Spore – Final Impressions

Having played enough of the final phase of Spore-the space section, I can say, that out of all the games I’ve ever played, this is certainly one of them. I didn’t go into this with any preconceived notions, or fanboy anticipation. I haven’t followed every little thing that’s been printed about Spore during its extended (about 6 years) development cycle. I came into it because I knew I could expect a fun, quality game. 

What I got was a mostly fun, pretty good quality game. The game is divided into 5 phases, as I’ve mentioned which can be broken down this way:

1) Cell-pretty much like pacman. You go around eating bits of plant or kill other cells and devour them. You find parts that you can add to create a stronger cell. Once you grow a brain (something our favorite nitwits should consider) and get legs you move onto land and to phase two.

2) Creature-In spite of not really having a lot to do other than shake your ass at other creatures to befriend them, or beat the snot out of them, you get to create an almost limitless amount of creatures. Every once in awhile a UFO will hover over and beam up other creatures. No word on if anal probes were used. Once you make nice or make war, you go to the tribal stage.

3)Tribal-This resembles an old school RTS like Warcraft I or II. Minus the depth. Or the fun. This was my least favorite stage. When I started I wanted to go through the whole game without killing. NOt for any pascifist reasoning, but to see if I could. It’s almost impossible to do so. I managed to befriend 5 tribes by plying them with gifts, shooting off fireworks and playing music. The sixth tribes were a bunch of fuckers though. They’d have nothing to do with my gifts, didn’t want to hear music; they just wanted to rip my face off. So I burned their base down.

They left me no choice. Really. but they did get me to the next phase…

4) civilization-This is the most Sims like of all of them. You control one city, and depending on how you treated others, you conquer other cities by war, money or good old fashioned bible thumping.  Because of my dogooder status I became a religious zealot.

I’m sorry. Next time I’ll murder people. It seems to be the better solution. I advanced far enough to create a space ship and became a Captain of my own spacecraft!

5) Space – Finally the game starts to shine. you get to go into space and visit an infinite amount of other planets, to colonize, terraform, and take over. But you also have to zip home sometimes when space pirates attack. That happened frequently enough it made getting to the center of the galaxy difficult. 

There’s no real ending, you just keep going from planet to planet. And this is Spore’s greated strength and weakness. It’s so open ended you’ll always have something to do, but you also get somewhat overwhelmed. 

Spore is well worth the 50 bucks. There’s enough to play and tinker with for hours on end, but like chinese food, it leaves you wanting more an hour later.

still, for the variety of gameplay, great graphics and a couple of unexpected laugh out loud moments, Spore gets a solid B.

Spore – further impressions

So I  spent a good part of last night playing some more, and I like this game. I don’t love it, but it’s fun and damn addictive.

But not without problems. Divided into 5 stages, cell, creature, tribe, civilization and space, I’ve gotten into the tribe area. My one problem is the save function. Once you go into a new stage, you automaticaly save, but can’t go back to another stage unless you start a new game. And once in tribe, you can’t work on your creature any longer. So if you created something that works well in the creature phase, it may not play as well in the tribe phase. You can outfit them with hats, fanny packs etx for stat boosts, but they don’t look or fit right if you’re creature is well..a creature.

It may be unfair to review Spore as I haven’t gotten through the whole game, but as I go through the game I see much that could have been done and wasn’t.

Expansion packs for Christmas?

Spore – first impressions

9:17- Purchased Spore at Frys Electronics, with about 20 or so other people. The poor clerk, finally gave up putting them on the shelf and started handing them out of the box. an interesting note is that, a majority of those buying Spore were my age or a bit younger. The youngest I saw was probably 16-17, then a gap to age 27 or so. Some may have been buying it for their kids, but the customers I talked to were as excited as I was about playing it. 

9:38-Began the installtion process.

9:53-Still installing. I start the beginning of this blog entry and make some coffee. My cat is scratching at the living room window because she sees some pigeons.

10:03 Installation finally finishes. Can’t play yet, have to pee from the coffee I drank while waiting for the install to complete.

10:13-Annoyed that no shortcuts were placed on the desktop, spend ten minutes finding the directory where it was installed.

10:15-I float around in primordial soup to the wonderful soundtrack that Brian Eno created. I’m an omnivore and eat plankton. Very pacman-like.

10:17-I get eaten. I am reborn with no visible side effects.

1027-I evolve fins and can swim faster.

10:29-I get eaten. apparently I’m not fast enough.

1034: I send out a mating call and evolve. 

10:35 I’m eaten by mate. Bitch.

1056: I evolve legs and am on dry ground. good thing too, as some of those sea creature were nasty bastards. I stretch my legs and look for food.

10:57-I get eaten. 

More to follow.  With barely 45 minutes played, I like it. The graphics are nice, and in spite of this being a brand new game, it runs on my laptop just fine. I’ve been eaten a lot (if only my sex life involved this much lip action)but I simply respawn, so there’s no real sense of finality. The controls are easy, and the tutorial aspect is pretty good. It holds your hand but knows when to let go and see if you play in traffic. 

11:21-a short nap and back to being eaten.

1:03 Despite being a carnivore, I’m able to make friends by singing and dancing to other species. 

1:35-I find a new nest and win my first fight.

1:37-I get killed.