Synyster Graves

The Sims: Medieval – Fatal Flaw with game saves

by on Apr.11, 2011, under What Were They Thinking?

Sims 1 was very original, but sucks your life through a drinking straw!

Now I’m not much of a Sims player, in fact I find sitting in a house making someone sit in a house rather boring to be honest. I had the original Sims and after being bored trying to maintain some kind of equilibrium in working and sleeping before realising that trying to keep my sim alive was actually killing me, as I spending my time maintaining a sim instead of going to work or sleeping, I decided that it’s more fun just to kill them off. Yeah use the cheat to get money and buy lots of rugs, take away the doors and give them a barbeque to play with. Of course the other glitch was to build a swimming pool and remove the ladder until they find themselves in a watery grave as they weren’t intuitive enough to climb out. Anyways throughout intrigue and a love of history, I bought my girlfriend a copy of The Sims: Medieval because I thought it looked a very original concept and after watching all the videos of the making of on the EA website, thought that this was a game worth checking out. Plus she loves all that Sims stuff, I find it a bit hollow, but since it’s portrayed in the Medieval times, this does interest me. That and the Medieval Times scene in the Cable Guy cracks me up every time.

You can even make Gordan Freeman with the large variety of beards...

After dabbling with a lengthly installation the game finally started. It’s really good the level of customisation which you can do now, going down to facial features like beards and eyebrows (I never played Sims 2 or 3 so this was novel for me) and most importantly you can assign traits, which will affect your Sim’s behaviour. Most importantly, each sim has something called a Fatal Flaw, which is something you have to live with with that sim. In my case, I created a Sim to be a fool, as I still find that word funny since I’ve grown up watching BA Baracus call Murdock that for a good 5 years of my childhood. But other flaws include being bloodthirsty, cowardly, lazy, etc. Something to change your behaviour for the worst. After laughing at the ridiculous traits you can assign to augment your gaming experience the first quest begins. In typical EA fashion, the game holds your hand down to the most minute detail as pop-ups flash all over the screen telling you what to do. Fine, I suppose if you’venever played it before but the average gamer does have SOME common sense but I see why you do have to cater for idiots.

Anyways, as the nature of the game is a very “pick up and put down” kind of game, you want to just casually dabble with the game before actually getting on with your weekend right? Wrong. The first “Quest” you have to do is actually the tutorial. Instead of implementing a tutorial which you have the option of starting or not, the first mission if you will is actually the tutorial, and has about 27 different criteria you have to fulfill. Now that’s pretty heavy going for a tutorial in most games, but for a game which requires so much faffing about, that’s a bit excessive. But after having a quick fiddle for 15 minutes I wanted to save my progress and get on with something else, only for the fact that I got the following message:

“Saving is disabled during tutorial mode” or something to that effect

You like the way your sim looks? Don't get used to it unless you can sit through that arduous "tutorial" level

Let me get this right…. you cannot save the game during the tutorial?!?! So the good hour or so you start off you can’t actually save the game? You do a couple of bits here and there and want to save it yeah? Wrong. So you pan out to Kingdom mode or Furnish mode and it keeps popping up the same message saying “Saving is disabled while in tutorial mode”. What were they thinking? Disabled? What game has saves in it and disables it?! And why put in a compulsory stage which you can’t save your progress? Or tell you that you’re in a f*cking tutorial mode and tell you that the saves are non-existent. Anyone who HAS played a Sims game before can save at will so why does this have to be bloody different? The majority of people who buy this game will have at least played one of the other Sims games first! Lots of casual players will want a game they can pick up and put down, not having to restart every single time because the stupid game won’t let you save. So at the start of the game, you HAVE to invest a lot of time to get to the stage that you are allowed to save the game. That is terrible.

So you have to complete the entire first quest before you can actually save your progress and get on with your day? What a pile monkey spaff. That for me is just bad implementation. I moan about games not having checkpoints in missions but this is just plain stupid!

Whoever at EA thought it would be a good idea to disable saves, should be put into stocks themselves!

This isn’t a review of the Sims: Medieval as I haven’t actually played on further that that stupid first qeust and finally, after 3 attempts, managed to save the game, instead of quitting out thinking you’ve saved only to have to re-engage in the rigmaroll of creating the Sim all over again. I’m sure the rest of the game is good, it certainly looks good, and the music is top draw, but the save system in the beginning or that shitty tutorial is just plain weak. I have never played a game which has a save function but tells you to get lost whenever you try and save.

That is just plain ridiculous. I’m off to play Resident Evil 5 as that at least has checkpoints and I can save the game in that! Since the Sims: Medieval has the fatal flaw system, it’s ironic that it’s own fatal flaw is the disabled saving during tutorials! Or the fact that it doesn’t actually tell you that you’re in a tutorial mode until you try and save the game! Tutorial modes in 99% of games actually look completely different to normal gameplay, so why does EA make the tutorial mode identical to the normal gameplay. You can set a fatal flaw for your sim, but you’ll have to live with this one every time you start a new game. Get signal EA.

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