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EA’s cutesy Spore

You’ve seen the screenshots, you’ve see in game videos, you’ve seen it out on stores.  But what the heck is it?

Spore is a god game (yes, this definition is quite broad but you can compare it to Black and White and even the good old Tamagochi). The most basic description of the game is a cross between Sims and Civilization.  That plus you get to start your critters from single celled organisms into, well, whatever you want.

While Spore’s gameplay is generally a sandbox (you have your own personal universe to play with) and evolve life, establish tribes, build civilizations, sculpt entire worlds and explore a universe created by other gamers. At your disposal are a wealth of creative tools to customize nearly every aspect of their universe.  From your creature’s traits, appearance to your sandbox’s ecology.  Your limited only by your imagination.  Sandbox-style.

Now some gamers might be cringing away from the Sandbox-style.  The Creature creation tools are a hit no doubt but as for interaction, there’s very little of that at the moment.   Aside from exploring galaxies made by other gamers, there’s nothing else in terms of interaction.  I’m certain however, that this will change once EA rolls out the updates.

The player then begins molding and guiding this species’ society, developing it into a space-faring civilization (I’ve got no doubts that 90% of players will restart at this point), at which point they can explore the galaxy in a space ship.  Spore’s main innovation is the use of procedural generation for many of the components of the game, providing vast scope and open-endedness.

Tempting enough?  You bet.

Spore

A fast fact.  Spore has been in development since 2000, around the time where Sims Online was being worked on.

Minimum Requirements

  • 2.0 GHz P4 processor or equivalent
  • 512 MB RAM
  • A 128 MB Video Card, with support for Pixel Shader 2.0
  • At least 6 GB of hard drive space

DRM Issue Update

Yep.  Spore, the much hyped game from EA Games have complaints are rolling in from consumers where the game has already been released leaving Spore fans are beyond disappointment.

Why?  Check out this product review page from Amazon.

Spore has a rating of one and a half stars based on the reviews of over 500 people. The reason behind it?  DRM. EA’s highly anticipated game has been crippled by it’s anti-piracy methods.

Here’s one review the sums it all up.

First of all, the game incorporates a draconian DRM system that requires you to activate over the internet, and limits you to a grand total of 3 activations. If you reach that limit, then you’ll have to call EA in order to add one extra activation. That’s not as simple as it sounds, since when you reach that point EA will assume that you, the paying customer, are a filthy pirating thief. You will need to provide proof of purchase, reasons why the limit was reached…

This backlash against EA’s DRM isn’t anything new.  Spore was earlier announced to bring along the monolothic DRM system of having the game authenticate online every ten days. EA scrapped the idea when complaints flooded their PR lines and changed it to authentication whenever new content was added to the title.  The problem was that they also included the limit on how many installations you can do with the game making a lot fof gamers furious (hence the review bombs on Amazon).

What Needs to Change

Now while Spore’s gameplay (yes, Sandboxing is not for everyone) may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the dreaded and old school DRM system simply has to go.  If EA wants customers satisfied on their new leash in life, they need to not just crank out quality games but lessen the burdens on game experience to prevent more incidents of what’s certainly happening now.

Imagine the collective grunts of the Europeans when they found themselves locked out of the Spore world.

If you’re still thinking of getting the game in hopes of EA fixing their misses:

Spore: The Evolution
Prima Games
Price: US$ 24.90
Order This
Spore Creatures
Electronic Arts
Price: US$ 34.90
Order This
Spore Limited Edition Bundle:
Prima Official Game Guide
Electronic Arts
Price: US$ 34.90
Order This
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