Review by MegaMario39
"A near-perfect game that puts its prequel to shame."
Why did I give 'The Sims 2' an 8/10? 'The Sims 2' is not a perfect game; it's not the best looking or the best playing. It is a game though that will impress and please most. Though keep this in mind: it's not a game for everyone. Some will be overjoyed creating Sims and climbing up the career ladder, fulfilling aspirations, and 'Woohoo-ing' with everyone in sight. Others will cringe while they drag their Sims to the bathroom.
This review is written for one purpose, and that purpose is, "Will you like this game?". Also, please take note that this review deals with the DVD version of the game. I'm not sure if there are differences, but if there are then I apologize. One final word of advice: IF YOUR COMPUTER CAN NOT PLAY DVDs THEN DO NOT BUY THE DVD VERSION! Make sure you look at which version you're paying for.
After installing the game and going through the new intro, which is really awesome, you are asked to pick a neighborhood. It seems that a main goal of Maxis was to add more 'goals' to this game. Goals in the fact that your Sims have aspirations to fulfill and neighborhoods have storylines and problems. For example, one of the neighborhoods you can pick to have your Sim live in is 'Veronaville(?).' The background story of the neighborhood is this: the Cappys and Montys have been fighting for years, but their children have fallen in love. A la "Romeo and Juliet". Bleh; I haven't tried that neighborhood yet. I'm having more fun creating my own storylines. The goals aspect adds a totally new aspect of the game in the fact that you can play certain stories and experiment with different goals. It's a more linear approach to the game.
After choosing a neighborhood you can then fully customize your Sims. This is one of the more wonderful aspects of the game. Unless you've been living under rock, you should know that you are able to customize most aspects of your sim. Where their eyebrows are, how far down their chin is, and other options. These physical features are saved into DNA, and when your Sims have a child they pass their DNA onto that child. Which means that your Sims have ancestry, generations, and genes. Also, adding to the customization are the personality points. Adding more points to the neatness factor gives you less points to add to items like 'Seriousness' and 'Playfulness.' Finally, you must choose your Sims aspiration, which will influence their wants and needs. Choosing a romance aspiration will fill your sims with wants like "Become Best Friends with (Sim)" and fears like "Fight with (Sim)." Fulfilling wants will let Sims live longer and use more exciting itmes like money trees. Letting Sims' fears get to them will impact your sims in a more negative way.
Then of course, the house-building aspect. It stays true to the original Sims games in the fact that you can build almost every aspect of your house. Some great new features are the ability to put items on diagonal walls, and the ability to build every shingle of your roof. Although this is nothing groundbreaking, it does show that Maxis put a lot of effort into this game.
Enough with the new features though. Gameplay must be discussed. After creating a sim, creating an outfit, and creating a house it is time to create a full life. Most sims progress through five stages of life. Through these stages you are given different tasks; use the bathroom, learn to play chess, climb up the career ladder, make friends, make rivalries, have children, gain skills. While doing these tasks you must keep your sims mood at a decent level or they will fail or decline tasks. The more tasks you complete the more money, aspiration points, and features you will gain.
The game follows the same point and click method of the original. Click the toilet, and then click use. Your sim uses the bathroom.
One of the nicest things about 'The Sims 2' is the graphics. While they might not stun, they do impress. The color scheme is bright and merry and the true 3-D graphics really capture the game. Unlike the first Sims, the angle and perspective you want can be chosen, really chosen. You can zoom in/out as much as your little heart chooses. Same with the perspective. Your Sims facial expressions change, and you can see every little detail you put into their DNA.
Sound is decent. There isn't much more to say. It's nothing that will impact your game for better or for worse. What I like though, is that you can drag Mp3s into the radio folder, and you can have your Sims dance to the music.
Oh, before I forget, the game allows you to capture movies as well as photos!
The new features, the gameplay, the sound, and the graphics combine for a beautiful package. I can't comment much about the game runs because I'm not sure of my computer stats. Running Windows XP with a decent graphic/sound card with 512 RAM seems to produce an almost-perfect run. The only problems I've encountered is that when time changes from night to day my game pauses, and when I minimize the game, the game takes about 45 seconds before it resumes when I re-maximize it.
Once again the game is great and should keep you busy for weeks or even months. Replay value reigns high because of all of the customization of the game, but once you play for months you will probably find a character model you like, and will experiment with that model. I do reccomend you buy this game, but it won't kill you to wait for a price drop. The game ranks an 8/10 because it improves on its predessor, but still could use improvement... I guess we'll have to wait for the hordes of expansions.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/17/04
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