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I have played the Sims for years now and absolutely love the game. I first played the original Sims when I was about 9 years old and fell in love with the concept and the gaming potential. I've never really enjoyed any other game in quite the same way and it is one I still play to this day (though now I've moved onto Sims 2). After trying Sims 3 and deciding I much preferred Sims 2 I decided to invest in a few expansions packs. Due to the new release of Sims 3 the price of Sims 2 products was driven down to a minimum. Most of the expansions and 'stuff' add ons were available from amazon for under £10 so I ordered a few. One of these was the 'Celebration Stuff' pack which you can buy for around £6-£8 depending on postage. There are loads of things that can be said about this add on pack so I'm going to outline a few and if you are unfamiliar with Sims 2 have a quick read of my review first. - Installation - These add on packs are not are large as the expansions or original game so installation is pretty quick. The only thing that is really important to know is you'll need the special 20 digit code on the reverse of the manual, so make sure you keep hold of it! - Attire - With this pack you get a selection of additional clothing, for all ages, and primarily designed for formal of wedding celebrations. The wedding dresses are a nice addition to the game as having a wedding party is quite a fun thing to do with your Sims. You could also use these outfits for things like Birthday of Graduation celebrations. - Hair - With this pack you get some additional hairstyles. Personally I download hairstyles from free websites online but the few additional hairstyles are all nice and a great addition to the existing ones you get with the Sims 2 game. - Flowers - There are a couple of new vases/pot plants which you could use for celebrations. I find these are also good for decorating your home as they don't wilt or require any watering. - Furniture - There are quite a few pieces of furniture you gain with this add on pack. Some of these can be used as normal furniture in the home and others are perfect for a celebration. The bottomless pit buffet table is a particularly great addition as it allows you to provide food at a party and stops Sims rifling through your fridge. I also really like the addition of Birthday cakes, wedding cakes and bottles of champagne as these top off an already great celebration. You can also use things like decorated arches and banners to add a little pizazz to your celebration. Personally I like the pieces which improve your party score from other Sims as it always makes my Sims miserable if they get a rubbish score. Though the items which are versatile enough to be used to decorate a home are very helpful too! - Price - This pack can be found online for roughly £6-£8 which I think is a little steep considering the items you get. I download a lot of clothes and hair so these items are all that useful for me. I do like the furniture and enjoy throwing a party now, safe in the knowledge my Sims will be pleased with their party rating. That said, it probably isn't worth the money unless you are a real enthusiast. Overall, not the best add on pack out there and probably not worth the money.
Celebration Stuff is a 'stuff' pack that consists of a number of new objects and outfits made exclusively for celebrations; specifically for weddings and milestone birthday parties. All stuff packs are far smaller than actual Expansion Packs and contain much less content; however, they do fill a niche that is left out in the actual expansions. These packs are quite expensive so it is all down to consumer choice; whether or not the niche that is being filled is important to you or not. Like my other stuff pack reviews, I will explain the 'facts' surrounding the pack first and then follow up with my personal opinion. -The Facts- -Specs The stuff pack requires at the very least: OS: Windows Vista, XP, Me, 2000, or 98 Installed: The Sims 2 for Windows CPU: 1.0 GHz or faster RAM: 256 MB or more Disc Drive: 8x or faster CD/DVD drive Hard Drive: At least 350 MB of free space Sound: DirectX 9.0 compatible Video: DirectX 9.0 compatible Video card must have 32 MB or more memory and one of these T&L capable chipsets: ATI Radeon 8500 or greater; NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS or greater -The Order Although not necessary, all eps and stuff packs should be installed in the order of the date they are released. This is because each pack contains a patch for the previous game. -Buying & Building Celebration Stuff has some beautifully made objects, and it is clear that quite a lot of work and design have gone into their creation. All items are designed to be temporary placements for weddings or parties such as a new buffet table, chairs and tables, two new wedding arches, and plenty of decorative items. Pictures of the new objects can be found on the official Sims 2 website. -Clothing The clothing provided in Celebration Stuff include new white-tie formal wear such as wedding dresses and dinner jackets. There are also dresses for flower girls and brides maids. There are a few new hairstyles including one with a veil for that special moment when your sim lady takes those life-changing steps down the aisle. -My Opinion- -Specs As mentioned in my H&M review, the specs listed on the box can be deceiving. Meeting the minimum specs alone will not allow for decent game play, if at all. In my experience, the Sims 2 requires a computer that is as powerful as possible. It is common Sims 2 community knowledge to take the specs they give you and multiply them to provide the 'real' minimum specs. Below is a more accurate estimation of the specifications you will need: OS: Windows Vista, XP, Me, 2000, or 98 Installed: The Sims 2 for Windows CPU: 2.0 GHz or faster RAM: 1 GB or more Disc Drive: 8x or faster CD/DVD drive Hard Drive: At least 1.5GB of free space Sound: DirectX 9.0 compatible Video: DirectX 9.0 compatible Video card must have 32 MB or more memory and one of these T&L capable chipsets: ATI Radeon 8500 or greater; NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS or greater; -The Website When considering buying a stuff pack, the Sims2.com website proves especially useful. It provides individual pictures of most items contained within the pack so it can help you decide whether or not the stuff pack will meet your tastes or requirements. -The Order Personally, I insist that my games are all installed in the order that they were released. This ensures that the patches are linear and should help to avoid bug problems. While this isn't entirely necessary, I would advise doing the same if possible. -No new wedding features? As this is a stuff pack, nothing has been done to change the game play in the slightest. I would have liked to see new features and social interactions based around weddings such as the ability to pick the best man, brides maids, and flower girls. While clothing is provided for these positions, it relies on the player's imagination to make use of them. -Buying & Building Most of these objects are quite restricting in that they can only really be used for celebrations such as weddings and birthday parties and may not fit very easily into everyday life; however, some of the more general items such as light fittings, decorative objects, and the new grill (which I love) can be an attractive addition to regular households. It can be a lot of fun to deck a garden or ball-room out with these items in preparation for a wedding or a formal party, but taking the decorations down once you are done can be just as soul draining as the real thing. I sometimes don't have the patience to go to all the work, so even with the pack installed there are still some weddings that will go on without the new items. The items can be entertaining for a while, especially if you have a party set up or intend to build special party venues, but the novelty can soon wear off. -Clothing Again, the problem with the clothing is that it is too specific and therefore quite restrictive. It is perfect for weddings, but nobody is going to be wearing a wedding dress on any other day of their life, unless you are wanting to make a corpse bride. It is nice, however, to finally have fitting wedding attire included in the game. -Conclusion = So is it fun? As mentioned earlier in the review, the purposes of stuff packs is to fill a niche and their worth depends entirely on how interested a player is with the contents of the pack. The worth of this pack depends entirely on how the player uses their game. If you are story inclined and love to host a lot of parties and weddings then the pack will be perfect for you. I was able to find the pack relatively cheap (5.98 from ASDA with free delivery); I doubt that I would have been impressed had I paid the full 9.99 recommended retail. =Please note that this review is also legitimately hosted at CIAO and Manic Sims=