Review by TelcoLoo

Reviewed: 12/09/03

Another disappointing port. What a surprise </sarcasm>

As an avid Sim-freak, I awaited this title with the anticipation of a child 2 weeks before Christmas. After playing it, I still feel like that same child, only opening up his gift and getting a wool turtle-neck sweater instead of that cool GI Joe Action Figure (with the Kung-Fu Grip).

Gameplay: 3 Very much like its PC counterpart, most of the familiar features seem to be included. You construct a city, connecting various residential, commercial and industrial zones to roads, power lines, railways, etc. You can control various facets of the city budget, raise or lower taxes, and get to watch your city grow at a painstakingly slow rate.
The Slow, clunky interface seems to reflect bad programming more than anything else. All the parts are there to make this game worthy of being translated to the small screen. Very intuitive menus, which are easy to navigate, depict all the parts needed to build things clearly, and placing them on the map is not difficult at all. You need to have the patience of a saint, however, since there is unbearable lag between pushing the directional pad and the execution of your commands. This lag and slowdown gets exponentially worse as more structures appear on your map.
The scenario modes (all 4 of them...) take the brunt of this severe delay of input-to-action. I found myself losing buildings to fires and tornadoes, simply because I couldn't move the curser fast enough.

Story: 2 To be fair, Sim City never was big on plot. You 'star' as the mayor of a fledgling new city, and are in charge of everything, from placing the initial power plant to designating various construction zones, balancing a budget, responding to disasters...
The scenario mode offers more in the way of storylines, but Since the controls are so sluggish, you'll soon be bored into a pit of apathy.

Graphics/Sound: 5 The buildings look detailed, and changed accordingly with the passing decades, but lack any polish and seemed to blend in with each other, making residential high rises indistinguishable from corporate towers. Missing also are the traffic indicators (little black pixels moving about like so many ants). This knocks the game down quite a few notches, as you have no idea visually as to the population of your city.

Play Time/Replayability: 6 This is a truly re-playable game in every sense. There are many different ways to build your city, and the four scenarios offer a nice change of pace, but I found myself so disgusted by the lagging interface, that I turned it off...never to return.

Recommendation/overall score: 4 Only the hardest of hardcore Sim fans could perhaps suffer through this game...if they had no other titles available..and they were alone on a desert island...with no books to get the point. Avoid this one at all costs!

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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