Score: 8.6 / 10
I first heard that The Sims, the best-selling PC game of all-time, was
making the leap from the PC to the three home consoles (PS2, followed by
the Xbox and the GameCube), Iíll admit that I was skeptical as a Greek
philosopher. How could a game so perfectly suited for PC gameplay with
its mouse-and-keyboard control setup, transform into a good-playing home
console game, minus the mouse-and-keyboard controls that make playing
the PC version so easy to navigate, whether youíre designing and
building a dream Sim home or just simply interacting with other Sims?
playing the GameCube version of The Sims, however, my skepticism quickly
evaporated. The Sims successfully enters the console realm by wisely
incorporating new console-friendly controls and more importantly new
game modes that even the most hardcore PC Sims fans will enjoy.
staple gameplay of The Sims remains the same: you live out a virtual
life through your Sims. Build a place to live, go to work, deal with
relationships, eat, sleep; if you do it in your real everyday life, you
will do it in your Sim everyday life. That signature gameplay is present
in the open-ended single-player Play The Sims mode. But new to the
console versions is a goal-oriented Get a Life mode (either
single-player or multiplayer challenge) and the two-player Play The Sims
For the first time, you can play with or against another human Sim player on the same gaming system. Including two-player modes was a smart move by Maxis, who recognized that console gameplayers are big on multiplayer gaming. And the two-player modes are definitely a lot of fun. The unlocked bonus two-player games square you off against another player in all kinds of competitive hijinks. In the Frat House level, the goal is to gain more new friendships in the college
frat house than
opponent before the time runs out. And to aid you in your quest for new
beer-swilling chums, you can use the ďspread a rumorĒ interaction to
ruin your opponentís Sim reputation and be victorious. The grand prize
for being a popular gossiper is a wild hot tub party that only a frat
house crowd could throw. All the two-player games have similar original
(and often-times devious) goals and options to accomplish winning.
Get a Life mode throws you in a single-player goal-oriented Sim game.
You start out broke and STILL living at home with mom, no job or money
lining your pockets to move out. After you borrow enough cash from mom
to move out and meet a few other criteria, youíll progress through
more scenarios like this. Of course, if you are a fan of the original
Sims, then you can play that way too, building a house in a neighborhood
and then going completely open-ended Sims adventuring from there. As in
the PC version, the choice of what to do when is left up to you.
from the game however, is most of the gameplay elements that are
contained in the PC Sims expansion packs. So donít expect to be taking
a Vacation with the new love interest you met on a Hot Date while
throwing a House Party for all your Unleashed pet-loving Sim friends who
are Living Large in your GameCube Sims game. But there are still plenty
of unique items, clothing, and characters throughout The Sims and the
two-player and goal-oriented gameplay more than makes up for your
unexpanded Sims options.
far the biggest hurdle in getting The Sims onto the GameCube was coming
up with controls using a GameCube controller to maneuver in a game
designed to work with a mouse and keyboard. The controls using the
GameCube controller (which I personally donít like using) arenít as
tight as the other console version of the game Iíve played on the
Xbox, but Maxis still did a great job of mapping all the PC commands to
the GameCube controller. The one area where this game could have really
suffered was in the controls, but instead you have easy-to-learn and
reasonably responsive Sims command literally at your fingertips. Helping
out is a light ďbeamĒ that more than suffices for the absence of a
clicking mouse in selecting items and choosing your Sims and your
desired interactions in the Sim world.
game is given a much-needed graphical upgrade. While the look of The
Sims is essentially the same as it is on the PC, thereís more detailed
visuals and they are in a real 3D environment. Unlike the 2D isometric
PC graphics, which are only quasi-3D, The Sims on the GameCube is in a
fully 3D realm. The new Sims look will be appreciated by Sims fans and
was definitely needed in a game that hasnít seen a major visual
overhaul since its inception 3Ĺ years ago, even though its obvious that
Maxis didnít push the visual envelope when developing on the GameCube,
which is definitely capable of better rendering than this.
what would a Sims game be without the amazing music and sounds that
pervade throughout your gameplaying, which has always been one of the
strongest assets in a Sims game. Whether itís the amusing conversation
babble between characters known as Simlish to the varied unique musical
tunes from the Sims musical acts that float through your Sim radios,
TVís and dance floors, as always, expect to get an audio stimulation
out of this simulation title.
The Sims isnít a totally radical departure from its PC origins, the
GameCube version scores just a tad lower than on the other console
version Iíve played, the Xbox, because of its slightly less-defined
graphics, less comfortable controller, and having to use a memory card
instead of the easier game save system on the built-in Xbox hard drive.
But whatever console you play The Sims on, its new and improved 3D
graphical presentation, console-friendly controls, and new single-player
and two-player modes make The Sims a sim-sationally fun game that is a
splendid addition to The Sims universe.
(April 12, 2003)
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