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Spore is HORRIBLY overrated.

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MeowTheMouse said:
the difference between ubi and EA is that EA needs to hype its crappy games to sell while Ubi will sell any ways

Too bad Spore is not a crappy game though. Spore has great chances of being GOTY 2008.

 



sorry ignore my last comment.. i just played spore.. and honestly.. i think its a game u must play to judge..
and i thought spore creatures would suck so bad.. but i find my self addicted to it more then the original game x.x"
sorry my bad



the game matched my expectations and also raised a few questions regarding the reviews and other games. what really came to my mind was COD4 singleplayer infinite respawn and the "intelligent" PC (the console versions are probably alright with this) multiplayer respawn but I'll keep the long rant to myself.

I have to say that I'm pretty sure I'm alone on this one but I loved the Tribal stage. to me it was Settlers meet Populous without complex economy and the God powers. I really think they could have expanded a bit more in the earlier phases (including the Tribal), but expanding the way that "hardcores" want would kill the game IMO.

the Civ stage to me was kind of a chore, but maybe because I REALLY wanted to see everything. and I thought it was kinda overwhelming when I started it considering that the Tribal phase is so "shallow" - of course, once you figure what is going on it's nothing absurd, but from what I've read I thought it would be much simpler.

I'm at the beginning of the Space stage but it really surprised me in a good way. I didn't really read a lot about it, so maybe that's why.

right now, without completing one single game, I say: Tribal stage > other stages (except the Space stage which I cannot compare yet).

I'm really glad they took the "casual" way. and the game also has that Maxis feel that I can't describe.. like when you play a Square game, or a Nintendo one.

The game has its flaws but I thought it would be better to post the good impressions rather than the bad ones. Ok, 2 flaws then: being allowed to change radically your creature every time you go to the creator is really stupid. there should be some parts that couldn't be removed. I dunno how they'd implement the limit, but it's needed. I thought about making a part permanent after 2 generations, but still, you could sell it and replace with a copy - I dunno then, maybe if a part "matured", then you'd lose a big bonus if you just used the replacing method, or it would "mature" naturally and you couldn't remove it anymore. and adding every modification to the sporepedia is stupid too.



the words above were backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!

shio said:

Here is an article that really makes an understanding of alot of the design decisions of Spore:

Spore: Things To Know…

We’ll be doing a verdict next week, but for now, here’s the three things you should know about Spore.

1) Spore is a four hour character creator for a polished version of Space Rangers 2. It’s neat.
2) Ignore anyone’s opinion who’s played it less than - oooh - eight hours. There’s certainly good reasons to dislike or even dismiss Spore, but it takes that point before you see past your preconceptions.
3) There is no Autosave. I repeat: there is no autosave.

And a load more detail beneath the cut.

For example, I’ve been following the reviews and meta-gaming them a little.

There’s been some talk about it from comment-thread cynics as being another Black and White. As in, a game that recieved enormous scores from confused reviewers - presuming because it was so unusual it was probably good - and down the line pretty much everyone decided it was a load of old tosh. Funnily enough, I’m seeing it in exactly the opposite terms - I think reviewers are afraid of being the Black & White reviewers and are deliberately upping their criticism - which is one reason why even the positive reviews seem to be full of complaints.

In short: I suspect if Spore was released with less hype, it’d have had better scores. I suspect the fact Spore is so unlike anything else - by being a bit like everything else - that reviewers are slightly nervous around giving it too good marks, in case no-one likes it.

But that’s me thinking too much - there’s a second and more profound reason why the reviews read so down, and it’s a direct result of the traditional completely-descriptive feature-list style of reviews meeting Spore’s everything-and-the-kitchen sink design. A review has to describe everything in the game, which means that each of the five stages tend to get the same amount of space in the review. And since the first four of those stages are really sleight, there’s lots of room for slagging.

This is a complete distortion of the game.

The first four stages you’ll play through in four hours tops. The space stage is at least twice that, and probably a lot more. When you play the earlier games, it’s clear there isn’t much more depth there compared to a normal strategy game… but they’re designed to be comprehensible and entertaining for that very brief period of time. The problem with that is, on the first play through, you’re being mildy entertained and wondering “is this it?”. Spore is a big game - in terms of scope - and its actual experience is actually quite intimate. It’s not blowing you away in the way that you’re expecting it too.

But the game fundamentally changes when you reach the Space stage - it’s the one part of the game which is absolutely on par with any other game of its type - which is pretty much Space Rangers and sod all else in recent years (Comparisons to a game like Galactic Civilizations are deeply misplaced - you may as well say that Mount & Blade doesn’t stack up against Age of Wonders). It has a mass of mechanics - many of them introduced in the previous four hours, in a subtle and elegant way - and is a real, proper game, a pop-cute Elite with terraforming.

In fact, it IS the real proper game, and that’s what I mean by point one. You realise that the previous four hours weren’t actually the real game. They were about creating a customised race which you have a degree of affection for, with traits shaped by your actions in four stages. When you downplay the importance of the earlier stages in your mind, they make much more sense.

When I first played through them, I thought I’d never want to do them again. After the realisation, I’ve done the early stages another couple of times - in fact, the shallowness was actually a boon. When you know the mechanics, you can burn through them, with the experience enlivened by the slight change in methodology you’re following as you’re trying to create a different sort of creature (i.e. I’m using Religion to conquer rather than armies in the Civ stage so I can be a more altruistic nice space race). If they were much deeper, the simple process of making a new race for the real game would be extended pointlessly. You’d be far less likely to do it.

In other words, when you stop thinking about the early stages as the real game and something more akin to a character creator, you start having a lot more affection for them. The Cell and Creature levels are the most entertaining of the two (And the cell level, funnily enough, is the one where your creature design skills most actually impacts the game, in terms of you working out where to put your spikes to maximise your killing machine, and where the economics of what to buy next with limited resources bites hardest). The tribe is pretty vacuous, and the one I’m terribly glad doesn’t go on any longer. The World stage is a little more interesting, but carries a relatively heavy weight of demanding you to design most of the buildings and vehicles, which can make it seem to drag a little.

(Spore Anxiety comes into play here. As in, the pressure to actually create something that’s not rubbish, as you know your friends will see it and if it’s not at all interesting they’ll think less of you.)

But - really - I’m spending too much time discussing them. To be actually truthful to the experience, the early stages should be completely minimalised in a review. If there’s a total copy count of 1000, I more truthful division of the writing would be about 300 words on the creators, 500 words on the space stage, a quick 100 words on all four developmental stages and 100 words snarling at the lack of the bloody autosave.

My advice with Spore is just to relax. It’s a novel game that does a lot of things differently from almost everything else, which makes direct comparisons a little misleading. Don’t think of the hype and see if it takes you under its spell.

Oh - one final thing. The game doesn’t really do the fail state thing, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to fuck up. It’s certainly possible to make a big enough mess of a game - the Space Stage is most likely but if you’re really confused I suspect you could do so at the Tribal stage too - that starting from Scratch is just about your only option. Or, at least, the only option if you want to have fun. Its concept of difficulty kind of reminds me of Darwinia’s, oddly enough, but that’s over-digressing. If you’re in a position where you don’t think you can win - normally in Space when you’re being raided constantly with no where near enough resources to forge a peace - you can’t win and should give up and try again.

(At which point, I suppose, you probably should be glad for the lack of autosave, as long as your previous save game was fine, you can load from there.)

But me? When I fucked up space, I just restarted from the beginning with a whole new race, as I decided I fancied being a bit of a space hippy rather than a warrior. Which surprised me. It’s not normally the sort of thing I do.

I suspect Spore will end up surprising many people.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/09/05/spore-things-to-know/

Spore is the best game I ever played. Read the article carefully, especially the parts I bolded.

after reading this i am going to get to the space stage to see if it restores my faith in the game, i just really aint looking farward to goinh through the tribal stage

 



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salaminizer said:

the game matched my expectations and also raised a few questions regarding the reviews and other games. what really came to my mind was COD4 singleplayer infinite respawn and the "intelligent" PC (the console versions are probably alright with this) multiplayer respawn but I'll keep the long rant to myself.

I have to say that I'm pretty sure I'm alone on this one but I loved the Tribal stage. to me it was Settlers meet Populous without complex economy and the God powers. I really think they could have expanded a bit more in the earlier phases (including the Tribal), but expanding the way that "hardcores" want would kill the game IMO.

the Civ stage to me was kind of a chore, but maybe because I REALLY wanted to see everything. and I thought it was kinda overwhelming when I started it considering that the Tribal phase is so "shallow" - of course, once you figure what is going on it's nothing absurd, but from what I've read I thought it would be much simpler.

I'm at the beginning of the Space stage but it really surprised me in a good way. I didn't really read a lot about it, so maybe that's why.

right now, without completing one single game, I say: Tribal stage > other stages (except the Space stage which I cannot compare yet).

I'm really glad they took the "casual" way. and the game also has that Maxis feel that I can't describe.. like when you play a Square game, or a Nintendo one.

The game has its flaws but I thought it would be better to post the good impressions rather than the bad ones. Ok, 2 flaws then: being allowed to change radically your creature every time you go to the creator is really stupid. there should be some parts that couldn't be removed. I dunno how they'd implement the limit, but it's needed. I thought about making a part permanent after 2 generations, but still, you could sell it and replace with a copy - I dunno then, maybe if a part "matured", then you'd lose a big bonus if you just used the replacing method, or it would "mature" naturally and you couldn't remove it anymore. and adding every modification to the sporepedia is stupid too.

 

I'm with you, I loved the tribal stage, not my favorite since I can't say for sure yet but definetly really good. I also agree with your 2 flaws, especially the every generation sporepedia deal.



Tag(thx fkusumot) - "Yet again I completely fail to see your point..."

HD vs Wii, PC vs HD: http://www.vgchartz.com/forum/thread.php?id=93374

Why Regenerating Health is a crap game mechanic: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=3986420

gamrReview's broken review scores: http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/post.php?id=4170835

 

My opinions.

Cell Stage: Good fun but gets tedious after a while. The fact that you never get to be the biggest cell on the stage is irritating.

Creature Stage: Possibly my favourite, the inability to attack allies is annoying.

Tribal Stage: Rubbish, a piss poor strategy game. Only good thing is that some of the decisions you made in the previous stage have an effect which is cool.

Civ Stage: Not bad at all, the ideas they use expanded on would make a very interesting strategy game. Designing your own vehicles and buildings is rubbish though as it has very little effect on functionality.

Space Stage: I like this stage, though having to constantly run back and defend your planets is annoying (you're only one ship dammit! Surely your great civilization can build a couple of others to help out).

Most annoying things are the lack of connection between the stages and the lack of effect your decisions have on the functionality of your creatures/vehicles.

In Spore 2 I would like to see them make the program 'smarter' and realise that a blade attatched to an arm is going to be more damaging than a blade attached to the creatures arse. I would also like to see some of your decisions have more of an effect on later stages.

Overall, 9.0/10.0 very solid game and extremely addictive.



Does anybody else get a severe headache while playing the space stage? I've played it three times now and every time I've gotten a headache so bad I had to lay down for an hour afterwards. I think it's all the zooming and spinning.



I agree with the original poster on everything except the score. The game definitely deserves a 9. The reasons it has been getting worse reviews are: 1. It is not the game everyone was expecting. 2. It doesn't live up to its potential (or its hype). 3. The early stages are awful, and poorly integrated (some people have described them as tutorial stages. They're not. The control scheme and gameplay mechanics are completely different from the Space Stage). 4. It is riddled with nonsensical design flaws (and despite what some reviews have said, a number of annoying bugs).

So why does it deserve a 9? Well, most people would agree that the character customisation is unparalleled, and the way the game integrates user generated content is incredibly innovative. It is also a great 4x RTS. Sins of a Solar Empire was widely praised for the way it incorporated the design of a 4x game into an RTS format, and Spore essentially does the same thing.

Reviewers claim that it lacks depth, which is undoubtedly true for the early stages, but although the Space Stage may have less complex gameplay mechanics than something like Civilization, it has a lot more depth than the average RTS. In fact, it is better than many highly praised strategy games of the last few years, such as Company of Heroes, World in Conflict, and especially the wildly overrated Supreme Commander.

To all the people saying they quit playing before or soon into the Space Stage: do not judge it until you have played the Space Stage for several hours. I played the game for most of the weekend, and for the most part, I was massively disappointed, bored and frustrated. After playing the Space Stage extensively, I am all turned around on the subject. If you had to play from the cell stage every time, the game would deserve a 7. But you don't. If the Space Stage had been released as a standalone game (with the creation tools, of course) without any hype surrounding it, it would have scored much better reviews.

Personally, I think the game should have been made into a trilogy: Evolution (cell & creature), Civilization (tribal & civ), and Exploration (space). Instead it like the third part of a trilogy, with the first two parts condensed into some shit mini-games.



God, it's like two Sim City's duct taped together.