Review by MNoakes

Reviewed: 03/19/00 | Updated: 03/19/00

Good? Maybe. But don't believe the box.

Am I truly expecting too much? You study a game on line, read the reviews. You check out the listed system requirements. With some trepidation, and a great deal of anticipation, you finally place the on-line order and wait. A week later (very impressive, considering I live in Japan) the game appears on your doorstep.

And, surprise, it flops. Maybe I've been spoiled by my Dreamcast, where I know that, if I pop a game into the unit, by golly, it's going to work. Or maybe I came to expect the likes of Baldur's Gate - a game that not only worked playably well at the absolute minimum specs listed, but actually remained playable -below- those requirements.

Not so the Sims. After a sligthly choppy intro, the beautiful neighbour hood screen loaded up... and that's it. $70 for a static image, fun, I thought. Turns out the full game is there, there's just an absence of any screen refreshing. When I finally got the graphic options reduced to minimum (after about an hour or two of mostly blind clicking), the game -still- remained virtually unplayable, but did give glimpses of the actual game.

And that's the only reason I gave The Sims a four, instead of the whopping 0 it deserves. Maxis should be held accountable (as should all computer game companies that list system requirements that are sufficient for booting up a game, and that's all) for the falsehoods on their box, but they have nevertheless created a game that, from the very little I could see (amidst much frustration) looks to be refreshingly orginal, addictive, and fun. But not when I have to wait seconds between mouse clicks, and can't see what I'm clicking on half the time, anyway.

Incidentally, the system I'm running is a Compaq Presario 1260. This means an AMDK62-333 (required: 233), 64MB RAM (required: 32), 4GB Hard Dive (required: 300 MB), and a 2MB video card, Direct Draw compatible, latest drivers installed (required, 2 MB video card.) So, obviously, my system's biggest weakness was the video card - but if 2MB wasn't going to be enough, why didn't they say so?

(Kudos to ign for being the only review to mention, even if only in passing, that the game - especially considering the graphics - exerted a surprisingly demanding toll on the system. I should have read between the lines.)

Bottom line: unless your system buries the minimum requirements, bypass this game.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

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