Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
09 January 2006
Throwing down.
From the conclusion of a preview of Civilization III: Complete for the Mac at InsideMacGames.com:

Get Ready to Throw Down

I've barely scratched the surface here in terms of Civilization III: Complete's enhancements. The price of admission will definitely be worth it when the kids at Aspyr Media ship this title in the very near future.


I've already whined about previews before, I believe, and how they tend to be great opportunities for love-fests in the field of journaltainment we all know and love. Because a game's not done, every negative about the work can be written up to the tired excuse, "And we're sure Developer X will keep working on Problem Y," and the insane potential of each positive can be given more space than a two-page ad in the New York Times. I suppose I'm not ultimately anti-preview if the reader knows this bias going in, but I've got a few issues in this particular one.

The first is that the game's already out. Any previewer should know exactly what the game is going to do by booting Windows. While a preview generally says, "Here are some here-to-fore unseen advances in gameplay," there's really no such impetus here. Nor is there anything in the preview that talks much about Mac-specific jive. So why bother, other than the obvious answers -- and more importantly, why do it on 12/23?

The second is that the game's already out. Well, minus two expansions it is. The Mac has had Civilization 3, as the preview of this "new" version points out, for years. Why the game needed to be written from scratch (which it was on the Mac, which, to me, says on some level we possibly lost resources that could have ported another game -- is this really the most marketable game that could have been released?), much less why someone who owns the original must shell out for a brand new game, isn't covered.

The last is that I'd like to know how the previewer knows that the game, as the quote says, is going to be worth the dough it costs? How do we know it won't be seriously bugged? That every gamer needs LAN and Internet play? Seriously, how long does it take you to finish a game of Civ? Do you really want to play online? This ain't Madden.

Well, the very last is that this game costs $49.99 for Mac (amazon) and Civlization 4 is only $44 for PCs. It's a poorly run bait and switch in one sense -- Civ 4 hype is out, so Mac gamers get, well, a rehash of a game they got years ago to help them wait.

Glenda Adams, in an IMG update, finds herself battling like she's shipping a demo -- how do you hype one enough to get people excited without blasting the reason to shell out for the whole, or, in this case, new game?

Tuncer: Well, it's been a while since we did one of these [one-on-one interviews]. Can you give us an update on Civilization III Complete and Civilization IV?

Glenda: Civ 3 Complete is all finished and should be in stores this week, and for sale at Macworld next week. It has a crazy amount of content for the price, quite a value. Civ 4 is still in the middle of its development schedule. I took advantage of the long New Year's weekend to install Civ 4 on my PC at home and proceeded to play way too late. It's a great game, really captures the feel of the series but with a very slick 3D engine. The amount of detail you can see in the world when you zoom all the way in is impressive.


Civ 3 Complete is "quite a value"? For whom? By what measure? Civ 4 is half-way through development and we can't wait? And still no Half-Life? ;^) As Flavor Flav would say (with a small apology from me for the edit), "You want one-hundred dollars for what?"

Maybe this is simply sour grapes over the state of Mac gaming, yet again, but I wish, in this case at least, we could have less journaltainment -- journaltisement? -- and more journalism. Is anyone looking into the why behind Civ 3 Complete for Mac, from timing to rewriting? Or are our "news" outlets just making sure we're hyped enough to buy whatever Aspyr has to sell us today?

So as usual, buy used books, get your games at Ambrosia, and when you're riding your bike at night, always, always wear white.
--ruffin at 11:24
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