Ahh, Maxis. What would gaming have done without you? What would it be without you? For the time, SimCity 2000 was the magnum opus of the game company Maxis, led by Will Wright. Pioneer in the gaming world, he helped to form the strategy and simulation genres of games into what they are today, but why exactly was this game so great? Let’s dive right in! I’m playing the special edition of the game, but in terms of gameplay, everything should be relatively the same for the standard edition.
After the opening credits you’ll be greeted with a screen displaying several menus and options to navigate, but if you want to get strait into the action, you’ll want to click on that button that says to “create new city”. After the game goes about “reticulating spines” (don’t ask me why) you can get right into the action. There’s no tutorial, and I’ll admit that I fumbled around at first for a good twenty minutes or so and consequently ended the prosperity of about 5 different small farm towns, so let me explain. You have a menu to the left side of the screen. This is the most important menu in the game, because it’s how you pick and place objects onto your plot of land. Clicking and holding on a button will bring up more options. You need to place roads, specialty buildings such as hospitals, and zone for the three types of lost that will appear in it automatically: residential, commercial, and industrial. Follow the various charts, predict how your city will change, and budget your time wisely to have a prosperous city under your command. It’s that simple.
That was the basics, but it was pretty clever for Maxis to include some other features to keep its player interested for longer than 5 minutes. Time progression is a factor in this game. Your city starts in the year 1900, provided you haven’t changed this to another time manually. As the clock counts upward, you will unlock new buildings to place, such as fusion plants in the late game. You as the player, also, have the option to cause disasters manually, pretty sweet right! Just make sure you save the game first so you can go wild in your town without consequence. The power of fire, wind, water, earth, and aliens are all yours to command as you send tornadoes, earthquakes, and the alien mothership down onto your lands. This as it turns out, is a pretty fun thing to do, what with all of the padding the game has to offer, or does it? If I had to give just one tip to you on how not to screw up the game, make sure that you never stop checking on your city as a whole. Every year, look at the finances, read the newspaper, and even look at how the city itself behaves. If you let it slip through your fingers, in a few years, you can be stuck being mayor at the genesis of a huge budget crisis, horrible traffic jams, murders, and other un-pleasantries that make the game hard to recover from. City planning is crucial. The two very big ones are that every citizen should have access to city services, and mass transit should be able to haul the entire population all across town.
In case you didn’t know, when I do the final score, I split it up into three numbers, each out of hundred, based upon how three different types of people would react to the content at hand. A casual score, a hardcore score, and my personal score.
For the casual person looking for a good time, this game might not be for you, but if you think you can make it pass the learning curve, this game is a 69 out of 100. Is the game fun? Yeah. Is the game good? You bet, but it’s still missing some aspects of story, technical production, and a plot beyond just making the city. I’m aware that it being a simulator does put some limits on this aspect of the game, but it’s still a limitation. This game is better than most, however, so it’s still above basic.
For a hardcore gamer, use to other game simulators, like Maxis, then rock on my brother, because this game is a good 75 out of 100 for you! As gamer, who’s a fan of the genre, and has been around, you can appreciate this game much more than the average person can. The graphics won’t bother you as much, and neither will the interface, so it’s pretty safe to say that this game is an average experience for you. Not too bad, but sadly not the best either.
For me, this game is a about where the hardcore opinion lies, a 72 out of 100. Safe to say that with the appraisal, I like this game a fair bit more that the regular Joe would. It’s fun for me, and at times long-lasting for me, but even I can’t play it for very long before it wears me down and I need a break. In my opinion, the missing story and plot elements don’t leave much of a goal for me to shot for, even if that goal is artificial, like, reaching 12 million citizens, and not something more personal. Still though, this game is still going strong for me, with an average rating.
Did you like the review? Didn’t like something I said? Well then, what are you still doing here? Head down to the comment section and say something for crying out loud, and I’ll see you in the next post.
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