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For those of you who aren't yet bitten: Spore is out. I got it last… - CERisE's Testing for L — LiveJournal

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September 16th, 2008

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01:53 pm
For those of you who aren't yet bitten: Spore is out. I got it last week and I've had great difficulty setting it down. The game is a little too "on rails" for my tastes. You get driven from the cell level to the creature level to the tribal level and so on whether you like it or not. That assumption in the game is a little annoying -- I wanted to enjoy the different strategic implications at each level a little more.

It does a couple of things neatly. In particular, it shows other species on their own parallel tracks of evolution at various stages. Even at the space faring level, you can see species trying to make it as a creature or tribe. The cell level gets left behind unfortunately -- you can't see any traces of it as you go from cell to land critter.

Another thing I appreciate is the existence of "epic" creatures. Giant godzilla like things that wander around and occasionally trash your troops. I managed to kill one at the creature level using cheats (so that I wouldn't have to go hunt for food at the same time), ranged poison attacks, and a bug where, for some reason, this one critter wouldn't follow me into a forest. I'd been firing and running up until then. Sadly, it didn't give me the achievement for destroying an epic creature at the creature level, but such is life.

They don't make a lot of sense, but they add a lot of color and strategic implications like "If I send my troops directly to that city, that epic critter is going to eat all of them. I'd better send them here and *then* there.

One minor thing I don't like: A really poor AI. Everything kind of rolls over and dies when you get even a little advanced. At the civilization level, I've found the best strategy is to grab two spice mines early, build turrets on my city, horde troops, and -- when attacked -- send them full force to the opposition's city. The AI folds up the attack and tries to defend themselves which wastes the advantage.

Another thing I don't like. At the civilization level, there's a point where, if you horde enough cash, you instantly win the stage. Really. Like you click a button and bam! You win. The AI doesn't have this option. I shouldn't have that option either.

The creature creator is neat. I need to spend more time *coloring* my creations (even though there's no strategic advantage in it). I spend lots of time making them look cool in spite of the fact that they're all white though. 8)

(7 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:September 16th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Tell me because people got in a big debate over this in an irc channel: Is Spore like the Sims? I fucking hate the Sims and therefore was completely and utterly uninterested in Spore, but then someone tells me it's not at all like the Sims, which makes me think I could give Spore a chance. Be honest.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:50 pm (UTC)
We talked about this last night, but I'll reiterate.

It's kinda like the Sims in that you have a creature that you need to keep fed in the first bits. You have complete control over the critter though. It doesn't have free will as such. Later on, the focus moves away from the individual and towards a sort of god game (like Civilization).

The space phase is completely open ended. Nothing threatens you, there's no "end" condition like there are with the other stages. You just explore at that point. You can seed life on other planets. You can exterminate all life. You can do whatever.

The open-endedness might be what you don't like about the Sims. It might be that the game is essentially telling you what to do. The first is present in Spore, the latter is not.

The easiest way to find out: Just play it on my laptop and see what you think. 8)
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
The open-endedness is exactly what I don't like about the Sims. It feels completely utterly and ridiculously pointless to me. I need an endgame. I need a point. I love RTSs but those have a point and are not open ended. Just "do whatever you want and see what happens" does not appeal to me in the least, and feels boring and pointless.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2008 05:41 pm (UTC)
I *want* to get it, but I'm concerned about the 3 install limit. Still mulling it over.
[User Picture]
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about that. It's already been cracked. ; )

Personally, I think the way to do something about it is to install it on n systems, run against that limit, and bug the hell out of their tech support.
[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
Not at all related to Spore, but you like Mike Jittlov, right?

Well, you should register here, if you aren't already: www.cinemageddon.org

And then go here:

[User Picture]
Date:September 18th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
ooh! Thanks! 8)

I have copies of all that stuff, but in other formats. It'll be nice to slap it on a DVD 8)

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