The Sims PlayStation 2 Review

Thursday, January 23, 2003 - 22:30

"Yes, The Sims is now available for the PS2 and this game is one of those rare ones that can be played by just about everyone."

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The Sims on PS2 Review

Do you have a GF or Wife? Do they hate PlayStation 2 or hate that you spend so much time playing them? Well buddy EA Maxis has just introduced your best friend. Yes, The Sims is now available for the PS2 and this game is one of those rare ones that can be played by just about everyone.

Will Wright created the game a few years ago for the PC. The idea isn't quite a new one, basically become "GOD". However unlike most games before it this one just nails down the aspect so well. It all boils down to the fact that you gain control over an individual rather than control over a group or location. This is key and crucial to the success of the game.

The PS2 version follows the original but with plenty of its own twists. The game opens with "Get a Life", which is a goal based version that limits what you can do. You basically live with mom and have limited amount of creativity over your sim. As you perform goals you not only learn how to make the Sim succeed, you also open up new things, including the eventual ability to start a neighborhood with a real family. This babystepping is so much better than the PC's more open ended approach which only frustrated me.

What is so great about a game like this is that it can be enjoyed by multiple people at one time. Although you are controlling the action, this is really all about making choices and then sitting back and watching the consequences. So a group of friends can enjoy your endeavors with you, even chirping in with their own suggestions. Yes, the Sims is a spectator sport. This is what makes it a perfect game to introduce to the other half that isn't into games.

Oh and I can't forget to mention the 2 player games. While lacking online or 4 player modes, the 2 player games are really where things get interesting. Mini-games are abundant and really make for a great party atmosphere. Can anyone say "who's your daddy?"? LOL

The free will mode is the heart of the PC game and here it works just the same. With the experience gained from Get a Life, PS2 gamers should find less frustration than I did with the PC version. What do I mean by frustration? The game measures the characters overall "happiness" with meters for several different things ranging from hunger to fun and plenty of others in between. When enough of those meters are unsatisfactory the Sim will become depressed and begin to refuse to do anything you tell it to do.

Take this example from my Sim's life. I had a guy living with 2 women, involved with one intimately while on the side trying to do the same with the other. When his "mate" found this out she slaps him and their relationship begins to deteriorate. It gets worse when his "mate" sets the kitchen on fire, thus by killing herself accidentally. He then becomes depressed over the loss and still rejected by the other girl in his life thusby refusing to work, shower, eat or even sleep. Needless to say I failed to remove him from this slump and he eventually perished from starvation!

Pheeew such an involved life from such a simple game. So as you can see The Sims though not released for Christmas, is probably more fun than any other game released in the last half of 2002.

By far the BEST place that EA succeeds with porting the game over is in the control. The PC game's control took some time to get used to and understand. EA's mapping of those same controls onto the PS2 Dual Shock is nothing less than brilliant.

The entire controller is used but it all feels natural as you swing around the camera and main control with the analog sticks while using the D-PAD to check on all the vitals of each character. Shoulder buttons control the flow of time and changing between characters in your control.

It's bloody brilliant and a KEY to the success this version should have. This is TEXTBOOK example of how control should be handled.

The PC game's graphics are a bit misleading. While they don't appear to be that great, there is indeed quite a bit going on in the environments. I wondered if the PS2 could perfectly match if not surpass the look of the PC game. I must say the answer is "almost".

As the game goes on slowdown becomes more and more noticeable. Now this isn't an action game so really this can so easily be overlooked. However as a critic of games I must point out what is present.

Aside from the slowdown the game is every bit as beautiful if not more beautiful. The characters aren't too detailed but their animations are so nice and fluid that it enhances the feeling of being lost in the game. EA has done a great job here and I am really pleased.

Now the Sims have their own language and I always wondered what they were saying half the time. The PC version used icon balloons to give you an idea about what they were trying to communicate. The PS2 version does this and takes it one step further as some conversations are translated into plain english.

When the Sims are speaking they sound SO cute but don't even try to understand this gibberish. EA Maxis is sneaky though because at times you'll swear you understood something but believe me you didn't.

One of the main components of the game is music and dancing. The stereos allow you to choose from various types of music and each sounds really good. Sound here is just another nice reason to own the game.

I was terrified of this game on the PS2. I loved the PC version but would have bet money Maxis would screw it up. Guess what? They made me eat my own words. This game is the Shiznit and shouldn't be passed over as some stupid chore game. No, this IS FUN boys and girls. Don't miss out!


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