Golden Jew’s Nuggets of Wisdom #4

What happened to resource management/economic games?

Being a Jew, and a dork (as we have established by my contributing to this site), I love resource management games. Railroad Tycoon and Tropico bring back fond memories: games where you gather A, process A into B, and then sell B for C(ash). Unfortunately, I seem to be the only one, because no one has made a good resource management game in ages. It seems that Firaxis is the only company capable of “making” (and I use the term loosely, since Firaxis has yet to make a game in years in my book) these games.

Their most recent two efforts were half-baked bug-ridden crap: Sid Meier’s Railroads (which I loved for the concept before getting infuriated with the execution after writing a glowing review) and Sid Meier’s Civilization 4 Ultimate Colonization North American Challenge 2008, also known as Colonization II: We’re Using the Civ 4 Engine and Name for Sales. →  Read more? No, I’ll read it all.

Golden Jew’s Nuggets of Wisdom #3

Am I getting pickier, are developers getting suckier, or am I a fanboy?

I’m definitely gaming less, largely due to an increase in non-gaming activities eating my free time. As a result I’m finding myself particularly discriminating when it comes to what I actually buy and play. Video games aren’t my primary outlet these days, I’d say they consume 25% of my free time whereas in the past it might have been as high as 75%.

This has worked out well for me, because if I were a bored Golden Jew, I’d have trouble taking a strong stance on developers who have either pissed me off, or not managed to beat out the competition. Etrian Odyssey 2, for example, has turned me off to future installments of the game because of Atlus’ crass laziness in developing a sequel. →  Did I do that?

Review – Civilization 4: Colonization?

I can’t even figure out exactly what the name of the Colonization remake is, so we’ll just call it Colonization 2. In an attempt to drive sales, it has Civ 4 mixed in the title, since the game leverages the Civ 4 engine (and more importantly the Civilization brand name), but you don’t actually need Civ 4 to play. Despite the confusing title, the game itself is not confusing.

Like every Firaxis effort for the past two years or so, it’s a game with a great deal of promise and terrible QA testing that is largely carried by a talented and extremely forgiving community that does Firaxis’ work for them. Interestingly, this might be why Civ Revs is currently covered in “This game sucks” threads; the community cannot mod an Xbox 360 game. →  Lords of the Read 2

Firaxis Rage

I love Civilization. I really do. I’ve been on a massive kick of Civ 4: BTS multiplayer recently, and I’m eager for Civilization Revolution, as are many of my friends. But I can’t excuse some of the ridiculous activities that Firaxis has been engaged in lately.

First, they release ANOTHER faulty patch for Civ 4. Fanboys would tell me to shut the fuck up and enjoy this wondrous bounty from Firaxis: after all, with Civ 3 Conquests they promised a patch that never came. But despite this, I can’t help but be angry that they produce another patch that is so bug-ridden it requires a user patch. After their criminal negligence with this title, the least they could do would be apply QA resources to ensure that their name is more synonymous with “quality programming” than “you suckers will buy anything we produce, ha ha ha.” →  Lame is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Revolution… in reviewing?

Civilization Revolution is about to hit US game store shelves. What separates this game from the horde of other games coming out on consoles is the record amount of bugs in a console game. I kid, I kid. What it does bring to the table is an adaption of the incredibly deep PC-based Civilization series, and from initial reviews and demo play Civ Rev is sleek enough for consoles without sacrificing the Civilization flavor.

It’s rare that a developer makes a platform jump like this, and even more so when they alter an existing franchise successfully. Naturally, Civ Rev is far from perfect, but it seems (at least based on initial reviews) that this jump was successful and it’s a fun game with reasonable single player appeal and a strong multiplayer mode. →  They’re reading her… and then they’re going to read me!