February 11, 2003

To be mayor for a day … or a week … or …

Have you played "SimCity"? I have been playing that game since it’s first incarnation as a DOS game. I barely remember the original version. I think I tried to play it on my notebook computer (a 386SX – does anybody even remember those nifty numbering schemes such as SX and what it meant? :p – with an astounding 5MB of RAM and an 80MB – not GB, MB :p – of hard disk space). I think the game refused to load because my video card would not support VESA drivers. Now the only thing I’m hazy about is whether this was the original SimCity or the later SimCity 2000. I think it was SimCity 2000 because I remember being really frustrated with the video problem and I wouldn’t have been that disappointed if I hadn’t already been addicted to SimCity :p

I do remember playing SimCity Classic under Windows 3.1 and I even remember some of the graphics (and the improvement in overall graphics standards) for SimCity 2000. I remember that there was a Win9x version of SimCity 2000 (not just a DOS one and so it must have been SimCity 2K which gave me VESA driver problems) and I remember playing that one too but by that time I was more interested in other "Sim" games like SimTower and SimIsland but my love of the SimCity franchise remained. In fact, I think I have played almost all of the Sim games developed by Maxis (now they are just an extension of Electronic Arts but they used to be a different company) – who remembers such classics as SimAnt and SimEarth?
Anyway, my interest in SimCity peaked again when I heard about SimCity 3000. I was told that you could actually walk through your city and get the opinions of your citizens as to how you were doing with the city. That it would be the first, personal city simulator. I waited for SimCity 3K and bought it when it came out but alas, the personal interaction was not there. The graphics were better than ever and the gameplay was more of the same stuff that I remembered but this really wasn’t the evolutionary next step in the game that I’d expected. Now I hear that SimCity 4 (not SimCity 4000 but SimCity 4 – guess somebody at EA decided on a name change :p) is out :-)

It still does not have the personal interaction with your citizens – at least not much. You can take people from The Sims and plop them in your city but I’m told that they don’t always convert over well and that they don’t retain the same characteristics as they had in The Sims. But it’s a small start. In addition, instead of city building, the new game is supposed to concentrate on region building so that you can build several cities or a city and a town or an agrarian community (whatever takes your fancy basically) and build up interactions between the two. This leads to a lot more planning and building stuff that is probably going to keep you occupied for hours. Plus, I’ve seen the graphics and it looks gorgeous – and the game is now supposed to have a day and night cycle with pretty realistic effects. So I’m looking forward to the next iteration of SimCity – I’ll probably write more after I’ve actually played the game :p

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Tags: Entertainment, Games
Posted by Fahim at 6:38 am   Comments (0)