Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Sims 3 DS Review

I was most excited when I heard that this was going to be released onto the DS. I currently play the PC version, but due to lag and the inability to play it at high settings, it isn’t the most enjoyable experience. Having it on the DS would mean I could play it anytime and hopefully without much lag but still retain most of the PC features as advertised.
So upon getting the game, you choose one of three save slots and start designing your Sim. The customisation isn’t as vast as you’d thought having seen the trailer and the controls also weren’t as easy. Using the stylus and selecting the facial features- I found it difficult to select a part other than the brow/eye area… but managed to make a decent looking Sim within a quarter of an hour. You will also need to dress it and choose some traits (neat, artistic, slob etc) before choosing a lifetime goal. So what next?

As with any Sims game, you will need to find a place for your Sim to live, furnished or unfurnished. For easy game play, I selected a cheap furnished household which only cost about 12,000 simoleons (they start off with 20,000).

After looking around the house, I decided to make my Sim go out onto the town, which requires you to leave your lot (load screen) and reach the town where you can roam about. The navigation of the town screen was far easier with the buttons than with the stylus, but the combination of both will perhaps be the easiest. So going to the library, my Sim made friends with this blue faced girl and started flirting until my Sim needed to shower. So back to the house.

The options that this game gives you is indeed quite similar to the PC version, in that there are pretty much limitless opportunities and the storyline is up to you to create and tell. You get the regular jobs, the aspirations, the skill building and the socials system (which I have to praise, is complex for the DS) matched with decent graphics and animations for the handheld. Of course having played the PC version, the pixelated images do grate but you get used to it.

The “new” thing that this game brings, making this even more of an obvious “God” game is the Karma features. You can deliberately thwart your Sims actions by depleting their needs or even sending a rain of fire! These are mainly for comedic purposes but really they do make this game slightly more fun, as you can’t do that on the PC!

The best thing about this game, perhaps the most exciting is that you can design, build and decorate your own homes. Whilst in previous Sims handheld games, you were limited to decorating; now you can pretty much build a home from scratch. Again, the stylus does limit the precision of building, but with care and patience, it can be done! Personally, this takes too long, and I only make minor edits.

After about 20-30 hours of game play, maxing out the Sims skills, making loads of money, upgrading to a big house and having an on-off romance, I think it is time to kill our Sim… this is just one of many possibilities with the game. When you’re bored, kill them off and start again. Like I said, every game is different and you can control it however you want.

Overall, this game does what it says in the advert, but for all those who have played the PC version, there will be something missing, be it graphics, custom content, or even just the overall finish of the game. The features are there, but it isn’t matched by the graphics. For new players, this is definitely a game to start out with, get to grips with the Sims and then upgrade to the PC version for some ultimate fun!

NOTE: There will be an updated version of this game for the 3DS... so maybe hold out for that. :)

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