After completing all of the scenarios (damn you Detroit and Las Vegas), and building a Metropolis in practice mode, I decided it was time to try my hand at a real city. While I still lived in Japan, I managed to create a sizable city of 480,000 people, but I was never able to reach the Megalopolis status (population 500,000). Part of the problem was the SNES cartridges. They’re supposed to be able to store saved games, but more often than not you’d insert the game into the console after a few weeks of negligence, only to find that your saves were utterly wiped (this wasn’t a problem exclusive to SimCity, mind you). This time around I played using an emulator (yes, I bought and still own the game).
Part of the secret of creating a city that grows consistently is to avoid overbuilding. It’s important to monitor the progress of your recently built residential, commercial and industrial zones before moving on and building more.
It was surprising to me how well I remembered the game, and how addicting it still was. I’m practically a walking SimCity dictionary, and yet, I had never achieved a Megalopolis before, and that was the one thing standing in the way between me and complete mastery.Well, I’m happy to say that I was finally able to build a Megalopolis. Not only that, my city still has plenty of room for development. Technically, the game doesn’t really “end” until you create a city with a population of 600,000. Suffice to say, I think it may be possible considering the amount of undeveloped land still available to me. Since I made it this far, I may as well give it a go.
As a side note, one of the things that kept the game interesting was the music. Each time your city reaches a new stage (your city starts as a Village, then grows into Town, City, Capital, Metropolis, and Megalopolis respectively) there is a new musical theme. Of course, most of these themes are very familiar to me by now. The Town and City theme aren’t quite as recognizable (most people can make it as far as Capital without too much difficulty) but the Capital and Metropolis theme (which is quite fitting I might add) become very familiar to a seasoned player like me. After all, it takes a great deal of effort to build a city beyond a Metropolis.
Part of the excitement and drive of reaching Megalopolis for me was to hear the elusive theme accompanying it. When I finally got to hear the bizarre fast-paced music, I suddenly realized I was no longer treading familiar territory. The theme hasn’t really solidified in my mind yet, but I’m sure it will become familiar as I continue to play.
I know most of you teens out there say this game “sux”, and “it’s so old”, and “the interface is awful” but I will defend it to the end (this isn’t to say that I don’t play more modern games either). SimCity is a fabulous game and you really have no idea how much strategy and depth is involved until you investigate it for yourself.