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This review is from: SimCity Limited Edition PC Game
Pros: The demo for the game was fan-tastic. I got into the Public Beta weekend a month ago and while I could only play the game for an hour at a time (EA claims that they wanted uses to focus on the early game), I was hooked deploying the various regions and watching them grow and change as I fiddled about with the landscape was brilliant! The graphics looked great and the interaction with the city - the missions and the like was actually fun and the game is incredibly dynamic. Sure I had to restart my city every 60 minutes, but it was a blast!
Cons: At the time of this writing, I've had the game for four days now and I can't actually play. You see, Electronic Arts, in their efforts to fight piracy, have implemented a "Must always be connected to the internet" functionality in their single player game. Not just a CRC check at the games start-up, but if Sim City can't connect and stay connected to EA's servers, then you can't play the game. No active internet connection, no Sim City. Period.
The problem is that upon release day, me and 20 million of my closest friends have all been slamming the install, download and play servers. For four days now I've been unable to connect to the game servers. I'd love to actually review the title in more depth than just the hour demo that I was able to play, but either I have the game freeze at initial start up, I have the game freeze at the Updating Game state, the servers are unavailable at the "Server Select", the servers are selectable but full, I can log on to a server and start the game only to find I can't connect to the server. In short, I can't actually get on any of the servers with any consistency. Plus if you do have to start over on a new server, not only do you lose all your city's progress (which sucks), you have to go through the tutorial again. While tutorials are fine - unskippable ones are lunacy!
It's got a very lovely looking front end (although the music is starting to wear on me) - but that's all I can tell you about the actual release game.
And it will only get worse with the European and Asian release of the game this Friday. Soon the entire world will fight for server space that EA seems unable to deliver. In response, Electronic Arts is stripping away non-critical game play features including leader boards, achievements and region filters in hopes of getting stable servers up.
While I have no doubt that these issues will sort themselves out as people give up on the game and drift away, this is very much a glimpse into the future when EA decides to shut the servers down the Sim City servers for good in four or five years. Or if you want to play in the park or at Gran'mas house? Tough luck kid! You'll be stuck looking at a dead game and very pretty front end.
So no, I cannot recommend a single player game that is internet connection dependant no matter how brilliant the game may be. My copy is going back to Newegg straight away and I will go back to playing Railroad Tycoon 3 - a game that I've had for 13 years now without an issue. After 10-ish hours of trying to connect without success, my patience for Electronic Art's shenanigans has worn thin.
(A rebuttal to those who say "Well, review it after EA fixes it" - Should I go back and review games once they have been patched and made better, or should they be reviewed as they stand right out of the box? Did anyone give the lousy Elemental: War of Magic higher scores after the fact? No, they didn't. So the original lousy score stands.)
Other Thoughts: Electronic Arts released a beta version. Go get Sim City IV instead.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: SimCity Limited Edition PC Game
Pros: The demo for the game was fan-tastic. Deploying the various regions and watching them grow and change as I monkeyed about with the landscape was brilliant! The graphics looked great and the interaction with the city - the missions and the like was actually fun.
I didn't even mind the always on DRM, provided that EA returned the favor. . . .
Cons: Three days now and I've been unable to connect. I'd love to actually review the title in more depth than just the hour demo that I was able to play, but I cant actually get on any of the servers with any consistency. It's got a very lovely looking front end - but that's all I can tell you about the actual release game.
And it will only get worse with the European and Asian release this Friday.
Other Thoughts: No doubt that these issues will sort themselves out as people give up on the game and drift away, but this is very much a glimpse into the future when Ea decides to shut the servers down in four or five years. You'll be stuck looking at a dead game and very pretty front end.
It's a shame because under all of these frustrations and server disconnects there's an amazing game that I am just dying to play. I just cant get in with any regular frequency.
Pros: Hard drive was nice and large and worked great. . . .
Cons: . . . .up until the hard drive bricked on me without warning!
Other Thoughts: I remember when Seagate was the gold standard in the industry for storage. Which is why in November 2008, I purchased a Barracuda 7200.11 drive. It was a nice big 1 terrabite drive, the access time was quick and the 32 MB cache solved my stuttering video capture problems. Things worked great and life was golden.
So, fast forward to the end of January 2009, a mere 3 months later. Just as I was sitting down to back up all the data from last year, I noticed that the hard drive wasn't recognized by the bios. No amount of tech wizardry would make the computer see the drive. Doing some reading on slashdot and The Register, it seems there's a flaw with these drives. In short, there are 320 "pages" of the boot log, and if the log finishes the session on page 320, the next time the drive powers up, the drive bricks.
So in other words, you have a 1 in 320 chance of your hard drive not working upon restarting.
So, there goes a years worth of photos, lost forever. Thanks Seagate!