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After the mediocre Civ3, Sid Meyers strikes back with Civ4. I am enjoying it.

Just a couple of shots since there once you see one screen in Civ4 you've seen them all.

Kyoto in all it's glory

Japan invades Russia!

If you're familiar with Civ, you know about everyone's favorite troublemakers, the Barbarians. In Civ4 they have actually become a viable threat, and unless you uncover all of your available land as quickly as you can, they will grow, become very powerful, and overrun you. I used to play Civ on big big maps with a low number of players but now this is almost suicidal since the barbarians will establish cities, road networks, and generally cause you insane headaches by the time you find them. Luckily there is an option to turn them off, but without them it almost feels like cheating.

In Civ4 they reevamped many of the "tedious" elements of other Civ games and reduced or eliminated them. There is no more pollution, there is "healthiness" which can be quickly controlled with structures. One new aspect is religion, which is very relaxed and can lead to some really silly "what if" scenarios. My mighty Japanese empire was a mix of Hinduism, Islam, Judiasm, and Christianity. And they were all happy!

My only gripe of course is a personal one.. I just plain suck at these games. I can't even get anywhere at the default difficulty, I have to play on easier levels. I fear the day when I actually play with other people.

Oh, and when you get new techs, Leonard Nimoy narrates them. 8)
 

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So far, I actually like Civ 3 better. One of the biggest problem I have with Civ 4 is the speed. The game would slow to a crawl after a couple thousand years; it was pretty painful to finish the first game I started, which was 8 players on standard map IIRC. After clicking on stuff there are usually several seconds of delay. I just tried a 2 player game on duel map, same thing. Exactly what kind of computer do you need to play on giant map then? Or maybe it's just me.
On the flip side, Civ 4 feels more "grand". I like the title theme a lot and the narration is a very nice touch as well.
 

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Emulation to the max!
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civ4 was very well done in my opinion
 
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