Category Archives: Gaming

New SimCity game a disappointment?

SimCity_(2013)_limited_editionWhen I was growing up SimCity 2000 was one of my favorite games that I played and I had a great amount of fun with it.  When I started to hear good things about the new SimCity game before it launched and watching some of the preview videos I got a bit excited about the game and it brought back memories from the earlier version of the game.  Once the game was released that image started to change.  First off EA had a massive problem with the servers for the game and people had a very hard time connecting to them to just play the game, since you had to be connected online all the time to even play at all.  Other problems related to how the game works and the AI they use in the game presents another problem that made me sad to read about. Problems such as the path finding that they use for sims when they are driving or walking to a certain place. I did read a piece that they are working on a fix for some of the car traffic problems, but seems like a bad bug to release with.

The last point I will add is that I was disspointed to read about the point below about the options you are allowed for traffic management.

Past SimCity games have included highways and subways, and I expected the new game to build on this solid transport infrastructure foundation. But it didn’t. It didn’t even keep pace with its predecessors, and I just can’t defend that by saying, “Oh it’s a reboot.” Yeah, OK, it’s a reboot. That doesn’t mean it can simply discard core elements of city-building gameplay.

via SimCity review: One week later, time doesn’t heal all wounds | Ars Technica.

Creating subways and highways was great fun to figure out how you wanted to lay it out and where to put them.  Subways especially were always very fun to lay out and create stops since you got to go underground in SimCity 2000 and have a bit more freedom in laying them out compared to roads that where more straight lines.

EA & Maxis said that the Mac version of the game will be out later this spring, so I will have to see what types of reviews the Mac version gets and what patches they have made to the game by then to really decide on whether it is worth getting.  A game that I was at first quite excited about getting I am now much more cautious on whether it is worth the money.

New trend in technology “Sell Big or Die Fast”

A good article on the changing landscape in technology and the devices the companies make. The article talks about several reasons have helped speed up the process of declaring them a failure or success. Which really is not a huge surprise given the growth of Twitter, Facebook, and tech websites and other places that all help to speed up the process on reviews and the collective consensus for each new device, which is talked about a bit in the article.

I think that is partly where Apple is successful they often are able to create great buzz around their products.  The company then also has to deliver the goods when the product is actually shipped or all the hype won’t help once it is out, and in terms of hardware devices Apple has had an amazing success rate in the last decade.

These days, big technology companies — particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.

Some analysts trace the origin of this blockbuster-or-bust mentality to Apple. Each release of the company’s popular iPads and iPhones crosses over into being a mainstream media event. Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC, described the accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware as “Darwinian.”

“There’s a level of desperation from anyone whose name is not Apple,” said Al Hilwa, an analyst at the research firm IDC.

via Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast –

Finally Starcraft II has arrived.

I am not a huge video game person, there are times when I don’t play for weeks at a time, but Starcraft II is one of the few games I am excited about.  The original Starcraft was a mainstay for my friends I in junior high and high school.  It simply is amazing how well the game held up and that my friends and I still played it off and on up to 2009 early 2010 or so.  What made it so great is that the game was so well balanced between the three races for multiplayer.

From the gameplay I had a chance to do while the Starcraft 2 beta was up, the sequel seems like a nice balance between retaining parts of the original game and at the same time adding new and different units to be able to use.  It is great to have a new chapter in the Starcraft legacy finally after a long wait.  From the sales projections from the quote below it is almost certain that Starcraft two will be a big success.

Blizzard’s sci-fi real-time strategy sequel to 1998’s StarCraft went on sale at special midnight openings across the country, and with sales expectations high: At least one analyst at Janco Partners, Mike Hickey, thinks the game could sell 7 million copies worldwide in 2010 and pull in revenue of $350 million, netting Blizzard $171 million in the bargain.

Most of that won’t come from the U.S. StarCraft is even bigger in South Korea, where Blizzard could sell as many as 5.5 million units, carving off a grand $225 million slice of the total revenue pie. Those crazy South Koreans–they actually consider StarCraft a national sport.

via The Zerg Have Landed: StarCraft II is Here – PCWorld.

If you are unsure what a real time strategy game is, which Starcraft is, check out the link. Also in the article is the gameplay story and history of Starcraft.  StarCraft for Everyone – PC Feature at IGN.

Xbox 360 Slim

So Xbox just revealed the new Slim edition, which is small enough to fit inside of the original 360 model (if you hollowed it out). It’s selling points are smaller, better looking, bigger hard drive, quieter, and built-in wireless connectivity. But even with those those new attributes, the bang for the buck is nowhere to be seen.

Today we’ll start with looks and work our way down to personality. The new size is smaller yes, but it’s really just a marginal change. It’s not like they made it comparable to the Wii — That would be something all in it’s self. The color, well, I have the Halo 3 edition 360, and I’m kind of fond of the unique casing. Assuming the slim version will be able to accept new Slim Face Plates it’s kind of eliminating the need for a sexy looking console in the first place.

As for the heart and soul of the beast, I’ll come right out and say it – Thank you for making wireless built-in. That’s the ONLY reason I can see anyone possibly wanting to make the upgrade, with a legitimate excuse. I ended up running an ethernet cord through my basement, so I already have it set up… But if this was an option at the beginning for an additional cost, I would have picked wireless. Screw buying an adapter for $50.

The slim has the Gia-Hugic hard drive, which is nice — but if hard drive space was really a problem for you, you’ve probably already upgraded to the Elite from the original in which case making a third upgrade for such a minor change is pretty impractical.

The noise level of the original 360 console is a completely different matter. I have friends who notice theirs, and say that it’s a bother… But honostly, I don’t have a problem with the sound of mine. I only notice it when there’s downtime in everything else that’s happening (maybe I keep my TV volume up too high), and even then, it’s not obnoxious.

So overall, The Slim 360 may look cool, and it sports the ‘newest tech’ but essentially the only reason you should buy it, is if you haven’t ever upgraded yet (and avoided the red ring of death) or if you’ve never owned a 360 before. Which, if you ask me, is NOT who their adds are marketing it towards.

Story on
Story on