In a rare Sunday release you can now pick up Spore from a retailer near you. It seems to be netting scores in the 8 – 9 range and a lot of people are wondering why it’s not getting 10’s considering all the lavish pre-release hype it got. The folks over at MTV Multiplayer did an interview with Will Wright to get his reaction to the reviews:
I read Wright that Times paragraph and this is what he said:
“I haven’t read that, but it’s interesting. The feedback we’re getting from people is that everyone has some level they like and some level they don’t like. A lot of the reviews I’ve read have said that the Space Stage was far and away the best and they were disappointed by the earlier stages because they were too simple. Other people have said the Creature Stage is their favorite and that the Space Stage seems too complicated. We knew, since we were using different genres with every level, that everyone would have ones they really clicked with and ones they didn’t. We’ve pretty much seen that. There hasn’t been any consistent feedback. Some people have said the Civ phase is the best.”
When I talked to Wright, I had played deep into the Space Stage, which I was enjoying. But I had seen complaints from hardcore game reviewers and message board posters that all of the stages have less complex gameplay than many gamers had hoped. As wonderful as the content creation and sharing options are, the one consistent complaint I’ve seen is that the gameplay seems to have been “dumbed down” for the sake of appealing to a more casual audience. Was it?
“I’d say that’s quite accurate,” Wright told me. “We were very focused, if anything, on making a game for more casual players. “Spore” has more depth than, let’s say, “The Sims” did. But we looked at the Metacritic scores for “Sims 2″, which was around 90, and something like “Half-Life“, which was 97, and we decided — quite a while back — that we would rather have the Metacritic and sales of “Sims 2″ than the Metacritic and sales of “Half-Life.”
Considering the fact that The Sims and The Sims 2 are two of the best selling titles of all time I can’t say that his approach is a bad one to take with Spore. I won’t be writing a review of it anytime soon as it’ll be awhile before I can swing a copy. Anne’s still looking for a job since the move so we’re living on a shoestring budget, but we hope to pick the game up as soon as money isn’t quite so tight. We’ve had great fun with the creature creator so far and I can’t wait to put some of them through their paces in the actual game.