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Sims 3 Pets on Xbox 360
on 3 November 2011
So the eagerly awaited Sims 3 Pets is here! As a bit of an Achievement-Hunter I decided to get this on Xbox 360 to add to my growing Gamerscore as well as previously enjoying the Sims 3 on Xbox also. In the box is your online pass enabling you to get onto the Sims Exchange where you can pick up items that are custom-made by other players for your Sims from hairstyles to furniture as well as a small Xbox leaflet containing information regarding your warranty and some support with connecting to Xbox Live.
You are able to 'Create Sims' or 'Choose Household' allowing you to replicate your own family in Sim-formate, create a new fictional one or just get going straight away. If you choose to create a new family you will come across 'lessons' that will guide you around the game, you can skip these if you're already familiar with the controls / processes.
Once you have made a Sim, you are required to create a pet. The 'Create a Pet' menu allows you to create a kitten / puppy, adult or elder. There are 32 cat breeds and 90 dog breeds. Once you have created your Sim & your pet you can go back and change anything about them so don't worry if your pet or Sim aren't quite as you'd like. As you would expect, the Sims 3 Pets contains a mass of new clothing, hairstyle and other options as well as some of the items from the Sims 3.
As well as being able to direct your Sims, you can now direct your pets. You can tell them to ask for food, sniff people, pee in places and even sleep in their beds. This brings a whole new perspective to the game. You can use Kinect with this game to select options in menus and direct your Sims. Simply saying 'Show voice commands' will bring up a list of available commands you can then use. I was fairly impressed with this feature, especially as I still had no problems with it whilst full of a cold. Kinect picks up noises very well & is very responsive with this game. Of course, the Kinect-compatible feature is not essential, but a 'nice to have' all the same.
You can, as you would expect, still customise everything to within an inch of its life. You can have leopard-print toilet seats if you so wish, tiled tables, the lot. There are also a lot more karma powers available to you including Meteor Strike - raining large rocks (from what I can gather, this can kill Sims or Pets so be careful!), Ghostify - allowing your Sim to become a ghost and Transmogrify which allows you to transform a pet into a Sim. You unlock the karma powers pretty much in order as you collect 'Rewards' so no collecting challenge points and 'buying' each one like in the Sims 3.
Gameplay is good, the options available to you are very good - you can select just one Sim to have full control over so if you're desperately trying to complete a challenge but your Sim has other ideas you can select their autonomy level to puppet while your other Sims / Pets still have high free will, meaning they won't end up dying or being unhappy. You can also set the lifespans of Sims & Pets to different levels, so you can have 'Immortal' Sims and 'Normal' lifespans on pets.
On the Town Map you've got the usual Stadium, Military base, Business office, Hospital .etc with the addition of new Pet places such as Four Paws Pet Center, Dogleg Park and Kitty Korner for dogs only and cats only respectively as well as a few new socialisation-type places such as the Pier and the The Llama & The Hound Pub and new exploration areas such as the Lighthouse and Silver Mine. Needless to say, there's always somewhere to go & explore.
From initial impressions, it would seem that EA have done more testing this time, meaning this game doesn't seem to have anywhere near as many glitches as the Sims 3 did on Xbox 360. I will of course update this if I come across any.
In my opinion, if you're into the Sims or think you may want to give it a go its well worth your time & money. I do recommend this game. I hope this review has been helpful for you, if there's anything you would like to know please feel free to ask.