Click to see more posts by TD GoodliffeNot too early to label SPORE the most disappointing game of 2008

spore in garbage can

While the picture above might be a bit dramatic, news has come out that in addition to the draconian Spore DRM scheme, only one player account works with one game. As Techdirt points out, the manual for Spore says the exact opposite. An EA rep admitted that the manual that comes with Spore has a “misprint” and it will be updated in future versions.

This means if my son wants to play with his Spore account I’ll need to shell out another 50 bones for another copy. After playing the game the first time and being underwhelmed, I haven’t been inspired to return so I think my recommendation to him for the foreseeable future will be to just play under my account. Does that violate the EA terms? Hope not. He hasn’t asked me to play yet though, he’s looking more forward to Rock Band 2 which comes out on Sunday for the Xbox 360. I’m with him there.

I was worried about the massive hype surrounding Spore — few games ever live up to that kind of hype — but after playing with the Creature Creator I was excited. If the game had been MMO like the Creature Creator I’d be much more interested. Sure, we’ve known it was going to be single player for awhile with only the ability to insert other people’s creations into your game but I think EA needs to come up with an online version that goes all the way to redeem Spore.

Seriously, with only a couple months of the year left, is it too early to declare Spore as the most disappointing game of 2008? It’s the #1 contender at least.

September 12th, 2008 • TD Goodliffe • Games, News 13 Comments »

13 Responses

  1. 1 Nacon:

    Spore? Disappointing game?

    Uhh… have you actually played the game?

    “he’s looking more forward to Rock Band 2 which comes out on Sunday for the Xbox 360. I’m with him there.”

    Maybe that’s why you don’t like Spore because you’re in the wrong type of group. I personally liked the game because it’s intelligent piece of work. Not forget to mention that it’s aimed toward to family & children group. So of course a person like you, wanting to rock some metal might be missing out on blood and gore and all that common “violent” games you might like… Now I dare to say it, what the hell were you thinking?

    As for online verison… why? Again, Spore was aimed for family & children… Maxis was smart enough to back away from online type of games. There are too many retards online doing things wrongfully. Such as displaying a giant penis. Maxis had their share of that with The Sims Online already.

    I, too, got tired of stupid games that goes online, it get ruined no matter what.

    However, they didn’t completely ditched the whole online thing. They host your creatures to their server and let any other players randomly download those uploaded creatures as they randomly play the single player game. Which I found that cleaver than common MMO games.

    Not forget to mention their hard work into making creatable creatures animated without having to hire a professional custom modeler.

    I think you’re being paranoid. Instead of throwing out the game…. give it to a kid.

  2. 2 TD Goodliffe:
  3. 3 Brume:

    I agree that Spore isn’t perfect and that expectation level was very high. But, still, given the game’s ambition, the effort is worth to praise…
    As for the Sims, Spore will certainly evolve and get richer and richer. In the meantime, it’s the first time I see my kids master advanced camera controls and modelization tools so fast. We experiment, we explore and share our findings.
    All these feedbacks remind me when the Sims were released. Not a game, boring, etc… But it managed to appeal a significant number of loyal users… Who don’t have the same expectations, standards and gaming culture as you and lot of people who bash Spore…

    I had no DRM issues (didn’t even notice ther was one) , didn’t try to install it on a dozen of machines, played it seamlessly, shared my account with the whole household without feeling distressed.

    Do I have a problem ? Did I miss something ?

  4. 4 Nacon:

    “But hey don’t take my opinion only, go check out Amazon where 1,000+ other people have given the game 1 star”

    ….Amazon. Do you really think Amazon’s rating system is a proof of concept level for every gamers? …wow.

    As for DRM… It’s a bit retarded since too many kids burn copies of games and coded rips. I think it’s no doubt that the “sheer” number of complaints about DRM PROVES that people are still doing it illegally. That’s no brainer.

    It’s best to assume idiots are everywhere…. and they are.

  5. 5 TD Goodliffe:

    Brume – good to hear you had a positive experience.

    Nacon –

    “Do you really think Amazon’s rating system is a proof of concept level for every gamers? …wow.”

    Uh, no. Where did I say that? I love it when people try to put words into other people’s mouth to reinforce their position in a disagreement — not.

    Nacon, suggest you stick to the facts and not trying to put words into my mouth. I gave you *one* example of what 1,000+ reviewers at one of the most popular online shopping sites thought of the game, quoted no less by many, many other publications, far more esteemed than this one ;)

    But hey, I could have also pointed out that Penthouse gave Spore 5 out of 5 stars — wait, if you read any of my past posts on Spore here you’d already know that. Hey, maybe you’re that Penthouse reviewer who dug Spore in disguise?

    (I’m joking in that last part)

  6. 6 Pyotr:

    Spore actually was horribly disappointing. The creature creator became less powerful in the game, the transitions between the game stages were jarring and incomplete, and the gameplay became boring after mere minutes. For a game with a supposed infinite amount of content, this game somehow made everything feel the same. The terrain hardly changes on planets, the creatures don’t even look that different after a while, and the mini-games are shallow. I have honestly never played a strategy game as horrible as the civilization stage of Spore. Having to choose between two paths the entire time was lame too. Do I want to play musical instruments and dance for other creatures or murder them? I must want to do both because I’m an omnivore. You mean I get to make 3 units for the strategy game? I can be religious OR war faring? My cities have 4 different types of buildings? My spaceship can visit endless amounts of planets that look almost identical? What a limitless world I’ve paid for!

  7. 7 Nacon:

    Yes, of course Amazon is a “popular” site but that proves a problem in public relation to “web” users than Walmart or GameStop customers.

    There are ton of pirates willing to prove DRM are unfair by rating the MOST pirated game to date… a one star. I don’t support pirate because it’s illegal… but what bothered me that people are willing to pirate Spore without paying a damn cent. I know I paid 50$ for my copy of Spore, but after playing it, I think company (yeah ok… maybe not EA) Maxis deserve more than 50$.

    I know you didn’t say Amazon’s rating system is a proof of concept level every gamers…. but how would you know if those “web” customer’s opinion would matter at all? You haven’t paid enough attention to DRM and Pirate related news. Too many people are upset about one-account per CD because they don’t realizes how many games being pirated in the past. They have been hurting by loss of value long before DRM came to action.

    On that day and a day after Spore came out, few of my (idiot) friends mentioned to me that they saw so many copies of Spores on The Pirate Bay site and few other Bit Torrent sites. Numbers of download had passed more than 500,000. about 12,500 or so in each file/cd. That’s insane. 500,000 x 50$ = 25,000,000$. 25 Millions dollar loss-damage, is that an excuse for not putting up an DRM protection? Without DRM, the loss-damage could have been much higher by 75% to 90%.

    Don’t get me wrong…. I don’t like one-account per CD deal. I purely blame that on pirates taking away what was once a great “shopping`n gaming” value. And here you are… claiming Spore might be most disappointing game in 2008 because of DRM, which has nothing to do with gaming value itself. You didn’t say “Spore sucks” because it was too cute or wasn’t clean enough… not enough action…. the voices were squeaky… english wasn’t english…. or anything about its gaming value itself. You went ahead based it off on EA’s DRM legal term instead of Maxis’ hard efforts.

    In this post, you are supporting pirates by saying their DRM is unfair. But I know you don’t really intended that way, did you?

    http://www.forbes.com/intelligentinfrastructure/2008/09/12/spore-drm-piracy-tech-security-cx_ag_mji_0912spore.html

    As I said before… best to assume everyone is an idiot…

  8. 8 TD Goodliffe:

    Pyotr – I hear your pain. The game could be so much more .. instead it’s mostly window dressing.

    Nacon wrote: “You didn’t say “Spore sucks” because it was too cute or wasn’t clean enough… not enough action…. the voices were squeaky… english wasn’t english…. or anything about its gaming value itself.”

    Wrong again.

    Did you bother to follow the link I gave you and watch the two videos where I spent over an hour going through my first experience with the game? I wasn’t talking about DRM there, I was talking gameplay, installation, the whole first time gamer experience. I didn’t restate all my opinions on the gameplay here in this post — and didn’t have to — because I’ve already been there and done that.

    As for someone not liking DRM means that person supports piracy? You seriously believe that?

  9. 9 Celeste:

    The creature creator became less powerful in the game, the transitions between the game stages were jarring and incomplete, and the gameplay became boring after mere minutes.

  10. 10 Pyrobn:

    Oh please, grow a pair of balls guys. Please is being so conservative rating Spore. Yes, we all know it was a great effort, and that there is an incredible work behind this game. STILL, it is an huge dissapointment, and in the words of IGN (which btw, may be one of the most interesting things they’ve said in the last few years): Spore is a great accomplishment, unfortunately, not a really great game.

  11. 11 alexandru:

    I couldnt agree more with the pyotr and TD goodliffe, i personally wasnt extremely excited like those obsessors on forums posting comments only consisting of the word “spore” but my brother was and i was pretty excited about it. so my brother studied the creation of the game and watched videos, documentaries, ect for months before the game came out. when he got it (special edition) he did all the extra stuff (the DVDs and bonuses) then played the game for about 1 week and stopped playing. he would go on every month or so for about an hour but now hes stopped playing all together. i myself before the game came out said to myself “with all this hype, its destined to be either the greatest game ever, or the most dissapointing piece of crud on the planet and biggest waste of money” so bottom line is there was more excitment during the creation of spore and about the creation of spore than when it actually came out and people just went “meh”.

    i personally got bored quicker than my brother though.
    whats wrong with the game? id say:
    -gameplay wasnt worked on enough by EA, they focused too much energy on the creatures concept and creators, so it was utterly boring and almost a chore, which is why most disgruntled gamers stopped playing
    -the graphics albeit were made to be “family friendly” and such but i think that EA was also just very lazy, it could have been so much more but the graphics were no better than say, an older game like ray-man 2, which i would rather play than spore.
    -EA i think gave themselves a little too much credit for their game and patted themselves on the back even before it was finished, lauding it with all kinds of interviews. but they spent more time on media hype than on the game…
    -EA bit themselves a bit more than they could chew. what they were claiming was a “sim everything” which, just the concept, sounds insane. so the basic point, listen carefully: SPORE MADE A BUNCH OF GAMING FEATURES AND CONCEPTS AND MADE THEM INTO ONE HUGE SIM EVERYTHING SO YOU COULD HAVE IT IN 1 GAME, BUT WHILE THEY TRIED TO FIT EVERYTHING IN THERE THEY DID A SH**TY JOB ON EACH FEATURE TO COMPACT MORE IN THERE, MORE QUICKLY. SO WHILE YOU CAN PLAY SPORE WITH ALL THE FEATURES OF OTHER GAMES IN 1 GAME BUT ALL OF THEM REALLY F***ING SH**Y, YOU COULD GET 5 OTHER GAMES FOR THE SAME PRICE AND THE SAME FEATURES THAT ARE ALL MUCH BETTER IN THAT ASPECT FOR ABOUT THE SAME PRICE AS SPORE.
    *phew*!
    honestly i could go on for days, maybe weeks about why the game was horrible but ill leave saying, some people liked it, loved it, but mostly hated it. but for what the game itself was, it shouldve just been a free online game like runescape or something… it was much more money than it was worth.
    spore:
    0/10
    0/5 stars
    0/100 billion

  12. 12 Tim:

    Guy above is completely correct……it’s better to do one thing awsomely than say 10 things sub-standard. I feel like such a mug for sucking up all the media hype. The creature creator was the best bit and had obviously taken up most of the time, all the other sections were unpropionate to each other, cell phase you could complete with your eyes closed and space stage was so long and in some respects impossible. Yes the possibilities were endless, but not necessarily in a good way. Bring on spore 2, throw all those shocking expansion packs in the bin and start over, theres still an awsome idea in there somewhere it just needs to be online multiplayer interactive, the space stage can be infinately big to support it.

  13. 13 roland:

    fins@excerpts.var” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you!!…

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