Ok, it's been slow. Here's a 30 second review post!

It's been a pretty slow couple of weeks in gaming land, at least from a current events standard. During news droughts, I actually find time to play games again, rather than just talking about crazy politicians affecting them.

In the spirit of gaming, here's a 30 second review of my current obsession, Civ 4:

Ok, so I'm playing on Noble, and The People's Republic of Joe is rolling into 1950, having just crushed the Arabian Empire, led by Saladin. Earlier on, Peter the Great thought he was going to be cute and attack me with cavalry units, but my people were able to rally in the name of TPRJ and push him back, eventually taking four border cities when he sued for peace, begging me not to unleash the fury on his capital. My closest ally is India, and they're beating me on the space race; if they colonize space before I do, I lose the game. I'm desperately weighing the consequences of flattening them so I can declare myself the de facto leader of the U.N. and take over the remaining two civilizations on the map diplomatically.

Only Civ 4 can make you feel like the deity from Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The only thing saving rival civilizations from my wrath is me. Only my good graces allow them to exist. And, on good days, I even trade with them while they're at war. On bad ones, I bomb their cities for years, cut them off from the rest of the nation, and starve the inhabitants until they're practically begging me to occupy the area.

The Joe giveth, and the Joe taketh away.

But, since I'm about to wrap up this game, I'd like to hear some 30 second reviews from the peanut gallery. What are you playing right now?

Original Comment by: Cinomed
Civ 4 as well.

I love the game, but getting tired of getting my head handed to me on a platter.

Guess I have a steep learning curve due to my lack of Civ 3 experience, cause my Civ2 strategies do not cut it.

Oh and some annoying thing about the people that declare war on me immediatly roll in with stacks upon stacks of units. I mean c'mon I can handle 4 or 5 units before my military machine kicks in, but 4 or 5 stacks of 8 units tend to grind my cities to dust.

I did win 2 games so far on Warlord level, Civ score and Spacerace wins.

Original Comment by: Patrick
I've been playing alot of Fireball lately. This has a lot to do with me building levels for it. My addiction has gotten to the point where I need to be testing one of my designs to get the payoff.

Original Comment by: Sean

I've been hooked on Quake 4 on the PC. Doesn't require a lot of thinking, the weapons are fun, the varied and colorful environments are pretty to look at. There seem to be a ton of different enemies too, which keeps things interesting. It doesn't take itself as seriously as Half Life 2 or FEAR and.. I dunno. It's just fun.

Original Comment by: Slartibartfast

Castlevania: Dawn Of Sorrow. There's just something really fun about this game, it controls great, I love the sound, and there's tons of stuff to do. Definitely worth your time and money.

Original Comment by: SKTurner

30 Second Review for Mario Kart DS's Online Play capability.

I've been fairly impressed with Mario Kart for the DS since I bought it just a few weeks ago, and one of the main reasons I was looking forward to the game was the online play. But now that I've been playing for a while, I've noticed something very wrong.

It's almost impossible to have a good play session with the online players. Sometimes when playing, you'll be set with players whose skill level is far above or below your own (admittedly more often the former than the latter for me), and when you do find someone who makes it challenging enough, they usually drop out before the third or fourth track.

What's worse is that the ranking system for the online play doesn't take into account disconnections, so players who are loosing will simply log off so the loss isn't recorded to their name. This means you can never win. If you do start winning, everyone else will just disconnect. The only sure-fire way to keep a game going is to stay in last place the entire time.

The game is still fun to play, and possibly the best Mario Kart of all time (despite how hard it is to powerslide without an analogue stick), the online portion needs serious work.

Original Comment by: Munir

GT Legends (mp mainly): This game is so in depth its scary. SimBin have somehow managed to go one up from their already classic 'GTR' with its real telemetry based physics engine, and immaculately detailed car and track models, with this 60s and 70s era simulation that models each old iconic car's unique quirks down to a tee. Cars ranging from the Mini Cooper with its 'super-car beating' handling, to the stupendously powerful AC Cobra, Ford GT40 and DeTomaso Pantera. Powerslides are just a dream, if you can get them right! And the sound of the engines, my god!

The multiplayer code is so solid that lag is non existent, and bumper to bumper racing against 16+ opponents becomes possible. This is loads of fun, especially getting into someone's slip-stream down a straight and only just overtaking them at the next corner cleanly, or taking the inside line to defend a corner if someone tries it on you! Races are rated from beginner to pro as well as long epic 2 hour races to short 5 lap sprints.

The majority of racers follow a race etiquette that allows for friendly passes and careful crash free races, despite a few occasions when a race can be over before the first corner! It's not an arcade experience so one mistake and it can be all over. Theres a problem in that even for mp, all the cars must be earned from single player (unless you d/l a cheat patch), which can take a loong time! The other -ve is that you really need a steering wheel to play this (and maybe even one of those TrackIR jobbies!). But if you have a wheel and a lot of patience, GT Legends is the deepest racing experience currently available. (until GTR2 comes out in June that is!)

Original Comment by: Raja

I recently picked up Guitar Hero. I can't seem to get enough -- Red Octane's custom Gibson-styled controller plays surprisingly like the real thing, and there's nothing else in gaming that is remotely like rocking the solo in Symphony of Destruction and then lighting your guitar on fire.

What a great game. :D

Original Comment by: cibbuano
I have a friend that bought Civ 4 and had massive problems getting the game to run smoothly. He went on some forums to ask advice, and turns out a lot of people are having the same problems. I'm not sure how widespread these issues are, but that's enough to prevent me from buying it...

Yeah, I've heard the latest patch is a bit of a nightmare. The only thing I've run into so far has been jerky video whenever I complete a wonder. But I ran into that playing Civ 2, as well. I think it's just a Sid thing. I hope your friend gets the kinks worked out. It's a hell of a game.

Original Comment by: thefreemarket

the first civ was the first game i ever played on the pc. i've played ever since. i got civ4 the day of release, and STILL cannot get it to run for more than 10 minutes without crashing. im a sad sad boy because of it. so i'm sticking with my unhealthy WoW habit.

Original Comment by: Andy
Civ 4 is an excellent game, despite the very slow UI. Very slow. I myself prefer sim city 4 over it though. With its expansion pack, it is a spectacularly fun game! And as far as action-oriented games go, the recent PS2 game 'Gun' is a very very (Very!) well crafted game set in the wild west (Naturally, it's pretty violent). The overwhelming controls were the only complaint I have for it.

And honourable mention has to go to Resident Evil 4(for the gamecube). Forget what you remember about this franchise. This game breaks away from the mold by dropping the Zombies, Umbrella Corp, Raccoon city and adding a pseudo first-person perspective. The production values are through the roof. It is the epitomy of the survival horror genre (No exaggeration!). This game provided me with the most fun I've had on this generation of consoles.

I'm done.


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