Customer Review

155 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not original but great, 9 Sep 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: The Sims 2: Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Yesterday, my copy of The Sims 2 Bon Voyage - the sixth expansion pack for The Sims 2 - arrived. The basic idea of The Sims 2 Bon Voyage is that you can send your sims on holiday.

Ashamed as I am to admit it, I'm a big fan of The Sims and I've bought every expansion pack for The Sims and The Sims 2 released to date as well as various versions of The Sims for consoles.

Being the Sims fanboy that I am, I realised fairly quickly that this expansion pack was based on the same idea as an expansion for the original series. I remember playing The Sims: On Holiday (as it was called in the UK; vacation isn't really used in British English) for many hours and I can easily see myself doing so with Bon Voyage!
Accommodation and resorts

Much like The Sims On Holiday/Vacation, in Bon Voyage your sims can choose from staying in a hotel or tent. Unlike On Holiday, your sims can stay in a private holiday home but sadly Bon Voyage lacks On Holiday's igloos. You can also builds your own hotels.

Sims have the option of visiting a mountain resort, the Far East or a tropical island. Each resort has unique attractions; the island has two ancient monuments whilst the Far East has zen gardens. Each resort has unique customs which your sim may learn.

The game also adds holiday memories where you receive `badges' for all the different places and things you do. For example, you would get a badge for getting a tour (there are various types) or making an offering to an ancient monument. After a good holiday, Sims will feel refreshed and they may opt for benefits (such as better productivity or getting over fury) but after a bad holiday they will feel less refreshed. Holiday frequently and you could find yourself with a frequent travellers card!
New objects and characters

The sixth expansion pack adds pickpockets who will pry on unsuspecting tourists (i.e. your sims). A number of other new NPCs are introduced such as a fire dancer (who will, for a fee, teach your simple to fire dance), wise man and local residents of the holiday resort.

The game introduces many new items such as a rolling log, axe-throwing `dartboard', sauna, massage table, secret maps, far east-themed and hotel-themed furniture. The far east decor is fairly refreshing; the closest thing in prior versions was a mini flag of South Korea!
Criticism

My main criticism of Bon Voyage isn't the lack of igloos but rather the fact it adds an extra screen to the loading process. This screen has marketing on and to actually launch the game one must press a button in this application. It appears to be an IE-based shell but I really don't think it's necessary considering connectivity to EA's community site for The Sims 2 is integrated into the game. There are added preventions from running the game off a `back-up' disc which might make disc-less play through hacks a bit harder.

I realise that preventing the game being played off back-up discs is a copy-prevention technique but it's quite annoying. I've had it accusing me of using a back-up disc once already... when I wasn't!

Another slight disappointment I have is that time on holiday isn't classed as normal game time (sims don't age on holiday and they can go regardless of how many `vacation days' they have). Also, it annoys me how the word vacation continuously occurs throughout!
Conclusion

The game does, though, have many of the frustrations of a real holiday... such as sunburn. Fortunately, we don't have to take our sims through an airport (and therefore no security controls :) ).

System requirement wise, it's about the same as prior expansion packs: 512MB RAM, 1.5GB HD space, DVD ROM drive, DirectX 9, 1.3GHz processor for 98-XP (2.0GHz and 1024MB RAM for Vista) and 32MB of modern graphical memory.

Bon Voyage is the second favourite expansion so far (following University). Let's just hope they don't keep re-releasing Sims 1 expansion packs or they might get to Superstar or Makin' Magic... (shudders)!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 12 Nov 2007 16:57:45 GMT
J. Scott says:
Excellent in depth review. Many thanks. I'm particularly grateful for the intrusive copy-protection info, and for the details about the marketing screen. These two factors have made me decide not to purchase the game. I've nothing against copy-protection as such, but decided some time ago that when it's an actual annoyance to the player, I would vote against it with my wallet by not buying.
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