The Sims 2 - PS2 - Review
The Sims has been quite a hit on the PC, having constantly evolved the series through various expansion packs as well as sequels that fans of the gibberish-speaking beings we create and unleash in created environment. The consoles have seen three The Sims titles so far and each strayed from the award-winning formula of the PC versions in good (The Sims: Bustin’ Out) and so-so ways (The Urbz: Sims in the City). The Sims 2 is here and, much like the other games, it too deviates from its PC original to offer a game with plenty to do.
The beauty of The Sims is the complete freedom you have over the creation of your own characters and the control you have over them in a house you create (or purchase). Some of this freedom, I’m afraid, is taken away in both the Story and Freeplay mode. For one thing, there’s a character generator that creates a character for you instead of creating one completely from scratch. You still have the plenty of options that allow you to tweak facial features and there’s hair and plenty of clothing options.
Strangely enough the game doesn’t save Freeplay and Story Mode separately so you’ll be forced to play one before tackling the other. There’s not much of a story in Story Mode either so don’t expect a plot or a theme that has you attempting to move out of your mother’s house like in Bustin’ Out or try to fit into a clique like in Urbz. You create and name your character and have him or her interact with other Sims in any of the four neighborhoods (in areas like Strangetown, Melbourne or Pleasantview). Sounds simple enough but this time around there are aspirations to meet and fears to avoid. Your Sim might aspire to live a creative life or attempt to woo as many people as possible so there are various wants you’ll have to fulfill.
You’ll still have to be mindful of your Sim’s basic needs only this time if you ignore their hunger pangs or need to sleep they’ll show it in physical ways. If your Sim becomes too tired they will stop what they’re doing and move sluggishly to their bedroom. Neglect to feed them and they’ll wince with pain and hold their bellies until you feed them. Speaking of food you can feed already prepared meals but then again you can create your own meals by picking out an assortment of ingredients that range from meats, vegetables, oils and fruits. Half the fun is coming up with your own meal and presenting them to your household to see how they react to it. Like the PC game they can even become sick from what they eat. It’s a nice touch, really.
Like Urbz, you can change where you live and meet new people to befriend or fall in love with, and thanks to the new activities you’ll be able to do everything from watch for aliens to learn how to surf. Sadly babies are taken out of the equation and you’ll never have to worry about growing old or watching a child go from infancy to his or her teen years. It’s these little things that you’ll miss if you own the PC game but at least EA makes up for it with two-player split-screen fun. Also, there is exclusive content for PS2 owners such as extra items and you can even hook up your Eye Toy to place your face on your created Sim. The likeness won’t be exact but at least your character will slightly resemble you.
The Sims 2 also marks the beginning of fresh new visuals and better character models and flashy new effects not found in the PC version. The camera closes in during conversations and your character’s body language is great at conveying emotion. The character models move a bit more naturally this time around but it’s the facial expressions that are welcome addition. Unfortunately the PS2 sees some jaggies but at least the environments are colorful and the animation is smooth.
Some things do remain the same, such as the fact that your Sims will still speak that funny gibberish talk throughout the game along with the usual wacky sound effects. The soundtrack, this time, around is a lot better than past games. Not only does the radio station provide a variety of different musical genres, many of which have vocals that are true to said Sims-like gibberish. It’s good stuff, alright, and it hardly gets annoying even after you heard the same song again and again.
It might not be as exceptional as the PC version but The Sims 2 for the PS2 is still a very fun game with a lot to offer returning fans. While it has lost some of the more charming aspects of the game when it was ported to consoles, it still manages to cram in a delightful amount of juicy extras worth checking out. If you’re looking for a whole new type of Sims game you won’t find it here but at least its downright fun.
|Review Scoring Details for The Sims 2|
You’re free to move around the game’s many environments in the main story mode and the ability to concoct your own recipes is a great idea. Story Mode doesn’t have much of a story but its deep enough to keep the action fresh. Taking care of chores still feels like work.
Much of the PC version’s look is intact but compared to the Xbox the PS2 isn’t as smooth. The game’s colorful backdrops are great and the animations are hilarious.
The same Sims-style gibberish is back, of course, but this time the game’s soundtrack has taken a page out of The Urbz for some great original tunes. The sound effects are decent as well.
Your Sims have aspirations you must meet but they’re actually very easy to please. With no real drama, with the exception of another Sim hating you, all you really have to worry about is their basic needs.
There are various items, hair and clothing options and various accessories to unlock and there are four different places to visit. There’s split-screen multiplayer for up to two players like past The Sims console games. The PS2 makes use of the Eye Toy and it works well enough.
There’s split-screen multiplayer that has you sharing a lot with a friend and has your created family go up against your friend’s created family. It’s nothing we haven’t seem before in past The Sims games on the PS2.
Despite its deviation from the far superior PC version, The Sims 2 is still a fun game loaded with all the things we love about the series. Die-hard fans will miss many of the features that have been omitted but with so many extras, options and new features this one will keep fans more than busy.