The Sims 3 Review

Sims 3

The Sims and the consoles have not gotten along. Because of the inability to translate the full Sims experience to differing platforms, the essence of the franchise was lost most of the time. The PS2 iterations were too different from what people were familiar with. URBZ? Don’t get me started.

It seems, however, that the previously shaky relationship between consoles and Simtopia may have finally been stabilized, as The Sims 3 makes its triumphant debut to the current gen. For anyone who’s wanted to play The Sims 3 but never had the PC capability to do so, your day has finally arrived. The controls are tight, the charm is there, and the options are vast and open to anything. Unfortunately, console owners who already have The Sims 3 on PC don’t really have a reason to play the console version, as there are no substantial additions to the gameplay that would warrant it.

Part of what makes the Sims so popular is the ability to control the lives of these little people, and the console offers all of the PC version’s abilities while throwing in a few of its own. Creating a miniature world for your Sims to live in is amazingly fun, starting with the look of your Sim, then buying a house and transforming it into your very own home. Relationships are made and broken through talking with neighbors and passers-by, some relationship kicking off easily, others not so much. As you build your Sim’s life, you’ll get a job, pursue love interests, and visit all different kinds of places, just as Sims fans are used to. The gameplay has translated so perfectly from PC to console, it’s a wonder that they couldn’t figure it out before.

Sims 3 Screen

Don’t think for a second that the PC version was just copy/pasted over to the consoles. There are some aspects of the game that are unique to these versions, the most important of which is the interface. Obviously, the keyboard and mouse setup of the PC is not possible here, so the buttons for all of the different menus are located on the controller. I found myself having a bit of trouble when I first started playing, finding what menu is where and all of that. However, once I got into the groove, controlling the game became a non-issue. As much as you can control and manipulate in The Sims, there’s one thing that players never really had the ability to change: karma. That changes now with the additions of Karma Powers. Is your Sim hungry, tired, and needing to poop? The Super Satisfy power makes all of those problems go away, maxing out the Sim’s stats immediately. Is there a Sim that’s making everyone angry? Give him a taste of his own medicine with Cosmic Curse, which depletes all of his stats and makes him a walking train wreck. Other powers include Poltergeist (summon ghosts to haunt Sims), Get Lucky (Max out a Sim’s social skills, making him more successful in both business and social pursuits), and a mainstay from the Sim City franchise, Quake Maker (EARTHQUAKE!!!!!).

One of the best aspects of the game is the audio. Back when the original Sims was all over the PC world, I found the Simlish speech to be incredibly annoying. I thought that gibberish served no purpose, and I’d be better off making them silent. Now, the Simlish actually sounds more like speech between two characters, with vocal inflection and tone. Not only the voices, but the music in the game is superb. Every time I’d pause the game, I’d stay on the menu and jam to the track before returning to play. Any game that can stop players from enjoying it just to hear the pause menu is obviously doing something right with its soundtrack.

All in all, this is a game that players who pined to play PC-quality Sims games without a gaming PC have been wishing for. It’s the closest to the real thing that one can get. However, aside from Karma Powers, the game is the same as its PC counterparts, so any vets of the franchise may as well stay on their side of the tracks. If you want some Sims, look no further than the console versions of The Sims 3. You’ll be glad you tried it.

4 out of 5


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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