|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: January 27th, 2004
|Just at the end of the year did Maxis and EA release a sort of sequel to The Sims on consoles. The Sims Bustin' Out
features all new stuff, making it more than just a remake of the PC version. But is all this new stuff enough to get it a
better score than its predecessor? Read the review here!
There really are no improvements for both sound effects and music. On the music side, there's all-new samples of music
that are more upbeat than previous games, but this actually makes the game lose its appeal. In Build and Buy mode both
have the same music samples that the game chooses from-there's no longer just Build and Buy mode music. However,
there are also lots of music to listen to on a jukebox or stereo, and almost all of these are brand new! There's even newer
types of music like metal and smooth jazz. If you have a preference on type of music that you'll listen to, then you'll
always find a song on the stereo.
When it comes to sound effects, there's the same old stuff from before, except that there's some new Sim talk. The new
social actions really account for why there's new Sim voices. There's still plenty of everyday sound effects that you hear
depending on what you're doing. There's still no Surround sound, and some glitches are still present. For example when
you get out of a bathtub (the ones that take only two squares), for some reason, the player makes a male grunt noise
when he/she drains it. This is heard for no reason; even if it was a female Sim, you still hear a male grunt. Some annoying
glitches were fixed, though, like the hot tub glitch from before. Anyway, I gave the sound only slightly higher than before.
It's above average, but not close to excellent.
The controls are exactly the same as last time, which is good and bad. It's good because fans of the previous version can
pick this up quick. It's bad because the familiar flaws are back. There's the small icons when you're playing, and then
there's hold L+B again to cancel. You have to hold the Control Pad, press the C Stick left and right, and then hold A to
look up more information on topics like Relationships and Stats. But I guess there's really no way to fix this since GCN's
controller doesn't have as many buttons as rival systems.
These are really the only flaws. The interface is much improved. When your blue control line goes through walls, they
seem to disintegrate rather than just disappear. It makes it look more advanced than before. The loading is much faster
because the programmers got smart and only load things that are necessary. When you place new lighting, in the last
game it had to load all those new lights at once after you unpause the game. Now it turns the lights on right when you
place it during the pause menu. You used to have to press Y to check the extra info on an item and to see a bigger view of
it. Now, the extra info's already up, so you don't have to constantly press Y.
The night and day settings gradually appear on the screen, so now the whole game doesn't pause at 7 PM when it turns
night. This has never been in a previous Sims game and is very helpful in the realism. There's still brief pauses to load
stuff like when a friend approaches your house, but it's not that big of a deal if you're used to the Sims. And before I
forget, there's now an option so that all you have to do to speed up the game is press R instead of holding it. This helps if
you don't want to hold it, but I got used to it anyway.
There's one last thing. It takes a huge 161 blocks! That's almost three times as much as before! The reason is there's 16
houses that the game has to remember plus lots of characters including yours. That means you have to have a Memory
Card 251 like last time. I had to buy a new one just to save this game. Overall the controls are only slightly improved, but
enough to get a higher score than the previous version.
Once again I am amazed at the graphics! This time the night and day are
corresponding to the time on the game, so that sunrise and sunsets are here. The
lighting effects are just dazzling, and like before, you can actually tell the
difference between natural lighting from the sun and moon and you own lighting
from whatever you place in your house. The lighting effects display well against
your Sims too, making them look darker in dark rooms and bright in light-filled
rooms. The framerate still suffers, and there's no progressive scan, but the
reason is because it's Xbox's exclusive feature. The graphics just look great, and
you don't need progressive scan to see that.
As if we couldn't get enough, EA adds some features making this worthwhile for a purchase. There's tons of new social
moves and items. Although they all have to be unlocked, the way to unlock them has never been so challenging! You live
at over 10 different houses and while you live there you can get certain job promotions and change the house anyway you
want. Just make sure that the value of the house stays the same or goes up when you move out. There's seven new
careers that when promoted unlock new items. Some challenges are simple, but above all addicting. You'll want to unlock
everything there is!
There's also Free Play mode. What stinks is that there's only three houses, and you can't drive anywhere. This isn't such
a big deal if all you want is to just play the classic PC game. You still can't build second stories, and there are limits to the
amount of walls and fences you place and items you buy. The lots are bigger, though and feel more oriented and
comfortable. There's no longer gray backgrounds-there's other houses around yours.
What can I say that hasn't already been said. Whether you choose Free Play (5 career paths) or Bust Out (7 career paths),
this game lasts forever. The multiplayer modes are better than the mediocre mini-games. Now you can have a friend put
in their Memory Card for cooperation. You can even transfer you Sims to GBA for stat raising and more money in cool
mini-games. The Sims Bustin Out gives more replay than ever before.
Everything else got a better rating than before, but Design actually got a lower score. There are plenty of things that will
really irritate you. One is that you can't change your clothes with a vanity table or dresser. (In fact there isn't a vanity
table.) The only way is to evict you family and take all the items out. Now in Bust Out, you can when you start the game.
That leads to number two. You can't build a house unless a Sim is living in it. That means that all that money that mess
up on when building goes to waste. This is a major flaw. EA probably did it because in real life, you can't move out of a
house and back in without giving away some money to a real estate agent or whatever. Still, this is rather frustrating. The
third thing is that you can't visit other people's homes in Free Play that are in Bust Out mode. This is pointless, because
Bust Out players can visit your homes.
The fourth flaw is that if you visit somewhere else, everyone at your house stays idle. The game should just simulate what
they probably would be doing. This is the smallest flaw because it would probably cause more problems if it was simulated.
All of these flaws add up to a disappointment mainly in Free Play. This game is only worth playing for Bust Out mode.
However, Bust Out is incredibly long and much more extensive and better than the old Get A Life mode. If you're looking
for Free Play and don't mind skipping the new Social moves and items, then the old Sims console game is better. If you
can stand some flaws, and the number of Blocks it takes, you'll find a much better experience overall. Everything about
this game just seems more fun.
The fact that there's just so many more social options and items really got me and I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Even
the option Pull My Finger (fart) seems to be a little different each time. This game's got more attitude, but also
personality. There's so many ways to dress yourself. There's so many ways to build you house. There's so many ways to
just play, and there's so many reasons to buy The Sims Bustin Out. And buy the way, the GBA connectivity is almost like
stealing money. Just hook up a GBA, with or without the Sims Bustin Out game pak inserted and you'll see why with the
Nintendo Gamecube version, you'll be rolling in thousands of dollars each day right at your house while having fun.
Nintendo Gamecube is the best way to play The Sims!