January 6, 2012

Simulated Towers. (NOT Tiny Ones, Though.)

Let me look at my list of blog topics…

Goodness, Mega Mall Story? Damn, it’s been awhile since I played that. Best clear that off of there. Maybe this week will be “Games I should have written about like two months ago” week.

In any case, Mega Mall Story is Kairosoft’s attempt at making SimTower, and to be fair, this is probably one of the better Kairosoft games. However, in some ways, I feel like it suffers a bit from the smaller scope Kairosoft tries to stick to. They always keep their types of whatevers limited and dole them out slowly over time to make you want to keep going. However, in Mega Mall Story, I was really feeling it. I simply didn’t have enough store types to expand far enough to unlock more store types, and that felt weird to me. You don’t, say, but two different book stores in a mall. You just don’t. Whereas in, say, Hot Springs Story, it made sense that you were putting like a million hotel rooms down of the same type: that’s what goes on at those sorts of places. Maybe that’s just me thinking too hard about the scenario. Then again, you build apartments with your own money, but don’t collect rent from them, but instead just get another customer in the area. So if I want to pick apart the “story” of the game, there’s probably more interesting things to poke at.

But I digress. The game attempts to fix this problem of not enough new stuff by having “combos,” which are strings of stores placed together to make certain types of customers come. For example, if you put a toy store, a candy store, and a capsule vending machine together, you get a “Kids” combo. The problem is, while most of the combos make some sort of sense, the game doesn’t outright tell you about them. You have to either stumble upon them accidentally, or you have to buy them from this guy to learn about them. More unlockables, sure, but I’m not just going to move my stores around for no reason to try to find these things, you know? Plus, when you buy them, you may get plans that involve stores you don’t have access to yet. Not knowing them gives me no way to plan a new floor in a new or interesting way. I clearly thought my stupid original layout was fine. I don’t want to change it without reason, you know?

Still, if you liked SimTower at all, and, uh, don’t just want to buy SimTower under it’s original name, YootTower, on iOS, Mega Mall Story is for you. I find I have more and more diminishing returns on Kairosoft’s games. They are all pretty similar. Yet they all still have the magic of previous games in there. I feel like it’s just something where you should pick the one game that really speaks to you more, whether it be Game Dev Story, Pocket Academy, or whatever, and play that one to death, you know? You probably don’t need to play every single one like me. I’m pretty sure I still have Grand Prix Story sitting on my iPad, as of yet unplayed. But someday I will play it! And it’ll be cool, I’m sure. Kairosoft is good people.

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