through Sofia’s Lab. Managing your park’s theme overall is another side of customising the aesthetic that is applied, but is a minor facet of your overall experience. Objectives and goals will be your primary focus, while setting sights on making profit to pay for and maintain your park.

Core gameplay, creating your park can be a breeze. The pacing of taking in all essential facets of Park Beyond is slowly drip-fed from initiation right until becoming a construction expert. Modules make it easy for the player to create a quick and easy rollercoaster that winds and weaves over, under and through unexpected obstructions but makes for one hell of a dream course. Concisely refined for PC players, the construction mode demonstrates quick and easy shortcuts to utilise on keyboard. Pressing F will allow you to adjust the height of tracks, whether you want to make a steady climb with climbing rails, and then take a steep dive down to speed things up a little. Other features like changing the curvature or degree of certain angles are quickly done to create and tweak your rides to your liking.

Park Beyond's premise is an exciting one that's full of promise, but its technical issues, gameplay limitations and core fundamentals hold it back from being a truly polished park tycoon title.

You can preview your rollercoaster, however I found that the feature was still somewhat broken and caused some glitches that crashed the game a few times. Now impossifying your rides, and your workers are an attraction in itself. A carousel that moves at the speed of light and creates rings of fire? Sounds like a fun time. A cleaner that eradicates the trash with a laser gun? Sure, that’s nifty. A real life kraken that elevates the excitement and experience of a merri-go-round high rise? Well, now we’re talking impossible, yet hilarious. But again, costly measures come into practice with maintenance prices skyrocketing with each addition. The more you add, the more it bogs down the experience. Upkeep costs lead you to bankruptcy way too quick. Turnover is almost non-existent in late game, and as you create more pathways and more patrons walk through the gates, you may earn bank, but that bank is rarely seen as any investment that sticks.

The ups and downs...

Now a practical issue I had was patrons freezing in line. The game itself became completely broken, and resetting it would only cause me to lose money. Long lines that became inaccessible, and my entire customer base without spending was inexcusable. Then there’s staff management, where some are fine to negotiate, but others becoming too much to deal with financially again, drained the bank. I rarely made it to the late game missions, but when I did objectives became a bleak outlook with the game drastically becoming a difficult romp to survive financially. However, if you’re looking to go off-the-grid so to speak and want to just have fun, build your park and not worry too much about the business side of running it, free play mode allows you to blast a blank canvas without limitation. Just note that there are quite a number of bugs that will impede your experience in this mode.

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Park Beyond’s premise is an exciting one that’s full of promise, but its technical issues, gameplay limitations and core fundamentals hold it back from being a truly polished park tycoon title. It’s a shame to say this as limbic have created a legacy on the Tropico series, becoming one of the greatest construction simulations of all time. Granted this title was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, so understandably there’s going to be some kinks to iron out over quite sometime, so there is wiggle room for improvement overall. But as it is for now, Park Beyond can certainly do with some upkeep, some maintenance, clear off some the rollercoaster rust and use itself a park cleaner to impossify its impossible campaign to just the right balance.

Park Beyond Review

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Park Beyond is a construction and management simulation video game developed by Limbic Entertainment and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game was released for Windows PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and Series S in June 2023.

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Story
5
Gameplay
5
Presentation
7
Sound
7
6

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