I’m aware of Spore, but it’s not a game I look around for in an active mode. Here is a preview of the game, for example, but I haven’t read it so I don’t know if it’s good or not. I’m especially disinclined to read previews in particular, because I think it’s a game that is likely to preview well. You aren’t likely get past the novelty stage in am Official Press context - it’s going to be pure discovery from beginning to end, wall to wall tendrils and eye stalks, ginning up hobbling quintapeds whose journey to the mailbox is difficult, if not impossible. The incredible outpourings of support for the game are themselves incredible to me, but what they’ve done is try to create a product whose potential is as raw as possible. We seem to value that ethereal quantity differently than most.
I don’t actively hate it, as Gabriel does, one possible explanation for which is its reliance on procedural content. It’s something we go into at length in the podcast (which will go up Monday, at the latest), but I get the impression that it feels to him like a kind of scab labor. For my part, I will play any interesting game, for the duration that it remains interesting, even if that time is very short. I’m just not going to endure Media Onslaught X for Spore. I’m done absorbing information about the game. At this point, I’m ready to see their cards face up on the table.
We grabbed the newest Team Fortress 2 update yesterday, which really highlighted for us how criminal our negligence of this game has been. He took it for a spin yesterday - as the Soldier, a pitch-perfect homage to the days of Quake World - and I tried to figure out why this was something we weren’t doing all the time. It’s actually pretty straightforward: the game’s home is on the PC, it loves to be there, and glories in it, and there is no power on Earth that could get my cohort back into that platform.
When it was released, I imagined that we’d simply transfer our affection from Halo or Rainbow Six or Call of Duty to TF2 on the console, but the 360 version isn’t up to snuff: it doesn’t really like being there, and it’s not what I expect from a Valve product, but then, I don’t think that consoles are especially suited to their iterative development style. Valve always gets it right - eventually. Fresh, free content finds its way to their games according to the same mysterious, magical calendar they use for all their products. This doesn’t quite mesh with channels they don’t control. I don’t know if those versions are essentially orphaned now, or what. I’m not sure they made much of an impression.