If you bored quickly with Sim City 4, Then this version will certainly perk you up again. Just too bad we had to wait!
Deluxe is the better purchase absolutely,SC4 got old too quickly with my low end system,but SC4 Deluxe remedied all the tedium, only after I got a faster PC eventually. Graphics will still engross you, now you can pick your Sim's vehicle style in the "My Sim" mode,as well as see it drive around in the city, and even comandeer it for yourself,Bad Mayor!
Best part of this game is the "U Drive It Feature".Also the ONLY difference between Sim City 4 and SC4 Deluxe Edition,although the Regional Map veiw now offers the choice to see intercity connections.The "U Drive It Feature" breathes new life into SC4, as well as providing you more $imoleans without cheating.
You get to drive just as an explorer in your city,but it is NOT in a first person perspective-it is still a bird's eye veiw-same as the city's normal veiw, with 3 zoom levels.This was a small disappointment to me, since I had expected a first person aspect in the driving for some reason.
The other options in "U Drive It Mode" are the Special Mayor Driving missions,either 'naughty' missions that hurt your city but offer more $$,or if you want to be Mr Nice Mayor-beneficial missions with sometimes minimal but not deliberate damage(are you a poor driver?) these mostly boost your mayor approval rating,and provide smaller $$ bonuses.Both missions can offer Special Buildings also.
The vehicle controls are the simple keyboard arrow buttons,but vary from vehicle to vehicle. You can drive airplanes and trains as well as tanks,(ultimate destruction!)UFO's Hearses and cars-provided you have the correct buildings that make those vehicles available. Ambulances require hospitals,schoolbuses require schools,etc.
Another difference with SC4 Deluxe (sorry-I did say there was only 1 difference before) are added transport modes- Elevated trains,One way streets to aid in congestion,and Avenues which are basically a cheaper form of highway. Another disappointment I found was a lack of connection between the Rush Hour roads,and your old SC4 roads. You can't connect the elevated rail to a regular railroad,but they do let you connect them to subways.The elevated trains, monorail and highway systems also require you to destroy buildings underneath them for placement,while the newer highway options are difficult to place.There is a LOT more traffic plugged into all these items also, forcing you to monitor and use the new items.A cutesy Ferry Boat landing is available too, but not really necesary,unless you have a lot of waterbound cities,to commute your citizens into.
All in All I approve of the Deluxe Edition-rate it about 7, just wish they'd actually make the Deluxe Edition versions without making Original Releases for a change.Get it right the first time! Because my $imolean levels are low enough!!