Wii

North America

Six Flags Fun Park

by James Jones - April 26, 2009, 8:55 pm PDT
Total comments: 11

3

Perhaps the least accurate subtitle in gaming history.

On April 2nd, 2009, Standard and Poor's adjusted the credit rating of Six Flags Inc. to "highly speculative." This rating was coupled with a warning that Six Flags has very little chance of avoiding Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection. After playing Six Flags: Fun Park, it isn't hard to figure out how this happened: if this game is even remotely similar to the Six Flags experience, I'd rather just vacation at home.

Six Flags: Fun Park is a collection of themed mini-games tied together by an Animal Crossing style world. This might seem like a good idea, but really it just proves to be an irritant. Much like the midway at Six Flags parks around the country, the games cost money to play, and if you score enough points/win, you are awarded with lame prizes, including stuffed animals and clothes to customize your character's appearance.

To make money, much like in Animal Crossing, you have to pull weeds, dispose of garbage, and complete trivial tasks. This isn't fun, and after reflection, the fact that Animal Crossing manages to get away with it is baffling. This game does not deserve such a luxury. The lack of an involved and inviting world removes many of the elements that made AC's endless quest for bells worth doing. With money being the driving force in the game, that's a lot of weeds to pull. If that weren't enough, the game employs two separate forms of currency: coins and tickets. Some games take coins, while others take tickets. It's a pointless mechanic that forces you to buy tickets with coins or win coins using tickets.

The tasks you complete are what constitute a story mode. The story is as follows: the mayor of the park and his father have a bad relationship. You have to repair their relationship by interacting with the various wahoos around the park. These interactions either ask you to complete fetch quests or achieve a certain score for a given mini-game. These tasks are hard to do, simply because it is often unclear where you are being asked to go. The progression of the story feels uneven, which is unfortunate because it is the only way to unlock all six of the game's themed areas. To be honest, I didn't even realize that I was playing a story mode until after pouring hours into the game. It feels tacked on.

So, back to the money. With all your coins and tickets you get to play these mini-games. Most mini-games are riffs on your standard midway fare: basketball shooting, dart throwing, etc. Many come down to flicking the Wii Remote the right way. Those are all boring. Some are played by swinging the Wii Remote at the right time. Those are frustrating. A select few, about six in total, are actually fun. Those few fun mini-games are inspired by the over one-hundred rollercoasters owned by Six Flags Inc. These are essentially light gun-style mini-games. As you ride the coaster you shoot targets. Think House of the Dead: Overkill mixed with cotton candy. These are enjoyable, but there aren't nearly enough of them. Six Flags is known for their rollercoasters! Why don't we have more of these? I would have gladly taken one more rollercoaster at the expense of ten of the standard mini-games. The entire six flags license feels as if it were added late in the game. I wouldn't be surprised if it actually was.

Outside of the mini-games, movement around the park is point-and-click, which works but it isn't clear why this decision was made. Everyone has a Nunchuk: one comes with the system. Why not use it? Using a floating pointer just feels more cumbersome than necessary. Since your character moves in a straight line torwards your pointer, and your movement is left up to the game's "path finding", you run into a lot of obstacles. A lot of environmental interaction consists of simply pumping the Wii Remote. All of this works, but it seems unnecessarily restrictive. Sometimes you just feel like you can't do what you'd like to do.

Six Flags: Fun Park uses a very simple graphical style. The colors are bright and diverse. The various themed areas each have a unique style and pull together nicely. For example, the space area has aliens and craters, whereas the horror area has ghosts and tombstones. While there are no flaws in the graphics, Six Flags: Fun Park does not really push the envelope. This game could easily have been done on the GameCube, and the visuals would have still been called simple.

Six Flags: Fun Park does not live up to its name. The game lacks both the tangible metrics and the intangible qualities that make a game fun. The moments of fun to be had are too few, too short, and not rewarding enough to be worth the effort required to unlock them. The few elements of polish, an important part of real-world theme parks, seem like token efforts. The only authentic experience here is the sensation of being nickel-and-dimed at every stand, kiosk, and game you encounter.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
6 4 5 2 3 3
Graphics
6

While not an ugly game, there isn't a whole lot going on here. The simple graphical style looks good, but it feels derivative of games like Animal Crossing and MySims. The various themed areas give the visuals a slight bump.

Sound
4

I barely even remember anything about the sound. Well, there is an additional homage to Animal Crossing: no one in this game can formulate a word. Instead, they all mumble garbled sounds at you. Everything else is the same old sound effects we've heard in every other mini-game collection since the original Mario Party.

Control
5

The decision to use just the Wii Remote has a few consequences. Movement requires the use of the pointer, and that just feels out of place in this game. The lack of Nunchuk control and creative mini-game design means most of the games devolve into senseless flailing. This is compounded by the fact that all environmental interaction outside of the mini-games is waggle. Not only is it all waggle, every time you interact with something you're shown an animated diagram of the Wii Remote being shaken. It becomes a constant reminder of how uncreative the controls are.

Gameplay
2

There's no fun here. If this is what Six Flags is like, then I'd rather just go ride the Tilt-n-Hurl at the State Fair of Virginia for a few hours before catching some pig racing.

Lastability
3

There's not a whole lot to do in this game. The "story" is just fetch quests. The unlockable clothes aren't interesting. The unlockable zones aren't worth it. And the multiplayer—there is multiplayer—would be a worthwhile feature if the games were fun. There isn't all that much to do, and you won't find the drive to do it all

Final
3

The game isn't fun. The game isn't polished. It resembles the brand in name only The only thing that saves this game from a worse score is the lack of any glaring technical flaws.

Summary

Pros
  • Roller coaster rides are decent shooting galleries
  • Themed areas pull together nicely
Cons
  • Boring mini-games
  • Not fun
  • Plucking weeds
  • Throwing away trash
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2009

I wish I could say I was surprised, but this game has gotten quite a beating on the RFN podcast (was that from you James or Greg? I can't remember).

I flogged it on the podcast.

oohhboyHong Hang Ho, Staff AlumnusApril 27, 2009

Quote:

You have to repair their relationship by interacting with the various wahoos around the park.

If this is what Six Flags is like, then I'd rather just go ride the Tilt-n-Hurl at the State Fair of Virginia for a few hours before catching some pig racing.

LOL. These two sentences get a laugh out of me every time. A good review and I like the extra research in the first paragraph.

That State Fair sure sounds like fun though.

I honestly thought this was a DS game based on everything James said on the podcast.

James did a bang-up job here! Humorous AND informative. Thanks, James!

mac<censored>April 27, 2009

Can't go wrong with pig racing.

vuduApril 27, 2009

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

I honestly thought this was a DS game based on everything James said on the podcast.

Wait, it's not?

I just re-read the review.  The first time I read it I read the first 4 paragraphs, and then skimmed the rest.  The review doesn't mention the Wii until the 5th paragraph.

This is something that's come up a bunch--when reading a review in the forum it can be really difficult to determine the platform.

I reviewed the DS version last fall. I think it is the same exact game...

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterApril 27, 2009

Quote from: TheYoungerPlumber

James did a bang-up job here! Humorous AND informative. Thanks, James!

I hope I am able to accomplish this someday...

So now I have two dreams as a NWR reviewer:
- Write a review that bashes a highly anticipated game and generate 4 pages of discussion in less than one day

- Bash a game highly and still be information

UltimatePartyBearApril 27, 2009

Last time I went to Six Flags, I could swear you didn't have to pay for the rides.  You bought an outrageously priced ticket to get in, and you paid outrageous prices for food, but the only cost of riding a roller coaster was waiting in line for an hour and a half.  I do recall a VR game that cost five bucks, and of course an arcade full of old games that took tokens.

TJ SpykeApril 27, 2009

That should be the next theme park game, making you actually wait an hour to ride the game. Take that Gran Turismo, THAT would be hardcore!

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Six Flags Fun Park Box Art

Genre Party/Parlor
Developer 7 Studios
Controllers

Worldwide Releases

na: Six Flags Fun Park
Release Mar 03, 2009
PublisherBrash Entertainment
RatingEveryone 10+
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