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T (Teen)



Q1 2003



- New two-player games

- Good conversion of mouse-and-keyboard controls to GameCube controller

- Improved and finally true 3D graphics



- Missing almost all of the PC expansion pack elements

- While graphics are improved, could have been better



Review: The Sims (PC)

Review: The Sims (PS2)

Review: The Sims - Hot Date (PC)



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The Sims

Score: 8.6 / 10


When 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?


the sims gamecube review          the sims gamecube review


After 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.


The 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 mode.  





- GameCube Game Reviews

- Review of Games Developed by Maxis

- Reviews of Games Published by Electronic Arts

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 your 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.


The 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.


Missing 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.


By 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.


The 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.


the sims gamecube review          the sims gamecube review


And 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.


While 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.


- Lee Cieniawa


(April 12, 2003)

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