Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's time for me to admit that I am an addict...

That's right. I have an addiction. I have been struggling with this for years. I first became obsessed with this stimulant as a child. All it took was one try and then I was hooked for life. This would be a tragic tale if my addiction were something really bad. Luckily I am just addicted to the Civilization series.

My Addiction: From Its Birth to Its Present Condition

I think I played my first Civilization game when I was like 10 years old. I tried it at my uncle's house and really enjoyed it. A little while later I got Civilization 2 (PC) for Christmas I believe. A few year later I got Civilization 3. A couple weeks ago I got Civilization Revolution on DS.Civilization 2 and 3 are some of the most replayable games ever made. I have probably played each for like 100s of hours. The game map and neighboring civilizations you encounter spawn randomly every game. The game never plays the same way twice.

They are turn-based strategy games where you control and grow your civilization from their primitive state to a modern age where you can toss nukes at your neighbors.You build citiies, roads, irrigation, and mines. You can engage in diplomacy with your neighbore and make peace treaties and alliances. You can of course build tons of different types of military units to conquer the world which is full of jerkface asshatical computer-controlled neighbors. Or you can try to win the game by other means like cultural domination or being the first to reach the moon. The amount of stuff you can do in these games is mind boggling.

These 2 games are also super addictive. If you intend to play for 30 minutes, you will glance up at the clock a bit later and notice 3 hours have passed and you still won't want to stop playing lol. A game of civilization 3 typically takes me abou 20 hours to complete. After I finish a game of Civilization 3 I don't want to play it for a little bit. If I wait a few weeks and start a game again it's just as addicting and feels as fresh as before. Not many games can do that. I have been playing a game of Civilization 3 every month or so for probably at least 5 years. Before that I played Civilization 2 as much or more (since I had more free time).

This week my addiction worsened. I played my copy of Civilization Revolution on DS for the first time.

Hearing about this game being released on a handheld video game system made me crap myself with glee when I first heard about it. Knowing that Civilization Revolution DS was waiting for me was one of the main reasons why I spent 130 bucks on a DS Lite this past winter. Finally this month I bought a copy of the game for around 15 bucks and played it for the first time this week.

Did I like it? Well the first time I turned it on I played it for 3 hours straight. That night I played it for a few mor hours. That morning I played it for 2 hours. The cycle continued all week.

This is a great portable strategy game. It is still turn-based like its PC brothers, but it has been simplified a bit. I was a tad worried it would feel to basic after the more complex PC versions, but was happy to discover there was no such problem. Everything that makes Civilization great is still in the DS version. The game is still very deep and has lots of ways for you to play the game. You can win by military force, cultural achievements, and by a space race (technological achievements) just like the PC games. Most of the stuff from the PC versions is still in this game, but things work a bit differently. For example in this game roads are built in the ciy management screen where you can buy roads to connect specific cities to each other. It means connecting your cities with roads is less of a hassle than on Civ 2 and 3. There are tons more examples of stuff like this where mechanics from the PC games are altered a bit to be more streamlined for the portable version.Also, The controls in this game work surpisingly well. You can decide to use the stylus a lot or a little based on your preference. I like using the dpad and buttons most of the time though. The game feels different enough from the PC versions that it doesn't feel like a half-assed copy of the computer versions. You can tell a lot of thought went into this portable version to make it a unique Civilization experience.

This game is just as addicting as Civilization 2 and 3. Each game seems to take about 5 or 6 hours in Civilization Revolution. That is a lot shorter than Civilization 3's 20 hour games and you would think it would be better for my addiction since 6 hours is much smaller an amount of time than 20. You thought wrong though. When I finish a 20 hour Civilization 3 game I want to take a break for awhile before I start a new one. After playing with tanks, bombers and nukes for the last hours of the game it feels too annoying to go back to warriors, archers, and legions for awhile. However, since Civilzation Revolution's games only last 6 hours that feeling of needing a break from the game never happens for me. Once I finish a game, a few hours later I have no problem starting a brand new game and getting addicted.

The game also has online multiplayer. I tried finding players for it, but had no luck. I don't care too much though since I never buy these games for the multiplayer.

My addiction to this portable Civilization game has had a positive effect though. It has actually helped me fix my sleep schedule lol. I have a problem normally of waking up multiple times and going back to sleep and then sleeping for far too long. Since I got this game though when I wake up I'd rather play my DS and this game than go back to sleep lol. So thank you Sid Meier for fixing my sleep schedule.

I realize that I will never escape my Civilization addiction. It's time for me to get some help. Or maybe I should get Civilization Revolution on PS3...

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