Zero Punctuation: Spore

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Here I thought about buying the game. It still sounds good from what I've heard on other forums, but I don't think Spore will be anything close to the Sims.

Only time will tell I guess. Good review by the way. The fifteen second 'noooooooooooooo.' only got funnier as it went on.

TaboriHK:
But it's not unique. It's just a logical progression of previously-established themes in Wright's work, as stated in the review. There have been other games that depicted evolution, and each stage of this game individually has already been done better by other games. Also stated in the review.

I dunno, I think the creators/content sharing is pretty unique, and since that's pretty much the main gameplay mechanic in Spore I'd say the overall game can safely be called unique.

Also, I'd like to point out the irony in saying that Spore stole from flOw. The creator of that game actually used to work on Spore, but then he left Maxis and set up his own company to make flOw.

Please, please, take a vacation. Get your writing together. Its no good churning out batch after batch of tasteless, forgettable cupcakes; I'd much rather have a gigantic delicious muffin with rainbow sprinkles that I'll get sick of halfway through, keep in the fridge, then eat the rest after a month of burning off muffin-blubber.
That is how I want my Yahtzee reviews.

Go to New Zealand. We've got Helen Clark and dolphins! Oooooh yeaaaaah!

TaboriHK:

H.R.Shovenstuff:

yeah the spore review was gre- wait what?

Just us children prattling about Batman again.

I'm just jealous. Batman rocks.
Also, I was on the verge of getting spore, but I think I'll stick to playing LotRO and getting my A-levels.

baha, my lil brother is all pumped to play this game, went to SO MUCH effort to try and get the creature creator, and i made him watch this and hes like 'oh...'

he's still getting the game though. (determined little bugger)

spore to me seems to be like the sims (one of the 3 games i actually play) its fun when you make stuff but after that it gets boring and repetitive.

freakin hilarious. :D(and i signed up just to say this)

Nerdfury:
The thing that shits me off about people here is that no one ever really seems smart enough to accept something for what it is

Are you saying spore isnt a game? If so then it fine. If it is a game, its shit. It lacks gameplay, games require gameplay to be defined as such. That seems pretty straightforward ffs!

Spore is a creature design package pretending (very very very badly) to be a game. If it didnt pretend it was a game noone would care. But it does and therefor is open to criticism.

Another really funny review. The 30 second no is my new personal target.

holy sht funny lol

Sweet! ii havent tried spore before and hoped to if i can be bothered getting it. the sims i hate that seires cause you wait or em to get back and then go go angry

Wow, what?

There's definitely a lag in the way Yahtzee has been reviewing lately, but its not unacceptable. It seems that the little bashing that is going on here (what there can be without bannage or smiting or whatever) is focused on the fact that he is less funny. I mean, yeah, the no may have been filler, but at least it was placed correctly. And it was only 15 seconds, it just seems long next to his mile-a-minute monologue most of the time.

Keep it up, Yahtzee. Keep it up.

MarcoTenshi:
Are you saying spore isnt a game? If so then it fine. If it is a game, its shit. It lacks gameplay, games require gameplay to be defined as such. That seems pretty straightforward ffs!

Spore is a creature design package pretending (very very very badly) to be a game. If it didnt pretend it was a game noone would care. But it does and therefor is open to criticism.

Here's a hint: there are other types of gameplay besides action and strategy.

Spore is very much a game. Just because it's based on a gameplay mechanic you don't like doesn't mean the game sucks.

I really enjoyed spore. I felt that the cell stage was extremely enjoyable, the creature stage was, although a little long, fun, and the tribal and space stages were both excellent. my only problems really, were that the civilization stage was lacking something and appeared a little bland i.e. all you did was conquer the world and collect spice, the creature phase was a little long - I ran out of parts to buy before the end, and the fact that, in the space stage, I have found 4 empires of my own species.

boholikeu:
Spore is very much a game. Just because it's based on a gameplay mechanic you don't like doesn't mean the game sucks.

A 3D design program is not a game.

The thing is Spore isn't just a 3D design program. For starters if you're saying that it isn't a game then your saying that the game each stage is trying to emulate is not a game. Are you really gonna try and argue that Flow, WoW, Civ. and any number of space games are not games. Plus not only do you design your creature in spore but you also use it in the game, and how many 3D design programs do you know with a space stage?

I honestly liked spore though it could do with a bit, a very big bit, of fleshing out, but the creature creator is fun just to muck about on.

Decymate:
The thing is Spore isn't just a 3D design program. For starters if you're saying that it isn't a game then your saying that the game each stage is trying to emulate is not a game. [...] Plus not only do you design your creature in spore but you also use it in the game, and how many 3D design programs do you know with a space stage?

And of course I wasn't saying any of that. Its clear I was responding to someone who thought the 3D design mechanic was the game's driving force.

But to a certain extent you're right. In that attaching 5 poor rip offs of other games to a 3D design tool is going to make people want to be creative, want to design interesting things. There's so little in this consumer culture that makes people want to use their imaginations and create something unique and their own. I'm not going to fault Spore for that.

But a 3D design program is not a game.

fish food carl:
I honestly liked spore though it could do with a bit, a very big bit, of fleshing out, but the creature creator is fun just to muck about on.

just wait for the inevitable 16 expansion packs that will come out for it.

He could have just stuck the "NOOOO" on a loop to get the 15secs?

Wasnt that funny to be honest, all the old reviwes where funny and sharp the new ones on other hand i get the impression that he is just trying to hard to get laughs and trying to find faults in a game and its not just me, a few die hards i know are going that way.

And i signed up to say this.

I loved Spore, but many did not. So it's not really funny when he doesn't like a game when everybody else doesn't.

Like if he did star wars the force unleashed, that is filled with invisible walls that kill you.

Oh, and Spore kinda is a 3d design program, but according to wiktionary, a game is "A pursuit or activity with rules performed either alone or with others, for the purpose of entertainment."
Spore is a game.

So technically, alot of things can be games. Spore is good. Goodbye].

Hilarious as always

Ragdrazi:
And of course I wasn't saying any of that. Its clear I was responding to someone who thought the 3D design mechanic was the game's driving force.

But to a certain extent you're right. In that attaching 5 poor rip offs of other games to a 3D design tool is going to make people want to be creative, want to design interesting things. There's so little in this consumer culture that makes people want to use their imaginations and create something unique and their own. I'm not going to fault Spore for that.

But a 3D design program is not a game.

3D design alone is not a game, but when it's within a certain framework, it can be considered gameplay. Like you said above, the addition of certain mini-games in Spore drives a player to create things, and as such I think you can safely call creation in Spore gameplay. If you don't, then you'll really have to narrow your definition of what a game is. Take accounting and micromanagement for example. I don't consider crunching numbers in Excel to be gameplay, but when people do it in Sim games, RTS games and RPGs it definitely is.

rapidout:
Oh, and Spore kinda is a 3d design program, but according to wiktionary, a game is "A pursuit or activity with rules performed either alone or with others, for the purpose of entertainment."
Spore is a game.

So technically, alot of things can be games. Spore is good. Goodbye].

This guy gets it. The above definition also validates content creation as gameplay.

I'm not aware that the word "civilization" did not exist in the English language until Sid Meier used it.

Yahtzee, you are getting lazy. You're starting to state the obvious. But what's worse, you're starting to think with all the reactionary judgementalism of an ordinary gamer. You're just more clever in how you deliver it.

Let's see some real insight.

Also, you little sheep out there, you may think of getting Spore and making up your own mind about it. I haven't gotten it yet, but I am suspicious of people who just buy other peoples' opinions without thinking for themselves.

No, that was not good, the steady decline just fuck tumbled into a stale and repetative end. I have no idea why game develpers and gamers like Yahtzee. He publicly humiliates games by blowing there minor problems way out of fucking proportion, he judges games before he plays them and half arses the entire fucking game anyway. And then you fuckers who listen to him eat it up! You actually take his words into consideration! When I go to a game store, I never, not once thought "Oh well, Yahtzee said that game was bad, I probably shant buy it."

Jesus Christ.

Any chance of getting the video as a podcast on i-tunes (or somewhere else for download)

oh, and to all the people going on about the resent poor quality of reviewing, just remember what made it funny in the first place (the naughty language and the immature rips on modern gaming) and watch it again, its all still there just cause youve matured and dont find the word titty funny anymore doesnt mean you have to bitch on about a video you get for free from some guy who has enogh time in the week to play through a entire game, find ways to work the words cock and fuck/ing into a game review and create a hundred cartoons on paint (or photoshop) then smack it all into windows movie maker and post it online just so geeks all around the world can have a geeky little laugh about their geeky little world.

One last thing how the hell can u get batman in the Sims i must of played it for 30/40 hrs and managed to miss it

I've put off purchasing this game, and I'm sort of glad I have. I have friends who practically mess their pants in sheer delight telling me how addictive it is, and others who have played it and claim they would find watching paint dry to be a more entertaining use of time. All this review has done is confirm what the latter category has been telling me all along.

i can't wait for all the new shity games to come out so i can sit back and blindly follow Yahtzee's orders blindly! (then eventual disobey and cock everything up!)

oh and ya spore was more like a who is the bigger wanker contest than a game.

boholikeu:
3D design alone is not a game, but when it's within a certain framework, it can be considered gameplay.

Yes, but there in lies the rub doesn't it.

Let me ask you a question. Does attaching more legs to your creature make it run faster. Does more claws make it fight better. More eyes make it see better. No. See, the only way you increase your creatures survivability is by finding better parts to nail to it. That is the driving "gameplay mechanic" of Spore. Essentially anything you do in the creature editor is completely arbitrary. You could nail your better parts anywhere on the creature and boom. Suddenly it's a better creature. And you could take your snake creature, and next generation turn it into a bear, next generation turn it into a horse. Ect. Ect. Ect. By not making the creature editor more ridged, more evolution based, and by not giving penalties for making a creature that could not survive, Spore defiantly lets creativity take over. And like I said, that's not a bad thing. But it removes any element from the editor that could be considered gameplay, and makes the actual gameplay element (finding better parts) feel tacked on.

penischomp:
No, that was not good, the steady decline just fuck tumbled into a stale and repetative end. I have no idea why game develpers and gamers like Yahtzee. He publicly humiliates games by blowing there minor problems way out of fucking proportion, he judges games before he plays them and half arses the entire fucking game anyway. And then you fuckers who listen to him eat it up! You actually take his words into consideration! When I go to a game store, I never, not once thought "Oh well, Yahtzee said that game was bad, I probably shant buy it."

Jesus Christ.

Yatzee gives well grounded opinions to a bunch of bleating lambs who rely on foul mouthed thoughtlessness in the place of making up their own minds, and whose group think ultimately results in worse and worse games. Instead of acknowledging their own role in the problem, this group is then quite willing to whine when those faults become so obvious not even they can stand them. Far as I can tell, Yatzee doesn't care if you agree with what he thinks. He just likes making fun of people when they quite clearly aren't thinking.

Vicious Hallway:
I've put off purchasing this game, and I'm sort of glad I have. I have friends who practically mess their pants in sheer delight telling me how addictive it is, and others who have played it and claim they would find watching paint dry to be a more entertaining use of time. All this review has done is confirm what the latter category has been telling me all along.

Simple gauge of how much you will like the game:

Do you like creative gameplay? You you need to have objectives to have fun?

If you need to "win" a game to enjoy it then you probably won't like Spore. Ditto if you are expecting Spore to be an action game or RTS.

Ragdrazi:
Let me ask you a question. Does attaching more legs to your creature make it run faster. Does more claws make it fight better. More eyes make it see better. No. See, the only way you increase your creatures survivability is by finding better parts to nail to it. That is the driving "gameplay mechanic" of Spore. Essentially anything you do in the creature editor is completely arbitrary. You could nail your better parts anywhere on the creature and boom. Suddenly it's a better creature. And you could take your snake creature, and next generation turn it into a bear, next generation turn it into a horse. Ect. Ect. Ect. By not making the creature editor more ridged, more evolution based, and by not giving penalties for making a creature that could not survive, Spore defiantly lets creativity take over. And like I said, that's not a bad thing. But it removes any element from the editor that could be considered gameplay, and makes the actual gameplay element (finding better parts) feel tacked on.

No, the above changes you mentioned do not affect you creature in any way, but that does not mean that creature design has no bearing on stats, either. I wouldn't want every design aspect of my creature to affect its stats, or else I wouldn't be able to make the kind of creature I wanted. The type of game that you are talking about would throw creativity away in lieu of flat strategic gameplay. As it is now I can usually design the style I want, and then hide parts in the creature to artificially raise its stats if I so desire. If every aspect of my creature contributed to its stats I might not be able to do that.

Also, you entire post is still under the misconception that a given aspect of the game has to affect your ability to "win" in order to be considered gameplay. Most game designers don't hold such a narrow view of gameplay, and game reviewers shouldn't, either.

boholikeu:
No, the above changes you mentioned do not affect you creature in any way, but that does not mean that creature design has no bearing on stats, either. [...] The type of game that you are talking about would throw creativity away in lieu of flat strategic gameplay. As it is now I can usually design the style I want, and then hide parts in the creature to artificially raise its stats if I so desire. [...] Also, you entire post is still under the misconception that a given aspect of the game has to affect your ability to "win" in order to be considered gameplay.

Ok, let's not get off in la-la-land and pretend things are true about Spore that aren't. Creature design has no bearing on stats at all. Tacking on better parts does. See, when you admit that you've had to hide those better parts in your design, you're pointing out the problem for me. If the editor was an element of the gameplay of Spore, then you yourself would be able to do things in the editing of your creature that improved it. Now, I think everyone here can see that if that were an element of Spore, it would not result in flat strategic gameplay, but a balance between the strategic and the creative. A great one, and something far closer to the "transcendent life simulator" promised.

You really shouldn't read things into what I write, by the way. Nothing I've said implies I think Spore needs some kind of "winning" to have gameplay. But Spore was sold as an evolution simulator. Evolution means constant improvement. Now, the form of improvement you're aiming for should be decided by you alone, regardless of whatever you think that might mean, or not mean. What I'm saying is that the editor should have allowed you to do things to get there. Things more creative then tacking on prepackaged parts. As it sits, the editor is just a 3D design program, with nothing to do with Spore's finding parts gameplay, and that makes the experience somewhat empty.

Ragdrazi:
Ok, let's not get off in la-la-land and pretend things are true about Spore that aren't. Creature design has no bearing on stats at all. Tacking on better parts does. See, when you admit that you've had to hide those better parts in your design, you're pointing out the problem for me. If the editor was an element of the gameplay of Spore, then you yourself would be able to do things in the editing of your creature that improved it. Now, I think everyone here can see that if that were an element of Spore, it would not result in flat strategic gameplay, but a balance between the strategic and the creative. A great one, and something far closer to the "transcendent life simulator" promised.

Ah okay, I see what you're saying now. I still disagree that basing stats on design would make a better sandbox game. For example, let's imagine that the game took into account where you aim the "spitting" parts. Currently, I like to hide them in the creature's mouth, and most of the time they are facing the other way. If that design element mattered in Spore I'd constantly have creatures that shot acid out of the back of their heads.

Also, sometimes I want to make improbable creatures. My war-mongering race is a tiny, fluffy little hamster creature with max stats. If creature size or leg length mattered in regards to the creature's stats, my creature would be the exact opposite of what I want him to be. I love the fact that I can hide parts in my creature to determine its stats because I feel like it frees me creatively. Your system just wouldn't let me do that.

What exactly have you been prevented from making with the current system? If you give me a specific example, perhaps I can help you out.

Ragdrazi:
You really shouldn't read things into what I write, by the way. Nothing I've said implies I think Spore needs some kind of "winning" to have gameplay. But Spore was sold as an evolution simulator. Evolution means constant improvement.

Sorry, I've just been talking to so many people that think Spore should have been a RTS instead of a sandbox game =) Anyway, I always thought Spore was sold more as a "create your own galaxy game". At least, that's what I got from the commercials. If it really were an evolution simulation you wouldn't have any direct control over the changes in your creature. Instead, you'd probably have to evolve you creature the way you wanted by exposing your creature to certain environmental pressures. It'd be quite a different game from what Spore is now (Right now it's more of a "creationist" simulator, so it makes sense that it doesn't follow many of the tenets of evolution).

Ragdrazi:
Now, the form of improvement you're aiming for should be decided by you alone, regardless of whatever you think that might mean, or not mean. What I'm saying is that the editor should have allowed you to do things to get there. Things more creative then tacking on prepackaged parts. As it sits, the editor is just a 3D design program, with nothing to do with Spore's finding parts gameplay, and that makes the experience somewhat empty.

I dunno, I still disagree. Finding better parts unlocks new or more powerful abilities for your creature, and the parts are often unlocked by performing related actions (socializing or fighting, for example). It's definitely very simplistic, but I don't see much of a difference between this and what you are talking about.

Okay, I'm calling Ben on this one. As an actual game reviewer since 1997, I'm going to have to say this:

Ben didn't play Spore for more than 2 hours.

It's odd Ben would love The Sims but not Spore, since the former title is a massive micromanagement time sink. In addition, poor Ben thinks the entire game is be carnivore or herbivore (wrong). He also is quite wrong regarding the attack/befriend - it's actually EASIER to befriend other creatures and tribes in the Creature and Tribal phase, and MUCH easier to use commerce to buy other cities in the Civ phase. Honestly, one of the issues in the game is that if you decide to be warlike in the Tribal phase, you'll have problems trying to protect your tribe while attacking the other at the same time, and the other tribe is almost always better prepared, even with the special abilities. It's far easier to stop them in their tracks when they're attacking or stroll into their camp regardless of how much they DESPISE you. Most of his review would be laughed at by people who actually played the game more than once.

Sorry, Ben, but you're falling under Roger Ebert Disease. I remember going to a film screening and Ebert fell asleep after 15 minutes of the film - and based his subsequent review on the first 15 minutes.

And before you dismiss me as some sort of "Spore fanboy", I'm not. My own review will be critical, but, you know, for REAL issues.

Spore is one of the most difficult games to review ever (check Jason Ocampo's IGN review), and Ben basically seems to have based his review on 2-3 hours and reading other reviews. I'm still trying to make a reasoned, accurate review myself.

Having arsed around on a friend's copy of Spore, I can confirm Yahtzee seems to have utterly fucked up on certain points. I actually did very well as a vegetarian (okay, technically an Omnivore), and short of trying to take on something 50x my size I was never "running away all the time" like he suggests you have to.

And yet, it's not really a fun game. I did have fun playing it this weekend, but I was also pissed for most of this weekend and frankly ANYTHING can be fun when you're pissed. I naturally spent my time giving my creatures a series of very impressive genital growths ranging from tentacle dicks to ten nipples, and it was fun. Drunk, childish fun.

Alas, when I eventually stopped drinking, it was easy to see how empty the game was. It seemed I was never actually penalized for failure - every time I was eaten, I just respawned and tried again until I won. My attempts to befriend certain creatures failed for no discernible reason, and I can only conclude that the game wanted me to do the utterly unthinkable - sacrifice cosmetic design for the sake of "winning" at my goals.

This is not on. Design games are fun because we get to do all manner of things, and create what we want. Yes, I accept that if I want my creature to fly, it needs wings. However, I do NOT accept that I MUST use a SPECIFIC set of wings to attain the SPECIFIC stats I need to befriend the creatures I want to. It would have been a lot better if the "skills" upgrades were not cosmetically restrained.

Overall, I really can't recommend spore. If someone you know buys it, feel free to steal their PC to mess around on it for a day or two, but if you actually spent money on it you'd feel very cheated indeed... unless you plan to become the next Father Jack and never see sobriety again.

Sim City was amazing, I remember playing it for hours. But when the Sims came out it wasn't the same for me. I doubt spore would be worth the time and effort either.

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