Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Fourteen Year Addiction

Recently, due to an abundance of freetime and my newfound internet connection, I have waded back into Simcity 4. Of all of the games on any console or computer, Simcity 4 and its predecessors have kept me occupied the longest. I was just thinking about it and it dawned on me that I have been playing the game since I was twelve.

It all started with my Super Nintendo and me renting a copy of the original SimCity for it. I was hooked immediately and started putting pressure on my parents to buy it for me. On my birthday, it paid off and I spent most of the days to come playing that game. It is really amazing to run an emulator of the original Simcity now and compare it to the most recent version, the difference is night and day.

After playing the game on the SNES, I migrated to Simcity 2000 when it came out while I was in junior high. Jake and I would play that game all the time, that and Pizza Tycoon. Simcity 2000 kept me busy through most of junior high.

When I hit high school, Simcity 3000 hit the shelves and many a day were spent exploring and building new cities. It sported much better graphics than the previous two games and new options to control and micromanage. Toward the end of high school, there were rumors that the same company that had created Simcity, Maxis, was creating a new game where you simulate families and neighborhoods instead of big cities but that was a ways off yet. It sounded interesting but I was still into Simcity.

After highschool, shortly toward the end of my first year of college, The Sims came out and I really got hooked on that game. When Mushi and I started going out, it scares me to think how many hours we spent playing that game and also playing with my extensive Lego collection. If I got paid hourly for playing The Sims, I would be a millionaire by now. Deep inside, I still liked the idea of designing big cities though and Simcity never left my computer.

Simcity 4 came out about four or five years ago and the Maxis was not pleased with how the game turned out. They thought it was too hard for new players to get into the game and that the learning curve was way too steep. This thought was correct, but for veterans of the game, it was a godsend. Maxis has all but abandoned Simcity now because The Sims franchise brings in the bulk of the money and in theory, they are designing a new Simcity game....we'll see. Anywho, I just felt the need to talk about that game for a bit. The funny part, is that I have yet to build a city since installing the game on my laptop a few weeks ago. I just keep thinking of things I want to do with the city and do not want to start playing until I know where I want everything to go. Simcity, when you take everything away, is all about control. I like control, I also like micro-managing things to the Nth degree. Anywho, I suppose that is what draws most people to the game. That and the community support for the game is amazing. All of the new content that players have added have really kept the game afloat. That is an aspect of Sims 2 that I enjoy as well.

What games has everyone else kind of grown up with? There are not very many franchises that have been around in gaming as long as Simcity, Mario and Luigi would probably be another prime example though. Let me know, I already know a lot of the games that the rest of you played or still play but I think it is a fun tangent to think about.


At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Courtney said...

My addiction started out as innocently as yours. I started off with, the now titled, Simcity Classic and SimFarm on the computer. From there it just expanded as SimCity grew. I loved (still do) Mario and Luigi. We usually got the new Nintendo system.

If you're looking for a new city building, have you seen City Life? I do hope that Maxis is working on a new Simcity and just are keeping it quiet.


At 7:31 AM, Blogger Mogwai said...

I plan on downloading the demo for City Life once I get the time to play it but from the initial reviews, I am not so sure I will like it as much as Simcity 4. City Life focuses more on the social aspects of city management. Making everyone get along with one another, keeping socio-economic levels balanced, etc. I think it will be a complimentary game to Simcity but I am not expecting the same kind of fan base Simcity has to show up and support it. We will see I suppose.

At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Phyrry said...

The Sonic games occupied much of my childhood.

Once we got into computers, then came Civilization! Oh man, Civ ate so many of my nights in high school, it was ridiculous. Then I got to college and found out the Underdogs and, through them, about Masters of Magic, which is the love child of Civ 1 and Magic: The Gathering without all the card-buying. That ate a lot of my nights and early mornings too. And Pharoah, and Caesar III, and...

Civ III makes me angry. It's a bit too much like Risk; there are dice involved, and they hate me. There's really no point in playing if an axe-swinging Barbarian can come in and sweep through four or five veteran Minutemen without taking a hit. And they do, all the time. "Easy" difficulty, bah.

Meanwhile I consume RPGs like nobody's business. Which reminds me, Oblivion is calling.

At 11:44 PM, Anonymous Tony said...

Game addiction? I can't think of any.

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At 4:17 PM, Anonymous dustin said...

The biggest chink in my geek armor is my lack of video game skill. I am mostly content to just watch someone else play and live vicariously through their skills. We had a copy of SimCity, and I loved playing that or SimAnt, but I never explored beyond those two. The closest thing to an addiction I ever had was Starcraft at Rose. We had some epic lan games and would plan strategies while in class. The RTS crowd took a backseat to an FPS when Half-Life and TFC took over the dorms. I found that while I wasn't in love with the game, I enjoyed the social aspects so much that I'd play anyway. For this reason alone, I have never played an MMORPG for more than a couple days. I can just see myself getting sucked into that world.


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