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Review – The SIMS (PC)

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Some games you just love to hate. Or maybe it’s the other way around, you hate to love them. Then there are those you love and those you hate completely. I’m thinking The SIMS is just one I hate really, but I REALLY want to love it. This game is really easy to compare to Diablo 2. Both have similar play perspectives. Both have similar gameplay mechanics really. Both are games I really enjoy when I first start playing them but hate absolutely after about a week. Finally both are games I keep coming back to.

To keep in the comparison of Diablo 2, the gameplay consists pretty much of clicking on a thousand things for hours on end. Unlike Diablo 2, the things you click on aren’t little imp things of one color or another. Instead you get to control a person as this person lives their daily life. That’s pretty much it, I honestly don’t know how or why this game ever became so popular really. I mean an in game day typically consist of waking your Sim up, having the Sim cook himself breakfast, take a shit, take a shower, watch for an hour go to work, come home from work, cook supper, watch more TV, shit again, then sleep. Its like having some sort of clingy pet really. The Sims can’t function in anyway on their own. As an experiment I once let “Bob Newbie” run on his own for about an hour. I came back and found he had been fired from work and had been doing nothing but stand around in his kitchen crying because he was depressed and lonely. It should be noted the kitchen was soaked in urine and covered in dirty dishes. It seems that instead of keeping up his hygiene and going to work, poor Bob Newbie had decided to instead sit around all day burning all his money on potato chips. A similar result occurred with the Goth family, their child ended up getting shipped off to military school.

Now what is entertaining about this game? I’ll have to guess it’s the social system really. When your Sim isn’t bitching about being hungry again because he just spent an hour on the toilet you can interact with other Sims in the neighborhood. If you’re lucky you could even make your Sim become married to one of them. Then you get the fun task or trying to juggle two people’s lives at once. Just some advice, unless you plan on cheating, don’t even think of trying to juggle 8 people (the maximum for one family) at once. If you’re lucky you’ll get two satisfied ones, another who has been cleaning everything for all eternity and the rest will just party 24/7.

Anyway, about the time you’ve been playing for about two week’s you’ve got maybe 2 regular normal families going, and another couple party families that you’ve cheated on and given them all the riches they will ever need. There is a good chance you’ll need a new way to entertain yourself. Then you’ll come to the “Mass Murderer Simulator” part of the game. First select a kind of creepy looking guy and build him a nice little place to live, then befriend everyone you can. Then one by one court and marry all the other Sims in the neighbor hood. At the same time, as you grow tired of the earlier partners, build them into doorless rooms and wait about an in game week or two. Or maybe you’d like to let them take a swim, then remove the exit ladder for the pool. A person permanently swimming in the pool would make a nice art-deco life sculpture for the front yard. Then there is always death by fire. Make sure you don’t have any cooking skill or a fire alarm then start grillin’ burgers till the flames start roarin’.

Now that your fantastic and beautiful homes are all vacant, take a moment and reflect back on all the time you’ve spent doing the same things YOU do every day only for some computer simulated version of yourself. Now realize how much of a waste this game really is, especially since Maxis didn’t take into account the full potential of killing off the Sims. I mean come on, where is my torture rack? Or maybe a guillotine. Maybe the fight sequences could break into a Capcom fighter where you battle to the death with supernatural fireballs and such.

On one final note, I’ll say that I really like the customizability in this game. You can find new models and skins for all sorts of objects and characters. You can put shortcuts to MP3s in the music directory and get custom radio stations. You can build the characters and homes anyway you want. That’s probably the best part of the game really. Seeing what sort of crazy combinations you can come up with.