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Customer Review

81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vast improvement, 1 Aug. 2006
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This review is from: The Sims 2 (PC DVD) (Video Game)
I owned the original Sims for the PC a long time ago, and I can certainly say that this game is a vast improvement.

Okay- to those who have never played the Sims and aren't familiar with the game, this is how it goes. You create a family, and give them a house. You control their lives, telling them when to eat, when to go to bed, when to go to work. The general idea is to keep Sims happy by giving them something to do when they are bored, feeding them when they're hungry etc. Just like normal people they go to work, use the bathroom, have to pay bills and have relationships. Of course, this is made more interesting by having items that don't exist, burglars and fires.

The first major improvement is the creation of the Sims themselves. In the original Sims, you chose a head, a body, skin tone and personality. The Sims for the PS2 was a little more interesting with the choice of face, hair and eye-colour. The Sims 2 has a far more complicated and detailed system. You don't just choose a nose, for example, you create the nose. There are various controls that allow you to change the width, length and shape of the nose. This goes the same for the head, forehead, eyes, chin and mouth. This means that you can create a Sim that looks EXACTLY like somebody you know in real life. With clothes, there are outfits to choose from- but there are plenty and you can choose different shirts and trousers. With the Sims 2 however, you can choose their underwear, pyjamas, swimwear, tracksuit and eveningwear too.

The building of houses hasn't changed much, but it's still improved. Now, you can have more than one story in a house, and the roof counts as a story. Although, something new and an improvement is that with windows and doors you can now have a variety of colours in the different styles. A new idea is that when you build fences, you can now insert gates, and have light going across the top of them.

The items are great, and a most of them are similar to the usual items- beds, refrigerators, ovens, sofas, tables, etc. The difference is that, like the building, different styles and colours can be chosen to match the room. There aren't really very many unique or completely new items, except the Aspiration rewards, which I will come to next.

Something which is completely new is the Aspiration meter. When you create each Sim, you choose from a few options what your Sim's aspiration in life will be. There is a choice from fortune, knowledge, family, romance and popularity. Then, depending on what the aspiration is, the Sims have wants and fears. If a Sim fulfils one of their `wants', then they gain `Aspiration points'. However, if a Sim fulfils a fear, then Aspiration points are lost. With the Aspiration points you have collected, you can buy rewards which are generally very helpful. Items such as `money trees', `hot tubs' and the `elixir or life' are a few. Although the idea of this `Aspiration meter' was meant to make the game more realistic, I think that it complicates the game. Also, after a while you become bored with the idea and can't be bothered to fulfil the wants.

The Sim's lives have changed, and so far I can see the following changes-

- The Sims now age. They start as babies, and then become toddlers, children, teenagers, adults and elders before they finally die. Each different stage has unique wants- for example one of the toddler's wants is to be potty trained, but a teenager's want is to get their first kiss.

- Bills cost a lot less. In the old Sims, bills could cost a lot- some as much as $1500, but in this game, they seem to cost about $50. This is much better as it's more realistic and affordable.

- The job system requires less friends. I can remember playing the original Sims and having to have about 11 family friends to get promoted. However this time I have found that the most friends I've needed so far is six. This is a large improvement as it was very hard to maintain friendships with 11 different Sims at the same time.

- You don't need an add-on package to create and access shops. You required various additional packages on the original Sims to build shops, however now you can just build one in your neighbourhood.

- You have to buy food now. On the Sims 2, food in the refridgerator runs down until you: a. Go to the shops and buy more, or b. order groceries over the phone.

- Phone calls. Now you receive phone calls from other people, wanting to talk. There aren't any of those joke phone calls that don't mean anything, or that give you money (as far as I know)

Something else which is interesting is a piece of software named `The Sims 2 body shop'. This software allows the ones who are skilled with computers to export files for clothes, hair, make-up, eye-colour, accessories and skin colour. These files can then be edited to make custom clothing etc. This is great as you can make virtually any clothes you want- even mimic your own!

Of course, there are so many changes that I couldn't possibly list them all in under 1000 words. All I can say is that this game is worth buying for you to find the rest out for yourself. The graphics are ace, the game play's realistic and intriguing, and there's enough to last for a long time without being bored, if you get bored at all! I'd definitely recommend it, although not to children under about 10 years of age- who would find it too complicated and difficult.
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