Posts Tagged ‘the sims’

Gaming

‘The Sims 3′ dated

The Sims 3 at GCAnother show (this time the 2008 Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany), another ‘The Sim 3‘ snippet. Amongst the other blurb from their press conference, EA announced the release date for their bloated cash cow… a demonic, cthulhian beast sporting a million udders that produce an endless pungent stream of sickly green expansions, each one throttling your wallet until it’s a shrivelled, dried up old husk! Err… where was I? Oh, yes, release date!

No Christmas cash-in on the cards, it seems, as the (global, no less) release date stands at the 20th Feb 2009. As well as hitting the real-world shelves, it’ll also be arriving at online outlets in the shape of a digital download – although I can’t imagine it being a petite chunk of bandwidth you’d need to expend for a title like this. I guess those with internet connections from the stoneage should stick to their local highstreet if they want a Sims fix.

Along with the regular, run-of-the-mill version being sold that day, those of you with money to burn will be able to get your mitts on a Collector’s Edition release. What does the extra moolah buy you? A Plumbob USB Drive with matching Green Carabiner, in-game Italian-style sports car, a tips and hints guide (which I assume will be page after page of hot tips on what to do if your Sims have a tendency to urinate in every room of the house except the bathroom) and Plumbob stickers. Hmm, no artbook or soundtracks? Meh.

In case you’re wondering what the hell a Plumbob is, it’s the little green diamond thing you’ll have stared at for hours on end if you even dare call yourself a The Sims fan. Anyway, all the facts and a healthy dose of ‘sales pitch’ can be found in this press release.

Gaming

The Sims 3 E3 trailer

The Sims 3 at E3So E3 is upon us again with it’s usual glut of high hopes and crushing disappointments. Maybe I’m just bitter that the best I can manage is watching the various game site feeds showing the announcements and key notes by industry giants instead of being there in person, but it does seem we build E3 up to be some amazing font of new information and sneak peeks. Instead, it’s usually a lot of worthless posturing, statistics massaging and information that we’ve had for weeks.

As much is true of this new trailer for The Sims 3 that EA pimped during their little showcase. Still a long way off (2009 – I guess they’ve got a couple of expansions they want to wring from the stone that is The Sims 2), it’s claim-to-fame is the boast that The Sims 3 opens the doors for your little ‘digital you’ and allows them to explore their surroundings. Given your Sim’s need to ‘go bathroom’ every 14.7 seconds, hopefully the surroundings are full of W.Cs or, at the very least, that the very first store you encounter on your journey sells adult diapers.

I’m still looking at The Sims 3 with some suspicion, though. The open-world feature is basically just taking the training wheels off of the earlier outings – removing the loading screens and allowing you to explore other ‘lots’. Sure, linking them all together into one streamed world would be nice but does it merit a ‘3’? The fact they’re not plugging any other features at this point also makes me worry that they’re simply going to drip-feed them to the public when they inevitably reset the expansions counter back to zero upon launch.

Probably being cynical but after showing their hand twice now, I’d be a fool to expect EA intends anything else – especially when we’ve already proved we’re ready to snap it up and ask for seconds (or even thirds). The new trailer can be found on the official The Sims 3 site.

General

No George Hamilton here!

No George Hamilton!One of the things I added to my site when the great WordPress 2.5 upgrade of March 2008 hit, was a stats plugin. It’s completely unnecessary given my daily hits on this site rarely pops it’s head above the double digits mark but I missed the referrers page from my old site. It was a delight to see all the people who’d accidentally discovered my ramblings thanks to some search engine taking their request for sexual fetishist material and mistakenly selective-picking keywords from my posts (usually from the streams of obscenities aimed squarely at the stupidity of email spammers) and suggesting my small corner of the interwebs.

In a round about way, it’s those very posts that brought about this one. You see, on my stat plugin’s list of ‘things people searched for’, above searches for “Roguelike News”, “Sims 3″ and “Persona 4″ was the entry – “George Hamilton“. I know why too. It’s all thanks to my old site and one of the posts I made on it about email spam. I was marvelling at the type of spam I was getting, which was basically a mix of mail pimpin’ fake gold watches and medical remedies for erectile dysfunction (see, this is how I get suggested for the wrong types of searches!). I mused that perhaps the spammers saw me as some sort of gaudy, aged lothario. A ‘George Hamilton‘ type, if you will.

Ever since that post, I used to get the George Hamilton traffic. And still do, apparently. I’ve nothing against the man. He’s a star in my book. His self-deprecating ability to parody the persona he’s developed is genius, if you ask me. And he carries off orange with a straight face. Very few can.

But no, I’m sorry visitor, if you came here looking for your George Hamilton fix (or remedies for erectile dysfunction, for that matter), I’m afraid you’ll find no joy (or George Hamilton), here.

Gaming

‘The Sims 3′ site live

The Sims 3So the 19th has rolled around and as promised, the ‘The Sims 3′ site has opened it’s doors to a wealth of new… uh, a bounty of… *sigh* okay, okay, I can’t do it. Basically, there’s some screenshots and stuff we either already knew thanks to the exclusive earlier in the month or stuff we could have guessed (more customisation? oh dooooo go on). The site is a bit lumpy at the moment (probably getting hammered from all the attention) so you might get a few time-outs.

I guess I’m a bit miffed because on one hand there’s nothing ground-shaking on the site to really excite me and on the other is the fact I can’t say I’m particularly enthralled with the direction The Sims is heading. The characters are slowly morphing into that ugly kind of generic style you get in Poser renders, with any scrap of The Sims character hard to locate. If you’re going to juice up the poly count, I suppose they’ve got to go somewhere but does it really have to be at the expense of the game’s style? And really? Are we going to rah-rah about being able to make skinny and fat Sims? Sure, The Sims 2 only had two settings but I can’t muster much enthusiasm about there suddenly being a gradient of settings in-between now.

So apart from opening the environment up, there’s nothing really to shout from the rooftops about. I’m probably being a little harsh on the game – after all, earlier today I was praising Persona 4 for being ‘more of the same’. Let’s just hope they’ve got a few surprises up their sleeves to pimp on the site for the run up to the 2009 release of the game.

Gaming

‘The Sims 3′ soon-ish not soon enough

Games for Windows coverWaiting? Waiting is for wimps and fools! No ticking off the days until March 19th for me. Especially since issue 17 of Games for Windows has an exclusive take on the new ‘The Sims 3′ game. According to 1UP (a part of Ziff Davis Media, just like… oh Games for Windows magazine), GFW has a 12 page preview full of everything you wanted to know about ‘The Sims 3′ but were too impatient to wait for.

Turns out that Sims is going town-wide this time out. No longer happy with having you call up a taxi, endure a painful loading screen to arrive at a ‘lot’ where you realise that all there is to do is dance and grill some burgers (all of which quickly occurs to you that you could have done at home) and then slink off back to your crib (after another painful loading screen) because your Sim needs to evacuate their bowels and pass out. No, instead they’re apparently going open plan and the world outside your door will play a much bigger part in your Sim’s experiences. Um… yay? As long as they bump up the experiences in question to something a bit more substantial, dancing and burgers aside, it sounds great. Also, they hint at toning down the perpetual potty training in the sequel – although I could have sworn they said the same thing about The Sims 2. Pee meters (and other meters) going the way of the Dodo in favour of more discrete moods.

All in all, it’s sounding promising and the magazine article claims to contain even more details than the 1UP (advert) teases at. Looking at the magazine cover, the graphics don’t appear to have improved too greatly so there might still be a chance it’ll happily run on your parent’s next PC, if not their current one.

If you didn’t realise the image took you to the 1UP article, the slow amongst you can reach it here.

Gaming

‘The Sims 3′ info soon-ish

Not Sims 3Everyone’s favourite bowel-movement related micromanagement title, ‘The Sims‘ is getting another true sequel. Yes, I know, as surprising as a weatherman in the UK predicting rain anytime in the country’s future but not only is it coming, it’s coming soon! Or, at least, unspecified details about The Sims 3 are coming soon… and by soon, I mean March 19th.

Yes, EA has a teaser page up for The Sims 3 promising more information on the 19th of March 2008 (and I’ve pretty much spoiled the whole point of visiting the teaser page as there’s no other content there apart from a teaser image – I even ripped off part of that for my little graphic in the top left, too).

I have to admit to being a The Sims fan. I thought the original was top fun and would even consider some of the 7(!) add-ons worthwhile. Then came The Sims 2, fleshing out the game somewhat and bringing a more up-to-date look to the game’s graphics (read as: it’d no longer run as smooth as greased pig-shit-off-a-shovel on every tinker-toy PC in the galaxy). Unfortunately, with the new version came the opportunity to reset the clock on the add-ons and EA went buck-wild with the sequel. Not only did you have 7 regular add-ons, they also churned out a selection of add-on ‘lite’s in the form of ‘stuff packs’ (imagine replicating all the content the community were knocking out for free, but charging you for them). Heaven knows what EA has planned for The Sims 3 but if there’s any extra blood to be squeezed from that stone, you know EA will have industrial-sized presses working 24-7 on the matter.

Personally, I’ve always preferred the console’s take on The Sims with their more structured ‘goal-based’ gameplay than the open plan watch-your-Sim-wander-aimlessly-for-hours-on-end PC experience. I feel that’s mainly come about because of a limitation on the part of old consoles though rather than a desire to take the game in new directions – more that the old tech didn’t have the same specs & storage that the PC platform allowed. This gen is of course all over the place with specs & storage so it’ll be interesting to see if everything once again converges into the traditional aimless gameplay or whether consoles retain their more interesting tweaks. I do hope so.

If I remember, I’ll stick down some thoughts on the information that comes to light on the 19th. Let’s hope it’s not all just about prettier pictures and a long, long road paved in add-ons.