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Score: 5.0 / 10
If you've played the previous GBA Sims game
Bustin' Out you'll be instantly comfortable and familiar with the Sims
2, including a myriad of mini-games. While most of the gameplay
mechanics are similar to previous installments, there is one important
change, no longer having to track your Sims basic needs.
The Sims 2 boils the various needs down to one stat bar along the bottom
of the screen. When that falls to empty, then there's trouble but it's
very easy to get it
stocked up again. Instead you deal with one
need at a time. If your Sim gets tired (as indicated on-screen) the
green bar starts depleting and until you hit the hay it continues to
drop. This allows you to finish Plot Points (more on that later) before
attending to basic needs. The system is not without its flaws though.
Often a need will present itself very soon after I took care of it. This
happened to me a lot -- I
would go to the bathroom to boost my green bar and a minute later my Sim
would perform the Pee Dance, indicating a necessary trip to the
Sims 2 concentrates mainly on telling a story of a weird TV soap opera
land, populated by aliens, crazy characters, and "concentrated"
environments. You're in the employ of a raving Colonel Sanders type, and
as part of a massive "reality TV" setup in the town of Strangetown it's
your job to score big ratings and complete Plot Points to drive the game
forward. It's a setup that works; however, because you can go anywhere
there's a distinct lack of direction or even very many clues as to where
to go to complete the next Plot Point there's a lot of aimless
The hallmarks of the Sims games are included, like making
friends/enemies and buying cool stuff to decorate your house. Creating
relationships plays out in a familiar manner by attempting
conversations. This time you'll unlock new "moves" or "topics" of
conversation by leveling up your Sim.
But it's the conglomeration of all these aspects that confuses the
experience. Is The Sims 2 an RPG, adventure game, or simulation? I can't
rightly say which genre it should be placed in. It doesn't fall in any
of the categories but that doesn't necessarily mean it succeeds either.
While the emphasis on meeting your Sims needs has been lessened it's not
without its problems (even if it's a much welcome change over the
original) the overall mediocrity will quickly relegate the Sims 2 to
shelf warmer status.