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Headshot of me wearing red lipstick Kara Babcock

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. :D

I had a pretty good Christmas, all things considered. Excellent turkey ... enough candy to hospitalize me ... good movies. I got Star Trek: Legacy and Sid Meier's Civilization IV.

If you were thinking of buying Star Trek: Legacy, let me save you the time: don't. I am not overreacting. In the short time I played the game I found it to be utterly dissatisfactory. Firstly, there is no intro scene, no exciting opening cinematic, except for an overly-long one for the developer, Mad Doc. Secondly, the mouse behaves with jerky movements on the menu, making any action twice as hard to execute. In missions (which can't be saved while in progress) the controls are confusing, the graphics are lacklustre, and any good things were siphoned from Star Trek: Starfleet Command III. There is no coherent tutorial, just a series of hint screens that inconveniently disrupt gameplay during the mission--so I have no idea what I'm doing. Incidentally, there's nothing to indicate that the game is paused after I press "Pause" except the fact that the Romulans stopped shooting at me.

Civilization IV, on the other hand, looks exciting. I only tried out the tutorial before I packed it in and wrote this. It seems like a cool combination of turn-based strategy game, like Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and Age of Empires. I love both games, so although I've never played a Civilization game I am really keen on beginning this one.

Interesting observation about packaging. Star Trek: Legacy comes in a huge box with one DVD-ROM disc. The box, however, has a bunch of flaps for multiple discs. Tell me, does this make any sense? Why give me all this extra plastic? You could have shipped it in a single case! And then it goes and takes up 5 GB of storage. Now compare this to Civilization IV. It has three CD-ROM discs, one of which is filled with instruction manuals and doesn't actually pertain to gameplay. It takes up only 1.7 GB of space, and each disc comes in an envelope instead of being housed in a huge plastic waste of space.

So to recap: Star Trek: Legacy was so poorly executed in every respect, from gameplay to packaging, that it isn't worth much of a thought other than the fact that apparently the Star Trek franchise is ailing in more ways than one. Civilization IV, on the other hand, is good.

I'm going to go to bed now, since I might want to go see if there are Boxing Day deals tomorrow. Maybe. If I'm awake. :D