I love the Sims 2 and play is pretty regularly despite being in my early 20s now. It really is the only game I've ever consistently played and enjoyed over time. After trying Sims 3 and deciding I much preferred Sims 2 I decided to invest in a few of the expansion packs and add ons in order to make my game even more exciting.
One of the expansions I bought was this 'Freetime' extension pack. There is loads to say about it and how I use it so I've condensed it into a few important bullet points.
- Activities -
The point of this expansion is that it provides your Sims with a selection of hobbies to while away their time. You Sim can basically become an enthusiast about a specific hobby, or several, and progress up the levels towards joining the 'club' for their respective hobby. The areas of interest are: music and dance, arts and crafts, sport, fitness, science, nature, gaming, cuisine, tinkering and film/literature. I like that there are so many areas they can develop an interest in as this means you can shape your Sim into an even more realistic real life person with their own specific set of interests. Within each hobby too there are a few different things they can do, and the more time they spend doing them the further they progress up the hobby ladder.
- Careers -
With the additional hobbies also comes a new selection of careers. These are: entertainer, dancer, architect, intelligence and oceanographer. I love getting a new set of careers to explore as it makes the game much more exciting and realistic for me.
- Clothes -
There are some new hobby related clothes and career related clothes that come with this expansion pack. Personally I download additional clothes and the ones you get with this are a little costumey for me. That said, it is always nice to get a new selection of clothes to try out or to create a specific character.
- Additional -
There are also a few other changes which just make playing the Sims a little easier. There are things like additional areas of study within the bookcase, like learning about parenting. As far as I can tell this doesn't make the Sim a better parent though it does give you the option of checking on the baby which produces a thought bubble telling you what the baby needs. There is also the addition of taking other 'neighbourhood sims' (i.e ones you have no created and cannot play) up through the age phases when your Sim ages. I personally like to create a whole neighbourhood of Sims but this can be useful when playing just one family as teens need a fellow teen to hair their first kiss with etc.
- Problems -
I find it deeply irritating that when a Sim develops an interest in something they send a little representative of the club round to talk to them. You can easily get rid of this person by crossing through the tab that appears in the lift of things for your Sim to do. There are also other issues like your Sim developing a deep interest in nature and turning into a plant person. There are remedies for these but for a gamer, like me, who likes to create a realistic world it can be a little irritating.
- Price -
You can buy this used for roughly £8 on Amazon and new for around £13. I don't think this is the best expansion pack out there but there are a load of nice items and things that come with it to improve your game. Maybe not for everyone, though good for those Sims enthusiasts out there.
Overall, a decent expansion pack though probably a little but more costly than it is worth.
Sims Free Time
Sims 2 is all about creating so-called sims, which you can control. You control their lives with making friends, getting into a relationship and having a career. This is the same as the first part of this game. But the biggest changes were nevertheless that Sims could become old and the woman could get really pregnant. Back in Part 1 the sims retained the same age and people could only have children after they romantic way interacted (kissing and hugging). The woman didn't became pregnant then, but the phone rang asking if you wanted a child. Not realistic. In part 2 sims can really get pregnant after they have gone to bed together and allows your baby to grow up to an elderly person and even death.
Sims 2 Free Time
With this expansion pack your sims can really enjoy hobbies. Your Sims have access to a variety of creative, intellectual or active leisure activities. They can even share their interests and expand their social relationships. Your Sims can develop skills while they are enjoying.
The ten hobbies included in the expansion pack are fitness, cooking, music / dance, sports, nature, science, movies / literature, games, crafts and arts / crafts. Each Sim gets a predetermined favorite hobby that cannot be changed by the player. You can just do other hobbies only your sim gets here less satisfaction.
Your sims can develop skills in their hobbies. So you get a new meter that shows how well your sim gets at his hobby. Real rewards when you get better aren't really there but you get some new possibilities.
It itself is very nice thought the idea that your sims suddenly can you hobbies, but in fact my sim is already busy gathering skills he needs to move up to get in terms of work and in addition, he was busy with making and keeping some friends. The idea is nice, but in reality it adds little. You can gain little from these hobbies. In my view disappointing and not very innovative product.
I have had the Sims 2 on PC for quite a while now and thus was looking for something extra to do on the game. I already had another expansion pack (Universit) and thought that it was time to get another one. When I saw the release of Free Time I thought it looked like another great add on to the game and I really couldn't wait to play on it. Much to my expectations the game was very good and I thought it brought some excellent entertainment value. I would really recommend this game if you have got bored of the original Sims 2 or are simply looking for something new to try.
Within this game, hence the title, you are able to undertake a variety of activities. Activities include, sports nature, science etc, there is actually 10 types of available activities to choose from giving you a good amount of gameplay time. The game is available for £14 which is a great price from Amazon and it is definately worth trying. The graphics and controls are as good as ever and once again another expansion pack by the EA developers! I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this!
ABOUT THE SIMS 2 FREETIME
The idea of the Sims 2 FreeTime is to reinvent how your hard working Sims spend their valuable free time. Alleviate their boredom by giving your Sims various types of hobbies to take up. Create a dance enthusiast with the ballet bar, master chefs to compete in cooking contests or tinkering mechanics.
Hobbies are not just a way to relieve your Sims boredom, they can also be used to make money too. Sims who's hobby is to "tinker" can tinker with old cars, restoring them so they can be sold on for profit. Arts and craft natured Sims can make pots using the pottery wheel or clothes using the sewing machine. The better they get, the more money they can earn from this hobby. Best of all you're never limited to any one specific hobby. You can have Sims participate in many different hobbies at once, or just focus on one, although each sim will be assigned a particular hobby anyway and this is the one they will naturally be best at. If they get good enough at their chosen hobby, they'll be invited to a secret lot where they can participate in their hobby and mingle with other like minded sims.
I guess hobbies are a bit like the trait system in The Sims 3. They make your sim characters less one dimensional and give them some kind of personality and individuality.
LIFETIME AWARDS AND PERKS
There is a meter used in The Sims 2 called the Lifetime Aspiration meter. The purpose of this is to measure how well the Sim is enjoying their life and it goes up every now and then when your Sim achieves his daily wants. So if you're regulary fulfilling your sims wants, their going to have a relativley full meter. The Sims 2 FreeTime improves on this system by giving you the ability to you can buy a perk for your Sim Every time their meter "levels up". These perks changes the game's rules for that Sim alone. These perks can range from permanently doubling the learning speed of all job skills to making the Sim's mood meters decay at a slower rate. My favourite perks include the fertility treatment that increases female sims chances of having twins and triplets, and a perk which increases the chance of alien abduction!
The extra objects mainly focus around the hobbies, which I have already talked about. Other extra features include five new careers - entertainer, dancer, architect, intelligence and oceanographer and a whole new neighbourhood to explore. The new NPC is a magical genie who will grant your sims wishes of wealth or beauty if your lucky enough to find him!
This expansion pack is particulary good for child sims, who tend to get ignored in previous expansions. In The Sims 2 Freetime, children can participate in hobby activities just like their parents. It's cute to give little girl sims a ballet bar for their bedroom and boys may enjoy the new ant farm.
My rich familys now have so many more items to decorate their houses and family orientated sims now have many more activities to participate in with their children. For once there's plenty of items to fill my mansions with!
The perks of the lifetime award system are really useful! I find taking care of my sims needs quite tedious and repetitive so being able to chose a perk that reduces mood decay is particulary useful. It also gives greater inspiration for fulfilling Sims every day wishes if you know you will be rewarded for it.
Your sims have to maintain enthusiasm for a hobby to be good at it. This means regulary participating in that hobby. This is annoying! If my sim has a family or is working a full time job, its hard to find the time to fit in a session on the ballet bar or an hour of car tinkering but if they dont they lose skill and enthusiasm for this hobby so the gave gives no choice really.
The compulsory stupid feature of this expansion pack is a model train track that can randomly set on fire if it is overused. Again, this is absolutley pointless and puts me off buying the train track which is actually a nice new object!
You get spammed with hobby magazines ringing your phone trying to get you to subscribe and hobby "leaders" who creepily let themselves into your house to bug you about visiting their secret hobby lot. This is enough to put me off participating in a hobby!
The Sims 2 Free Time, brings more fun to The Sims. You can have a family game, a table where you place chairs around it for your Sims to have upto a 4 player game, with their family or friends. You can also buy a car that your sim can build it up and paint it, once they have finished the car they then can drive around with it. There are more exercise equipment, also you can get more musical stuff, for example your sim can now play the violin. Your sim can now have hobbies, music and dance aficionados for this encourage your sims to do ballet play the violin and sing nursery rhymes, you can now to teach you toddler how to sing a nursery rhyme. For sports you can now shoot hoops, play football. You can also now let your sims go jogging. There are hobby magazines where you sim can read up on all their hobbies, a book for new parents that helps them learn how to take care of a baby, your sim can now have the chance to make three wishes that help them though life. You must have The Sims 2 in order to have this game, a really great game if you enjoy the Sims.
'Free Time' is the seventh in the series of eight Expansion Packs for The Sims 2 (see my other reviews for the last one, 'Apartment Life'). This pack, which came out in February 2008, adds an array of new features and enhancements.
The main new feature added by this pack is that of enabling your Sims to enjoy hobbies and other leisure time pursuits. Sims can now be 'creative' in various new ways: Cooking, Music & Dance, Sports, Fitness, Nature, Science, Gaming, Tinkering, Arts & Crafts, and Films & Literature.
Each Sim will now have a particular 'talent' that they favour, and developing that talent will eventually make them a master of it, with a new animation depicting them being 'In The Zone' when practising their pursuit. For instance, if you have a Sim who has maxed out their talent for Music, when they pick up the new violin that comes with this pack and play it, they will magically change into formal dress and be surrounded by a glowing white aura and sounds of disembodied cheering and applause (I find this rather spooky, actually!).
This pack also adds 'Secret Lots', each one associated with a different hobby, which can be unlocked once your Sim shows enough promise in their particular talent. For instance, if your Music & Dance Sim shows enough enthusiasm and talent for their craft, a representative of the relevant Secret Lot, a local dance studio, will show up at the Sim's house and give them a invitation to come to the dance studio anytime they like. They simply get in their car, or call a taxi, and visit the lot as they would any other community lot. Here they can carry out their hobby to their heart's content. I find the dance studio particularly fun, with random Simmies doing a 'dance till you drop' everywhere, and sometimes your Sim can meet a new romantic partner there!
There are loads of new objects to go with all these new hobbies. Arts & Crafts Sims can use a pottery wheel or a sewing machine, Tinkering Sims can work on an old broken-down car and try to fix it, Gaming Sims can purchase a selection of new computer games (including a mock-up of The Sims 3!) to play and even join network gaming competitions. For Sports Sims, there is a basketball hoop, and Fitness Sims can purchase an exercise bike or a ballet barre.
In one of the most fun and amusing hobby-related features, there is now a Cooking Contest Table at which your Cooking Sim can enter a cooking contest with other Sims (the others will be 'chosen' randomly by the game itself from among other Sims in your neighbourhood) and see if they can win it - the animations for this are really cute. In my own game, I played a cooking content between my Bree from Desperate Housewives Sim (whose cooking talent was maxed out, of course) and three randomly-chosen Sims who turned out to be no match for her. True to life (well, true to TV, anyway), Bree won, for her excellent cherry pie. This was followed by Bree whopping and jumping for joy, while the others slunk off in embarrassment. Awwww.
On the subject of new animations, your Nature-inclined Sims can go bird-watching or bug-collecting - the latter allows your Sim to collect interesting specimens of the various bugs they find - and Fitness Sims can practice Tai Chi. Sims can also now talk to each other about their hobbies.
However, also on the subject of new animations, there are a few that you may find become annoying after a short time - there are several new gestures of fidgeting, whistling, cracking their knuckles, and reaching back and pulling their ankle up behind them and standing on one leg, which are cute the first time you see them but very quickly get way too repetitive (much like the gestures that the Sims learn on holiday in the Bon Voyage expansion). If these animations prove to be too much for you, you can eliminate them with a hack from http://www.simwardrobe.com - download the file called SW-Stop-All-Hobby-Related-Idle-Gestures.zip. That's what I ended up having to do!
There are also five new careers: Oceanographer, Entertainer, Architect, Dancer, and Intelligence Agent, and a new Neighborhood called Desiderata Valley, which comes complete with a dedicated Cooking Contest community lot. As with the supernatural characters added by previous expansion packs, such as werewolves, vampires and so on, this pack adds Genies. A gypsy may give your Sim an Aladdin's Lamp containing a Genie - if so, he will grant you three wishes, but be careful what you wish for!
Secondary Aspirations are another new feature, giving your Sim more complex aspirational goals. These include a new Grilled Cheese Aspiration, a bit of silliness that will make your Sim obsessed with grilled cheese sandwiches, to the extent of painting pictures of them, making and serving them to everyone, and boring other Sims with talking about them (often causing the other Sim to stick his fingers in his ears and do the 'la la la la I'm not listening' gesture).
In addition to those mentioned above, there are several other new objects for your Sims to have fun with - they also get a train set and get to choose and place whatever features they want it to have (mountains, lakes, and so on), a new pool table, a classic Moog-style synthesiser to play electro music on, and even an ant farm.
All told, this is a fun and worthwhile addition to your Sims 2 expansion collection. I have all of the expansions and would not want to be without any of them!
Also on ciao.com as EsmeraldaDragon, ciao.co.uk as thereddragon and Helium as Esmeralda Draic.
If you're here then it's probably because you already know and more than likely love the Sims 2. If you don't, let me give you an extremely quick walk-through: In the Sims 2, you're the God of these human-looking creatures called the Sims. You shape their personality, their looks and their house and as you go on playing with them you shape their lives. If you've played the Sims before you know that one of the main differences in gameplay with this installment and the one before is aspirations. You also know that these aspirations are: Family, Popularity, Romance, Wealth and Knowledge. If you have a certain different expansion pack added, then you know that there is also an extra aspiration called Slacker that comes with it.
The biggest and most important addition of the sims 2 freetime is that it has secondary aspirations. Thus you can make a family sim with a secondary aspiration as romance or a romance sim who actually wants to settle down. It's very fun and makes game play a lot wider.
There is a completely different addition as well, hobbies. Your sim, since the moment they're created, are slanted towards one of several different hobbies. I won't spoil it for you but the way to add more points to the hobbies are myriad and can vary from extremely fun to very irritating. It makes the game a lot more interesting.