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This is one of my favourite add on packs that I've bought. It's probably one of the more expensive ones out there but it has loads of great items and unlike the other it gives you building items. One of my favourite things to do is to build houses and make them all look different so this is a great pack for me. You get quite a variety of things with this pack so I'll detail those things and a little bit of what I like to use them for: - Decor - There are cool new things like rugs, door mats, chandeliers, solar panels, air fans, topiary and energy saving windmills. These are all really cool extras which allow you to elevate your home designing to another level. I really like these items as a lot of them help you to create a certain type of home for a certain type of Sim. - Building - There are new things like fences, walls, double stars, roofs, cornicing, doors and windows. I love all of these added things because they help you to create a certain style of home. There are great new windows with an art deco style as well as a set of Moroccan and Eastern style windows. These new doors and windows are great because you can use some of the established designs and add these new windows to create an entirely different look. - Garden - There are some really nice flower bed planters as well as pot plants that you get in this pack. There are also a load of cute garden ornaments and other item which you can use to help decorate your garden. Honestly I don't tend to plant gardens for my Sims' homes because they are a hassle to keep looking nice. I do, however, love planting things in community plots because these are automatically gardened and the choice of plants is great to have. - Hair - Weirdly enough you get a selection of hairs with this pack as well. I tend to download hair styles so the women's ones are all that useful for me but the men's hair has definitely come in useful for me so I can't complain. - Price - This add on pack is around £6 to buy used and £7 to buy new, which I guess means you may as well buy new. This is probably on the more expensive end of the scale for an add on pack but it is certainly one of the better ones out there. Overall, a great add on pack that helps you build even better homes.
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. -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 and Building Mansion and Garden stuff provides approximately 60 items with which you can decorate your houses and gardens - from regal styled furnishings to beautiful and exotic plants. Helpfully, the website. TheSims2.com, provides snapshots most of the items included in the pack which is very useful in deciding whether or not the stuff pack is suited to your tastes. - Extras Surprisingly, a number of new animations were also included such as sims shading their eyes from the sun when they exit their house, and the ability to relax and smell the roses. While these autonomous interactions are a novelty at first, they can quickly become irritating. Many players have opted to using third-party patches to remove the animations altogether. -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 more stuff packs and EPs that you have installed, the more powerful your computer will need to be in order to run them properly. -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. - Buying & Building I have to say that I particularly liked the look of the new build items including double curving staircases, Moroccan and art-deco themed windows and doors, and the long awaited ceiling fans. I particularly liked the solar panels, and while they don't quite seem to fit with the theme of the pack, they are functional in that they realistically allow sims to cut the cost of their bills by producing their own electricity. With enough solar panels, sims can even earn money by selling their own electricity. - The big 'But...' Mansion and Garden stuff is full of bugs, and I'm not talking about ladybirds and grasshoppers. This pack reintroduced the most notorious bug known to The Sims 2 community, the dreaded jump bug (Google it). This is widely considered to be a game-breaking bug which causes animations to fail for certain actions. That isn't the only bug that players have experienced, but one need only visit the 'stuff packs' section of the Sims 2.com message board to discover the multitude of the problems that come with this product. Because of this, many players including myself have been led to uninstalling the pack and ensuring that it never sees the light of day again, or at least not until a miracle patch is released, which seems about as likely as the return of Jesus at this point. Reportedly, EA have been advising consumers to find third-party fixes for the products that EA have created, and THEY are responsible for. This is not acceptable behavior for a company dealing with faulty product complaints. Regardless of whether or not a third party fix for the problems exists somewhere out there on the world wide web, it is not the responsibility of fans to solve EA's problems - particularly when their many loyal fans have essentially handed them a license to print money. Because of these problems, EA forfeit two stars from what would have been a four star review. Since release of this title, EA's attention has turned to printing money from the incredulous popularity of The Sims 3; as such, Mansion and Garden stuff has not been patched, and it seems unlikely that it ever will be. If the state of affairs changes, I will be happy to amend my review. - Conclusion I find Mansion & Garden stuff to have a fair bit of potential. The content is of a good quality, and until the discovery of the numerous bugs I have to say that I enjoyed using the new items to decorate my sims' homes. I can only hope that a patch does arrive so that I will get the chance to enjoy the game to its fullest.
Design impressive estates and meticulous gardens for your Sims with three all-new styles. Infuse your Sims' mansion with the intricate beauty of new Moroccan designs, add a touch of retro-modern style with stately and new Art Deco elements, or build in the imposing new Second Empire style. With a host of new architectural and landscaping items to choose from, your Sims homes will look more stunning than ever!