28 June 2014

Who's Game?

Games can be expensive here, mostly due to the "Australia tax", so you often have to pick and choose what you pre-order or buy on release so you don't end up paying a lot for something that ends up gathering dust on the pile of shame.  

Since buying Sims 3, I've paid around the same price for a few base games, including Skyrim and Civilization V, that provided a complete experience in themselves and were nowhere near as high maintenance.  I didn't have to hang out for expansions to make the base game more interesting.  Mods enhanced gameplay and provided additional content, they weren't there primarily to fix the game.

It's not that I don't enjoy playing Sims 3.  I suspect I'll be playing for a long while now that modders have fixed most of the problems and my game is running surprisingly smoothly, even with almost all extra content added (aside from KPST and a few bits of store content).  I still have a lot more to try out in the game now that I can travel without it crashing or losing all of my Sim's friends or inventory.

But, looking back, I have to admit that Sims 3 was a lot of money for an almost empty box that needed a whole lot more spending to fill it up and make it a complete experience.  I feel reasonably comfortable with how much I spent on it but I can see Sims 4 being yet another cash cow for EA. I'm not at all keen to do it all over again.

Sims 4 is currently around AU$90 for the Limited Edition.  They seem to have left out some pretty key features from Sims 3 without adding anything to encourage me to take a chance on it.  And they seem to be rushing things just to get it out there, which in itself is enough to make me hold off on buying it.

So, I'll be spending my money elsewhere, at least until Sims 4 presents a better value proposition (ie. it works, is interesting, is about something more than EMOTIONS and costs a whole lot less).  I might even give SimCity a spin now that they've enabled offline play.  Anyway, this is my current big ticket shopping list:
  • Dragon Age - Inquisition (Oct 2014).
  • Borderlands - The Pre-Sequel (Oct 1014). 
  • Pokemon - Omega Ruby / Alpha Sapphire (Nov 2014).
  • Sid Meier's Civilization - Beyond Earth (2014).
  • The Witcher - Wild Hunt (Feb 2015).
  • Batman - Arkham Knight (2015).
  • Uncharted 4 - A Thief's End (2015). 

26 June 2014

La la la la la la la la la!

You've probably noticed a few objections around the place just lately about the lack of toddlers and pools in the Sims 4 base game.  Anybody read Azure's response... 


... and just know she meant this ...


Ever since my last post, I've had the Fugees "Ready or Not" stuck in my head so it's time for a new earworm.  This little number is dedicated to the Sims 4 team (because they love us so much)...


13 June 2014

Coming ... Ready or Not?

So it seems that the Sims team fronted up to E3 with a few Sims 4 animations and no actual gameplay preview.  Just under three months to go to release and it's looking like the gaming equivalent of a baby-cino... all froth and no substance.  Plenty of other games had actual gameplay on show (and a lot of those aren't out until next year).

I get the feeling they have really dumbed down simplified the coding this time.  Sims 3 was pretty ambitious I guess, with its open world and its customisation options (including CASt).  Probably too ambitious, since the Sims team didn't seem to be able to do anything to it without messing something else up.  Nothing ever seemed to work as intended.

From what I've seen, this new Sims 4 model with its "districts" and limited customisation should actually make the game more reliable (and, you'd think, easier to get right).  So, why can't they show us?  Shouldn't it be almost ready to release, with just some finishing touches to go?