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Show and Tell: Surviving Civilization Revolution

This week is a bit of a departure from the regular Show and Tell format, but if you think about it, we're not really making much of a turn. We've celebrated the products of all sorts of fandom in this space, but there's one devoted group we haven't addressed: the writers of guides and walkthroughs and FAQs of all sorts.

Maybe you've looked a few things up now and again: a short cut, a question about deleting a save, or a hint when you were stuck. Guides are freely available, and there are all different sorts ... and most of them are written by just plain folks. So why are we bringing it up? The folks at WiiHD recently put out a preview of sorts for the recent release Civilization Revolution -- a preview that includes vital game information. There's no Civilopedia in the DS version of the title (for the uninitiated: the massive information files common in Civ games). Even veteran Civ players might miss the information in the new handheld for its descriptions of unit capabilities, terrain types, and resources.

Luckily, fans have swept in to fill the void. WiiHD isn't the only site working to provide information to new (and old) Civilization Revolution players. We've got a list of a few of the guides after the break, and we offer our hearty thanks to the people who work to put them together. That's really all this week is about: the people who take the time to help others with their gaming. Next week, we'll be back to the stuff.

Show and Tell is all about your stuff, so long as it's Nintendo-related. We love to see your collections, your crafts, your frosted creations, your t-shirts and swag of all sorts. Just snap a few pictures, tell us what's up, and send it all to showmeit [at] dsfanboy [dot] com. We'll take care of the rest.

Continue reading Show and Tell: Surviving Civilization Revolution

WRUP: Leading the revolution edition

Without a doubt, the biggest and best release of this week is Civilization Revolution. We're big fans of that Sid Meier guy, so his latest game immediately won us over. You can bet we'll be spending a large amount of time this weekend taking Abe Lincoln and the Americans to the top (their bonuses are just too awesome to ignore).

What about you all? Going to lead the revolution, as we are, or are you playing something else? How will you fill these last few days leading up to E3 2008?

Civilization Revolution comes with a mini-poster surprise

What's better than a pin-up of Izuna? Well, a pin-up of Napoleon, for starters. Bow chicka wow wow.

In all seriousness, we do like this Civilzation Revolution DS poster better (although this blogger isn't exactly in hormone-crazy young male demographic that the Izuna pieces are meant to appeal to). Hormones aside, though, Napoleon is looking pretty badass here, and we're confident he could even conquer the Ziggy Pig looking like he does.

So, how do you get one? As with Izuna, this mini-poster comes as reversible cover art, so all you have to do is buy the game. We're starting to get spoiled here, though, and soon we're going to demand that every DS title comes with such an awesome feature.

[Thanks to ChristianBK for the tip and picture!]

Metareview: Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

We may have weighed in on the portable title, but what about the rest of the reviewers out there? Now that the title has been available for a little while now, many of the critics have put out their verdict. And, just as we enjoyed the game, the majority of them also found it to be a good time.
  • Game Informer (85/100) gives it a good score: "Some few sacrifices have been made, notably the absence of the in-game Civilopedia, and the control is nowhere near as smooth as it is on a gamepad. However, you won't find a deeper or more replayable portable strategy experience anywhere. Civilization Revolution is a very worthwhile investment for any strategically minded DS owner."
  • Gamespy (80/100) says it's barebones, but good: "While it won't be winning any beauty contests with its barebones 2D graphics, the play's the thing and the combination of solid controls and lots of content in the form of the technologies, units and variegated civilizations make Civ Rev an enjoyable and entertaining romp through the traditionally staid and somber realm of nation management."
  • Nintendo Power (75/100) said the game lacks any competition: "If you're a fan of the genre, there are few better ways to get your fix on the go." [Aug 2008, p.89]
  • GameZone (75/100) says the DS version loses a bit compared to the consoles, but is still a good choice for on-the-go action: "Civilization Revolution is a solid entry to the series, bringing the experience to a whole new audience. While the DS version loses a little bit in the translation, it's still worth a look from hardcore series fans looking for a portable version of their fix."

DS Fanboy Review: Civilization Revolution

Few games have inspired as many different reactions -- all heated, all extreme -- in me as Civilization Revolution. There are few aspects of the game that are just "okay" for me; everything is either really awesome or really annoying, and in the end, it's difficult to condense all of those feelings into a simple yea or nay. The short version is that Civilization Revolution is a pretty good DS game. As a Civ game ... well, it's different.

Civilization is an intense experience. After all, you're starting with a few guys dressed in ill-fitting skins and attempting to conquer the world through a variety of strategies. The games are often enormous, sprawling across a map that can take up most of the globe (oceans be damned), and due to the sheer size of the games, they've just never worked well on consoles. This game changes that, but in a very intriguing way. Civilization Revolution isn't a port. It's not a remake, or even really a reimagining. It's a complete rebuild, with such radical changes in some areas that it hardly feels like the same game, and yet, the base gameplay of one of the world's best turn-based strategy franchises somehow manages to remain intact. It's not without flaws -- and some are pretty serious -- but Civilization Revolution does manage to accomplish a very simple goal, and that's stripping down Civ and making it a manageable (and fun!) portable experience.

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: Civilization Revolution

Hands-on: Taking on the world in Civilization Revolution

It's something of an understatement to say that I like the Civilization franchise. I've been playing the games for a decade, and they rank highly on my list of all-time favorites. That means it's difficult for me to look at Civilization Revolution as something outside of the norm -- which it is -- because it looks and feels in many ways like Civ. Looks (and feelings) can be deceiving, however, because this isn't Civ, not really, and that works both for and against the simplified strategy game.

There have been other console Civ titles, and they've all been lacking. The mouse-and-keyboard setup is so integral to managing a huge game that taking it to the controller has just never worked, at least not for me, and attempts to streamline the game in the past simply haven't been terribly successful. That hasn't stopped them from trying, and trying again, and with Civilization Revolution, the result is a lot better than some of the past efforts.

Continue reading Hands-on: Taking on the world in Civilization Revolution

Civilization Revolution gets techy

Dying for details on Civilization: Revolution? Yearning to know just what the reward will be if you're the first to get Masonry? Wonder no more, for the (incomplete) tech tree from the PS3/Xbox 360 demo versions of the game is available after the break. The DS version, it is worth noting, features the same gameplay, so the tree will apply.

Some technologies are locked and unavailable in the demo, so everything isn't covered here, but thanks to Sigmakan at the 2K forums, we've got a pretty good idea of what we'll be racing for -- and how we'll use it -- then the game hits our beloved handheld early next month.

Continue reading Civilization Revolution gets techy

Carnival Games DS apparently features freaks

Carnival Games on the DS apparently features a "sideshow" feature not found in the Wii version! That is, if the title screen is any indication. Look at that guy! He's about ten million times creepier than the jack-o-lantern-like barker found on the cover of the Wii game. That guy's not a barker -- he's a warning. "Step right away! Don't come in!"

Carnival Games' carnival also features a "game" in which you're swarmed by giant bees. They may present it as a game, but we usually don't find the presence of bees in our amusement parks at all amusing. Maybe after that, you'll have to play a game about cleaning the spilled ice cream off of the ground so the park doesn't attract so many bees.

Gallery: Carnival Games

MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars gets fantasy price

DS Fanboy rather liked Major League Baseball 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars (even if it's a mouthful to say). Those of you that are interested in this odd but fun baseball title should consider picking it up today, though, as opposed to any other day, so that you can take advantage of Amazon's temporary sale.

Until 12am Pacific time, Amazon will have the game available for $14.99. If you don't mind outdated rosters, and you're craving a good, cheap baseball experience on your DS, this title probably won't disappoint. It may not be as weird and wacky as a Mutant League game (ah, if only), but it does offer a refreshing experience compared to some run-of-the-mill baseball titles out there.

DS Fanboy Review: MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

Never have the St. Louis Cardinals had a better pitching game than in my days on the mound in MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars. Under the influence of my super arm and eagle eye, the Cards threw out would-be hitters by the dozens, and laughed as they stumped off the field, their over-large shoulders swinging dejectedly. Those golden moments dripped glory, and there upon the mound, we found joy.

The problem is that the Cards never suffered worse at the plate than they have under my regime. So it goes.

Gallery: MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

Continue reading DS Fanboy Review: MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

DS Fanboy interview: Rob Hawkey on MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

Responses to the recent announcement of MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars have been wildly mixed. Rather than pulling a dumbed-down version of the console title to the DS, as is usual with cross-platform releases, 2K Sports took a different turn. Deep Fried Entertainment produced something completely different for the handheld -- and we really mean different -- and while it seems to be a risky proposition, it's an interesting one.

We sat down with Rob Hawkey, Game Director at Deep Fried to discuss the unusual baseball title, and he had a lot to tell us about what went into the design and creation of MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars. Slide past the break for all the details.

Gallery: MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

Continue reading DS Fanboy interview: Rob Hawkey on MLB 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars

Civilization: Revolution migrating to stores in June

Good and bad news reached our inboxes today regarding Civilization: Revolution. The good: the game is still on target for a spring release. The bad: for those of us who are pining for the game, it's kind of the wrong end of spring.

Whereas once we prayed to the DS gods for an April release, it seems they have not found us deserving of such a blessing. June 3rd is the new release date for Firaxis' strategy in the U.S., while Europe will be receiving it on June 6th. Here's hoping Sid Meier is correct about the (very different) DS version being worth the wait.

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- Civilization Revolution

[Via press release]

IGN seeks out new Civilization

It's no surprise that Civilization is great -- it's been being great for decades. But what is nice to hear is that our very own DS version of Civilization Revolution is turning out well. IGN's Steve Butts calls it "essentially just a portable version of the game you're getting on the home systems," in that the game design is unchanged aside from obvious graphical scaling-back and the addition of touchscreen controls. Sid Meier assured us of much the same thing, but we prefer to get confirmation from somebody whose name isn't on the box.

As for details -- well, if there's pretty much anything you want to know about Civilization Revolution, this exhaustive preview has it. For example, the discussion on technology. While you can't set your research on autopilot in order to go directly to a certain technology, you can arrive at many of them via multiple paths. If a technological breakthrough has multiple prerequisites, achieving any of them will qualify you for the new tech. And you get a bonus for being the first to discover a certain technology.

If you're already thinking about historical discoveries that would totally rule in-game, and the previous discoveries that led to them, you should consider checking out the full preview.

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips: Civilization Revolution

Sid Meier says DS Civ worth your while

As much as we may love the Civilization franchise, is it getting the proper treatment on the DS?It's difficult to tell. When a game is being released for the PS3, 360, and also the DS, naturally, most outlets focus on the consoles. After all, those versions are usually packed with extras and they come complete with glittering screenshots. Civ daddy Sid Meier seems to know what's up, however; despite the lion's share of a recent interview focusing on his older titles and console versions of the upcoming Civilization Revolution, Meier references the incredible Advance Wars franchise and assures everyone that the gameplay on the DS version is going to be exactly the same as it will be with the next-gen versions of the title. Only the interface and look will be different, but the core itself will be the same.

As for the look, we've got fresh, clean versions of those early screens tucked away in our gallery below, and while we're hoping for a little polish prior to release (if Meier can reference Advance Wars, so can we), we're holding out hope that he's right, and that this game will be just as strong as the "bigger" versions.

See also: 2008's Biggest Blips -- Civilization Revolution

[Via GoNintendo]

2008's Biggest Blips: Civilization Revolution

Developer: Firaxis
Publisher: 2K Games
Release: April 1

There are a lot of things that could be said about Civilization: Revolution on the DS. Sid Meier's strategy powerhouse is a perfect fit for the stylus-based control scheme, and if the screens seem a little small for you, well, just remember: there's two of them. And a little scrunching makes up for having to navigate around with a d-pad or analog stick. If you've ever played a Civilization game on a console (and we're Civ junkies here, so we have), then you know that can be less than fun, but real Civ fans suffer the pain anyway, just to maximize their domination experience.

But what no one's mentioned about Civilization: Revolution is the number one reason it's fit for release on the DS, and frankly, we're shocked. Look, people. Civ, like Risk, is all about world domination. Yeah, there are other paths to victory, but in the end, it's all about punking down those other dudes. And that is exactly what the DS is all about. It's the little handheld that could. It's won its own version of the space race, and while it hasn't exactly crushed and wiped out all of the competition, its constant presence at the top of sales charts all over the world says all that needs to be said.

In fact, had the DS been around when Civilization was first created, we expect it might have been named DS: The Game. Instead of tanks and cavalry, we'd have had DS Phat models and little guys waving sabers from the back of a thumb stylus. Japan's special unit would have looked a great deal like Dr. Kawashima, and their leader would have been Satoru Iwata. For the U.S., we'd dump Lincoln or Roosevelt and instead bring in the Regginator, who in times of crisis would remind us that it's just not his problem. In battle-heavy games, however, he would certainly kick ass and take names.

Need entertainment for your citizens? Build download stations and Wi-Fi networks for your cities. Competing civilizations could be not only other gaming systems, but even other hobbies and activities. After all, the DS is conquering various age groups, it's spreading in schools, and it's taking over many everyday aspects of life. You could be the nation of DS versus School, Sony, and Being-A-Functioning-Human on a small map. It could be awesome. Also, just as realistic -- or more so -- than some of the scenarios that mimic historical events!

Okay, so all of that is really very silly, but we're very serious about the march of the DS juggernaut mimicking a good game of Civilization. It started out a little slow, rather like being out in the tundra and cursed with a huge expanse of desert nearby, and an aggressive civilization just next door, hovering around your dudes and giving 'em the evil eye. But when you're in the zone, it just doesn't matter -- you can persevere and move beyond awkward starts and spread across continents ... just as the DS has done.

Some people saw the early screens and turned their noses up at the title, citing it as a little too cluttered or not impressive graphically, but hardcore Civ fans should know better. Like the DS itself, it may seem a little strange at first, but we have faith that Firaxis will pull it out in the home stretch. Civilization Revolution could well be a portable strategy title to rival any other strategy game -- of any sort -- on the DS, and lately, that's been a huge and varied field. But we have faith, and we're keeping an eye on this one.

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