"Will Lloyd Wright Dollhouse - This marvel of dollhouse design is meant
for children to act out fantasies of controlling little families. This incredible
replica comes complete with amazingly realistic furniture and decorative items.
Don't be surprised if hours upon hours are spent enjoying this little world. Fun
10 - Group Activity." (Sims 2 Dollhouse description)
There is little question my gaming dedication is much different than it was 4 years
ago - at the time of Sims 1 release. Due to my own wants, needs, and aspirations,
I game for different reasons than in the past and I certainly do not have the
time I once did to devote an entire weekend to gaming. Still, I eagerly anticipated
the release of The Sims 2
and I think it is simply awesome and I couldn't resist sharing my view.
I've given some thought to the appeal of The Sims and what makes me dig it
so much. When I was a little girl all of my girl friends liked to play imagination
games. One of our favorites to play was 'house'. 'House' consisted of make believe
where we would each role-play a mom and/or dad (sometimes family members and
siblings, doctors, teachers, etc) and we would spend hours pretending to be
those characters and filling those characters' space. In other words, my girl
friends (including my brother when bribbery worked) and I would boss each other
around. I had a play house equipped with a living area, a kitchen area, playroom
and lots of little friends. To be honest, I remember improvising and using many
different things and places for pretend play. I have fond memories of days spent
role-playing real life and oftentimes absurd situations. Many times it was just
me and my dolls; they listen the best. That's what chicks do, right? Well, The
Sims is my virtual game of 'house'.
People play games to fulfill needs and are apparently finding reward in gaming
experiences. What floats my boat might not float yours. Those reasons are what
make The Sims so charming. The Sims allows you to choose between innumerable
choices and options. This game is a learning experience: The more imaginatively
and dedicated you "play house" the more rewarding your time spent
playing The Sims 2 will be.
To begin, the details and options for creating your sims are amazing. Each sim
is unique and customizable. With literally hundreds of options for clothing,
hats, costumes, glasses, and even footwear you could spend hours just sorting
through outfits. Choose day wear, evening wear, swimsuit, undergarments, and
even some pjs (which you can choose to sleep in or sleep in your undies). Armoires
enable you to dress and redress yourself. Also, you can add to your wardrobe
by shopping at the neighborhood clothing store.
Physical attributes are incredible too. Pick and resize or arrange each distinct
feature of your face. You are able to adjust your mouth, eyes, eyebrows, chin,
cheekbones, facial hair and hairline. Furthermore, you may choose makeup, eye
color, hair color and body tone. Even more amazing is the ability to create
family trees - featuring the ability to pass down your DNA, personalities, and
inheritances to family members so that they may resemble other family members
- and they do.
Players can now create their own neighborhoods and storylines- included are
choices of landmarks, flora, stones, default housing, etc. However, if you'd
rather get started right away, then choose a pre-made sim and/or neighborhood.
This is the most in-depth and fun character creation of any pc game I've played.
With the new 3d view you can zoom in and out, rotate completely 360 degree around
your sim and check them out from head to toe; up close and personal. Don't miss
your reflection in the mirror, zoom in and watch computer games on the pc, take
video captures and make your own home movies, or just follow your sim around
and take note of immense, adorable and tiny details; like hand-painted knobs
on the armoire, the tiny sim newspaper writing, or even watch an actual game
of chess. Each sims' facial expressions are fascinating. A sim reacts accordingly
to most every situation and now with life-like body and facial movements, sims'
expressions are particularly accurate making the game extremely immersive. My
guy flushed the toilet and the girl jumped out of the shower got all mad and
was yelling and stomping her feet at him - He ran out of the bathroom! Sims
pass gas - definitely not a pretty sight. Sims get sick and suffer the ailments
of having a cold, stomach virus, etc. There is an obvious difference between
a happy sim and a sick, depressed sim.
The buy mode, build mode and story mode have undergone a facelift and everything
is more organized within the interface. Compared to Sims 1, this version is
much more stable and easy to navigate, change rooms, or go up and down flights
of stairs, as well as work your way around the options panel. Because the game
flows so smoothly you find yourself easily wrapped up in your sims' life.
Umm, I've read about a bug or two, but my game has run great and I've no major
complaints. However, I was surprised to not see more buy options, but
assume they will be added in expansion packs, which I will buy.
Like the original Sims, Sims 2 comes with a house building kit which allows
you to design your house from the foundation up. You are able to choose walls,
floors, windows, curtains, fences, furniture, stairs, rooftops, landscaping,
wall coverings, and more. Now with a more intuitive interface and with the sims
increased intelligence your house comes to life in a more efficient way. Sims
are able to work out being stuck or are persistent about complaining until the
problems are remedied. There is an occasional getting stuck, but hey, it happens
to the best of us. You can build up to 4 stories on your house; have pools,
bball courts, saunas, gardens, fences, mazes and anything you might fathom.
The possibilities are astounding and you could feasibly use the game to help
decorate or design your own homes or rooms. Will Wright and his Sims need a
spot on HGTV (Home and Garden TV). ;-)
Sounds are appropriate, abundant and bring the game to life. Everything appears
to be implemented with such detail. As sims become more creative they become
capable of mastering the piano; I love to listen to the difference between the
beginner and accomplished sims. The stereo rocks and allows you several choices
of music types and songs, sirens scream from emergency vehicles, and sims make
entirely too much noise (and mess) while eating. The Sim language has expanded
and a few other sounds were added as well.
The most notable addition to the game is the introduction of wants, fears and
aspirations. Instead of feeling there isn't a defined goal to the game there
is now a set amount of time -your sims' lifespan- to accomplish goals. So, you
have to meet needs (hygiene, hunger, social, etc.) as well as wants (to have
a baby, to marry a rich sim, to make a new friend) otherwise, sims will not
prosper well. Sims experience age transitions and grow from infants to elders
(6 stages). Unhappiness and living an unhealthy life will lead to a shorter
and less fulfilling life. All choices have repercussions. Career Rewards and
Aspirations Rewards are items you can buy based upon the number of points you
accumulate for each time you reach a career or aspiration goal. Results range
from replenishing all a sim's needs, or adding or removing days to your life
to doing harm to other sims. Sims react to situations dependant upon their personality
- so sometimes achieving goals are near impossible or not likely going to attain
the exact results you might think. Likewise, you have to take into consideration
the person(s) your choices affect, because each sim will have her individual
wants, needs and fears too.
This is all much more involved than the original sims and adds a level of challenge
to the game:
Sims retain memories now and these significant events enable you to better
organize a sim's life or to follow a storyline if that is your goal. There is
a community store in which you can buy items not found in your home. Take a
taxi cab from your house and head out to the magazine stand, grocery store,
clothing store, meet and hang out with friends or just browse around. You now
have the ability to read magazines to learn more and increase interest in social
topics. For example, a sim might love to talk about politics and aliens. A not
so nice sim might scrunch her nose and leave the conversation if asked to talk
about sports. Your sim will get fat if she eats too much and doesn't exercise.
Ugh, watch out, Sims will gossip about one another. WooHoo is, er well use your
imagination. Restock your fridge or go hungry, hire a maid, a gardener, a nanny,
an exterminator, have rockin' parties or an intimate get together, learn to
be a master chef, policeman, or be a slacker. And know that each choice has
consequences and helps shape the sim you end up as.
Well, this explains my fascination with The Sims. I am able to play 'house'.
To direct the lives of my sims and then watch the results unfold. With tons
of options I could buy all sorts of cute things and decorate my house, be monetarily
successful, boss my husband around or lock him in a corner, raise children,
become a bank robber, have parties, have an affair (with a chick), get abducted
by aliens while gazing at the stars, and of course, live in a castle. It doesn't
have to be accurate, perfect or even reality. Although I found myself getting
the same enjoyment as when I played the original Sims, the new additions definitely
add more depth and replayablity.
At the core of it all, I enjoy The Sims because it is fun to use my imagination
and practice life without detrimental real-life consequences. It is stimulating
to assume roles and try to copy, dictate and make believe you can do anything
you want. The Sims' ai, not so far from accurately, replicates our basic everyday
life. I believe it will be a huge success and sell millions of copies. For certain,
The Sims seizes the female market. In the end, it is the type of game you can
pick up and play just once and have learned a little something about life and
Be sure to visit Maxis
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