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Old 3rd September 2008, 03:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SPORE first impressions

I thought I would open up a thread for first impressions of SPORE. I've been excited about this game since I first heard about it in ... 2004(?) or so. I had really high hopes for it, and even bought the Creature Creator the second it was available.

I played the game on easy - things will probably be different on harder levels

Cell- Depending on what mouth you choose, you are either a herbivore or a carnivore. Meaty bits are floating around in the water for carnivores, or you can choose to kill other critters. There are some huuuuuge critters in the water as well, and it was fun to float around trying to avoid the leviathans.

This was a fun little mini game, kind of like amoeba pac-man. I enjoyed this section, but thought it was too short.

Creature- You wander around on land, looking for body parts to unlock to evolve your creature. You also have to interact with other species, either to kill them or to dance with them and make them your friends. These actions will give you points to purchase body parts to evolve.

I liked this part, but it got repetitive towards the end.

Tribal- Your little creature is all grown up and can no longer evolve. You can unlock different outfits (that give benefits) for your critter to wear and different buildings for him to build. You need to go forth and make friends with/kill your neighbours to win this section. AYou must also defend your village from invaders and farm/fish to feed your tribe. You make friends by offering them food tribute, then playing music for them. You kill with spears, torches, and axes.

This phase also went very fast for me and was very easy and repetitive, but this was probably because I maxed out my social abilities and just had to play "simon says" music for the 5 other tribes.

Civilization- Here you have to conquer the other factions of your own critters either by killing them, converting them to your religion, or buying their city through trade. You are offered 3 kinds of buildings and 3 kinds of vehicles to do this with.

The building/vehicle editor was fun and had me giggling, but everything was unlocked to start with so once you made your vehicles there wasn't any sense of growth or progression. Converting a city by religion was exactly the same as converting a city through killing, you just use music as bullets. I couldn't figure out how to convert through trade, even though I had a laughably huge amount of money at my disposal. I was disapointed with this section, there was not enough of a feeling of progression and development, just repitition.

Space- You are sent on various missions to research life on other planets, colonize, make friends with or kill other civilizations and find the center of the universe.

Here is where I found the more complex tools and unlocks I was hoping for in the Civilization section. I have yet to finish the space portion, but so far it is the most fun in the game.

Overall- I think my hopes were up too high for this game. There was a lot of RTS elements that I was not expecting. Civilization stage was just boring to me. I would have liked to have laid roads or developed science and technology like in the Sid Myers game "Civilization". It was too close to the Tribal phase, which in turn was too much like the Creature phase. Space travel is a blast, I am really enjoying exploring the universe.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 04:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah I have to agree on the Tribal and Civ phases - both were way too easy and just felt like little depth to it.

Space - it's massive and I'm still scratching the surface of it. You can tell they've put a huge amount of time into it with the massive spectrum of missions and items.

I'm guessing Civ and Tribe phases will be addressed in the inevitable Spore expansions

Now that the game is getting out there I'm really loving the random creatures and stuff appearing! Plus theres something about abducting creatures in my spaceship that makes me giggle

It's definitely got me hooked though - for all its flaws, it's still a very nice breath of fresh air.
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Old 3rd September 2008, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reviews!

Much like Sims, I can imagine that this game will attract people who usually don't play computer games, so I'm guessing that they've kept the Tribe and Civ stages simple in order to cater to a larger audience. Though I do hope that they choose to add more depth to the various stages with upcoming expansions, as Raest suggested!
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Old 4th September 2008, 03:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Gaaa! How do you guys have it?!?! Its not due out for another week here.

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Old 4th September 2008, 03:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, that was what I was thinking. How come you guys got it already?
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Old 4th September 2008, 04:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A chain of stores broke the street date and were selling it on the Monday - most followed suit and released it on Tuesday as alot of complaints were going to EA from retailers complaining that chain x was selling it and they were losing money.

Who cares - we got it

Jia - I've heard a rumour that underwater species will probably be the expansion. Will Wright wanted in but it was cut.
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Old 4th September 2008, 08:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm having a lot of fun with it. I'm only up to creature phase atm though ....
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Old 4th September 2008, 01:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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AHHH, can't get away from work in time to pick up my copy that is on hold. Got my notice on Tuesday, well before they said it would be realesed....

interesting that they have realesed early considering how long we have had to wait for it though.
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Old 4th September 2008, 01:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
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To the OP, could it be that because you were playing on Easy that you found some of the parts too... easy? I'm playing on normal and found much the same as you, tho it didn't stop my dying far too many times in both creature phase and cell phase...

I found both fun however. I even played thru the Cell stage again in 30mins to see what the difference between herbivore and carnivore was. Not much actually but I learnt how to not die horribly all the time hahaha.

I spent ages in the creature phase after I was done with the stage, just roving around killing and befriending creatures and adding mobs to my Posse. I found that creativity in creature design gives way to min/maxing if you want to progress quickly, because you need eg. a specific mouth with Bite 5 and specific feet with Dance 5 in order to make friends or kill better. This stifles the creativity because you have to replace bodyparts which fit your creature better thematically for ones with better stats.

Tribal was pretty straight forward, but just as you learn to do things you are finished with the phase. It went too quickly, I never had food or population problems and I could fight off any enemy I wanted easily. Maybe this was because I advanced my creature to nearly 5 in every stat in creature stage that my warfare and social was high enough to make everything easy. Perhaps putting it on Hard would give it a more challenging difficulty.

That's as far as I've gotten, and most was done in one big play session till 4:30am on Wednesday morning. I'm looking forward to the other stages, and as you say the spaceship part sounds like the super-fun part. Regardless, of being short/easy in the early stages, I'm looking forward to playing this game thru to space age a few times just to see what's what.

I've set up a Sporecast with creatures I've made in it, nickname Curses, add me to your buddy list.

Edit: Oh yes and the little OCD nerd in me is also looking forward to doing as many of the Achievements as I can, already got the kill 20 and befriend 20 species in Creature mode and collect all upgrades in Cell mode (-:
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Old 4th September 2008, 02:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Osca: I suppose I didn't word it correctly. I mentioned that I played on easy just to let people know to take it with a grain of salt when I say that levels went too quickly. I don't think that the difficulty setting will have an effect on the game mechanic though. Tribal and Civ phases feel unfinished and are very similar to each other. Another day in, and Space phase is still a blast.
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