I think you're confusing street lights and traffic signals. Places in the snow belt have had issues with LED traffic signals getting blocked with snow, but I can't see the same thing happening with a downward facing street light.
Lord, I should hope not. If the snow's that high I think 'blocked street lights' is the least of your trouble!
I agree. The WiiU has been a disappointment, but we're only just *now* seeing the first set of 1st party stuff show up. I rolled my eyes at "refusal to license out core properties such as Super Mario to other gaming platforms (or even iOS and Android)", since that's exactly why they'll survive just fine. Want the new Pokemon? Have to buy a Nintendo system. And they will!
And the new Mario game is set to show up soon, looks fantastic and should support online co-op finally. I haven't bought a WiiU yet, but that one might tip my hand so I can play Mario with my brother.
"Private capital is ready and waiting," Miglarese said last week. "But the government's culture of build-and-own-your-own satellites and the inability to commit is what's holding back these job-creating funds."
Statements like this always confuse me. Who does Miglarese think is building the satellites now? Monkeys? How does stopping making & managing your own satellites and paying someone else to do it create jobs? That sounds an awful lot like it just moves the jobs from one place to another.
Which isn't to say it might not be a better deal, but it feels like he just threw that in because he knows politicians go into Pavlovian slather if you mention "job creation".
I'd agree the DRM aspect was part of the conversation, and might even be why it was greenlit, but having played it a bit its pretty obvious that 'always online' was part of the core design from day one. It's not like they had a game, and later decided to make it require a connection. They may well have started with 'require a connection' as the base and then said "How can make that an advantage" though. I don't honestly see why that's a bad thing. They're pretty clear it requires the connection, so at most someone can complain that this isn't the SimCity they wanted developed (always a fair opinion).
The difference here is that I can play when I want, and my brother can play when he wants, and EA/Maxis hosts the game so we don't have to setup a server. I know we're all nerds here, but 99% of people don't want to run a server to play a game of SimCity with their friends.
Look, this is from someone who last night made his first city about 8 times and lost it all 8 times because of the server nonsense. I was pretty annoyed.
But if we're going to lambaste someone for doing the always-online thing, maybe we shouldn't just jump to conclusions, maybe you should, learn something about i it first? Or maybe you just want to be hip & cool like everyone else and be against always-online without using any actual critical thinking. If so, bravo.
One of the cornerstone features of the game this time around is the Region play aspect. This was introduced in Sim City 4, but they've taken it to a much more interesting place in this iteration. Basically, there are about a dozen regions you can choose to play on; first, you choose one. Each region has X 'city slots'. This doesn't necessarily mean # of players, but it obviously puts a cap on X players in that region. Nothing stops you from building all X cities yourself over time. The cities have a lot of interconnection, hooked up by highway, or rail, or whatever. You can specialize one city as a college town, make another the bedroom community, etc. And, of course, you can invite people into your game (if its private, otherwise they just find it) to fill out the other cities instead -- and cooperate, fight, whatever.
That doesn't work without a server authority, so that needs always-online to work. Otherwise you'd need one person to host, and never stop. So this is logical. Plus, you can still play it by yourself if you want.
The part you can argue for the always-online component is whether they should have let you play in a local region offline. That's a reasonable question. But they didn't just 'tack always-online' on as a form of DRM (though I'm sure they were happy to have it) -- its pretty clearly a foundation of the way they expect the majority of people to play. And I think they're right -- the *only* reason I'm playing the game is so I can play with my brother. If it was a purely single player game, I'd have passed.
Now if could just get that server mess sorted out, I think this would be a fun game. From what I've seen so far, the UI is easily the best SimCity has ever had. It was pure pleasure laying out zones & drawing roads, etc. And I like their module system for expanding the utilities & other buildings.
It's not fair to say this is "how not to design a single player game". That's insipid. They've taken a single player game and made an interesting multi-player game, that if you really want to you can play by yourself. That's not the same thing.
Actually, this wasn't a problem money could easily solve. The problem is, there is no such map database. The reason Google Maps is so good is because they've put a lot of time and effort into hand-crafting processing that teases out the useful data from the existing map databases they buy. There is no mythical perfect map database that has no errors or problems, but just costs a lot. Even if Apple stole away all the Maps folks from Google, it'd take them a fair bit of time to rebuild their work for Apple's data sources.
They claim a $50 fine? God, every time I think I understand how criminal those SOBs are, I find out they're worse than I thought! Well, them or Budget, I'm not sure who are the real bastards here (maybe both?)
And I just double-checked, it's actually $3.80:
Video Toll Charge: $0.00 per Trip (with transponder), $3.80 per Trip (no transponder)
Trip Toll Charge: $0.60 per Trip (with or without transponder)
So I guess you actually kind of pay $4.60 just for getting on, if you don't have a transponder, and $0.60 if you do.