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Head 2 Head Review: The Sims: Livin' Large

The Match-Up:
Name: Michelle M. (a.k.a. Mish) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Favorite Games: TA: Kingdoms, Baldur's Gate, The Sims

Mish

Tristinian

Name: Tristinian (a.k.a. Commodus) e-mail me

Favorite Genres: RTS, RPG, Adventure, Action/FPS, Sims

Favorite Games: Baldur's Gate, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament, Red Alert, Jedi Knight

Mish: Finally the expansion for the highly successful simulation hit by Maxis has been released and for someone who has been a long time fan of the original game, i can't lie-i love it...

Tristinian: There's Mish, always the straight forward one. :) The Sims was a widely acclaimed game all over the nation and now we finally get an addition to it that can boost its replayability even more. First thing you might notice about Livin Large in terms of its differences is the fact that you now have 5 neighbourhoods instead of just the one. This is just one of many changes brought about in this expansion though...

Mish: And a great addition it is. I love knowing that i can have 5 times the Sims fun that i had the first time i played it. New toys have been added to the game too, for example the genie in the lamp (which can either help you or throw a monkey wrench in your social life) and the laboratory set are all new additions. And of course the nifty robot servant, Servo...takes a lot of out the usual daily chores if you can afford it.

Tristinian: Let's take a more overhead view on the game though. On the whole, what this expansion brings to the Sims, is new items, new characters, models and building pieces-but also a new attitude. If you thought the Sims was too tame to begin with and didn't think enough fighting broke out or enough conflict occurred, you will be more than satisfied now. Things have evened out in Simsville and relationships in particular aren't always healthy...

Mish: So many more new things can happen to your Sims with this expansion....but over and above that, they game still has the original charisma that attracted so many people to it. There is definitely more daytime drama thrown into the fray. More importantly than the items, this new expansion makes the gameplay a a bit altered-in an absurd way sometimes too. However, it's still very cool.

Tristinian: But with the new career paths added, the new furniture, the new skins etc, the real question is, does this expansion improve on the original game enough for you to go out and buy it. As usual, there isn't much you can really say about an expansion pack in general (and we have had a LOT of those released lately). I mean, The Sims is a great game, with beautifully rendered items and elements, with a thriving addictiveness that lingers as you try and simulate life for your 'sim' in daily life tasks, but, can there be more??

Mish: This expansion just opens the field once more for those who want to analyze what is so fascinating about the Sims. Why does a globe full of people want to play a simulation game that controls the lives of a 'disk' full of simulated people? The only thing that i can say to that is: why are dolls so popular? The concept of the doll has not faded over hundreds of years. Essentially, the sims are a bunch of dolls that you can do with what you will. they are yours to play with and develop their lives...just like that famous girl, Barbie So think of this expansion as some new dolls, accessories and houses for your older collection of dolls, accessories and houses.

New Things in Livin' Large:
-new game elements and social interactions
-new furniture and architecture
-new characters
-new career tracks
-all online-items

Tristinian: Or for you guys, some new Transformers or G.I. Joes or He-Man figures to add to your old ones. Or your Thundercat figures with Cat's Lair!! Umm..err..sorry. Perfectly put though Mish. This expansion is exactly that, which is why the game does a pretty good job of being fulfilling for what it is. And to sum up the analogy as best i can, Barbies and other dolls always had the same bodily figure, just with different clothes. So you won't see any new creature-like Sims in this expansion (which would have been cool), but you will see re-accessorized versions of everything and with all the new stuff for your older dolls to play with, i think you'll be pleased.

Mish: I think that game is great. You mentioned creatures other than "human" sims....i really would have liked to see pets. You know, a cute puppy to feed and play with. I never had a guinea pig so i did not find the animal too entertaining in the game, but for all you past g.pig owners, relive old memories with it. But i was not impressed with the inexcusable bug that came with the game for several owners-including this reviewer. The walls in Mish-land came a-tumbling down when upon install, the damned thing did not work. Livin' large simply behaved as if it were still a plain old version of 'The Sims'. I was just happy that there was some sort of fix eventually released for it.

Tristinian: Yes, the bug was a problem, but it doesn't seem to have been widespread as i didn't have a problem myself. Maxis claims that the bug discussed only occurs on systems where a 3rd party patch has been applied, but oddly enough, that was not the case with yourself and several other users' messages we read on message boards here and there. Fortunately, Maxis was nice enough to have an install fixer under the help section of their sims.com site. So, all in all, what's it worth?

Mish: Speaking of bugs, the game is full of them....insects are in the house, in the yard...they are practically impossible to get rid of sometimes!....i think that that is a pretty cool touch. Let me say that this game is one of the greatest games that i have played. I do not find myself kicking myself for spending so much time playing it where sometimes i feel guilty about spending so much time playing perhaps other games (ok, just the #hitty ones). This game is kick-ass. i bestow upon this game a 95.69% (.69 b/c Sims can now "play in bed") heheheehehehehehehehe!!!!

Tristinian: I would have to say the 'play in bed' option was a cute addition. BUT! it is not sex Maxis will have you know! To 'play in bed' is up to interpretation of the players of the game..so before you go out and get the v-chip, net-nanny and lock your kids in the house and avoid the 'birds and bees' discussion like a mad-person...just relax and play the sims livin large. it's good, harmless entertainment....for now. *snicker*

 

Mish's Mark
Mish's Final Words
Tristinian's Final Words
Tristinian's Mark
96%
one of the greatest games that i have played
it's good, harmless entertainment
86%

Livin' it up:

Oooh....look into the crystal ball... in a nicely furnished place!

 

Rooms like this simply kick ass...you got the toys,the furniture and the new windows and wall/floor designs. So hell, get the game and make your own room!

 

The genie speaks...but don't let his wrath bother you...you just stand to lose your entire social life if you 'rub' him the wrong way.