Review by NuggetandSkull
Spore, how will you create the universe?
I have seen Spore get a bad rap on many, MANY levels. How the graphics suck, the 'fact' that's it's not re-playable, how generic it is, blah blah blah... Well, I'm no master negative critic but I do play the game. I'll go ahead and start with graphics and explain from there.
The graphics (though not the best in existence) were everything I hoped for and was told they were going to be. People think that since it is a massive life simulator that it should be nothing but graphics. If anyone here has done any research of any kind then they would know it's not meant to be like the super uber graphic games. The Maxis Team themselves said that the game wasn't going to have super graphics. They wanted as many people as possible to experience the game without trouble. The lowest settings for the graphics are good and the highest (in my eyes) is astounding. I like the soft look the graphics give off. That can lead to cute creatures and, if used the right way, can lead to evil creatures. Although opinions vary (and are extremely important in the real world though some say otherwise) I won't say your view is wrong.
I think this has room to grow with coming expansions so I'll be brief: the game can be played over and over if you don't tire of creative methods. There are five stages (as all thorough players know) and they are ,in order, the cell stage, the creature stage, the tribal stage, the civilization stage, and the space stage. The cell and creature stage are the core stages since your creature's rough details are in place. Once you jump out of the creature stage and live in the wooden huts of the tribal you can only change the clothes. I love this game, I play it over and over, but the tribal stage is my least favorite. I don't know why but it is. It shows me a lack of freedom for certain areas such as making buildings. I would have enjoyed making my hut and making a spear that had a smiley face on the end. But I won't complain too much, the tribal stage is still fun (epic hunting is a sport for me). My favorite stage, to be honest, is the space stage. You are free to roam space, make allies, make enemies, destroy planets, paint, create, and meet the mysterious Grox... The space stage is open ended and isn't truly beaten. Becoming Omnipotent and reaching the center of the galaxy isn't the true ending. There are still friends to make, enemies to crush, and planets to inhabit (even earth!). The fact that you can choose what to do and what not to do makes the space stage what it is. Plus, your actions in the past stages make a difference later on.
One could say there is no story. I disagree. There is a story, your story. You make your creation, raise it from a cell to a spaceman, and make it up as you go. Why did you put the horns on a social creature? I got tired of being attacked by unfriendly animals. You suddenly allied with a blood enemy in the tribal stage, why? They shall prove their use later... It's completely and utterly up to you how it ends up! To me, a certain amount of freedom to do what you please is needed and Spore matches it. You could start in the cell stage on a new game or start directly in space if you want to. It is your story, how will you write it?
It's hard to really give every category on Spore a 10/10. The controls are easy to learn to a moderately new game player and positively childish for a master gamer. There are shortcuts galore and that makes it so nice for me. I need to get a drink but I don't want my new creature dead. The mouse battery is dead before I could click the pause button. What do I do?! Press the 'p' button on the keyboard. The slight downfall for the controls, however, is the fact that there are shortcuts. With so many shortcuts close to each other you may want to do one thing but end up doing something else. Still, that's easy to avoid.
I gave this a perfect score because, well, it's the first game of its kind that I have ever seen. Make everything in the game?! Astounding! People say it's generic. How is it bloody generic?! It's new, it's fresh, and it's ingenuitive. Though generic games receive a following, Spore has done extremely well. Why buy something new when your generic shoot-em-up game is having a sequel? Because one day you'll see generic games are sooooo yesterday.
This isn't a scored column, just some extra things I wish to address. And here we go!
1. 'Spore isn't futuristic, it's not even close'
That's something big to say, really. You can't expect a game to be futuristic when you create everything in it. Whether you meant if it's ahead of its time (which it is) or if the buildings and vehicles are futuristic I don't know. But know one thing: if you can't make something cool or new, that doesn't make the game 'anti- future', you just lack creativity.
2. 'Spore is for nerds'
...What? When did being smart become a bad thing? If you don't understand a game, don't criticize it. I didn't understand Halo and it's a massively played game. I didn't see what people saw in it but I knew it must have a cult following if it's this popular. Spore isn't just for 'nerds', it's for anyone with an imaginative mind.
3. 'Spore is sacrilegious'
I'm not quite sure what to say on this without being offensive. It's a game, not a religion. It's not attempting to be a religion, either. Its different views may seem this way but that's because everyone has different views. Atheist, Satanist, and Christian alike play Spore. It's not a matter of what it says, it's a matter of how you interpret what it is.
4. 'Spore is so bad I could make a better flash game'
I would like to see you try. Though I can't code or make a game I doubt any normal flash maker could do better. Even if you could make a Spore-like game you wouldn't be able to make it in-depth or creative. The idea has been taken and I doubt any commercial computer could hold that much data it would take to make a better game.
And that's all I have to say on that. Kepp playing games and have fun.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Spore (US, 09/07/08)
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