The Sims Bustin' Out
Some of you will never understand The Sims. To the casual observer--and even perhaps to some who've tried the game--it all seems so terribly...um, let's see...boring and stupid? I'll admit that The Sims can get tedious, what with all the clicking and pointing to direct little creatures living in a virtual dollhouse to eat, pee, chat, go to work, and sleep. And if you're someone who can't get beyond that, you won't like this version any more than last year's. Everyone else will be thrilled. Your Sim now has total mobility in Story mode--you can switch locations and careers at any time--and it's an excellent change. If you're having trouble getting promoted, you can move back to Mom's for a while and work on your skills. Need more friends? Hop on your scooter and go visit your neighbors to beef up your social roster. Adding this amount of freedom and variety really livens things up. Also, since you can play all the careers with one Sim, there's tremendous replay value. When I first started playing, I thought completing one career would satisfy me. But the multitude of fun unlockables (like an incubator that creates mutant housefly-eating plants) and cool locations (including a nudist colony) motivated me to keep playing, and playing, and playing.... It's monotonous, mundane, and frightfully addictive--just the way I like 'em.
The world's premiere personal hygiene and housekeeping simulator returns, with yet more domestic mishaps and delicious romantic misunderstandings. Though it looks like the same old thing, the series' offbeat humor really comes through in the new career tracks (like Gangster and Fashion Victim), items, and social interactions. But it's the option to actually leave your house--whether to visit friends or just kick it at Club Rubb--that tops the list of additions. Oh, and being able to play co-op with another person is great, too--that "pull my finger" joke just gets funnier and funnier. If you weren't crazy about the last Sims, this won't change your mind, but for fans, it's worth checking out.
I can't explain why managing a Sim's life is so much more engrossing than dealing with my own. I've become so involved with my character's world that I've been dreaming about it, complete with the thought bubbles over everyone's heads. The new twist of being able to visit other locations is definitely reason enough to play this new version--I love bopping around town to visit my Sim friends and use their swank amenities that I can't afford. And being able to "booty tease" and gossip has definitely spiced up my interactions, thereby removing much of the tedium of trying to befriend my neighbors. Oh, and for the GC kids, connecting with the GBA version of the game--which gets you sorta-lame minigames--is a slight bonus, but my Sims got all hungry, tired, and full of pee while I was playing them.
Download The Sims Bustin' Out
In shrinking The Sims to fit a smaller system, EA has surprisingly shucked the simulation. Directly controlling your Sim's movements and actions means no more spontaneous lovers' spats, no more fatal cooking accidents--and if they wet their pants, it's your fault. The fascination of watching simulated people is gone, but don't worry, that oT Sims magic remains. This baby plays a lot like a role-playing game with Sims trappings, and it works brilliantly. You'll curry favor with fellow Sims by completing multipart quests, like reopening the closed-down polka club: You must get permission from the previous owner, pay off the club's taxes, and print and distribute flyers for the grand reopening. Earn money by playing simple, amusing minigames like fishing, pizza-making, and lawn-mowing. All the while, you have to keep your Sim clean, fed, well-rested, entertained, and so on. It's sometimes difficult to track down the Sim you need in order to advance a quest, and the dialogue is maddeningly repetitive, but otherwise, Bustin' Out is engaging, original, and just plain fun.
Clean this, fix that, work, mow, move, whatever--you gotta do this stuff in real life, why would you play a game about it? Bustin' Out is a chore to play with its never-ending list of mundane tasks to perform and computer characters to find (some of whom are never where they say they're going to be). And if you're not yawning, you're groaning over the horrible dialogue. Bustin'Out is still worth bustin' out, though, for kids too young to appreciate the PC or console Sims that mom/dad/older bro or sis are playing.
Shoe must not have an addictive personality because, like its console big brother, this game's senseless monotony had me hooked. One night I literally couldn't put it down--I was cleaning this, fixing that, working, mowing, moving, and whatever...until 3 in the morning (when I had plenty of ostensibly better things to do). The Sims has never been about a rolling boil; it's the slow simmer that brings out all the flava. My only real complaint here is about the iffy control in a couple of the minigames.
The Sims: Bustin Out is a fair reproduction of the Sims experience, but it's definitely not the real thing. In the big version of the Sims games, you control a little automaton deciding how they look, dress and act. You can place them on a sort of autopilot and watch them live out their digital lives or take God-like control of them dictating their every move ' but either way it's really sort of an open-ended cyber dollhouse of sorts, which is why the game is so immensely popular.
Bustin' Out is the first GBA port of the Sim phenomenon and while it attempts to recreate the experience, the GBA just doesn't have the horsepower to do it. Instead what you get is a sort of shallow simulation of the full-blown Sims. Sure you can customize your characters looks, but really that just means choosing between a handful of options. You also get to fine-tune the personality, but since there is no autopilot in this version, it doesn't seem to really affect anything. Instead what you get is control of a little Sim plunked down in the middle of rural SimValley.
Bustin? Out really couldn't support a fully open ended game, so you'll find yourself shuttling your Sim back and forth across town accomplishing tasks, taking care of the daily drudgery of life and earning cold, hard Simoleons. The game manages to stay interesting with eight jobs that are actually mini-games, more than a dozen other Sims to befriend, pick-on and talk up and a fairly sizeable city to explore.
But the game just isn't The Sims. You can't just do whatever you want and the mission driven game is just a little too simplistic to be overly fun. While it is kind of neat having a sort of mega Digipet in your pocket, Bustin' Out really doesn't live up to The Sims name.
Call me crazy, but I've never been a big fan of The Sims. Fortunately, most of my complaints have been answered in this latest console version. The biggest change in The Sims: Bustin' Out is that you aren't stuck in and around your home. Sure, you still can't see what your job is like, instead time flies by and your sim comes back mentally and physically depleted, but now you do have the opportunity to drive around town and check out other homes.
Bustin' Out features ten locations in which to hang out and interact. The gameplay in this latest Sims is pretty much the same, although much more complex and rewarding thanks to the multiple locations. The game still starts you out in your mom's house, but you're soon given the opportunity to move in with a friend.
Accomplishing basic goals, like making friends or getting a job, open more location for you and reward you with Simoleons. You beat the main part of the game by accomplishing these different goals. You can also play a sort of open-ended mode, which allows you to create a family, and set them on their mostly mundane ways - living, cleaning and working their digital lives under your watchful eyes.
Bustin' Out has also made some significant improvements in sound and graphics. The sims are much more customizable than in prior iterations of the game, allowing you to select from a broader range of body and face types, clothing and make-up. The sound, designed to match the hip young undertones of the game, includes a wide range of relatively pleasing music based on the rhythms of hip-hop,
rock and jazz.
The Gamecube version also allows for Game Boy Advance hook-up through the GBA version of the game. Hooking up allows you to transfer you characters back and forth between the games. Once the big sim is in the handheld world, you can play mini-games to boost skills and money.
The game does have some minor issues. You'll still see a few jagged edges seeping through the otherwise pleasing graphics and the load times between homes and saves can be a little trying at times. Overall, though, Bustin' Out is a vast improvement to an aging franchise, breathing a little more life into a concept that's days may be numbered.
Ever since The Sims made their first appearance on the PC, people can't seem to get enough. Although not everybody enjoys the babysitting aspects of having to tell your sim to eat, sleep, socialize, or whatever, there are many that do as watching their sim react to environments and situations will keep fans going for hours. Those gameplay elements are once again represented in The Sims Bustin' Out but unfortunately few new gameplay elements have been added over the previous release.
The Sims Bustin' Out basically enhances the gameplay from the original without offering anything substantially different. For instance, there are new characters, 12 different careers to choose from, new items to unlock, and more options to customize your sim but little has been included to change the way the game is played. These types of enhancements may be enough for die hard fans of The Sims but others may find it difficult to appreciate.
In addition, the same two gameplay options are included in The Sims Bustin' Out. The goal based Bustin' Out mode functions similar to the Get a Life mode in the previous version but is more refined. The object is to move out of your mom's home, get a career, and become a millionaire. Basically if you enjoyed the Get a Life mode from The Sims, you'll enjoy the Bustin' Out mode as its more of the same with minor tweaks and increased challenge. The free play mode where you can create numerous sims and let them interact with their surroundings is also included and functions similar to what's found in The Sims.
Although graphically improved, The Sims Bustin' Out still isn't a visually stunning. Realistically however, this type of genre doesn't require high levels of graphical detail and would add little to the success or failure of the game. The Xbox version does offer 720p option for those with HDTVs.
Even though it feels more like an expansion pack than a new game, the improvements that were made are probably adequate for fans. If you became tired of the last release or haven't played The Sims before, The Sims Bustin' Out is definitely a candidate to rent before purchasing.
On paper, the Sims sounds like a ridiculous idea for a videogame. Why would anyone want to control the actions of everyday people in their mundane lives? Sometimes I have trouble managing my own life. Yet in motion, the Sims is something completely different from the dull game it sounds like on paper' in motion it works, as hundreds of thousands of people can attest. The Sims Bustin' Out is the newest addition to the franchise, and like previous incarnations, Bustin Out proves that the life lived vicariously is sometimes the life best lived.
Bustin' Out contains all the elements that has made the Sims a successful franchise ' like the open-ended gameplay, the high level of customization, the addictive house modifications' and adds several new features to keep things fresh. You still have the freedom to do, literally, whatever you want with your Sim. Want to dance the night away at the hottest club in town? Sure, you can do that. Want your Sim to just bum around the house? You can do that too. You can even coax your Sim friends into playing strip poker with you. Now that is entertainment.
Of course, most of that's all been done before ' the new Bust Out mode is the real meat and bones of the single player experience. As the name implies, Bustin' Out doesn't confine the Sims to the household domain. You create a Sim and then send him/her out into world to try his or her hand at life. That means moving out of your mom's house and getting a job in hopes of finding fame and fortune at the various locales in the game. To advance through the Bustin' Out mode, you'll need to accomplish goals by getting a job along with a few promotions, learning new skills, schmoozing with other Sims, and doing the odd task here and there. There's a lot to do and the goal-based gameplay adds a lot of structure to an otherwise open-ended game.
Bustin' Out doesn't look too different from the first title released on consoles, The Sims, but it still gets the job done. Environments are rendered well, with detailed surroundings and nice textures, but Bustin' Out suffers from slow down and some noticeable anti-aliasing problems. Character models look nice, although some deeper character customization options couldn't hurt.
In the audio department, Bustin' Out isn't too different from its previous incarnations. Music is sparse and the music that is there is still bland and forgettable. The classic gibberish language of the Sims is still there, but that's entertaining in its own way.
Although The Sims Bustin Out is a fine addition to the series, it still won't be for everyone. If you didn't see what the fuss was about with the first few Sims games, then Bustin' Out won't change your opinion much. After all, monitoring a Sim's bowel movements or arranging furniture to achieve domestic bliss just won't hit home with everyone. If you're one of the many that do get it, however, then Bustin' Out will keep you entertained for hours on end.