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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Simulation

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

Griptonite Games

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

- Fans should lap this up

- Solid amount of gameplay

 

 

- Graphics are so GBA!

- Taking care of your character’s drives and needs gets old real fast

 

 

Review: The Sims 2 (PC)

Review: The Sims Bustin' Out (GBA)

Review: The Sims Bustin' Out (XB)

 

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Urbz: Sims in the City

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

I know I’ve supposed to keep editorial rants out of my reviews since it tends to make people think that I’m full of bias and bile but sometimes I just can’t help it.  If ever there was a company that knew how to milk a franchise, it’s Electronic Arts.  The milking started with The Sims, a project that someone in middle management attempted to kill before it got off the ground, and continued with numerous expansion packs, console and handheld versions, and a recent sequel.  The milking continues with The Urbz: Sims in the City.

 

And the milk is going sour.

 

urbz sims in the city review urbz sims in the city review

 

Urbz throws your created character into the big city – Miniopolis – with the task of unraveling the mysterious disappearance of the city’s benefactor, gaining cred with your peers, and foiling the intentions of an evil developer without soiling yourself or collapsing due to exhaustion or hunger.  The various drives and needs are back and rather than be an engrossing part of the overall gameplay they're just a pain in the ass.

 

This pain can be traced back to the fact that there is an overarching goal – an actual story – and having progression continually hampered by finding a place to take a leak or catch a snooze so you have enough energy to keep on going.

 

The gameplay itself is very similar to The Sims Bustin’ Out (and is almost identical to Urbz: Sims in the City for GameBoy Advance).  The only real difference is that the screen is split in two with the top taking care of exploration and interacting with the 

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- DS Game Reviews

- Simulation Game Reviews

- Reviews of Games Developed/Published by EA

environment and the lower screen handling the menus and dialogue choices.  The stylus sees limited use with the menu choices, dialogue options and a few mini-games but it hardly seems vital to the game.

 

If you feel even the slightest burnout from the social “let’s make friends” aspect of the Sims, Urbz will do nothing to curb your ambivalence.  Making nice is another gateway to more mini-games – known as “jobs” in Miniopolis – and 

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the chance to earn a few more simoleons to buy more stuff.  What’s really aggravating here is that the monotony of making friends is broken up by the monotony of trying to keep your character from starving to death and/or smelling nice.  If Urbz was simply turned into a series of mini-games loosely connected with plot points, I’m sure I would have had more fun.

 

While I’m on a tear, the graphics are mediocre at best.  The text is sharp, but everything else is pure GameBoy Advance.  I realize that graphics are not the be all, end all of any game but when you’ve just plunked down some real-life cash for a new piece of hardware, is it too much to ask for to see a little whizbang?

 

In the end, if you’re a fan I’d recommend running out and grabbing a copy of Urbz: Sims in the City.  Everyone else can safely give it a miss.

 

- Omni

(April 7, 2005)

 

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