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The Sims 2 Review

publisher: EA
developer: Maxis
genre: Management

PIII 800, 256MB RAM, 3GB HDD, 32MB video card
ESRB rating: T

release date: Sep 14, 04
» All About The Sims 2 on ActionTrip

Steve: John, the weirdest thing happened to me.

John: What was it, Steve?

Steve: I had to overclock my PC to play The Sims 2.

John: So what'd you put in?

Steve: Unleaded of course.

John: And?

Steve: And now I know what they mean by blazingly fast.

John: What do you mean?

Steve: I set the PC on fire; flames started shooting out from inside the PC case.

John: And?

Steve: Well the Sims usually have a handy fire extinguisher around, and those NPC firemen are damn handy.

John: So did that solve your problem?

Steve: No cause the bastards never showed up.

John: How strange... I live in constant fear that a burglar will come into my house one day and steal my couch.

Steve: So what do you do?

John: I play The Sims from my couch every day. I never move. They bring me food.

Steve: That's clever. Anyway, I guess this whole thing with my burning PC is all right - I heard computers are supposed to overheat when you overclock them like that.

John: Ahh... so that's why my kid was talking about water cooling his new video card the other day. I thought it was just because he's a retarded little Satanist that plays violent video games all day long.

Steve: Call EA technical support, man. Have them fix your kid. He's heading straight for disaster. Next thing you know he'll smirk at you for telling him about the new Sims expansion.

John: That little beast. We must correct him.

Steve: Anyhow, I got The Sims 2 a couple of days ago! Had it pre-ordered from! Now my Simsonians are not the only ones with bladder problems! I nearly peed myself when I got it!

John: Do you have snapshots?

Steve: Of what? Me peeing myself?

John: Yes.

Steve: No I don't. Why do you ask?

John: Um... no reason.

So anyway, how is the sequel?

Steve: It's the best man! It's awesome. Check this out. The new engine looks hella sweet - the animation seems a lot more fluid and lifelike, the surroundings are MUCH more detailed and the Simsonians just have so many more facial expressions that you can't believe they're not real.

John: That sounds great.

Steve: Oh heck yeah, the environments look better too, and you can now actually take your family outside for a walk in the park or something. The only downside to this as you know is that the game will torture our old casual gamer PCs. And it will torture them BAD. That's why I had to overclock it.

John: Is there another way?

Steve: Well we can buy a new PC, but I don't see why I'd ever have to change my sweet PIII computer. Outlook Express works great and Power Point takes care of all my business needs. The guy in the hardware store that suggested I fill up my PC with unleaded told me that the game exhibits serious slowdowns even on much more powerful computers. He told me that he has an AMD 64 with a powerful graphics card and 1.5GB of RAM, and that zooming out to a birds eye view of a neighborhood or a house that's populated with lots of Sims and has lots of furniture and stuff will seriously slow down the game. He also told me though that that might actually have something to do with the fact that the game is now in full 3D, and that you can rotate the camera in real-time and whatnot. Some technical mumbo-jumbo.

John: OK, so the visuals are prettier. And what else is new?

Steve: You know how I loved the sounds in the old game and all of the expansions that we hold so dear to our hearts.

John: Yes.

Steve: The musical soundtrack is so awesome in the sequel! It seriously is. While I was watching my Sims go about their daily routines, I was constantly skimming through the great tunes. They add so much life to the game and the positional sound (I think that's what they call it) is awesome. Meaning, as you move your camera through the house, different sounds will come into focus, helping the game truly come to life.

John: That sounds great. So besides a very rich audio and visual experience, what else do we get?

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8.7   Very Good

A much more elaborate life simulator, character creation system, Sims aging and inheritable traits, sounds and visuals;

None of the improvements are revolutionary enough to attract people who were initially (or at some point) put off by the concept, steep hardware requirements.


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