Classic Game of the Week -- Civilization

The question is not whether Civilization belongs as a Classic Game of the Week. The question is, which one do you put on top?

Channeling my inner Jim Croce, for a moment, if I could put time in a bottle, then I'd need a fully functioning bottling plant to fill the containers that hold hours lost to Civilization in its many forms. No series has more consistently mesmerized me during play sessions into a kind of joyful stupor from which I wandered bleary eyed to bed at Unholy-fifteen-in-the-morning. Sid Meier and increasingly Soren Johnson should hold an annual clinic on delivering constant and consistent reward in video games and attendance should be mandatory and compulsory. Releasing a game without hearing Sid and Soren talk at length should be a penalty punishable by banishment or being shot from a canon into the sun.

I'm almost done! Just as soon as I build the Pyramids -- just as soon as I research writing -- just as soon as I capture Corinth -- just as soon as I build this trebuchet -- just as soon as I convert to Hindu -- just as soon as I get riflemen -- just as soon as I ... Oh My God is it really that late?!

I admit that I think Civilization IV, particularly when combined with the absolutely epic Beyond the Sword expansion, is probably one of the most lovingly crafted and perfect games I've ever played. It's a permanent resident of my hard drive and something I will fire up for years to come. At least until Firaxis decides to go back to the old watering hole and eek out the next iteration in the series, but I think Civization II will always hold the soft spot in my heart. It was one of those games that defined me as a gamer, and that I look back upon with great affection, so I give the nostalgic nod to old school Civ.

But, just for the record, if you don't own Civilization IV, then you have made a tragic error in judgment that should be corrected post haste!

*image credit to Gamespot as you can tell from that little G in the corner

Comments

Singin' to the choir, brother. Amen!

I could add lots of stories connected with all iterations of Civ, but they would be mostly of the "Just one more turn and I'll go to sleep..." ilk. I'd wager that Civ incarnations are for a long time now the second most important cause of sleep deprivation in adolescents (right after watching porn). And let's be honest, that's a pretty difficult thing to achieve.

Does Civilization IV support local hot seat multiplayer?

I am pretty certain that it does, though I would not testify to that fact in court.

being shot from a canon into the sun.

I see what you did there!

Thank you for reminding me again how wonderful life is with Civ in the world. I remember having fun with Civ 1 even though I had absolutely no concept of "working city tiles". All I know is that whoever gave me the game also gave me a money hack save game editor, so I was set.

I first played Civilization while my sister and I spent a week visiting my aunt and uncle. I spent most of the week in their computer room playing Civilization.

When the Civ 4 combo box came out (Civ 1-4 plus the first expansion), I picked it up. I then gave each version of Civilization an hour to engage me on successive evenings.

Is it possible to expire of ennui?

I gave away my Civ set, thinking I was done with it. I was sure it was a great game, just not for me.

Since then, I've heard Anthony Gallegos relate some of his Civ 4 tales on Rebel FM, and those were so engaging I decided perhaps I'll give it a second chance. His stories convinced me I've been doing it wrong. See, I always play the good guy, so I played Civilization as the benevolent ruler, kind to his people and his neighbors. Result: boredom.

I've downloaded FreeCiv (an open-source reverse-engineered clone of Civ 2) and when I have time to play games again, I'm going to give it a shot. But this time I'll play the way Anthony plays: as an evil overlord. My sole interaction with other nations will be to conquer them, except when I'm lulling them into a false sense of security by making treaties I have no intention of honoring. Instead of my army defending my people against foreign attack, I will instead set it to invading my neighbors. My government will not exist to serve my people - my people will exist to serve me. I'll make Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Hitler look like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi.

Yes, Pinky, the world will be mine!

Maybe then it'll be fun.

hidannik wrote:

My sole interaction with other nations will be to conquer them, except when I'm lulling them into a false sense of security by making treaties I have no intention of honoring. Instead of my army defending my people against foreign attack, I will instead set it to invading my neighbors. My government will not exist to serve my people - my people will exist to serve me. I'll make Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Hitler look like Mother Teresa, Albert Schweitzer and Mahatma Gandhi.

Yes, Pinky, the world will be mine!

In no Civilization game should you ever become a Democracy or Republic. My least favorite thing ever in Civ II was getting ready to crush a neighbor and the pesky Senate signs a peace treaty behind your back.

I also love a good Blitzkrieg. I like to try and go from peace to completely destroying an enemy civilization in 1 turn.

Yes, Civ 4 supports hot seat, and I will testify in court if necessary.

Civ 4 is now almost perfect, after all the bugfixes and the two expansions. But when it was first released, my computer cried.

I have them, but never quite got into Civ IV. What is it that makes BTS so much better than just Civ IV?

BreechLoad wrote:

I have them, but never quite got into Civ IV. What is it that makes BTS so much better than just Civ IV?

More variation thanks to the introduction of new concepts (Great Generals from the first expansion, Spionage as a true part of the game and many smaller additions), further balancing of the gameplay and ironing out the bugs. It tipped the game over from very good to brilliant.

Elysium, I can't believe this is only now Classic of the Week. You should be ashamed of yourself! That said, I completely agree on the Civ II versus Civ IV front: the latter is by far the best game, but Civ II was defining in so many ways.

Elysium, I can't believe this is only now Classic of the Week. You should be ashamed of yourself! That said, I completely agree on the Civ II versus Civ IV front: the latter is by far the best game, but Civ II was defining in so many ways.

To be honest, I was actually surprised to see it hadn't been covered yet.

Elysium wrote:
Elysium, I can't believe this is only now Classic of the Week. You should be ashamed of yourself! That said, I completely agree on the Civ II versus Civ IV front: the latter is by far the best game, but Civ II was defining in so many ways.

To be honest, I was actually surprised to see it hadn't been covered yet.

Lucky for us there have been so many great games.

I miss Civ IV

*sniff*

I bought the dumbed-down 360 version to scratch the itch and for a while it worked, but it lacks the grandiosity of the PC games. I want to forge bizarre border agreements and create vassal states! I want to nuke every city on earth!

I bought the dumbed-down 360 version to scratch the itch and for a while it worked, but it lacks the grandiosity of the PC games. I want to forge bizarre border agreements and create vassal states! I want to nuke every city on earth!

Personally, I live for the really incongrous moments such as seeing the announcement that "Judaism has been founded in Berlin!"

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

Eek out?

** looks for mice **

Civ II was quite a leap forward from the original Civ, but was kind of ruined by "Infinite City Sleaze". The easiest way to win was to pack as many cities as you could as close together as you could. This was somewhat mitigated in Civ III, which had some great ideas of its own, but Civ III was a bit too complicated for its own good.

Civ IV, I think, finally struck a good balance, and the Beyond the Sword expansion added some of the extras Civ III featured, without overcomplicating the game. You can get a lot out of Civ IV even in fully automated mode, or you can go in and micromanage every little detail if you want to.

Civ Revolutions is a simpler version of Civilization, hearkening back to the original game, but it is in no way a "dumbed down" version of Civ. It has all the fundamental elements, and is just as addictive as any other version. Civ Rev was designed from scratch to take advantage of console gameplay, including achievements, built in leaderboards and community features, and a remarkably good control scheme. I didn't believe they'd pull it off without mouse & keyboard, but they did.

I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Civ 2 (and more recent versions) taught me I do not have a long enough attention span. I would play until approx. the discovery of gunpoweder, go to bed at 2 in the morning, and come back to it a week later, only to decide to start all over again.
I think it was the discovery of new areas that I enjoyed the most, perhaps that's why I never really got into the end game...still I wish I stuck with it and got nukes!

Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

Funny that my post would be next (see location!)

crunchy wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

Funny that my post would be next (see location!)

To the petting zoo in Waterloo Park!

Clemenstation wrote:
crunchy wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

Funny that my post would be next (see location!)

To the petting zoo in Waterloo Park!

Great place...right across from Married Student Apartments where I used to live!

crunchy wrote:
Clemenstation wrote:
crunchy wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

Funny that my post would be next (see location!)

To the petting zoo in Waterloo Park!

Great place...right across from Married Student Apartments where I used to live!

Right across from Lester Street where I used to live!

I used to drunkenly wander down there at 3 am to micromanage the bunnies in their endless battle for supremacy against the guinea pigs they shared an enclosure with.

My family were already all gamers before the original Civilization came around, but this game caused something of a revolution. My younger brother and I began an unspoken competition as to who could wake up the earliest to begin playing ... my parents had already implemented two hour turns to use our single Tandy 1000 RL, so getting up earlier meant a head start. When my mother accidentally discovered that we were sometimes getting up at two in the morning to begin playing, a new rule was implemented, not allowing the computer to be turned on before 6AM.

When my parents bought Civ 2, we were for some reason very excited by the idea of '3D Heralds', and greatly disappointed when they didn't work. My father quickly went out to purchase more memory, so that we could experience our new more life-like advisers in all their glory. After all of our excitement, they were very much a let-down.

Strangely, neither of my parents took a liking to Civ IV, but still play 3.

Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

I don't think that's a good idea. (At least consider committing the Guard quickly!)

Civ IV is awesome in that it's NOT boring to play the goody-two-shoes cultural hog. It's SimCity mode Civ, but it is fairly interesting.

When my parents bought Civ 2, we were for some reason very excited by the idea of '3D Heralds', and greatly disappointed when they didn't work. My father quickly went out to purchase more memory, so that we could experience our new more life-like advisers in all their glory. After all of our excitement, they were very much a let-down.

Heresy! Elvis the Entertainment Advisor was hilarious.

wordsmythe wrote:
Minarchist wrote:

As a playable character in the game, I whole-heartedly support the choice of Civ II. To Waterloo!

I don't think that's a good idea. (At least consider committing the Guard quickly!)

Well, I don't know how it'll turn out yet, but I'm optimistic.

BadKen wrote:

Eek out?

** looks for mice **

Civ II was quite a leap forward from the original Civ, but was kind of ruined by "Infinite City Sleaze". The easiest way to win was to pack as many cities as you could as close together as you could. This was somewhat mitigated in Civ III, which had some great ideas of its own, but Civ III was a bit too complicated for its own good.

I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

Infinite City Sprawl wasn't my favorite exploitative gimmick in Civ2. I was the perfectionist, building my perfect little cities with all their improvements in my perfect little empire, racing toward the modern age, gifting railroad and engineering to nearby neighbours, building up an army of howitzers, and then conquering them in one turn. Granted, I played on the lower levels (Prince and maybe the difficulty above), but I never got tired of rolling over everyone one turn at a time.

One City Challenge (OCC) also played to my the way I wanted to play the game. One city to focus on, turtle when it comes to military conflict, and having your "perfect" city win the space race was beautiful. On days when I was short on time but I wanted to be bloodthirsty, I'd do what I called a "militarized OCC", playing until I got those howitzers, building up my army one turn at a time, and then conquering in one turn again thanks to railroads. I'm glad that there's no longer "infinite railroad movement" in Civ4 (I didn't like 3 at all, an barely touched it), but damn, it was fun to have a Civ go from the largest in the World to no longer existence.

How about this for sacrilege? Civ III was my favorite version. It was also my first, but despite the complaints, it just felt right. Civ IV just didn't quite feel right to me. And since most felt like Civ IV was a return to form, I doubt Civ II would have been any better for me.

Roke wrote:

I'm glad that there's no longer "infinite railroad movement" in Civ4

That was the thing hardest for me to get used to.