This one time at Writer's Camp…
I’ll admit, I went into this with a little bit of trepidation. I’d heard bad things about it, and a lot of friends of mine were equally disgusted by the blatant craptacularness of it and warned me away. But I’d been told that the bugs were fixed, everything was fine now, and they would be eager to take my money in exchange for a product.
Foolishly, I took the bait.
And for the first four days, it was awesome. I played to my heart’s content, designing mega cities and enjoying the absolute control over the functions of my city. I would destroy it on a whim, to see how well my Fire and Police forces responded (hint: not very well, but that’s what I got for lowering their budget to a mere 10% of what they were asking for) or, on some days, because I just wanted to see the world burn. Or get blown away. Or get stomped on by a giant lizard. Whatever.
But then, for some odd reason, they released an update patch that would fix a few glitches. The game auto-downloaded it (I typically don’t let my games plug-in patches unless I know it’s going to be okay) and it rebooted. I waited, and waited… and then the game came back on.
Wait… where’d all my cities go?
Apparently, Maxis hates it that you want to play the game instead of throwing money at them in a blind, unknowing stupor. Go team, right? So I rebooted it, and I created a few more cities (still pissed off that my city of 1.2 million people vanished… I was really looking forward to destroying that city, guys. Really) and tried to play it again. But… my heart wasn’t into it. The new cities lacked something (heart, soul, the ability to be played again if you exited the game… minor things, to be sure) and I grew bored. Fortunately, I moved and didn’t have time to play much until October, when I loaded up the game… and downloaded about five updates. Automatically, without a choice.
*insert swear words here*
The game rebooted and I waited… and waited… and waited for the game to launch. Huh. Nothing. I rebooted it and tried again. Nothing. Weird. Sent a message to the Origins help site. “Have I tried reinstalling the game?”
Uh, no. But I guess I can try that.
Six hours later… nothing. I contact them again, and I don’t hear back. Tried a second time, and nada.
Meanwhile, they’re releasing new content (for cheaps, yo! Only $5.99 for some sh*tty new buildings but this is ‘Merica and THE DRONES WILL PAY) and inviting me to buy more of their… crap, I guess. I don’t know. I tried to load up the game, but it crashed and wanted to send a message to Microsoft blaming the problem on them (I doubt it’s Bill Gates. As much as I love to blame him for crap, this one is not on him). I declined, and tried again. Same thing.
Now I’m laughing. At EA, at myself, at Maxis… at the world. I can’t believe I spent the money to get the game, and I’m not getting any enjoyment out of it. I’m not a masochist, so unfortunately this ain’t doing it for me (though I know someone at EA is a sadist and is in a dark room somewhere with a bottle of lotion, looking at all the cries for help and whining people and rubbing one out). I can’t get a refund (yeah, trust me, I know) and I’m out of a potentially good game (I can’t find my discs for SimCity 4, which was a pretty awesome game).
In the past nine months, I’ve played a total of 33 hours of SimCity, the majority of that in the beginning. You may think that’s a lot, until you realize that I’ve played 140 hours of Civ5 in the past six months (video games are my stress relief… and sometimes I leave the game running when I’m asleep, because I like the music).
So I decided to find something else to play. And my friend Gerry introduced me to Gog.
And I rejoiced, for it has all the great games I played when I was younger. For cheap. It is… wonderful.
So, EA, Maxis… y’all can suck it. I’ll stick to the classics that work, and not your fiddling piece of crap hardware that you keep trying to update to be better and better without any sort of Beta testing.
Yes, this was a rant. Yes, I’m done for the night.