Besides Super Mario World, SimCity was one of the first games I got for my Super Nintendo Entertainment System way back when. Countless hours were spent creating the most glorious cities…and then throwing total havoc their way. It was one of the first simulation games I’d ever played, and watching the seasons change, residential zones flourish, and roads fill up with traffic was extremely satisfying. Alas, I traded in my SimCity cartridge for something else (hopefully not Shaq-Fu) because I was young and stupid once. Now I’m just less stupid. Moving forward, I dabbled in later PC versions of SimCity, but never found any of them to be what I used to love. Maybe SimCity DS will be the one to warm the cockles of my heart?
Greg reviewed the DS sequel, SimCity Creator last year.
SimCity Creator is a city-building game for the Nintendo DS. The game is known as SimCity DS 2 in Japan, but EA decided to rebrand it as SimCity Creator to align it with the Wii game of the same name that was also released in September 2008 (supposedly, the first SimCity DS, so they were also trying to break out of that stigma). So please, take note that this review is of the DS game and not the Wii game, while both SimCity games, they seem different enough to definitely qualify as unique games.
I've always been a fan of SimCity, remembering back to the days of DOS where if you bulldozed a church God sent your way a tornado as thanks; and sleeping over at my friend Joey's house just so I could play SimCity 2000 all night (plus he had a pretty awesome Lego collection). SimCity and I have a long history, heck, I even played SimCity 64 for the 64DD in Akihabara, Japan. However, I skipped SimCity DS because I honestly didn't think the stylus was accurate enough to play a tile-based game where precision mattered. If the controls for SimCity DS are anything like Creator's, I'll be both right and wrong, which I'll describe below.
SimCity Creator is a unique game, blending some fun scenarios with original building architecture, but let's see if it's actually worth playing.
SimCity Societies is the newest entry in the long and respected SimCity series. However, as you may or may not have heard, Societies is a radical departure from the traditional SimCity game. Gone is most of the micro-management you dealt with as being mayor and gone is zoning to lay the groundwork for your city. Now you are more of the city's grand architect and visionary. You decide what kind of city you want to run, whether it's a prosperous metropolis, a spiritual mecca, or an oppressed dystopia, it is all up to you. To dictate your direction, you lay down each building individually, from houses to ice cream stands to city hall, everything is under your control.
Now not everyone likes the new direction SimCity is heading, and of course this game is definitely not for everyone. Before I played the game, the entire premise reminded me more of City Life than SimCity 4, not necessarily a bad thing, just totally different than the games I grew up to know and love. I think as fans of the series we have to acknowledge that we will probably never play a new "classic" SimCity game, which is fine with me. The series peaked with SimCity 2000 and I still play that from time to time. But let's see if SimCity Societies renews the franchise or leaves me with a sour taste, let the first hour begin.
It should be noted again that my computer is not that great and doesn't even meet the minimum system requirements laid out by Electronic Arts (it requires at least an Athlon 2100 and I have an 1800, everything else meets or exceeds). I am still able to run the game okay with all the settings at medium or below though.