Original URL: http://www.psxextreme.com/scripts/previews2/preview.asp?prevID=267
Metropolismania
Scheduled release date: August 2002
Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Natsume
Genre: Simulation
Number Of Players: 1

  You have been assigned by the government to rekindle human interaction after technology takes over all forms of communication. Thanks to the conveniences of modern technology, people can contact each other without having to leave the comfort of their own home. Your job is to build a growing metropolitan with the goal to have people walking around the streets again and revive the community that it once was.

   You must walk throughout the streets and ask people what they would like to see in their neighborhood. Whether it's a business, another block of homes or even a skyscraper to start a downtown area. You need to cater to the residents' requests so that they can trust you as the leader of their city. The more your city grows, the closer you come to your goal. The actual process of building something is more than just a press of a button, however. For those who've played Dark Cloud, it comes off sounding quite similarly to the Georamaa system, doesn't it?

   After listening to the citizens of your community, it's time to get to work. You have four tools at your disposal -- a cell phone, marker chalk, laptop, and builder invitations. The building of a typical residential area will go something like this: first, you take out your marker chalk and mark an area to build a road. The builder invitations are used to find people that applied to live there. You have to be quick though, or other people will come in and steal the land, calling it their own. This will affect not only the look of the area but the citizens' reactions to your credibility. After finding the buyer, you must zone the area that they will live in, similar to SimCity. Soon, a full-blown house will be constructed and the family can move in. This process can be repeated over and over, but only as long as you have invitations.

   This is where the cell phone comes into play. You must use the cell phone to meet people once you're out of invitations and eventually become friends with them. A meter will show your progress from stranger to friend. The people that you befriend will begin to ask you favors and introduce you to people that can help you improve the city. This all depends on how trustworthy you are in the eyes of the townspeople. If you're looked up to and liked, then your city will grow rapidly, but if you are perceived as someone that can't be trusted then the people will reject you and your city will go down the drain.

   The game will feature four different camera modes in all -- bird's eye, top-down, first-person, and third person. The specific purposes for each camera angle and the parts of the game that they will be most effective in are currently unknown. Though it is believed that the bird's eye view will presumably be used to view your city from afar, the top-down will most likely be used to find areas to construct, and both the third and first person perspectives will be used to interact with people and see your city from a citizens point of view.

   Another interesting game is headed our way from Japan and it seems like it will be a great game that borrows from the SimCity universe and throws in its own mix of personality. The game is scheduled to arrive stateside this Summer. Best of all, this promising gem will retail for only 19.99.


6/24/2002   Anthony Perez