October 12, 2008

I'm Back!

Ugh, my laptop, which was running perfectly fine even though it was around four years old, fell a week or so ago and was irreparably damaged. So here I am, blogging on my fancy new desktop computer! Anyway, I'll certainly be around more now.

P.S. I haven't been able to play anything close to modern PC games for a long time, so if anyone has any recommendations, I'm open. I just picked up Sins of a Solar Empire. Noumena, how are you liking Spore? I certainly salivated over that game for a long time.


Noumena said...

Four years? My laptop was nearly six years old when I replaced it back in March.

Making a recommendation for Spore is tough. Certain aspects are severely disappointing, but the final stage of the game is roughly comparable to SimCity in terms of open-endedness, and would definitely appeal to anyone who ever liked Star Trek. However, based just on the Wikipedia description, I suspect Sins of a Solar Empire might actually offer a richer version of Spore's Space stage.

Noumena said...

Okay, I went and read a bit more about Sins. And I want to retract my suggestion that it's similar to the Space stage of Spore.

Sins is a strategy game, combining features of 4X (think: Civilization) and RTS (think: Starcraft) games. Gameplay is primarily about building fleets of ships and directing them around the map, which comprises at most 5 star systems, each containing what appears to be a dozen or so objects (planets, asteroids, etc.). The goal is straightforward: eliminate your opponents.

The Space stage of Spore is like being captain of the Enterprise (whichever version happens to be your favourite) with some simple (I would say simplistic) empire management thrown in. You control a single ship, and explore a galaxy comprising literally thousands of stars, almost all of which have 1-5 planets. There is no fixed goal. In this way, it's somewhat similar to other notable Maxis titles (The Sims, SimCity, etc.). Unlike those other titles, however, in which managing your family/city/whatever becomes more complex as things go on, you eventually become so powerful in Spore that you can do pretty much whatever you feel like without having to scrounge for resources or worry about diplomatic repercussions. At this point, based on what people are saying in the Spore forum, you either start a new game to try a different gameplay style (say, peaceful instead of militaristic), or get bored and go do something else entirely.