Thursday, November 25, 2004

New Game Reviews

It's been a while since I've posted. There's lots going on, but I'm not ready to talk about all of it yet.

So I'm going to go easy this time, and talk about a couple of new games that I've been played over the past few months.

First we need to talk about The Sims 2. The game is simply brilliant. While the original Sims was brilliant in its own right, it soon grew stale for those of us who just weren't into playing with virtual dolls. In addition, the immense number of add on packs just became gratuitous.

The Sims 2 takes it back a few steps. There are no pets, no acting career paths with games to advance. However, your Sims have lifespans, and offspring that grow up, and have their own children. They even have DNA. While that is cool enough, it's not the key part of the game to me. What makes this game more than playing with dolls is the aspirations and needs and fears. The fact that each character has his or her own goals for the short term and long term makes it much more interesting and challenging. That's what hooks me in for hours when I decide to pick the game up.

There are some pretty funny/disturbing elements of the game. The biggest being the Romance aspiration, which you might as well call the "Skank" asipriation. These sims want to "WooHoo" (at least they don't call it sex outright), all the time. They want to WooHoo with their significant other, friends, strangers whatever. They want to WooHoo in public (dressing rooms), they want to keep score with how many they sleep with.

The only thing missing is WooHoo diseases to make it more interesting (or maybe I haven't discovered that yet). Is that too sinister? I don't think so. I mean, when you get a goal that says, WooHoo with 5 different sims...

Then again, the most disturbing one was the Family aspiration where the woman had a goal for 10 babies! At least it's rated T for teen...but honestly, IMHO, it is borderline to an M rating.

Now of course, they've announced an expansion pack. Only took them what, 2 months?

So the other game, rated E, is Roller Coaster Tycoon 3.

Again another brillant game. Not as deep as Sims 2, but has more entertaining game play for me. That's mostly because it connects with my youth more clearly.

I remember spending afternoons playing in my room, or my little brother Brian's room with Matchbox cars and track, hooking it up to our dressers and creating these rollercoaster type setups with loops and everything. When it was nice out, we did it down the driveway outside.

This brings it all to life, as you get to ride your creations. In addition, you get tons of classic rides that didn't exist in the first two versions. The Rotor, the Zipper. It's great! Themed versions of rides. Night time lights, firework shows. It's a ton of fun.

I've pretty much played it exclusively since I got it, only to get frustrated with the crashes in the GoldRush scenario, which were recently resolved with a new patch. My only complaint is that Atari was slow to link the news. It's there now, but until yesterday, you had to go to Frontier's site to find out the scoop, and hear about the patch.

If you liked either RCT or RCT2, you will love 3. It's that much better in 3D with night and fireworks and the ability to ride your creations.

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