Things that Dangle…

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Posted in Technology By Danlie

This review is from: Spore (DVD-ROM)

I’ve been a fan of Will Wright for many years and when I first started hearing about Spore years ago I was very excited.
I watched the videos and they looked superb. I downloaded the creature creator and it too was excellent!

Finally the day came when Spore was released and I went to my friend’s house to play it. I was super excited!
He said it was so lame that I could have it. I didn’t listen to him and was overjoyed to have been given his copy! I rushed home and installed it.

EPIC DISAPPOINTMENT.
I played through the whole thing hoping in vain that it would get better but feeling the bitter sting of FAIL with every passing moment.

The Cell phase- A pretty and cute rehash of the PSP game “Flow”.
Lasted all of 20 minutes with the only consequence being choosing a mouth and a diet.

The Creature phase- The best of all the levels, but that’s not saying much.You painstakingly created a creature by grinding through a bland “world”, and performing the same repetitive actions over and over again; killing or charming creatures that all hang around sullenly by identical nests. By the time you “level up” your creature and are ready to progress to Tribal phase, you get a nasty surprise.

Tribal phase- All the stats you grinded for in the Creature phase are now useless and you now get to play an insultingly simplistic, kiddie version of Age of Empires or other similar RTS games.
Again you must repetitively charm or attack other creatures but this time you are viewing your painstakingly designed creature as a speck from a bird’s eye view. You get to dress your creature in clothes now (only a few choices) and Tribal phase is over faster than you can say “WTF?”

Civilized phase- Now you have a crappy template city and you design your buildings, ships and such with the sweet editor only to once again view them as specs. Now you’re playing Starcraft but the shiny, shallow kids version. Why did I design all this cool stuff again? I can’t even see it and I’m bogged down by a boring, linear clone of an old game.

Space phase- You are now trapped in your speck-sized spaceship for the rest of the game and can only get out as a clunky “hologram” that cannot interact with anything (but can be killed by other creatures for some reason.) You have ONE ship and spend your time jumping from star to star looking at planet after bland planet and running errands for aliens who appear as icons similar to games released in the early 90′s.
So that’s it. You can visit and terraform planets (which more or less all look the same) and look at other colonies, trapped in your spaceship and constantly under attack from “pirates” of whom you must destroy using the buggy space laser system. You can create another dull planet if you like to contain another template “city” but that’s it.
That’s the end.

The whole game is a collection of 5 unoriginal, regurgitated, simplistic and insultingly easy minigames with a nice custom content editor that serves no purpose whatsoever in the game itself.
All the customizable content is 100% cosmetic. For looks only and nothing more.

My extreme disappointment can barely be verbalized. The videos of the game still look superb and EA doubtlessly reserved these features for the real cash cow – expansion packs.

Hey, Will. Make a Sims 2 style Spore with lots of complexity, voluntary combat, interaction,variation and surprises and you may have something.
Right now all you have is a lousy collection of minigames and a whole lot of disappointed fans.

Glad I didn’t buy it and hope my review saves others from the total let down that is Spore.

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