The Sims 3 review
A just barely playable bodge job at best.
While there were plenty who preferred The Sims 2 for PC to the all new The Sims 3, it was still a very successful computer game. Trouble is, it seems the developers have gotten a little carried away with the success and seem to be making some console ports that shouldn't even be considered games sometimes. Thankfully, this one's at least playable, but with some serious drawbacks.
First of all, gameplay. I'm not entirely sure what it is that makes The Sims so fun. Maybe it's the endless creativity, use of imagination, or just infinite re-playability? Who knows. But it's definitely not present in the Wii version of The Sims 3. There's something about the game that makes it boring, and while you can spend a while on making the Sims and their households, once you get into the game, it's a grinding, boring, slow, uneventful process to actually get anywhere, and you just won't feel motivated. Others may feel different, but for me, it just doesn't hit the right spot.
Now, in all fairness, there are some good points of the gameplay, like some pretty in depth customization, albeit with The Sims 1 like graphics and face icons that make Sims all look 90 years old. You can truly have some fun creating Sims. You could also have just about as much fun creating a house. If it weren't for the new template system. You can, in this version, no longer build a house from scratch. You must work with extremely laggy, frustrating controls to use a pre-built house, and you can, at the most, customize interior doors, floors, and wallpaper. There is a decent selection for furniture, but considering how poorly the controls work, you'll most often find yourself just skipping out on truly customizing your dwelling.
A nice part is the freedom to walk around the neighborhood, as was present in the original TS3 for PC, though quite often the system can also be laggy and slow. You can call a taxi to get places, but that's laggy as well, or you can buy a car, and that's expensive, so sometimes it's just easier to run across the street to your workplace. If it wasn't so easy for Sims to just die all of a sudden because of a depleted need you never even noticed.
Keeping up your Sim's needs can be tricky, and while that's generally a good thing, only serving to make the game exciting, it's usually just frustrating in this version. Most of the original features including Karma Powers are also present, though it can take a while to figure them out.
The beach themed town in which your game will take place is a fun and vibrant place with lots of other Sims to make friends and enemies with and many different places to go. It's a shame almost all of the places to visit are rabbit holes, meaning you cannot actually go inside the buildings, but most of the time there is pretty good interface to keep you going while your Sim is in a building.
For example, when your Sim is at work or school, you can choose exactly what you want them to do while there, which will, at school, affect your grades, and at work, affect the time you have until your next promotion. Act badly and you may get expelled or fired. This is one of the few features of the game I like.
Death is, as expected, present in this version, though there is no Grim Reaper and whenever someone dies they'll leave a tombstone wherever they popped their clogs. Play long enough and you'll soon find your town is overrun by tombstones, absolutely covered with them.
Sims can also have children, but the pregnancy is glitchy and just doesn't feel right most of the time, and instead of having actual babies, somehow Sims have instant 10 year olds.
While you can have more than one save file, it is a bit of a disappointment that you cannot have more than one family that you have created in one neighborhood. The pre created townies are interesting, I suppose, but it takes a bit of the life out of the game.
There is also a multiplayer version of the game, which is made in most advertisements to seem like a big deal, but it's really just a card game taking you through the choices you want a pre-created Sim to make and seeing who in the end has the better life. There is no real Sims gameplay here, just a pointer and a few confusing screens.
I may have made the game sound dull, laggy, and boring, but if you can see past this, it is just really an incredibly stripped version of TS3 PC. There are Moodlets, a helpful and fun little way of keeping track of how your Sims are feeling at any given moment, those cartooney TS3 graphics, and other features that, if you dig deep enough, can make the game somewhat enjoyable.
Probably the game's biggest problem is the abundance of glitches. The game is just... broken. Apart from lagginess and painfully long loading times, the game suffers from many technological problems such as not being able to communicate with objects, Sims (when you give them a task) spending about 3 times the amount of in game time it should take them to complete the task just standing there loading the animation, friends not coming over when you invite them and they accept, and a fire code (the ever-present-on-console-Sims-games limit that is set on the amount of objects you can place in one area) that often gets to be broken and does not go down when you delete an item. So many problems... so little to make up for it. Not to mention the fact that just putting the disc in makes my Wii sound like it's just about ready to explode. Honestly, the game just doesn't work the way it should, and in my opinion it should have spent quite a bit more time in the development stage before being rushed onto shelves.
The controls in the game are iffy, with some slip-ups occasionally and frustrating camera controls, but you can probably say they are bearable.
Visuals in the game could've and should've been much better. In Create-A-Sim, you get the idea that the graphics are good and the game is pretty rad... until you see that in the actual world everything is just blurry pixels and crappy animations. Mediocre at best.
The soundtrack in the game can be choppy and quite frankly gets annoying. Many of the songs just aren't anything special and the sound effect quality could be better.
Overall, The Sims 3 definitely could've done with a bit more development. It just seems like the idea was strong when they were creating the Create-A-Sim menu, and then they just sort of gave up and slapped the rest together.
About the author
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