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Daily Debrief: A four-bagger for Spore?The waiting is over, and <i>Spore</i> is finally coming to market. Charles Cooper speaks with Gamespot's Kevin VanOrd about the ins and outs of this much-anticipated computer game.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:03 >> The waiting is over. Spore, one of the most widely anticipated computer games in memory is finally here. So how does it stack up? Welcome to the CNET News Daily Debrief, I'm Charlie Cooper here with my colleague from GameSpot, Kevin VanOrd and Kevin, this is a slow motion roll out -- the rest of the world gets a shot at buying today and tomorrow, Saturday. North America gets its turn on Sunday. You've had a chance to put the product through its paces, thumbs up, thumbs down, somewhere in between, what's your take? >> Definitely, thumbs up. This is a game that most people are going to buy and enjoy right out of the box. >> Really? >> Oh yeah, absolutely. >> Okay, I'm sure the folks at EA, Electronic Arts are going to be thrilled to hear that. It's an evolution game, can you briefly explain what that is. >> Well, you start -- any given game of Spore starting as a cell. You start as just a one, you know, singled-cell organism. You slowly build up over the course of the game to entire galactic civilization. So, it's... >> To transforms in stages. >> Absolutely. There are five different stages in the game. You start small and you know eventually grow big. >> And how does Spore handle the relation between game into play and community. >> Well, there are a lot of different community aspects of the game. One of the biggest is probably the Sporepedia, which is the in-game encyclopedia -- assuming that you're playing and connected to the Internet while you play. You have access to an entire library of player-created structures and player-created creatures. In turn, these creatures and structures then populate your own game, so what you experience and what you see as you go through this universe are actually things created by other players using the really robust creation tools that the game ships with, or the creature creator, which was a stand-alone product that was released earlier this year. >> And the final stage is space exploration. >> Yes, it is. >> And how does that compare with what's currently on the market if you wanna call it the space exploration game genre. >> It's really not as deep as you would expect from a game like that. The Spore's real -- you know what makes it shine is the fact is that it does all these things. It's really five different games rolled into one with these robust creation and community tools. So, if you would have to take any of these given stages and put them, you know through their paces against similar games, those individual parts don't really stack up. So the space stage, you know isn't gonna be as deep or as interesting as you would see from something like say, Master of Orion or even Sins of the Solar Empire, which was a great strategy game released earlier this year. But taken as part of a greater whole, you know, it definitely shines. >> Obviously, you get to try out a lot of product. It seems though that in the recent past, it's become more and more difficult for game creators to turn out truly innovative product. A: Do you buy that? B: What's the question here? Why is it becoming that harder to really come out with consistent for baggers? >> Well, I think there's always the, you know, I think developers are now playing, you know a game between appealing to a broader audience and you know, still appealing to the core gamer audience. I think it becomes harder and harder and a game like Spore particularly when it comes from, you know a development house like Maxis and you know a very famous gaming mastermind like Will Wright, people are obviously are gonns have their eyes, you know, staring straight at this product. And you know in the end I think the idea of Spore is probably a little bit more interesting than the actual act of playing Spore. But you know, taken for what it is, it's still a great game, you know, stripped away, you know all the anticipation and all the hype that goes into a game like this from, you know a genius like Will Wright and you've still got something that's really great and fun to play. >> And you made a very good point, Will Wright and computer gaming-dome is considered at the top of his craft. Not everybody has a Will Wright. Still, if Electronic Arts has a big hit on its hands, reasonable to expect that other development houses will try to imitate this. >> I think that's possible, but I think that, you know, take a look at something like the Sims, which also -- you know, it did have some knock-offs, you know, but they ended up being, you know pretty bad wines like a Playboy game and a Desperate Housewives game, and things like that. So we might see a lot of products like that, but it strikes me that this is such a niche product with a lot of ambition behind it that very few developers and publishers are really gonna work, you know, try to recreate something like this. I don't see suddenly a whole bunch of evolution or creations as in games suddenly flood the market because of this one. >> Good deal and you can read the full review that Kevin's done at www.gamespot.com. Thanks for joining us. >> Thank you. >> On behalf of Kevin VanOrd, I'm Charlie Cooper. ^M00:04:52 [ Music ]