"A look at the sims..."

Background info: I had bought the first Sims game and played with all of the expansion packs and now I have the Sims 2.

Graphics: 9/10

The graphics for this game are a nice leap over the first Sims game since they are actually...3D! I love the half-cartoonish and half-realistic graphcis styling of the Sims 2. The animations for every action that a sim takes is very realistic. cool, and immersive. The animations can also prove to be very amusing in many different cases. They also show the emotions of the sims very well. You can see your loved ones eyeing jealously at your other crushes. You can use the zoom option to zoom in very This can be pretty fun to play around with for the first couple of hours. My one complaint about the graphics is how badly optimized this game is. I have an Athlon XP 1800+, 512mb DDR RAM, and a Radeon 9600 Pro. Yet under a 1024x768 resolution in ALL low settings, I can manage to get only 30fps and sometimes even under 15fps if I try to hold a house party! That is ridiculous! How can I possibly get slower performance from The Sims 2 than from Doom 3?

Sound/Music: 8/10

The many different songs that play throughout this game are pretty good generally and fit well with the game. Maxis did a good job with that. The sounds go well with the humorous animations of this game. The "simish" language is still there. There is nothing really new and different from the first game though.

Gameplay: 9/10

The gameplay is very similar to the first Sim game. A couple of differences are that there is now an aging system where your sims can go through being a baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult, elder, and then die. The idea is very creative and sounds great, but the mistake that they made was making so fast! They should've allowed you to set an option for the rate of aging. The only alternative is the cheat code to turn off aging, but there is really nothing to slow it down. Hopefully this can be fixed in a future patch. There is ow also a new aspiration system. If you complete a "wanted" action, you get aspiration points. If you complete a "feared" action, then your aspiration lowers. Having a really high aspiration level will lift your mood. Having a very low asipiration level can make your sim get messed up. Aspiration points can be used to buy rewards with unique purposes, such as a hat that increases your rate of skill-learning ability. My concern is the few amount of items and the amount of things that they didn't include in this game that were in the expansions. I understand that Maxis wants to release expansions for the Sims 2, but haven't they already milked enough money out of the 7 expansions that they had for the first game? I thought they should've included more options and items that were available in the numerous expansions for the first game. The replay of this game is basically unlimited since there are so many different careers and paths that you can take while living.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/20/04

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