St. Petersburg Times
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Video game review

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 17, 2003

The Sims

  • System: PlayStation 2
  • Company: EA Games
  • Price: $49.99
  • Rated: Teen
  • Grade: B+

Now that the Sims is out on PS2, you're probably wondering if it is a big step up from the computer version. The answer: Some things improve and some things take a downfall.

The graphics on the PS2 version are crisper and look more realistic than on the computer. But there are also drawbacks. The camera angle in live mode doesn't allow you to see the Sims' faces close up.

One of my favorite parts of the game is creating a Sim. On PS2, there is more variety in the clothing, body and facial appearances of your character than on the computer. You can pick clothes from boxers with hearts on them to different types of shoes and socks. On men, you can add facial hair, and on women you can choose from different kinds of makeup. Accessories can be added, including glasses, hats and earrings.

The first time you play, you must go through the "Get a Life" mode. You pass through different levels, accomplishing goals, to move on to the next. After you have finished "Get a Life," you will be permitted to "Play the Sims."

This is the basic mode that allows you to create a Sim, build or move them into a house and control their lives. This mode is basically the same as the computer one, except for some minor additions. You can order pizzas, hire a maid and throw a party. There is also more variety in buy mode and in build mode.

In live mode, it is harder on PS2 to keep the Sims in a good mood because of the added social measurement. They get tired easily and show a picture of a bed in their thought bubble.

The PS2 version has multiplayer mode, where your Sim can interact with another player's Sim. To unlock this new way of playing the game, you must complete levels in Get a Life mode.

In live mode, you won't stand a chance without finding a cheat to get more money. You start with a minimal amount, enough to build the walls of a house and buy the things necessary for your Sim to stay alive. It will be a dismal life for your Sim without anything interesting, so make sure you find a cheat.

If you already have this game on the computer, you should think before you buy it. Otherwise, this is a must-buy.

-- JONATHAN BOCKMAN, Times correspondent

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