LGR – SimCity 2000 Network Edition – PC Game Review


[theme music] [fizz, sip] Aahhh! [typing] SimCity and SimCity 2000 are known for
their exceptional single-player experiences where you play as an omnipotent mayor of a city deciding the fate of every Sim through
zoning, taxing and policy making. Imagine my surprise when I saw
this on the store shelf in 1996: SimCity 2000: Network Edition. SimCity 2000 had been released two years prior and the CD collections had been released
and were enjoying continued success. Then comes SimCity 2000: Network Edition which wasn’t a sequel, an add-on,
or anything like had been seen before. It was a true multiplayer version of SimCity 2000, complete with LAN, modem and Internet connectivity. And it was only for Windows; no Mac version this time. Freakin’ weird. Maxis had experimented with
multiplayer gaming over the years, but none of them had achieved much success, with stuff like RoboSport, multiplayer SimCity for Unix, later The Sims Online and,
of course, Network Edition. In fact, Network Edition was
only out for about a year before Maxis discontinued it and
pulled the game from store shelves, dooming it to clearance sections for years and making it one of the
hardest-to-find Maxis games today. The premise of Network Edition is super simple: it’s SimCity 2000 with up to
three players managing the city. But instead of just dropping into a scenario or new city, you first choose from a selection of network options, like what connection you’ll use, your name, the city’s name
and the speed of the simulation, since you can’t change the speed in-game. Once you’ve started the server,
the game will start as usual and any clients can connect in any point in time. If you’re familiar with the original SimCity 2000, the first thing you might notice is the new user interface. The old UIs were designed with their OS in mind– DOS, Amiga, Mac OS, Windows 3.1, etc. But this one was designed for Windows 95, so you have menus and buttons
inspired by the look of 95, with most of it that seems reminiscent
of the task bar and Start menu design. You also have a compass indicating the
cardinal directions your current perspective has. This all just takes some getting used to, especially if you’re experienced with SimCity 2000 and I’m not sure I like it. I don’t see how it’s an improvement,
but I’m not sure it’s worse, either. I just prefer the original Macintosh-inspired design instead of everything all spread out. Most of the gameplay itself is unchanged. You’ll need to build power plants, lay zones, pass laws and manage your personal budget in order to grow the tiny town into a massive metropolis. But if you try to place anything,
you’ll notice something new right off the bat. The land belongs to the city, so you’ll
need to purchase land in order to build on it. Although you can just play alone, remember
that it’s meant to be played with other people. So instead of just playing as the be-all,
end-all overlord of city management, you are now a district commissioner. The land belongs to the city and
it’s up to you and any other players to develop parts of the city,
working together for the greater good– or competing for power. You then develop your own land
in tandem with other players, raising and lowering property values, and even selling back and
buying new real estate, if need be. These are incredible ideas and
I have to commend Maxis for this because it’s actually quite fun. For instance, maybe you’ve got
some nice waterfront property with a school and upscale housing, but the nearby commissioner
owns the local power plant which you’ll need to power all your stuff. They, however, need access to
educational facilities and residents. You could strike deals with the other
players for resources or services. In this case, you can exchange access to your schools for access to their power. Or you could just pay an annual
dividend to the other player for a certain amount of power, or perhaps an exchange for police or fire protection. This really adds an entirely different element of strategy for everything in the simulation, and it’s a nice refresher for
veterans of the original games. Now you’ll really have to think outside
the box when choosing a location instead of just plopping down zones everywhere. Everything from building new
areas to planning your budget is affected by this new idea. The same thing applies to passing laws,
which not everyone may agree on. I may want to legalize gambling,
but the other players oppose it. Everything is then put up to a vote to see what happens. This can also get quite
interesting when disaster strikes, since you may be forced to work together
with your opponent to tackle fires, floods and crime. Or you could just let them suffer as payback for not passing that sales tax proposal last month. Oddly, there’s no monster disasters this
time around, which is somewhat sad. You do, however, have access to many of the features from the later expansions to SimCity 2000, like the Urban Renewal Kit and
alternate tile sets for your buildings. It’s also worth noting that while most
things are competitive somewhat, the water system is shared. So as long as somebody is pumping
water and you’ve got pipes connected, everybody can get water. The transportation system is also shared, but you will have to connect your roads to their roads, and you pay for your own roads in your own districts. Really, I don’t have too many
complaints about the game, but the biggest I guess would be the lag. There’s about 30 seconds between
every action the other player performs and the time it takes to appear on your screen. There’s also some lag when
placing zones and roads and such, but it’s only really noticeable
if you’re used to the regular game. It’s really nothing that breaks the experience,
but it is something that I noticed. Also, the land buying can be a pain. Like sometimes you may not
realize you bought a ton of land that was actually useless underwater land. So you end up wasting a ton
of money if you’re not careful, almost having to buy land one tile at a time. I wish there were a few more features, too. For instance, the in-game chat is somewhat limited. It would be nice if there were
a better way to communicate, but I guess this was kind of
limited by technology of the time. I’d also like the competitive aspect to be expanded on, because half the time you really do forget that
there’s even another player in the game with you, and it starts to feel like just
another game of SimCity 2000. I mean, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could
do a smear campaign against your opponent, and instigate a riot in his part of town? Or even do some dirty, underhanded deals to cut off somebody from water or
set fire to some abandoned buildings, while you move in and buy up all the
cheap land due to its low property value. While the game is okay with one other opponent, it really works best with the full three people playing. So unless you know two other
people who are willing to play, you’re probably not getting the best experience. And there’s no AI to play against, and playing against only one
other player can get kind of bland. Still, a new game like this will probably never happen and SimCity 2000: Network Edition
is likely all we’ll ever get in multiplayer Maxis city sims. Recent multiplayer city games like
Cities XL have tried, and ended up failing, so I have my doubts it will ever get
revisited anytime in the near future. But if you’re up for something new with a friend or two and can’t get enough of that classic city simulation, the odd but awesome SimCity 2000: Network Edition is totally worth checking out.

38 comments

  • coldkeyes

    Do an LGR TechTales The Sims Online

    Reply
  • jasonsgroovemachine

    So I still play SC2K from time to time on the ol' DOS box… but I took it one step further recently and got myself an MT-32 emulator for the midi.

    That's been nice.

    Wish I could get the old Yamaha midi syths that I used back in the day though.

    Reply
  • Kunt Destroyer

    Just a small question here. In 2014 they gave this game out for free. anyone know any safe sites where one may download it still for free?

    Reply
  • William Barnes

    Hey, LGR!
    You can cut other players off from transportation and water. Just don't put any roads or pipes on the edges of your property, and they won't be able to come into yours to complete the connection. Nyeh nah nah nyeh nyah!

    Reply
  • D'arby Janssen

    I'm loving these older videos with the intro. Never saw it until recently when I started digging deeper in your vast library of videos. Keep up the good work my man!

    Reply
  • Ruler of Monkeys

    That classic LGR theme music.

    Reply
  • ExpertCriticism

    YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!

    Reply
  • TheLonelyLion - Let's Play!

    It must've benn preeeetty complex to program the online function in that time for a game like sim city,
    but it feels incredible what they've achieved o.o

    Reply
  • Dylan Evans

    Do SC3K!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  • Alasdair Morgan

    What a great retro video after having watched most of your current content 😂

    Reply
  • Whichistheanykey PSN

    I never did well at this game. My cities always went bankrupt. It sounds like the game was pretty old when I got ahold of it, but it was great fun.

    Reply
  • Hamish

    I found this at a opshop for 3 dollars

    Reply
  • RailFanning & Stuff

    buddamus the crap out of it LOL

    Reply
  • Darrel Lance Evangelista

    2017?…

    Reply
  • 71dembones

    I would have played this if I had a LAN set up or friends… Very cool concept

    Reply
  • SPAZiNZ

    Still waiting for LGR sim city 3000

    Reply
  • DivineDGCannon

    Wow. I just watched his SimCity 2013 review before watching this and listening to him complain that there'll be no online aspect in future games is kind of funny.

    Reply
  • GWS

    Surprise surprise, they did try this concept again and it flopped … again. It could have worked, but they decided to make everyone's land so tiny that it was menaingless and you could build your whole city with little else to upgrade in just a couple hours.

    Reply
  • Pedro Fleck

    Sim City 2000 Ancapistan Edition

    Reply
  • bookshelffury

    Why the lack of sim city 3000?

    Reply
  • henk visser

    So many good dosgames forgot the multiplayer aspect, kind of reminds me about civilization 2 mac edition as the only one to have a hot seat multiplayer option. So much fun on that one competing 2 vs 8 AI players haha. Conquest of the new world did it best though, what an awesome game that was and still is sometimes. Its like its designed to play multiplayer since the AI is so easy to beat.

    Reply
  • DW animaton studio

    Wow 2010 time flys

    Reply
  • David turbo

    Maxis was an amazing game company…

    Reply
  • LifeSaber

    God for early 2000's this would of been amazing. Lan partys would of been amazing. Also if you see this for some reason you should do a re-review of your older, outdated videos as a new series maybe?

    Reply
  • II II

    Send all the Mexican Sims to your opponent's part of town. The crime wave will cripple them….

    Reply
  • painnutplay9

    People, if you join my RadminVPN network you'll be able to play SimCity2000 Network Edition on modern Windows. Abandonware.

    Reply
  • Calvin Odbert

    Fuck yeah!!

    Reply
  • Ritokure

    6:08
    Sooo… pretty much just Constructor?

    Reply
  • Juan pedro Minaudo

    There's no Grim Fandango review. Shame on you…

    Reply
  • Chan Smith

    What about sim city 2000 special edition on origin.com?

    Reply
  • Paradox and Friends

    Pipe it up! (Dab) 🎤

    Reply
  • sw sw

    6:08 This description sounds a lot like Constructor.

    Reply
  • Mathunfun

    Pretends Simcity 2013 never happened.

    Reply
  • Franzur

    I played Sim City 4 multiplayer with other folks. Basically we started with in the same region and set up a shared dropbox folder that synced the regions files. Therefor any changes saved to one city also appeared on other players PCs. The basic rule was that you couldn't open another players city unless invited to (to fix traffic or something like if you were more experienced), and we also set up basic borders so you were not allowed to build in lands others wanted to first.

    It worked suprisingly well and we soon started to roleplay as our imaginary countries and such. Since intercity locations you make appear in the neighbouring places too with sufficiently common saving the region became interconnected without any cumbersome arrangements. And with RCI demand being universal across the map (more or less) it was in everyones interest to play well.

    This was many, many years ago. I wonder if that shared folder still exists.

    Reply
  • Grand Prince Vuk J. Barkin' Tempest

    It's 2019, and I still decided to watch this. That's how good LGR is.

    Reply
  • Winged Hussar

    This was such a great idea, decades ahead of it's time.
    With today's tech you could make it work, and soon after many spinoffs would sprung up like maybe a mafia spin off.

    Reply
  • Sir Wilhelm Steinway

    Mmmmmm 360p LGR

    Reply
  • FlubberGaming05

    Can anybody still play this version of SimCity 2000 today?

    Reply
  • Frаnк

    "Multiplayer Simcity for euneuchs."

    The confusion was short, but fierce.

    Reply

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