Review by Sheikah
"An impressive sequel, without a doubt."
The original Sims took us all by surprise. Who would have thought the game to be so addicitive, enough so to have endless amounts of expansion packs which many people bought? The Sims 2 brings many of the things that made the original a hit and adds a plethora of new ideas to the series. That said though, there are still noticable flaws or downfalls with the game.
Game play: 8/10
The Sims 2 has brought in many new features such as aging and the aspiration meter. The basic idea with aging is that a sim has a limited amount of time before they reach the next stage in their life, such as from a teenager to an adult. This is a very nice addition as it not only makes the game seem more realistic but also means that sims die, which can make way for entirely new generations. The aspiration meter of a sim goes up depending on the sims needs. For example you may have to throw a part to raise someone's meter by 2,000. Earning these points have uses in a catalogue; you can spend the points on nifty little gadgets such as the elixir of life, which extends a sims life.
There are so many new features which improve on the old game, too many to list. However I personally liked the sims having days off work, and also being able to improve relationships over the telephone. Sims can also live in community lots and go out to places like in the sims hot date expansion of the original.
While the sims 2 does have many new features it must be said that essentially the same things must be done as in the sims 1, and this can make the game feel very similar. You must still rush the sims to the toilet, feed them regularly, place them to sleep. Sure this is part of the sims game that we know, but to rate gameplay which is similar to the original loses marks for the sims 2.
Part of the greatness of sims 2 is that you could really play it forever without seeing any "credits" or end-point, visible in other games. Although sims do die they can have children, who can then have children, and so you can continue the game forever. With endless amounts of things to do this game scores a high lifespan. The only thing stopping a perfect score is again with similar gameplay to the original sims, which may hinder people from playing the game as long as they normally would.
While the music is mainly classical it should not put people off as it could not be more fitting for the game. There are different sounds when entering buy mode and build mode for example. Also the good ol' simlish language is back. Although the sounds the sims make don't translate to anything, you can still detect anger in their voice when they are angry for example. The music could have perhaps been improved, but it doesn't generally affect the game too much.
We were all impressed by the original sims detailed furniture and items, but the sims 2 takes the graphics to a new level. With full 3D items and the ability to zoom in so far and rotate more than 4 times it makes the game feel truly more realistic, and also nice eye candy. The graphics may not be along the doom 3 standard but to be honest who would need that for this kind of game? The sims 2 has pleasing graphics while still being playable on most computers without vital PC upgrades being needed.
Replay value: --/10
There is no true end to the game, so I would just stick to the lifespan rating. This game will be as long as you want it to be.
Maxis were obviously limited in the game in that it had to follow many of the same features in the original sims. However, a great number of new features have been included which spice this game up, and make it more than another expansion pack type release. This is truly a fun game, and if you liked the original I would highly recommend it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 09/19/04
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