Waste Time. Civilization 5.

I have successfully wasted hours of my life. I have taken over the world by force, through diplomacy and the power of culture. I have researched technology from the wheel to the atomic bomb. Civilization 5 has not disappointed. After about a month of mashing my brain with hexagonal warfare, the time has come for a break just long enough to deliver this message. Seriously though, if you are a fan of this series you should purchase this game.

The most obvious upgrade is the system of warfare. The battles feel more real and more strategically sound than they ever have. In other words, you line up your troops in a way that adds realism to the game rather than moving an abstract stack of units around a map. The turns move more fluidly as reminders will blink and chime when something is overlooked including units with moves remaining, research selection and building construction. This aspect of the game is nice as an user of the auto-turn setting could tell you.

The multiplayer is enjoyable and is a near carbon copy of the single player game. Most of the single player settings are available in multiplayer games but beware of creating a game on the huge or large map setting. If you have too many people trying to connect it will cause some lag. Too many people here is about 3 or 4. We experienced heavy delays on a large map as soon as we entered the classical era. The game would not freeze but, in between turns the campaign loading screen would appear as the game synced with each client.

Be sure to host the game on a quick computer that preferably has a wired connection. There are a lot of things going on in this game and each turn adds more. So, even though the system requirements are fairly lean, as an informed and experienced computer gamer, you should know to expect some slow turns, on an older system, as you near the industrial era in the game. Even a newer computer system appears to have lag once a large world is populated. I suppose long games on huge maps are not conducive to the online format of this game. Smaller maps and shorter games should dominate multiplayer especially for the majority of users that do not have cutting edge or even year old systems.

Next Year Soon

In my last sports update, I looked with hope to a Colorado Rockies pennant and with frustration towards Carmelo Anthony. Since then, the Rockies have faded out of existence for the year and Carmelo Anthony looks to be sticking around for a little while. I bought into the hyped up rumors of a trade involving a few teams. That hype still exists and no mater how many times he refutes those claims, the rumors gain steam. I still won’t be surprised if he leaves Denver this year.

As for the Rockies, their bats died and their closing pitching returned to early season form. There’s always another year, next year. With the San Francisco Giants still alive, battling the Philadelphia Phillies, the season is still far from over.

Basketball season is almost here. Very exciting.

It Continues

I’m sure there is more than enough coverage of sports but I must say that the Rockies continue to amaze. Another magic month indeed. Jason Giambi saved the day. With him at the plate and one on, he hit the walk-off home run driving home two and sealing the deal. It’s just amazing how someone has stepped up in each of the games this past week. Here’s to sweeping the Padres.


Expect to be Impressed

And now for something completely different. The Rockies are in the race again and it couldn’t be more exciting. It seems that every year someone steps up to carry the offense on their shoulders. This year that man is Carlos Gonzalez. The consistency issues for the team as a whole seem to have subsided as they’ve lifted their run differential by 10 runs in one week versus 2 of the best teams in the league.

They are nipping at the heels of the Giants who are now only 2 games ahead in the division. The battle for the wildcard is in full swing and another magic run like the ’07 win streak could be possible. An upcoming series with the Padres could move them into prime position to control their own destiny.

The defense is fortified by Ubaldo Jiminez who is the league wins leader with a record of 18-6. His numbers speak for his ability and the potential claim to the Cy Young. With all this positivity it came as a shock to fans as all time Rockies wins leader, Aaron Cooke, went down with a broken leg in the 9-2 Wednesday win over the Reds. He took a line drive to the leg and his injury was, at first, thought to have been a bruise. He is expected to return if their run doesn’t end at the end of the month with the end of the regular season.

If the Rockies can maintain their current offensive renaissance, the will overtake the Giants and in the very least be the wildcard winners. The next month is a homestand. They cannot settle for splitting series’ and must go into each game with the much discussed ‘must-win mentality.’ Consistency is key. The offense has to continue to play at the level that the defense has played for much of the season.

For a team declared dead by some local voices in sports they seem very focused on proving that assumption wrong. Stealing home to gain the go ahead run is not an easy thing to do and like I said before, could be the springboard for a return to the glory of the ’07 season. This series was won with heroic efforts. This sweep should prove that the Rockies are alive and kicking.