Is it better than the PS2 versions - yes and no.
I must admit I wandered around the PS2 versions aimlessly at times but I found this psp version better. There is a definate progression and storyline but you can still wander off track and do other things if you want.
I didn't find the loading times a problem - they were quicker than the ps2, except with a few of the conversations. As you progress through the game you can sidestep this to some extent by buying/giving gifts for friendship/romance or using a taser to intimidate rather than 'talking' for ages.
There were irriatating things in the last ps2 version I played - you'd jump in a car and spend minutes waiting for the game to move on and save (you could make a cup of tea in the time it took). Here once you have a map you can jump between locations. It's easy to earn cash and buy stuff (get good at painting by the end of the game you can earn $500 every couple of seconds painting) and through the amusing mini games, although I still haven't got a clue what is going on in the Yeti game.
You can go to bed and come up with a new set of goals so you never hit a dead end or get stuck.
The downside? The 3rd location is full of more bugs and glitches than any game I've ever played. Make sure you save the game every 10 minutes in different slots. In the barracks people get stuck in the shower - they completely freeze while you can move and need to talk to them. In the lab litter you need to pick up doesn't register and you have to reload/ start again. The conversation you start in the barracks with the guy you sell the secrets to never starts, reload ...Read more ›
What this is, is simply a mystery game (almost like a point and click adventure on PC) where you go around various towns/locations talking to people and solving "puzzles" using a variety of "mini-games". The mini-games had the potential to be quite good but they're confusing and produce rather mixed results even when you appear to be following the same lines as previously. And worse still, take far too long to load.
After you start unravelling the mystery you begin unlocking things for your pre-made/brought house. Which is a nice addition and gives a sense of progress, but again isn't "the SIM's", it's an EA game - wow! you've entered your name, unlocked new plasma TV!!!
There are some elements of the SIM's left, you still have to keep an eye on your characters wants/needs and the graphics are very SIM-esque and to be honest are of a high standard for the PSP.
However, this isn't the PSP conversion that could have kept people hooked for days, there's too much loading and disc access for this to be an enjoyable experience and while the adventure/mystery element of the game would have been good even without the SIM elements the execution of it means you'll be frustrated way before you ever get into it.