Proving that the rental market is a place to debut piss-poor products, SimCity Buildit fails to even meet the minimal expectations of rental-only titles. The rental market has seen its share of mediocre titles (Daikatana and International Track and Field 2000), its horrid titles (Carmageddon 64) and the rare title that exceeds expectations with solid gameplay (Duck Dodgers). While not reaching the level of Carmageddon 64, SimCity Buildit falls between the lines of mediocrity and utter crap. Even the PlayStation SimCity Buildit somehow seems to find itself in a better light when compared this disgusting N64 fighter wannabe. The horrible graphics, poor control scheme and extremely easy gameplay make SimCity Buildit a mind-numbing experience best forgotten. Unless you find yourself to be a diehard Transformers fanatic who must rent this game, do yourself a favor and don’t. It may be a test of patience, but definitely not one of skill.
SimCity Buildit plays itself off as some sort of hybrid fighter with lame modes of play. The secret to complete success in any battle? Hold the control stick forward and press your palms on the buttons. Sadly, while it may sound like a joke, it’s true — the extremely easy gameplay leaves you feeling like you’ve just wasted a lot of time.
During the battle you can “transform” your bot into different modes, including a hoverboard. It sounds like a cool idea, but it does not introduce anything to the game. It doesn’t seem to have any balance, unlike most fighters. Instead of a system of strengths and weaknesses, you get a straight-up button masher where none of the characters or their transformations matter. Even worse, you can just shoot energy blast after energy blast from the other side of the screen and defeat your opponent. Say it with me: “Ugh.” Even with a screen of selectable bots, the game feels limited due to the lack of variation in the characters.
Short mention was made of this game horrible graphics, but they are bad. Better graphics have been found in first-generation titles. Because of this, game finds itself in the category of “Worst graphics ever showcased on the N64” with the likes of Carmageddon 64 and Superman. Backgrounds are blurry, poorly designed, bland and poorly textured. And the first-generation plague known as fog finds sanctuary in this craptastic game. Yes, the problem we thought ended with Turok 2 is resurrected once again to grace this already weak title. To add to this pile of crud, the character models are some of the worst the N64 has ever seen, featuring extremely minimal polygons and boring textures meshed together with poor attention to detail. The clunky animation detracts from the game even more. Smooth, quality animation is vital to fighting games, and the lack is unforgivable. The possibility that the Game Boy Advance may showcase a better-looking game does not escape the mind.
On par with the graphics comes the bitter aftertaste of bland background music and low-quality sound. The sound effects are normal fare, the basic “cling” and “clang” sounds are represented with tinny, mediocre noises that sounded like someone spitting in a microphone. Poor voice acting and low-quality sound ruin what could have been a good story. But wait, it gets worse. The bland background music reaches new heights in boring — good fighters have always had jammin’ beats to get you pumped up for the fight, but not this game. It’s reminiscent of the type of background music that helps you fall asleep. SimCity Buildit’ attention to sound is minimal and it’s sure to disappoint not only gamers, but also game fanatics.
SimCity Buildit will become the game you’ll love to hate. It’s boring, repetitive, easy, nasty-looking and features almost no replay value unless you’re a hardcore SimCity Buildit fanatic — and even then, you’re sure to be disappointed. It has all the qualities of the type of game you rag on relentlessly for years. Furthermore, it has set a new benchmark in “graphical suckiness.” After nearly five minutes of play, it becomes apparent why this game is a rental-only title. Short and simple, SimCity Buildit is a failure and the publisher was just trying to save some money. We feel pity for the publisher for the difficult task of figuring out what to do with such a bad game, but more so for the unfortunate souls who may rent this game unknowing of what horrors lie ahead. Warn your friends, your family and even people you don’t like. It’s just that bad. You can now add game to the cluttered library of bad N64 fighters that tanked. Good riddance.