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- The Sims and me! -
I have always been a fan of the Sims series right the way back from the original Sims that I used to play as a child. When I finally got the Sims 3, must have spent at least 20 hours playing it over the course of 2 days. Much to the dismay of my hubby (who I must admit is not a big Sims fan) I then proceeded to collect the expansion packs as I had done with the Sims 2.
- But what is the Sims? -
For anyone unfamiliar with the sims series the games are essentialy a virtual dolls house, you control every aspect of the lives of the Sims (virtual people), right from their beginings in create-a-sim and all the way through their lives. The game has no real end or objective (other than to keep playing the game throughout multiple generations and not having your last sim die) so there are websites where Sims fans invent challenges for themselves and eachother to keep things interesting. The Sims 3 is the latest stand-alone game in the Sims series and the Sims 3 showtime is one of the many expansion packs avaliable for it, it is I believe, the 6th expansion pack for the Sims 3.
- The Sims 3 Showtime -
We'll assume you're familliar with the Sims 3, as you wouldn't be looking at expansions if you wernt, so I'll skip the description of what Sims 3 is like and go straight to talking about this expansion. I own the 'limited edition collectors edition' of showtime, which includes not only the game but also bonus content (an extra stage venue, some Katy Perry in-game items and also a Sim's Katy Perry poster). The game is also avaliable in a basic version which doesnt contain the extra content.
The game itself is similar in structure to other expansion packs for the Sims 3, and most others in the entire Sims series, in that it introduces new content, a new location and a new career. I'll go into more detail on that later but for now I want to talk about the brand new features.
- New social features and Sims Port -
This expansion also contains a new 'social function' players of Showtime will now notice that the top right of the screen contains the social pop-up window. In this window you can message other Sims players and add people to your friends. There are options to give you some elements of control over who can send you messages. I personally find that if I have too many people talking to me I do very little playing, if I wanted to IM I'd download MSN or something similar and not sit chatting on what was a quite expensive game. To be honest it seems like a bit of a novely that EA added just to keep up with with social networking culture. Now on to the other social function of the game, SimsPort. SimsPort lets you send your Sims to other peoples game where they can perform and go on tour. It seems like an afterthought and it really doesnt add anything to your game. Yes, your Sims come back to your game with new memories and the like but as you dont actualy see your sims when they do this it's just as futile as adding new in-game careers, it's just something else that your Sim does where you dont get to watch them do it you just get some text to read as a follow-up to the activity.
Obviously these feature requires the use of the internet, so if you were playing without internet acess you would be unable to use this feature, but if you choose not to use it, it really doesn't affect your game in any way. The only plus side is the opportunity it gives you to unlock things like costumes and backgrounds.
- The new interactive careers-
There are 3 new career options for your Sim to try, you now have the option to become a singer, an acrobat or a magician. I started out by making a singer first, as with all the interactive careers in the Sims game, you start at the very bottom, in this case a lowly sing-o-gram. The job works similarly to being a Ghost hunter, a job message will pop up with a time and a place and you just show up. You can also supliment income from these sing-o-gram jobs by performing for tips. As your reputation grows (in any of the three careers) you can attend auditions for bigger gigs or even go to talent contests with cash prizes. The careers have 10 levels for you to work your way up through, so theres plenty to keep you occupied trying them out.
- Starlight Shore -
This is the new location I mentioned earlier. Starlight shore is a relatively small new world for you to explore, although it does seem to have a lot going on. There are new areas here for you to take your sims to perform, a beach and some new housing. I always enjoy looking at the new housing in an expansion pack as it gives me ideas of houses I can make myself at a later date.
-To sum it all up-
The Sims Showtime is what you would expect from a sims 3 expansion pack, with of course the addition of the new social features. The new careers are deffinately fun to play out and the new items that always come with the expansions are fab they include new hot tubs, a dj boothe and lots of great decorative objects. There are more I just can't remember them right now. If you are thinking of buying an expansion I reccomend this one.