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Black & White, No Slack, Just Shite?
April 25th 2001, 16:45 CEST by Morn

Now that it's been out for a while, I'd like to hear your thoughts on that little game. The reviews so far have been very, very positive, but do you agree with them? Actually, this little thread here was triggered by <a href="http://www.eurogamer.net/content/r_baw">EuroGamer's review</a> which, while I don't agree with it <i>completely</i>, has a lot of good points about the game's bad ones. In my opinion, that is. Which isn't necessarily too compatible with that of most other kids out there, it seems.

Here's <i>my</i> nano-review of Black & White: It's not a very good game, but it's a great toy. Even just its technical execution (Athlon crashes aside... <i>sigh</i>) makes it a must-have title. Okay, so the crashes are a problem, and the game generally does seem to be a bit unfinished here and there, but when it works, it's simply the most beautiful thing I've ever seen on my PC screen that I didn't get from an alt.binaries.pictures.* newsgroup.
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#1 by "Morn"
2001-04-25 16:47:51
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
To everyone who's still waiting for their submitted stories to get posted: I didn't forget you!

:)

- Morn
#2 by "Morn"
2001-04-25 16:49:16
morn@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcrap.com
Jeet just let me know that the title only "works" when you're a Scot. So there.

- Morn
#3 by "UncleJeet"
2001-04-25 16:55:31
jeet@planetcrap.com http://www.planetcap.com
I just let Morn know that he's a stupid German and should drink less beer and screw fewer fat opera singers....that's all.

 - Jeet
#4 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-04-25 16:58:15
circle@bellsouth.net
I thought the game was really fun for about a week, when it suddenly occurred to me that not only was I bored with the game, but some of the management almost felt like a chore.  I suppose I could have trained my creature to micromanage a little better, but the thrill of repeatedly trying to teach a reluctant tiger to poop in a field wore off...

I guess if I had to place it on a scale of worth between $0 and $50, it would fall right around the $17-$22 range.  I got quite a few hours of entertainment out of it, but never had the will to finish.
#5 by "Iazu"
2001-04-25 17:00:19
iazu@hotmail.com www.epoch-of-unlight.com
From what I've played of the game, I like it. Although I agree about the "toy" aspect you mentioned. I don't really see it working well in an online competitive sort of way (those skirmish matches can go on WAY too long for online play to be feasible at this point).

Now, my major gripe I've had so far with this game is this...
I bought the game the day it came out (last month) and of course started playing it immediately. The first thing I encounter is a nice lockup at the loading screen, turns out I have to enter my area code in Dial Up Networking since BW connects to the internet at startup. OK, fine, I do that then start the game again, then I notice that all the little people and my hand are casting around 20 or so shadows in a big block around each of them, not good. So I have to go muck about with drivers for my card (had to revert to an older set). Finally, I start the game up and can actually play! That is, until near the end of level 1 the game starts crashing on *every* save with a Microsoft Virtual C++ error. So I start again, same thing happens. Fast forward a month and countless hours playing E-mail tag with EA tech support, scouring the various forums, and trying everything short of a format (which I had done not a week previous to installing the game anyway) and I'm still stuck on level 1, unable to advance. To make it worse, EA tech support completely stopped responding to my E-mails (all they gave were generic answers anyway though) and the guys from Lionhead havn't given any sort of update on anything since April 5th :(

Needless to say, I'm somewhat frustrated.
#6 by "kanaeda"
2001-04-25 17:01:45
kanaeda@sunstorm.net
You mean there's a game in there somewhere?

It's a lot of fun to play around with now and then, toying with the creature and watching him do stuff is cool. The game side is somewhat mediocre. There's just too much going on in each village. I found it's really hard to keep track of what's going on in the villages and tend to the creature, which makes playing the actual game a real bitch.
#7 by "Iazu"
2001-04-25 17:08:35
iazu@hotmail.com www.epoch-of-unlight.com
#6 "kanaeda" wrote...
You mean there's a game in there somewhere?

It's a lot of fun to play around with now and then, toying with the creature and watching him do stuff is cool. The game side is somewhat mediocre. There's just too much going on in each village. I found it's really hard to keep track of what's going on in the villages and tend to the creature, which makes playing the actual game a real bitch.


There's a little secret to the villagers that a lot of people seem to miss (I can play skirmish matches without crashing since I don't need to save in those). The secret is, "Don't manage the village yourself". The more you tend to them, the lazier they get. If you let them fend for themselves (within reason) they'll actually be quite self sufficient.

Here's a great page for tips on dealing with them :)
Click me!
#8 by "Finn"
2001-04-25 17:10:47
About the same here, played it a few times covering about 10 (maybe less but it felt that long) then got bored........
I suppose it was !fun" to a certain extent, still looks lovely though :)
#9 by "Blood_GC"
2001-04-25 17:13:13
blood@roflmao.com
If you get frustrated by not being able to tend to your creature, then grab a sandbox level (find them on planetblackandwhite).  There you can train your creature to your heart's content with no enemy god and no villagers...and every spell globe available to you.  

My troubles with the game are that I had random crashing problems on levels 1 & 2, then I had saving problems on level 4 (only).  On level 5, my creature is shrinking, and he got so small that he was no longer able to do anything because I can't hand him food...so when I send him out to impress a village he invariably starves to death because he can't eat.  Now, before starting this level I "backed up" my creature according to Lionhead's instructions.  Well, I decided to restore my creature and start a few savegames back in level 5.  After following Lionhead's instructions on RESTORING, I now have NONE of my level 5 savegames, and my creature is STILL really small.  At this point I'm so frustrated I don't know whether to play with my creature in a sandbox to get him to grow, restart the game, or wait for the patch.  
I would give this game a 95%, but because of the bugs I bring it down to 60%.  This is inexcusable.
#10 by "Matt Gallant"
2001-04-25 17:14:41
mg@tmbg.org http://truemeaningoflife.com
It's got a great sense of humor and there are lots of "things to do."

This latest Metal Gear 2 video shows off a key element missing from Black and White though.
#11 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-04-25 17:16:08
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
I'll try to restrain myself in this topic since the whole B&W thing has started to piss me off.  I really like the game, but I've stopped playing.  But the difference between me and most people on the net is that I am NOT bashing the game now.  I think I got my moneys worth out of it.

People don't seem happy unless a game can provide a years worth of solid entertainment.  It's $50.  That's "fifty dollars".  How much entertainment are you really purchasing?  If it keeps you entertained for even 25 hours, you paid $2 an hour ... WAY more entertainment value for your buck than going to the movies.
#12 by "Flamethrower"
2001-04-25 17:20:59
patch@evilemail.com http://www.portalofevil.com
People don't seem happy unless a game can provide a years worth of solid entertainment. It's $50. That's "fifty dollars". How much entertainment are you really purchasing? If it keeps you entertained for even 25 hours, you paid $2 an hour ... WAY more entertainment value for your buck than going to the movies.


Movies are over priced.
Movies have a better "hit-to-shit" ratio than games.

Gamers and top developers compare new games against the very elite of that genre's work.

Roberta Jordan's Warren Marshall's Wheel of Unplayed wrongly reckons he gives the same value as Pulp Ficiton.
#13 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-04-25 17:25:51
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
I'm still waiting for someone to send me a copy.
#14 by "Paparazzi"
2001-04-25 17:28:59
tom187@dingoblue.net.au
hehe i probably have one of the most retarded computers on the planet, yet B&W hasnt stuffed up for me once. w00t

lol
#15 by "Iazu"
2001-04-25 17:31:08
iazu@hotmail.com www.epoch-of-unlight.com
#11 "Warren Marshall" wrote...
since the whole B&W thing has started to piss me off.


Just curious, what's pissing you off?

#12 "Flamethrower" wrote...
Roberta Jordan's Warren Marshall's Wheel of Unplayed wrongly reckons he gives the same value as Pulp Ficiton.


You seem to like to bringing up the fact that WoT wasn't a blockbuster hit (been reading PC for well over a year now and I know I've heard you bring it up at least twice before), you and Warren have some sort of enmity? Once again , just curious :)
#16 by "Flamethrower"
2001-04-25 17:36:48
patch@evilemail.com http://www.portalofevil.com
I really like the game, but I've stopped playing.



Yeah. In the same way people who really like Half Life stopped playing.

If you 'really like' a game so much you don't want to play it after a week, I say review it at 98%!!
#17 by "David Long"
2001-04-25 17:40:04
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
People don't seem happy unless a game can provide a years worth of solid entertainment. It's $50. That's "fifty dollars". How much entertainment are you really purchasing? If it keeps you entertained for even 25 hours, you paid $2 an hour ... WAY more entertainment value for your buck than going to the movies.

Fifty dollars is a lot of money to a lot of people Warren. If you have kids, a mortgage, a car payment, insurance payments, school loans, etc. it all adds up. Reading reviews is a sure-fire way to know if a game will be good and if you will still be playing it two months later when you might finally have fifty to spare for another game. When reviewers jump to conclusions, or people claim "25 hours is enough", well that doesn't fly with the majority of the game buying public. Especially when the game is as high profile as Black & White and promises so much while delivering about half of that.

Movie money is throw-away cash. Not only that, you get a night out as part of the deal which is well worth the 4 hours or so you get away from home. Game money often has to be rationed carefully and most people aren't buying as many games as you or I. Therefore they need to know that this game doesn't hold up under closer scrutiny when they could go buy something like Kohan which they'll be playing long after Black & White has faded away.

I find it ironic that you work at a company which delivered a game with hundreds of hours of play value yet you think only 20 hours or so is enough for $50. Is this the amount of time I should expect from Epic's next game?

--Dave
#18 by "Steve"
2001-04-25 17:42:32
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
Movies have a better "hit-to-shit" ratio than games.

You apparently don't see as many movies as I do, or have lower standards.
#19 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-04-25 17:49:35
circle@bellsouth.net
2 hours of micromanaging villagers is technically 2 hours of me being 'entertained', but not nearly as rewarding as rewatching Blade Runner or Blue Velvet...

Entertainment is not a flat rate.
#20 by "Needle"
2001-04-25 17:52:17
needle@fags.gamersangst.com
I brought it back to the store after a week because of all the bugs.  I did enjoy playing it, and I would have loved to continue playing it, but the amount of problems this game had on release is unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.  I'm sick of buying games and having to spend the next few days trying to get them to work.

I know there's lots of variables that can determine how a game behaves, but from what I've seen on various messageboards, many of B&W's problems exist regardless of your particular setup.

Rather than complaining about it [except this time :)], my new policy is to STFU, put my money where my mouth is and bring it back for a refund.  I don't care how good it is, how good it'll be after a patch or how much I'm enjoying it.  If your product isn't finished, you aren't getting my money.
#21 by "jason"
2001-04-25 17:54:04
jason@loonygames.com http://www.bluesnews.com/
People don't seem happy unless a game can provide a years worth of solid entertainment. It's $50. That's "fifty dollars". How much entertainment are you really purchasing? If it keeps you entertained for even 25 hours, you paid $2 an hour ... WAY more entertainment value for your buck than going to the movies.


Value for your buck in gaming is a weird topic. I spent $40 some-odd dollars on Onimusha: Warlords, and I finished it in a little over a week with a total of less than 10 hours of gameplay. But at the same time, I don't feel like I was ripped off, because I really enjoyed the experience, and it's got some cool hidden features to unlock. But it is one of the shortest games I've played in years.

$50 will get you a game like Onimusha that can be finished in less than 7 hours, but it also gets you a mammoth like Baldur's Gate II that can take over 100 hours. The strange thing? Onimusha probably cost more than BG2 to make.

So the question arises - should games be priced by length? Would you pay $90 for a 100 hour game like BG2 if you could get a short game like Onimusha for $10?

-jason
#22 by "Flamethrower"
2001-04-25 17:58:11
patch@evilemail.com http://www.portalofevil.com
You seem to like to bringing up the fact that WoT wasn't a blockbuster hit


No man. I keep bring up Warren's entire lack of genius.

This is a man who thinks that at the UK national minimum wage a game that takes over nine solid hours hard work to earn enough money to buy should reasonably be unplayable within a week.

How much above 5 dollars an hour is the US national wage?

I'm merely pointing out Warren's view is an extremely convient one to hold for a developer with a history of producing short-term-interest games.

I on the other hand think a 35 quid 50 dollar game should be of the very highest calibre - or simply not on the market - or should be hideously slagged off.
#23 by "Warren Marshall"
2001-04-25 17:59:34
warren@epicgames.com epicboy.flipcode.com
Flamethrower (#12):
Roberta Jordan's Warren Marshall's Wheel of Unplayed wrongly reckons he gives the same value as Pulp Ficiton.

So you would argue that Deus Ex or System Shock 2 don't deliver the same entertainment value as Pulp Fiction?  Or that B&W is more entertaining than many movies which are released each year?  There's a fair amount of crap on each side of the fence.

All I'm saying is for the money, if a game gives you 2-3 days worth of gaming,  it's paid for itself.

Iazu (#15):
Just curious, what's pissing you off?

Just how online gamers are so apt to bitch.  It seems like the only reason they go online each day is to find something to bitch about or to find someone to cut down.  It's really lame.

You seem to like to bringing up the fact that WoT wasn't a blockbuster hit (been reading PC for well over a year now and I know I've heard you bring it up at least twice before), you and Warren have some sort of enmity? Once again , just curious :)

No, he seems to think it bothers me intensely for some reason.  :)  My work on  Wheel of Time is one of the things that got me into Epic, so you won't see me shedding any tears over that game.  =)

David Long (#17):
I find it ironic that you work at a company which delivered a game with hundreds of hours of play value yet you think only 20 hours or so is enough for $50. Is this the amount of time I should expect from Epic's next game?

OK, don't start reading Epic policy or future plans into my statements.  I'm just a guy talking on a messageboard.  Remember that.

Anyway ...

I'm just looking at value vs money.  $50 for 25 hours of gameplay = $2 an hour.  Pretty good value vs money if you ask me.

The fact that some games go WAY beyond that should be viewed as a bonus, not the norm.

#24 by "szcx"
2001-04-25 18:09:20
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
It took about the same time for me to become bored with Baby Jesus Monkey Fetus (my creature) than I did with my Gigapet (Professor Monkey McMonkey).  Once you've got your creature picking up people and placing them down next to a pig, then picking up the pig and throwing it, you've reached B&W perfection.
#25 by "szcx"
2001-04-25 18:11:14
szcx@bersirc.com http://www.leslienassar.com/
FWIW, "same time" is roughly equal to two weeks.  Yes, I'm that easily amused.
#26 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-04-25 18:13:02
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
Black and white has issues not with AThlons .. but with the Memory handler on Via motherboards :)

it runs rock solid for me EXCEPT when I get force focus`d back to the desktop thanks to someone messaging me on irc (opens up a new window and sets focus to it, havent figured out how to stop that yet)

its a fun toy to play with, I end up ignoring my starving villagers for the most part as you CANT KEEP UP with their food demands. Hell building a norse wonder and tapping the food miracle down to them one bit at a time is gone quicker than a free chicken masala at Cleghorns student Uni....

Its fun to fiddle around with things and see how the AI learns and adapts .. My Zebra learnt fireball and was about to get attacked by Chumly (Lethys`s wolf)... the wolf stomps at my Zebra through a valley with trees either side the zebra makes a fuck you gesture at the wolf ... then lobs a fire ball to each side of him .. BOOM instant towering inferno with the enemy creature running side to side in a panic continually bursting into flame... to which my creature promptly pooped and started throwing the poop at it as well... then fell over laughing hysterically..

Or the breakdancing face off they had on level 2 when I had the tiger.... lethys`s creature pulled a move, then mine... and so on .. then mine flipped the bird and did a windmill on its head and lethys creature couldnt do it and stomped off in a sulk

still cant follow that fucking guru tho... he sees me no matter what I do after the first restart point.


oh and Flamey .. the WOT game was quite fun, 15-20 hours gameplay easily, good realisation of the world of the books with Warrens levels being some of the highlights in terms of atmosphere (Shadar Logoth just rocked overall, esp the bowels). While I remember, you may find it interesting that our 'beloved' Andy Smith also worked as a freelancer for Legend on WOT.....

Ds
#27 by "Iazu"
2001-04-25 18:13:03
iazu@hotmail.com www.epoch-of-unlight.com
#23 "Warren Marshall" wrote...
Just how online gamers are so apt to bitch. It seems like the only reason they go online each day is to find something to bitch about or to find someone to cut down. It's really lame.

Ahh, ok. I remember you mentioning that Land 3 (I think it was that one) had made you quit playing :) Was wondering if that was it. I try not to bitch about games at all, hell, I'm usually really enthusiastic about any game that gets my attention and just ignore the ones I don't like :) But BW has me confounded, this is the first game I've *ever* come across that I couldn't get working reliably at all (considering I've played Messiah, Ultima Ascension, and Outcast I believe that says something :) )

#22 "Flamethrower" wrote...
I'm merely pointing out Warren's view is an extremely convient one to hold for a developer with a history of producing short-term-interest games.

I on the other hand think a 35 quid 50 dollar game should be of the very highest calibre - or simply not on the market - or should be hideously slagged off.


Cool, like I said, just wondering :) Although I tend to agree with what Jason said in his post about the quality of entertainment vs. length. Of course, a lot of games are "crap in a box" as well :)
#28 by "Sgt Hulka"
2001-04-25 18:18:44
Sgt_Hulka@Hulka.com http://www.hulka.com
In Post 26, Darkseid-D! spewed forth the following;
"the WOT game was quite fun"


Yes it was, quite an outstanding game!  

#29 by "Ergo"
2001-04-25 18:19:26
stu@dsl-only.net
#26 "Darkseid-D!" wrote...
it runs rock solid for me EXCEPT when I get force focus`d back to the desktop thanks to someone messaging me on irc (opens up a new window and sets focus to it, havent figured out how to stop that yet)


Um, turn IRC off?
#30 by "asspennies"
2001-04-25 18:21:56
asspennies@counter-strike.net http://www.asspennies.org/
I think the big problem here is the way you feel after the initial fascination wears off.  For a lot of people - myself included - the initial 10 or so hours were great fun - but mostly because I was imagining what I could do when the friggin tutorial ended, or when my creature was properly trained, or what have you.

Black and white is a game that builds and builds and builds up to absolute flatness.

And I think that's what has people feeling - well, I wouldn't say angry, but certainly feeling that the game let them down.  Think about it like other RTS games, such as StarCraft.  It gradually builds and builds and when all is said and done, even though it's difficult in the end, you feel satisfied.

Black and White ends up not satisfying you.  It's sort of like paying $50 for foreplay.  Sure, it was fun, but I was expecting a little bit of a payoff.
#31 by "Anonymous"
2001-04-25 18:28:34
Depending on what version of ICQ you have you can go into the Preferences section and find the Events subcontainer.  Under the General tab you can uncheck the "Pop up response dialog...." option.  This option is also available to each individual user on your list under the Alert/Accept Modes menu.  Just find the Accept tab and choose the options you want.
#32 by "Anonymous"
2001-04-25 18:33:55
Ooops. I read ICQ, if it is IRC and you run Windows 2000 you can turn off the Set Focus option with a certain version of TweakUI....
#33 by "Steve"
2001-04-25 18:47:46
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
I'd rather play a brilliant 10 hour game then a boring 40 hour one. (And I've HAD to play all the way through plenty of boring 40 hour games.) You can't judge a game, or a movie, based on its length... that's loopy. (Of course a guy would say this.) It's the quality of the experience, not just its quantity.

As for Black & White, I wrote a review of it, and my experience was that the entire single-player game ran out of steam and felt tacked on. I think it would have been a better SimCity-style game then one with a narrative and missions, and god-versus-god conflict.

It has some undeniably brilliant, really forward-thinking elements, and I can't wait to see what other games do with some of its ideas. But it's really an interesting simulation with a tacke-on and somewhat dull game.

If you're curious about the review, click.
#34 by "DanM"
2001-04-25 19:08:24
I did not like the game at all. It was just the final didtillation of what Molyneaux has been trying to do since he Created Populous.

The game was well executed and polished but still a rehash to me.

The whole creature thing left me cold. I have kids, no need to train another one and the real ones are a better investment of time. Also why dedicate all my computer resources to an experience I can get by buying a 5$ Pikatchu keyring.
#35 by "BobJustBob"
2001-04-25 19:21:33
kevinakabob@mindspring.com
I will go mcgrew on this thread's ass.

First, the EuroGamer review. Sounds like they're a bunch of action gamers thinking 'Where is my rocket launcher?'. Their creature sounds like a complete idiot and the failures they ascribe to the game are certainly their own failures as parents. Also their lack of patience, saying (paraphrased) "I showed him how to throw a rock; he threw a sheep. I showed him again how to throw a rock; he threw a person. So I got pissed, beat the hell out of him and said 'I hate this game'."

Now for replies.

#0 "Morn" wrote...
Here's my nano-review of Black & White: It's not a very good game, but it's a great toy.


I have been having great fun with this game, but I agree with Morn. I followed the development of B&W, and my worst moment of doubt was when they announced that they were restructuring it to make it more of a game. I suppose not everyone wants to make a SimCity or The Sims, but I can only think of what could have been. *sniff*

#4 "Jeremy Witt" wrote...
I thought the game was really fun for about a week, when it suddenly occurred to me that not only was I bored with the game, but some of the management almost felt like a chore. I suppose I could have trained my creature to micromanage a little better, but the thrill of repeatedly trying to teach a reluctant tiger to poop in a field wore off...


Again, having no patience is not the game's fault, it is yours. If you don't like slower-paced games, fine, but don't say it's a problem with the game.

#6 "kanaeda" wrote...
The game side is somewhat mediocre. There's just too much going on in each village. I found it's really hard to keep track of what's going on in the villages and tend to the creature, which makes playing the actual game a real bitch.


Micromanaging where you don't have to. Why? It's obvious that you don't enjoy it.

#9 "Blood_GC" wrote...
Now, before starting this level I "backed up" my creature according to Lionhead's instructions. Well, I decided to restore my creature and start a few savegames back in level 5. After following Lionhead's instructions on RESTORING, I now have NONE of my level 5 savegames, and my creature is STILL really small.


I backed up before Level 5 too, and I haven't tried restoring it so I can only assume that I will actually get my old creature back. But as for the savegames, the Lionhead instructions specifically state that the creature and savegames will be overwritten by the backup.

#17 "David Long" wrote...
When reviewers jump to conclusions, or people claim "25 hours is enough", well that doesn't fly with the majority of the game buying public. Especially when the game is as high profile as Black & White and promises so much while delivering about half of that.


First of all, you can play and enjoy this game for a lot longer than 25 hours, because I have. Second, how many hours should a reviewer tell you is okay, since you are apparently unable to think for yourself? Also, just because a game is "high profile" it should not be held to the same standards as other games?

#17 "David Long" wrote...
Movie money is throw-away cash. Not only that, you get a night out as part of the deal which is well worth the 4 hours or so you get away from home. Game money often has to be rationed carefully and most people aren't buying as many games as you or I.


No wonder they have to ration their game money if they consider movie money "throw-away cash".

#23 "Warren Marshall" wrote...
I'm just looking at value vs money. $50 for 25 hours of gameplay = $2 an hour. Pretty good value vs money if you ask me.


Good point. Against $6 for a 90-minute movie, that's $4/hour. B&W gives you twice the value of Pulp Fiction!

#26 "Darkseid-D!" wrote...
its a fun toy to play with, I end up ignoring my starving villagers for the most part as you CANT KEEP UP with their food demands.


Just let them starve and they will find food themselves. Whenever I go to a village and see the lazy bastards sitting around, I just take all their food away and give it to the worshippers who love me.

#30 "asspennies" wrote...
Black and white is a game that builds and builds and builds up to absolute flatness.

And I think that's what has people feeling - well, I wouldn't say angry, but certainly feeling that the game let them down. Think about it like other RTS games, such as StarCraft. It gradually builds and builds and when all is said and done, even though it's difficult in the end, you feel satisfied.

Black and White ends up not satisfying you. It's sort of like paying $50 for foreplay. Sure, it was fun, but I was expecting a little bit of a payoff.


Sigh, StarCraft sucked. Anyway.... I wouldn't really consider B&W an RTS. The game never deceived you about what was coming, you were just expecting something different and when it didn't happen, you felt let down. It didn't satisfy you because you were expecting something else and that's not what you got, even though it was obvious from the beginning that that wasn't what you were going to get.

#33 "Steve" wrote...
But it's really an interesting simulation with a tacke-on and somewhat dull game.


Again, I would rather that it had not been a "game", but again again, you being impatient and wanting instant gratification is not a fault of the game.


Whew. And about all the technical problems, I can sympathize and offer the best advice that I can: blame EA. I had those save/load errors on Land 4 and they were nearly constant. But once I got to Land 5, they disappeared. The bugs are inexcusable with the huge amount of time that they tested the game. But the game is awesome.
#36 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-04-25 19:56:07
circle@bellsouth.net
#35
Again, having no patience is not the game's fault, it is yours. If you don't like slower-paced games, fine, but don't say it's a problem with the game.


At what point did I say that the game was at fault?!  I said I got bored with the micromanagement, and the novelty wore off.  Morn said "I'd like to hear your thoughts on that little game".  Those are my thoughts.  Hmmpphh.  Don't be so defensive.
#37 by "Jeremy Witt"
2001-04-25 20:03:46
circle@bellsouth.net
#35
B&W gives you twice the value of Pulp Fiction!

I hope that you're joking.  Just because B&W cost me less per hour than Pulp Fiction, doesn't mean that it was a better value... B&W was fun for a while, but PF was a whole lotta fun for a shorter amount of time.  If I had 2 hours to play B&W or watch PF (for the first time), I choose PF (and if I had to pay for this at an hourly rate, I would pay more for PF).
#38 by "Ergo"
2001-04-25 20:04:35
stu@dsl-only.net
I also felt the "game" part was tacked on as an afterthought. This is a real disappointment for me, since I've never liked software "toys" a la SimCity and it's ilk. I prefer games that have a specific goal to shoot for or a specific ending.

But I'm in the minority.
#39 by "David Long"
2001-04-25 20:09:48
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
First of all, you can play and enjoy this game for a lot longer than 25 hours, because I have. Second, how many hours should a reviewer tell you is okay, since you are apparently unable to think for yourself? Also, just because a game is "high profile" it should not be held to the same standards as other games?

Unable to think for myself huh? You know, there's a reason they're called REVIEWS. It's so you have an idea what to expect from a game before you buy it. Considering there is no DEMO of this game, what else would you go on before making your purchase? Gushing previews of a game that turned out to be something quite different based on well-considered reviews? High profile games are not held to different standards, but they do have more hype to live up to in the eyes of Joe Public. Blame the publishers and the media for that.

No wonder they have to ration their game money if they consider movie money "throw-away cash".

It costs me about $15 US to go to the movies without buying a bunch of salty snacks. That's much more palatable since I get to spend time with my wife, get away from the kids and enjoy entertainment I can just sit back and watch without working at a payoff. It's an entirely different standard and yes, that $15 is definitely more disposable than the $50 I would pay for a game since most people only get a half-dozen games a year. Once you have other people in your life who need support and your dollars for games only go so far, you'll understand that getting burned on one of the six games you buy a year really sucks. This is especially painful when the reviews of a game or people like yourself try to gloss over the bad to give it a good score.

Sigh, StarCraft sucked.

Whatever pal. You pretty much write yourself off as a moron with the entire following paragraph. He never compared B&W to an RTS, he said Starcraft had a better payoff, and it did and still does.

--Dave
#40 by "Steve"
2001-04-25 20:22:15
steve@manic-pop-thrills.com http://www.manic-pop-thrills.com
Again, I would rather that it had not been a "game", but again again, you being impatient and wanting instant gratification is not a fault of the game.

Um, right. Where did I say that?
#41 by "Darkseid-D!"
2001-04-25 20:45:27
Darkseid@captured.com www.sluggy.com
uhm .. by villagers I meant the morons at the temple worshipping

Ds
#42 by "Drastic"
2001-04-25 21:07:17
thatdrasticfellow@yahoo.com
Black and White.

Game--bad.  Toy--good.

Fire BAD!

My experience parallels lots of others--first week I had the game, I played it so much that it made baby jesus cry.  My critter kicked ass for what it did, village management wasn't an issue because The Cow! was so loving (as opposed to the god behind it) that it would also make baby jesus cry if he weren't already crying, so I guess instead it just made baby jesus choke on his own snot, cry out in a loud voice, and give up the ghost.

And then...Land 3.  I stopped playing several hours into it, third village under my belt and about halfway to finally converting the remaining one to allegedly get The Cow! back.  Growing the villages to expand my influence near enough to it was turning more tedious than stock-issue online christian-baiting, and throwing the indestructible jerry lewis influence-battery (featuring more unskippable cutscenes!) wasn't much better.  I keep meaning to begin again to just play with critter-training in sandboxes and skirmishes, but then I think about the interminable unskippable tutorial.

"Now...how to zoom.  Let's see..."  How to say fuck you.  Let's see.  You extend your middle finger like this...

I am very impressed that a piece of entertainment software can be so flat-out brilliant, yet profoundly incredibly ineptly put together at the same time.  I think that's the real polarity the title refers to.
#43 by "Stepto"
2001-04-25 21:08:14
stepto@gamersangst.com http://www.gamersangst.com
Needle Said:
Rather than complaining about it [except this time :)], my new policy is to STFU, put my money where my mouth is and bring it back for a refund.


What the hell are you doing playing games in the first place?  Don't you have more kissing lesbians to post?

I like B&W.  But bang for the buck wise, Serious Sam rocked my world.

S.
#44 by "Dethstryk"
2001-04-25 21:10:13
jemartin@tcainternet.com
asspennies (#30):
Black and white is a game that builds and builds and builds up to absolute flatness.

I'm going to go with asspennies on this one, because I think this is what happened to the game. If all the people who reviewed this sucker had to actually play it for a lot longer than they did, I don't think the review scores would be as high as they have been.

The game is just WOW at first, but once you get past the parts in the game where they are trying to impress you with neato stuff, it just starts to lose its appeal. That's my take, anyway.

I uninstalled it just the other night, and haven't missed it.


--
Dethstryk
#45 by "David Long"
2001-04-25 22:13:13
ogv@gamestats.com http://ogv.gamestats.com
Warren Marshall (#23):
OK, don't start reading Epic policy or future plans into my statements. I'm just a guy talking on a messageboard. Remember that.

Anyway ...

I'm just looking at value vs money. $50 for 25 hours of gameplay = $2 an hour. Pretty good value vs money if you ask me.

The fact that some games go WAY beyond that should be viewed as a bonus, not the norm.

But your company has made it the norm rather than a bonus, Warren. Maybe you don't realize it, but Epic has raised expectations among all gamers of hours of gameplay and long periods of support. So whether you're speaking for them or not, you're still part of a company that has made this mentality "the norm" rather than "a bonus".

But for the record, I know your aversion to being anything more than a guy on a messageboard and I'm ok with it. But you should at least consider your stance in the context of your company before saying something that totally contradicts your employer.

--Dave
#46 by "Gimper"
2001-04-25 22:30:23
jjohnsen0@uswest.net
Dave said
I uninstalled it just the other night, and haven't missed it.

Looking back I am actually suprised about how many times this is true for me.  I install so many games and end up deleting them to make room for whatever has come out recently.  I sometimes don't even remember playing them once.  Lemmings, Half-Life, UT and Deus Ex are the only games I can remember leaving on my hard drive for a significant amount of time.   I would like to think in the
good ol days
ugh games were playable forever, but I think my expectations were lower.
#47 by "BobJustBob"
2001-04-25 22:36:50
kevinakabob@mindspring.com
Okay, some good points against me that I have to concede. Just assume that if I don't take issue with you, you are right =)

But this crap on the other hand......

#39 "David Long" wrote...
It costs me about $15 US to go to the movies without buying a bunch of salty snacks. That's much more palatable since I get to spend time with my wife, get away from the kids and enjoy entertainment I can just sit back and watch without working at a payoff. It's an entirely different standard and yes, that $15 is definitely more disposable than the $50 I would pay for a game since most people only get a half-dozen games a year. Once you have other people in your life who need support and your dollars for games only go so far, you'll understand that getting burned on one of the six games you buy a year really sucks. This is especially painful when the reviews of a game or people like yourself try to gloss over the bad to give it a good score.


What the hell are you babbling about? $15 is more disposable than $50 because you only buy a half-dozen games a year? You do realize that money is homogenous right, that you can buy games or go to movies with it? The reason you only buy a half-dozen games a year is because you're spending so damn much at the movies! One game = three movies, not a big difference there.

Now on to some less important matters...

#40 "Steve" wrote...
you being impatient and wanting instant gratification is not a fault of the game.

Um, right. Where did I say that?


You said the game was dull, same difference.

#42 "Drastic" wrote...
And then...Land 3.


Land 3 never slowed me down, I just plowed right through it (plowed == 8 hours or so) and loved every minute of it.
#48 by "Fanny Fungus"
2001-04-25 22:58:09
Yeahright@dot.com fdsa
Duke Nukem Forever will never be out. It's all an attempt to undermine society as we know it. It's all hogwash. Just thought you might want to know.

Oh, and Black and White is so-so. Very novel and original, but still...so-so. Certainly not worth forty bucks.
#49 by "None-1a"
2001-04-25 23:07:44
none1a@home.com http://www.geocities.com/none-1a
#23 "Warren Marshall" wrote...
Anyway ...
I'm just looking at value vs money. $50 for 25 hours of gameplay = $2 an hour. Pretty good value vs money if you ask me.
The fact that some games go WAY beyond that should be viewed as a bonus, not the norm.


You know by using this logic I can see why people are pissed at the shorter games. $50 for 25 hours =$2 an hour AKA good value right, well $50 for 90 hours = $0.56 an hour AKA damn good value.

Personal game play time isn't something I give a crap about. It doesn't matter if it's only an hour or 100 hours as long as they where enjoyable things are fine.
#50 by "Anonymous"
2001-04-25 23:20:46
http://www.webhitzone.com
I pay $4 per cd, and I do it legally, and I get 50 hours + out of each cd.

I will let you figure out the math.

But this backs up a point I made on the 3dRealms board about Duke Nukem Forever. If people get so obsessed looking forward to a game they are only going to be disapointed. Maybe not entirely, but they will nit pick the game to death, to the point it's not fun anymore.

Maybe this is you, maybe it isn't, but it seems like this happened to many people.

- Paul
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Home » Topic: Black & White, No Slack, Just Shite?

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