Monday, May 18, 2009

Space....where's the beef?

You'll notice I'm not reviewing games as they come out...why? First I can't always afford to buy them, and second, I think sometimes a game that's been around for some time , sometimes riding under the radar, deserves a second look. Anyone here wanting me to review the newest games as they come out will just have to buy them for me. That being said...can I talk about Maxi's (Sims) "SPORE"? This game from Electronic Arts and put out for the PC is one of the sweetest games I've tackled for the last six months and stands as one of the greatest games of the last five years. What? Really? Yes!!! Imagine a game where you begin as a miscroscopic organism and play through five levels to eventually strike out into space. The scope of this is ridiculous, but works! It's evolves from a third person eater to management and strategy game that is the godchild of "Civilization" and "Age of Empires". Perhaps the thing that makes this game so compelling is the open-endedness of it and the charm of the gameplay. For instance, to get to the screen where you evolve and change your creature, you join with a member of the opposite sex and do a dance to music that would have made Barry White proud. To form alliances with other species, you can sing, dance, or make some bizarre gestures which can only be described as the "hootchie-coo" without the "hoo". The creatures you create, whether vegetarian or carnivore, have such an amazing variety and the potential for variety of interaction at the different levels means that each time you plays this game through it will be refreshingly different. Gamers have a term for this: "Replayability". Clever, huh? So much better than "Shugg-urath-ood". In my current playthrough, I'm a carnivore. Bet you saw that coming. I've also decided to becoming viciously aggressive and to forsake any alliances. I'm sort of a cross between the Klingons and the characters from Veggie Tales, if those characters had fangs and blood dripping from their claws. Seriously...if you're a gamer and want something different..if you're tired of the shooters and the movie ripoffs..then try this. It's the best game of its kind since "Black and White".


Harry Markov: daydream said...

This is a fantastic game and I would have reviewed it, if I actually had the time and opportunity technically speaking to surpass the basic tribal level and conquer space. :) It's certainly mindboggling and a refreshing game suggestion. Certainly crafted with imagination and designed to build upon your own imagination. This is a game that can be played by anyone and it's educational as far as evolution goes. So many positive things to say. :)

Asara Dragoness said...

Excellent choice, Stewart!

I have the creature creator, and I'm gunning for the actual game now that I've got a new computer. It's so fun just to make creatures, I can't wait to tackle the universe!

Melinda said...

It looks like such a cute and fun game, but my laptop won't run it :( I've been meaning to get the Nintendo DS version, but no idea if that experience would be the same as the actual game.

Stewart Sternberg said...

HARRY, you're right. It's the perfect game for the gamer who needs a break from the ordinary and wants to rediscover those things that made gaming so much fun in the first place. Sometimes I think gaming is work..we tackle it with fierce expressions and trudge away level after level. It becomes habit and mundane.

Asara..I used the Creature Creator, I fuddled with it for about twenty minutes and then jumped and bought the game. The creator is fun, but it does't give you a real sense of what to expect from the gaming experience.

Melinda... I don't know.The problem with many console games that are ports of PC is that they are too often dumbed down. When it comes to strategy games, I'm on the PC...when it comes to shooters, gimme the couch and the XBOX.

Harry Markov: daydream said...

Not to mention stress and frustration especially, when games should be building off those two and with this game, most of what you get is pure and stress free fun. :)