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The Sims 2 Review

Developer: Maxis Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: October 24, 2005 Also On: GCN, PS2, and Xbox

Instead of the government investing in the affects of violence in video games, they should put their money into something more meaningful, like building rehabilitation centers for recovering Sims fans. The government’s slow response to this crisis is egregious. It is as if our tax dollars are going to tax cuts for the rich or something.

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The epidemic began in 2000 when Maxis released a plague to the masses that has since mutated into sub-diseases in the form of Livin’ Large, Vacation, House Party, and Hotdate. If you find yourself with symptoms such as sleep deprivation, urinary tract infection, dehydration, or starvation from sitting at a computer for hours straight, seek immediate medical help.

If for some reason you are not aware, The Sims 2 is the sequel to January 2003’s The Sims for the consoles (EA actually waited more than a year to release a sequel?!). The Sims 2 was originally released on the PC, with the one that I am reviewing a stand-alone game on the GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and handheld systems. The point-and-click fever that spread like the Black Plague across the United States has waned. The fervor surrounding the PC release died as most people could not play it on their PC’s to begin with. That’s why EA released a console version, right? Right; so read on.

What’s changed, you may be wondering. Surprisingly, I can answer that two ways: “a lot� and “not too much�. Two on different radical ends of the spectrum to that question, right? The “not too much� comes from the fact that this is your basic Sims game. You have Sim skills (cooking, mechanical, charisma, etc.) attained from doing things, personality attributes which determine your social ability, activeness, playfulness, etc. There is not much Maxis can rework to get a new game concept.

That is where you are partially wrong, and where the “a lot� comes in. Your Sim will start with an aspiration. It wants love, money, knowledge, and popularity depending on what you select. Sims in the game that you control (that you didn’t create) will have these variant ambitions as well, you just will not select them. “Okay, that’s great, so what exactly are we ambitious for?� you’re asking.

That is where your “wants� come into play. You will need to fulfill certain “wants� in order to satisfy your Sim. If you are aspiring for love, you will want to make-out with the super-sexy guy or gal next door, or better yet, cuddle with them in bed. You will, however, “fear� rejection. A bar will accumulate to show you which outweigh the other. The only problem with this new mechanic is they can become tedious and will sometimes require you to do things that you’ve already done. No, I do not want a single bed when I have three beds already in my house!

Another new, and probably the most refreshing feature is that you can no better directly control your Sim by pressing the Select button on the PlayStation 2 controller (or whatever button corresponds on the version you’re playing). Dictating what a Sim does directly assures things get done in a chronological order that you want (in your head) without interruption. You can tell them when to stop dancing, showering, or…using the restroom when you need to rush to work, instead of ordering “poop, go to work� in the traditional Sims fashion. Things get done more efficiently, but there’s room for a lapse in your head of what you should do next, as there is no list of commands that the traditional setup has.

Finally, you can now select the meals that you are going to cook. You know Maxis has run out of ideas when you have to start playing Mr. Food. Spend money on meats, vegetables, fruit, dairy, grain, drinks, and oils. You can also harvest fruits, vegetables, and meat. Obviously food will affect your body’s energy level, hunger (duh), bladder (positively or negatively), and of course your wallet, you tightwad.

In all honesty, I want to see this franchise locked away for crimes against humanity. Grand Theft Auto responsible for murder? Pfff…The Sims is responsible for insanity, which can lead to murder. Take that GTA! It has had to set records for most expansions in a certain time frame. There is not much originality involved in controlling a person’s life and for whatever reason, people keep thinking they will get a new experience out of these games, thus buying them. If The Sims is your thing, this should be a good investment for you this holiday. For people like me, who entered that Sims rehab center five years ago, run from this and call help for your friends.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide