Civilization 2 Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Good
   A casual gamer who has never heard of Civilization 2 and judges games 
only by their outside appearance might reasonably think that it is one of 
the worst games of all time.  The graphics are comparable to a poorly-
produced first-generation Super Nintendo game.  All of the music in the 
entire game except for one track is unbearable.  The action quotient is 
virtually non-existent.  The introduction sequence is one of the worst I've
ever seen for any system.  Indeed, this turn-based strategy game seems like 
a complete piece of crap on the outside, but you will find yourself 
hopelessly hooked anyway.
   It would be an understatement to say that Civilization 2 is one of the 
deepest games ever made.  There is so much to do and so many ways to do 
what you want to do that the game has nearly unlimited replay value.  The 
PC version of this game was released over three years ago, and yet I'm sure
there are still thousands of people out there still playing it almost every
single day.  The reason for this is because there are so many variables at 
work in the game, no two games ever play out the same way.  Taxes, 
technological innovations, Wonders of the World, the happiness of your 
citizens, military units, relationships with other empires- all of these 
things and many more must be dealt with throughout the course of the game. 
   A newbie not used to turn-based strategy games this deep could easily be
overwhelemd by all the options at their disposal and wonder just what the 
heck it is they're supposed to be doing.  Fortunately, the game has an in-
depth Beginner Mode that walks the player step by step through the early 
portions of the game.  The detailed Civilopedia is also available to fill 
you in on the roles of specific city structures, military units, and 
Wonders of the World without being the least bit confusing or intimidating.
In addition, with the assistance of some grainy Full Motion Video, you can 
speak with a group of five advisors at any time.  There is a good bit of 
humor involved with the advisors, including the Elvis-impersonating 
Domestic Advisor.  Unfortunately, the Advisors usually say something new 
once and then repeat the exact same phrases for decades at a time, so 
you're much better off going to them looking for humor than looking for 
insightful advice.  Repetitive advisors notwithstanding, the well-written 
instruction manual, Beginner Mode, and Civilopedia are more than enough to 
clear things up for those who are confused by the wealth of options Civ 2 
has to offer.
   The gameplay of the PC version is intact in its PlayStation counterpart.
The development team responsible for the PC-to-PlayStation conversion did 
an admirable job.  Even the game's complicated interface is seamless once 
you get the hang of it.  The PlayStation version of Civilization 2 also 
features the same mind-numbing addictiveness we'll all grown to love.  When
I'm playing Civ 2, nothing else in the world seems to matter, including 
food, showers, bodily functions, and ringing phones.  Don't start a game of
Civ 2 expecting to play for only 20 or 30 minutes, because the next thing 
you know you'll look at the clock and it will be 4:00 AM, and you'll want 
to keep playing.  It's that addicting.
   So what's not to love?  Only two things, really: the lack of a multi-
player mode and the increasingly annoying lulls between turns.  If your 
game map is even remotely large, you should be prepared to sit through long
loading times between each and every turn, sometimes over 30 seconds each. 
These lulls get more annoying over time and make an already slow-paced game
even slower.
   As great as the PlayStation version of this game is, I still say it's 
not worth buying if you have a PC.  I recommend that you buy the PC version
of Civilization 2 for about half the price of the PlayStation version.  
Essentially, you'll be getting the same game, only with all of the multi-
player modes and none of the loading time between turns.

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