Controlling your Sims still takes place via a cursor based system but with a few changes. You’ll still have to click on objects but the interface has changed quite a bit. The toolbars now remain hidden and are revealed via the directional pad. Holding up will show your Sim’s mood while pressing to the right will reveal its friendships. When the d-pad is released that aspect of the interface becomes hidden, clearing some potential clutter.
You control your Sim via a circular halo that floats along the ground, pressing A will bring up a menu of possible interactions, then you select what you want to do. Everything here basically operates in the same fashion as before so veterans of the series probably won’t have any problems getting the hang of the controls. I do feel that the controls are a bit lacking though, building and placing objects just isn’t as streamlined as it could have been. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to select small objects that don’t occupy much space such as wall-mounted telephones.
The transition from 2D to 3D has been a smooth one; it appears that the majority of the animations were recycled but have been given new life thanks to the free-floating camera. They still look as stiff as ever but they look a whole lot better now that you can get a new perspective on them. Those who were avid fans of the PC series will no doubt find themselves rotating the camera around their Sims as they’re performing even the most mundane of actions; it’s really that large of a leap. The objects in particular have a whole new sense of detail to them, now you can see inside objects that you couldn’t see inside before. Ever wondered what’s on the inside of a Sim’s fridge? Now you can find out. There are some neat lighting effects in place. You’ll even see some reflective glare on some of the hardwood and tiled surfaces. The changes might not mean much to the casual fans of the series but to those who have had to stare at the eyesore for four or so years, it’s a blessing.
The sounds remain virtually unchanged but if you ask me, it’s perfectly acceptable. The Sims still speak in that gibberish that we have all come to know and love and the same musical tunes have been ported over. I’m happy to see that the sweeping classical tune that plays when you’re buying objects has made the transition as it is definitely one of my favorites. I don’t have a problem with the soundtrack for the game as I feel that it’s still a perfect fit for the atmosphere. Of course no Sims game would be complete without that trademark bonk noise that plays whenever you click on something.
Many fans complained that the Sims
was too unbalanced, asking too much of you while not giving you nearly enough time to accomplish what is asked. Sadly these issues carry over to this console iteration as well, there’s just simply not enough time to accomplish what you need to do. By the time your Sim gets home from work you’ll barely find enough time to accommodate to their needs before it’s time to hit the sack. The Sims are just too high maintenance and too much time is spent catering to their needs while too nearly enough time is spent playing around with the game and having fun. I wish that the open-ended mode would have had the option to turn off the need’s meters (called motives here); it would have allowed me to focus on enjoying my experience with the game. At times the babysitting becomes a bit too monotonous for my tastes, I feel like I’m tending to a four-year-old.
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