Review by Aristotle

Reviewed: 05/29/00 | Updated: 05/29/00

Good game? Great game, but not the absolute best Maxis game...

So far, the Sims has been pretty near excellent for me. I love everything about the game: the graphics, the sound, the gameplay, the controls, EVERYTHING. But it wasn’t always like that. Before I got my brand-new, all-powerful computer, I was running on a Compaq Presario 1260 notebook computer. This was a laptop PC that had an AMD Athlon K6-333 megahertz processor (the Sims required 233 megahertz), 64 megabytes of RAM (the Sims required 32 megabytes), and Microsoft DirectDraw and Direct3D compatible (the Sims required 2 megabytes of video memory). Notice how all of these specifications are way above what the listed system requirements are, and take note of how the Sims did not run AT ALL on it. After the game loaded up onto the gorgeous neighborhood screen, that was it. Nothing else loaded. The game was still there completely, but the screen refused to refresh itself. Even after a turned off all of the fancy graphics options in the options mode, the game _still_ remained completely unplayable. This was absolutely horrible, in my opinion. If I load a game onto a PC that buries the minimum system requirements, I expect that game to be playable. Maybe I got used to my video game systems, where if I put a game in, it is going to play (unless it is like my old copy of Sonic Adventure; long story). However, I got a brand new Gateway custom built PC that more than buries the minimum specs. Needless to say, the Sims runs more than perfectly on it. But still, I think that a company should not plaster false system requirements onto a box. Shame on you, Maxis!

The Graphics, I believe, were what this game was based on. These are some of the best graphics I have ever seen in a computer game. Sometimes I think that the Sims was made to just show off these graphics and the power of the system running them. Every single little detail is sharp, crisp, clear, and colorful to the max. Excellent graphics; no doubt about it.

The Sound and Music was just as good, if not better. With both of these elements factored in, it’s no wonder that the Sims needs such a heck of a PC to run it. Every sound is clear and easily identifiable, except for the people’s talking, which is supposed to sound like gibberish. The music was stuck in my head for days after I played it, and I loved it. Great music. Period.

The Point of the Game was simple yet complex; build a person a house and get them a good job to maintain it while having fun and doing all kinds of extra stuff. This is extremely harder than it sounds; you’ll spend weeks on end just trying to get a decent job. If I had to pick at the game, it would have to be about the time. The last time I checked, it did not take twenty minutes to go the bathroom, nor ten minutes to put a dish in the dishwasher. These tiny little annoyances add up to a HUGE problem: there is simply not enough time in the day to do everything that you want (and need) to accomplish. One more problem is that the person does not have to leave his house. At all. This is pretty stupid, I mean, I wish I could have a bottomless pit for a refrigerator!

The Difficulty is insane. Am I weird for liking simpler games, like Mario 3 for the NES? These newer games are getting so hard, complex, and involved that it takes a person with almost no life to be able to complete them. It seriously is like the guide says, by the time you know it, it will be 3 AM _your_ time, and I don’t even have my teeth brushed! Really, I like my games to be a little bit simpler than this (Pac-man, anyone?). Oh well, at least it’s not one of those games that you need a strategy guide for or you can’t beat the thing.

The Replay Ability is excellent. Plain, out-and-out, excellent. Even though there are a million things I can think of off the top of my head to pick about this game with, it still baits the line, and you fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Even with its fifty dollar price tag, not to mention the fifteen dollar price tag on the guidebook. I guess that it’s just the kind of game that keeps me addicted.

Overall, I would recommend the Sims to anyone who has a system that completely and overly buries the minimum listed system requirements on the box. Anyone would love this game, heck, I know a 40-something year old who loves the game!

Graphics: 10/10

Sound/Music: 10/10

Point of the Game: 8/10

Difficulty: 5/10

Replayability: 10/10

Overall: 8/10 (not an average)

Bottom Line: Definitely buy this game, and the strategy guide wouldn’t hurt, as well.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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