By blog on Jun. 2, 2009.
I was over on IGN today, checking out The Sims 3 video review. As I watched I had a few reactions, some stronger than others, but I will list the main ones here right now, including my rant at EA for something they are continuing to perpetrate against the gaming world.
Micro-transactions. Yeah, you heard me, EA scum. Your damn micro-transactions are a completely disgusting, reprehensible, vile way for you morons to line your pockets more. What, selling the world’s most popular video game didn’t get you enough money? You’re the gold-digger of the gaming world, EA. There’s a difference between a gaming company trying to turn a profit, and a gaming company trying to ransom their game for more money. For those of you who don’t know, I will explain what a micro-transaction is, and why I am so opposed to it.
The premise goes along like this, you buy a game, now, as you play the game, you want to play more of the game. Fair enough says the game company, then why don’t you pay us a little bit more money, and we will give you a tiny little bit more of the game? Why!? Because I already paid for the game! If this was an MMO where you get a great amount of content on a regular basis, then okay, but no, this is a tiny amount of content that should have been included in the package in the first place!
EA is the main pusher for this kind of repugnant money-making technique, and what they have done with The Sims 3 is to give the player a certain amount of game content, but told them that there is ‘more for you to purchase on The Sims 3 website’. You can purchase the items with Sim Points, which you get about 1,000 for £6, I believe. It is actually very difficult to find accurate figures per pound, but it is 100 Sim points per US$1.
Some people don’t really have an issue with micro-transactions, so long as game content is not being held back at the date of release. But that is exactly what EA have done, and you know what, EA, I am not going to buy your game any time soon. No, screw you, EA, I will wait until it is a heck of a lot cheaper, and I won’t be purchasing any of your vile Sim Points.
The main attraction for The Sims 3 was that it was all accessible without load screens – which I honestly had no issue with in the first place, and don’t particularly care for this new layout – and that everything was more customizable. Yes well when you have to pay a stupid amount of money for extra content – we are talking 100 Sim Points for a new hair style, that’s US$1 for a new hair style! – that should have been included in the game in the first place, everyone will have different sets of content, so yeah, everyone’s copy will be unique.
I hate you, EA.
By blog on May. 27, 2009.
The Sims is by far the worlds best selling video game ever. Without doubt. In just over a week, the third iteration in the series will be released, and there isn’t any doubt that The Sims 3 is going to be in high demand.
I am personally pretty excited to get my hands on the game, though when I first saw it I wasn’t terribly impressed. You see, it doesn’t look all that much better than The Sims 2. It does look better, I don’t contest that, but not by a lot. However, the more I read about the game, even with my disposition of already not really caring for it, the more excited I became. Especially because unlike so many other games, The Sims 3 was announced only shortly before it’s imminent release. In the gaming world, it is not uncommon for games to be announced a couple of years or so, occasionally much longer, before it’s actual release date. In this case it was just over a year, but that was with EA pushing out the release date by a few months earlier this year, which I predicted as soon as I saw the initial release date.
Now, back to what is interesting about the game. The attributes of your Sims have been altered, no longer does it work by having a certain amount of points to distribute between a few characteristics, you now have five trait slots with around 60 different traits to pick from. This will lead to much more unique Sims.
As for the physical appearance of your Sims, they are now much, much, more customizable. No longer are you stuck with the same four hair colours and then a few odd options, no now you can actually pick from a palette, and even give highlights and other features. As with the clothes and furniture, your houses are going to be much more individual because you are able to take a piece of furniture or clothing, and pick a colour for it yourself.
The other big step for The Sims 3 is that your Sim is able to access the entire neighbourhood, seamlessly. No more lengthy loads to get from your house to the downtown, nope, now you drive or you walk, without loading. So if you have other families in the neighbourhood, you may just run into them running their lives, or you can turn that feature off so they don’t go on without you directing them. You also have more options in The Sims 3 in terms of certain game features being turned on or off, aging for instance. All in all I am looking forward to trying it out and seeing how all the new functionality actually works.
By blog on Apr. 29, 2009.
Sometimes you start playing a game, or even return to a game, and then once you have started that game, it takes over all your gaming time.
I installed Sim City 4 on my PC a couple of days ago, and now I haven’t been playing anything else! I have to admit, I missed the game when it originally came out, so this is my first play though, and I am having a lot of fun.
It looks a little odd, this little box on my HD monitor, but what the hey, good games are timeless! I am still getting the hang of it, trying not to bankrupt my city, trying to bring in enough of a population that I can actually make some headway, and generally having a good old time. It’s always fun when you don’t really know what you are doing with a game, and yes there is a good tutorial, but I can’t really be bothered going the whole way through it… I am just like that.
Other games have done this to me too; Rune Factory 2: A fantasy Harvest Moon on the DS for instance. Since I started playing that, I haven’t made any progress whatsoever on Hatsworth or Ninjatown, and these are all very enjoyable games. I think it is the building type games that do this to us; The Sims and Civilization are prime examples of this type of game and what it does.
Any game that brings out the ‘one more turn’ or ‘just a little bit longer’ mentality seems to bring a screeching halt to the playing of any other game. They suck you in, make you think only of getting just a little further in, and before you know it, it’s 2:00am and you realise you haven’t moved in three hours. I actually know of an incident when my SO was younger and still living at home. She went off to bed one night, whilst her mother sat playing the original Sim City on the SNES. When my SO got up the next morning, her mother was in the same place… still playing the game…
That’s obviously going too far, but you see what these games do!? You see!? Bah, I am off to play more Sim City 4… I am working to get my city population over 2,000.
By blog on Apr. 9, 2009.
There are certain games that inspire ‘Onemoreturnitis’ in us. Most gamers will know what I am talking about here, those gaming sessions where you really meant to stop at 11:00pm and the next time you look at the time it is 3:00am. I am going to list the top three games that have had this effect on me.
First off, Civilization I, II, III, and IV have all had more than a fair share of my gaming hours to date. It’s just one of those games! It’s hard to choose a favorite from the series, as they have all been so enjoyable. I have spent days on end playing this game, only stopping for food and to clean up. I also really enjoy the Civilopedia in each game, learning about all the factions and units, and of course the history of all the Wonders; it really is fun and you can lose a heck of a lot of time just reading, not even playing! What is it that makes this game so addictive? A few things that come to mind are being able to save at any time, which means when you play for a little longer you are not roped into a specific amount of time or furthering of your current goals, so you end up playing longer for some reason. Also the ease of turns, you hit enter and a second later its your turn again! And the constant completion factor, ‘just one more turn and I will have built Stonehenge!’ has kept me going time after time. Ahh, the memories.
Next up is Harvest Moon in its many incarnations, though Rune Factory was my recent favorite for two reasons. The game was more in-depth than the previous ones, and the DS is the perfect medium for the game, due to its portability and Harvest Moon’s pick up and play ability. Rune Factory was also the first in the series that allowed you to save without sending your character to sleep. I love the combination of the traditional aspects of Harvest Moon, farming and raising animals, with the more RPG oriented fighting in the caves. The game is bright and happy to look at, and the animals are somewhat offensively cute. ) I don’t know where my head has been for the last little while, as I just realised the sequel to Rune Factory is out… I am getting it… right now! This one has a slightly more enchanted look to the game world too, which looks great. This game draws you in for day after day with much the same mechanic of Civilization’s building/unit/wonder completion. Tomorrow my next harvest of sweet potatoes will be ready, I will just harvest those and then water and then I will feed my sheep and oh yeah I need more ore to upgrade my axe… and so on and so forth. That is why that game is so hard to put down, and you can lose so much time – or miss your bus stop – if you aren’t careful!
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning The Sims, both 1 and 2. This was another game where I meant to be off to sleep at a reasonable hour only to find it was 3:00am. Again with the Sims, you could save at any time, so you never felt that if you played for a couple more minutes you would be stuck playing a lot longer, I don’t know exactly why this means I end up playing so much longer… it makes me feel rather contrary, to be honest, but there it is. Sims also has some of that regular completion thing going on… One more day at work and I should get a promotion! Of course as soon as you get that promotion you realise if you get one more friend you will be able to be promoted again! And on and on and on until you really need to be going to bed as you have to be up in a few short hours. Then there was also the time where I could only afford one block of carpet after each day of work so I had to keep going to work, I mean, how could I leave my sim with a grass floor!?