The world's best selling game is bound to spawn a few incarnations on different formats. The Sims is no different, The Sims: Bustin' Out is the second Sims title to appear on a console. The first title introduced console owners to the basics of The Sims. The viewpoint was updated and the transition from PC gaming to console gaming was smooth. This version of The Sims is good enough to please veteran Sim fans and encourage new gamers to the world of The Sims.
Time to bust out
The Sims is a people simulator. You take control of one or more of your own "Sims" and similar in vein to a Tamogotchi you must control the lives of your Sims. This involves taking them to the toilet, feeding them and even choosing their friendships. The main mode of The Sims: Bustin' Out is Bustin' Out mode. This mode allows you to start as a inexperienced Sim and guide your Sim to becoming independent. This is done by completing certain goals in levels like feeding your sim adequetly. There are seven main careers in the game varying from becoming a movie star, gangster, jock or mad scientist. As soon as you achieve your goal of making one of these careers your Sim will be presented with a unique reward.
The PC version of The Sims lacks a main mode, you just take part in a mode whereby you do what you would like with no specific goals. This mode is also present in The Sims: Bustin Out and is titled Free Play. This is a great mode for when you just want to have a quick bash of the game without sacrificing your Sim long term. To establish Bustin Out EA have added a lot of new features. There are 100 new objects, 40 new characters, a more in-depth create-a-sim option, revamped graphics and audio and new locations.
The Sims has been successful because the formula is simple to pick up. Long term veterans of the game have enough options to keep playing but people who are new to The Sims can pick the game up and do exactly what they want to do. This version of The Sims is no different, it is simple to pick up and complex to master.
What's your status?
The Bustin' Out mode is lengthy. It is important to keep checking to make sure your Sim is happy and well-fed. Status bars are displayed at the bottom of the screen to give a summary of your Sim's level. These status bars include hunger level, energy level, hygiene level, social level, comfort level, fun level, home satisfaction and how full your bladder is. This means players are constantly trying to make there Sim happier. For example, if your Sim is hungry, force it to go to the fridge and eat, if there is nothing in the fridge, cook something. This is simple, but very addictive.
Not only must you take care of your Sim, but you also have to manage the house they live in to ensure their satisfaction. This may mean adding tiles, more trees or installing a fireplace. This is done by using the build tool which allows you to make any modification to the house you could think of. Some gamers will spend hours just honing there house to perfection. Furniture can be added into the house and luxury items like monster televisions can also be purchased.
All these purchases cannot be made without money however; currency in the game is called Simoleons, which are earnt through obtaining a job. Jobs are easily gained by picking up a newspaper and finding a perfect job. The job is not secure though - if you don't get your Sim ready in time for work then you may be fired. Every aspect of life has been covered in the Sims: Bustin Out.
The interface is very easy to understand, with players able to check the status of there Sim with just a button press. The main menu is easy to navigate and the loading takes no more than five seconds.
Zoom in close....not too close
The graphics of The Sims has once again been upgraded to fit the hardware. A more static viewpoint is in the PC version but the two versions of the Sims on the consoles have allowed more flexibility, Gamers can zoom in close on their sim or they can zoom right out for a full view of the house. All the Sims and additions to the game look bright and lively. The graphics are beginning to look a little outdated but for the moment suit the game perfectly. I doubt we will see many innovations in the graphics of the game for a little while.
The Sims also have their own language, which is essentially gibberish. There are some moments of good sound, but overall there is no blazing rock song playing, most of the time the sounds of the game are just when events happen or you receive good news. The sound may be a little dry but it suits the game more a soundtrack.
The Sims: Bustin out isn't an entirely new experience. EA have developed a nice follow up to the original title which improves minorly on every area of the game. The new objects and careers are appreciated but if you own the first title they are not enough to warrant a purchase of the second game. If you haven't picked up a Sims game yet then this is the title to get. It is addictive and can be dragged out for a quick ten minute play anytime. If you have the patience to play the game through on all the career modes and complete all the goals, it will take a lot of time to complete.