The Sims

Review

posted 3/27/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: Xbox
So who wants to play a four-year old game on their next-generation console? If you raised your hand then you just might be interested in checked out Maxis’ latest iteration of their vaunted Sims franchise, The Sims Xbox. Looks can be deceiving, however, as a mere glance at the title may lead one to believe that this is just a mere port of the now aging PC franchise but in reality, it’s so much more.

While the game still retains the same core gameplay it brings just enough new ideas and features to the table to make the series feel fresh and hip again. Forget that archaic 2D graphics system that powered the franchise for the past four years, these Sims are now in full 3D and the result is magnificent. The new free-floating camera gives the game a greater sense of depth that was lacking in the 2D PC version. As opposed to being limited to four set perspectives you’ll now be able to position the camera as you please, giving you a much better vantage point on all the action.

There’s a new goal-based gameplay mode that really adds some meat to this game. Some people felt lost with the open-endedness of the PC version, now they’ll have some set goals and such to accomplish, giving the gamer a greater sense of control and direction. Sims gives new meaning to the phrase “Get a Life” turning it into a goal-based mode of play that really makes this game worth playing.

For newbies, Get a Life pans out like a tutorial of some sorts. It’ll teach you how to do things like fix appliances, buy objects, build skills, get a job and of course, advance in that career field. It’s a very interesting take on the game’s predominantly wide-open gameplay. When you begin you’ll start out living with your mother. You’ll have to build some skills, fix some objects, borrow some cash and of course, get a job. After that you’ll be able to move out and live on your own. Being the great mother that she is she’ll visit you periodically, stopping by to nag you about your life, living conditions and other motherly naggings.

Eventually you’ll move on to bigger and better things, newer objects like the strip poker table and the prospects of moving in with lesbians await you. Of course you’ll have the opportunity to throw the party of the century, complete with hot tub and the aforementioned strip poker. Pretty soon your life starts to pick up; you’ll be on the fast track of life earning loads of money. You’ll get to build up your house, furnish it the way you see fit and of course, work on luring in those lesbians. Ah yes, all in a day’s work for the life of Sim Charlie.

This mode serves a dual purpose really, the more you play the more objects you unlock for use in the game’s open-ended mode. So if you want that vaunted strip poker table you can be sure to expect to spend quite some time in the Get a Life mode. Yes there’s an open-ended mode that basically mimics that of the PC game. You’ll be able to build your own house and live life as you see fit. Since pretty much everyone and their mothers have come in contact with the original game, I think I’ll refrain from boring everyone with another interpretation of it.
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