The Sims (console version) Review for the Playstation 2 (PS2), XBox, and Nintendo Gamecube

 


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Maxis’ The Sims is in a sense mimicking and mocking real life. In this game you are creator and ruler of the little computer people created by your imagination, in other words one might call you a god of the sim folk. . This is great for someone that has a big ego. You begin the game by choosing the gender of the person or persons that you want to create then you give them some personality traits. By giving them personality traits you decide which astrological sign that they will be associated with then their behavior will act accordingly. For instance, Scorpios tend to be neat, if you choose your character to be neat they will clean up after themselves more often than sims that are not. The personality traits also determine how they will get along with other sims, if one sim is neat and another messy they probably won’t live well together. When choosing roommates for your sims try to choose ones with compatible personality traits. Then you choose your sims physical appearance. There are fat sims, skinny sims, blonde, and brunette sims; you can make your sim any way you want. After choosing their body type you get to choose your clothing, this is the clothing that they will wear through most of the game. However by playing in the mission mode you can unlock a vanity that will allow you to change your sims appearance.

After you have chosen your sim characters they will be given some starting out money for you to buy them a home to start a life. You can purchase a home that is already built or purchase an empty lot to build your own home on. When you buy your home you will probably find that most of your resources have been depleted, that’s okay, it just means that it is time for you to find a job. A sim can find a job in one of two ways; the newspaper or the internet. Look through either one to find what options are available, remember job opportunities come and go on a daily basis so check often until you find the job that you want. You can get a job ranging from a burglar to an actor, but in order to get promotions you must develop the desirable skills necessary for advancement. You will find out what skills your sim needs by checking out the menu that tells you what your current skill level is. At the start of a game your skills will be at zero. Also you must make friends in order to get promotions when you converse with another sim your level of friendship goes up; the computer will tell you once you reach friend status. In order to maintain these friendships you must keep in contact with your friends; the more friends you have the higher the promotions that you will receive.

Sims can also have romantic relationships, even more than one at a time, but be careful because most sims are not going to appreciate being cheated on. Once the relationship reaches a certain level and you have an optimal living situation a sim can ask another sim to marry them. When this happens they will move in together. Sims must maintain all relationships, especially romantic ones. Every sim has a specific personality and every sim has different needs. Some sims need more attention than others and they do not like to be neglected by their spouse. The sims converse in many different ways, they tell jokes, brag, nag, gossip, chit chat, argue, or talk romantically. If left to their own devises sims will interact with each other and their surroundings, although this can be hazardous to the household when a sim is in a bad mood. Sims have mood swings just like real people. When a sims needs are not being fulfilled they will act out and blatantly disobey your orders. There is a menu that tells you what your sims needs are, consult it from time to time to make sure that those needs are being met. There is a meter for how hungry they are, when they need to use the bathroom and shower, when they need to sleep, relax, or have some fun. When the bars are green the sim is happy, but if they are red those needs need to be looked after. Some sims will do things for themselves and others will not. Sometimes even when a sim needs to pee they will not go into the bathroom on their own; they will cry and then pee on themselves. If you do not let a sim eat they will starve to death, yes sims die too. When a sim dies the grim reaper comes and a tomb stone takes the place of the sim. The other sims will grieve by the tomb stone.

While you are working and living your little sim life you will probably want to upgrade your home. At any point in time you can go to the build mode and refurbish your home, this is where most of the fun is. You can add on rooms, destroy rooms, change the floors and walls or buy new furniture. When you upgrade your home the happiness of your sims goes up as well. You might even want to make room for a little baby sim because if two sims are happy in the relationship you will have the option to have a baby.

When you go into the mission mode you will be given a life to live. First you will be in a tiny house living with your mother that constantly nags at you. While living with her you will have to complete some goals that will allow you to move out on your own. When you finish a goal you will also unlock a new item to use in the game; this is why the mission mode is important. The missions continue on and on to different houses.

There is also a two player mode where you and a friend can go head to head in a competition. The first two player mode you have takes place in a museum where the two sims will try to scam people out of money, the one with the most money wins the one with the least gets caught by the cops. Are you a good scam artist?

This game is hilarious, especially when you allow the sims to do as they please. Beware of having an oven in your home when your sims have no cooking skills because they are liable to start a fire, but that in itself is funny to watch too. Sims will fight, they will even hit each other when they get really mad and that just adds to the charm of the game because it is when they get out of control that the game is the most entertaining. After awhile playing can get a little dull because they repeat the same actions over and over again; get up, pee, shower, go to work, come home, and sleep. Basically you are just waiting for them to come up with more money so that you can build. Even the building is a bit of a let down though because there is a limit to how much you can put on your lot. I was building a giant home, I had already added on all of the rooms I just needed to decorate them, but I couldn’t even buy a flower because my lot was too full. I had three rooms left that hadn’t even been decorated yet. Just remember go sparingly.

The graphics on this game are great, you can see details in the sims faces and see images on the television screen. The sound effects are also good, you can tell by the sound of the television whether it is on a horror film or cartoons. The graphics for this Sims game by far exceed the graphics in the first Sims on the PC, but the PC version is still a lot more fun. You can fill your lot as full as you want with whatever kind of junk that you want and it has expansion packs with a lot better items than this Sims game. Maxis’ The Sims just didn’t live up to the expectations that I had for it after playing the PC version of the Sims for over a year. However, on it’s own this is a pretty cool game with a lot of flavor. I especially enjoyed the two player mode and some of the mission modes even though I was never able to throw the raging party to finish up with the second house. This game is fun to keep around because of how addictive it can be, even to critics like myself.

Miranda Stites
HeroesOfGaming.com
"Saving Good People From Bad Games"
http://www.heroesofgaming.com/games/xbox/s/sims/sims_rev.htm

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