I've always played the Sims on my PC and having done so for 10 years have found it particularly hard to make the transition from PC to console.. Don't get me wrong I do love my 360 for other games.. just not a huge fan of it for playing the Sims.. My initial gripe was that the game took such a long time to load and there were several long loading screens before I'd really even done much, even installing the game into my Xbox's memory didn't make much of a difference to this.. With the PC you can have the same problem but it's not a deffinate issue as computers are a lot less standardized than consoles (with a console you don't have the option to upgrade your RAM).. Anyway.. long loading screens aside, the game itself was a little disappointing, lets just say I'm glad I traded in the initial Sims 3 Xbox 360 game and bought pets instead of owning them both or I'd have been a little peeved to own essentially 2 copies of the same game just one with the option to adopt pets and one without.. Even a fair chunk of the achievements seem to have been copied and pasted into the pets game from the original.
That said the game does still have it's good points, it is after-all a Sims game and as such the content is great, it's very customize-able, and can even be shared online with friends.. The pets (though slightly disappointing if your expecting it, like the PC version, to contain anything other than just cats and dogs) do have great options for customization, and the traits that pets can get are well thought out and as with all things Sims humorously described in game..
The graphics, again not a patch on the PC version, are somewhat cartoon-like and the Sims seem to have heads that are too big for their bodies, but on the whole are enjoyable in their own right..
This game is a very light hearted humour game, it combines lifestyle and stupidity in one. People who don't play sims and think its all just boring stuff like raising a family with pets, you are very wrong. some of the challenges reflect this such as activating the riot karma power during a wedding party, and turning your neighbour into a ghost then zapping them for fun... Just a quick note about the title, this is a reference to many of the hilarious puns in the sims 3, and this is actually what it says on your xbox status when you pause the game.
The game has pretty standard graphics, not much attention to detail but it is in HD. By standard graphics of course i mean i wasn't impressed given that you can zoom in so far you can almost see the markings on a coffee table. Credit where credit is due the TV's do have little scart leads on the back of them... nice.
There is a real lack of objects compared to this Sims 2. There were massive DJ Booths and swimming facilities objects that you could use but now they're all gone, and you only get a handful of electronics. computers, all in one hifi's and TV. Thats your lot. No fans? No speakers to choose from? Not even a satellite dish in the Decor section.
The pets have minds of their own and particularly with dogs can earn their keep through working or digging or stealing things to earn you money. the higher their skill in that profession the more they will earn you. You can also use the pets to complete challenges and achievements.
The achievements in this game are much harder than in the original Sims 3 because of the amount of tasks you must do before you can get them. Note that they are also low gamerscore. 25G to send a simbot back in time? you have to reach inventing level 10, build a time machine, charge it, gather 100 scrap palladium, get a heart cut pink diamond (very rare) and then build the simbot after waiting for 4 opportunities. I can proudly say i have this achievement!!
Overall a harder game than the sims 3 and it lacks the number of intractable objects from the sims 2 but its still a highly recommended game even just for a laugh.
I've always been a HUGE Sims fan, and shamefully own every single Expansion pack and 'Stuff' pack for the Sims 3. When it came out on Xbox, I was a bit sceptical about moving away from the familiar PC territory. But, I am so glad I did. Although from the beginning, it doesn't look that great (the town map of Sugar Maple Coast looks VERY cartoony compared to the PC version), it is actually really good.
The pets don't give you a great selection, you've got your cats, and your dogs, and nothing else, yes there are very many breeds, but just cats and dogs. On the PC however, you have 'minor' pets (birds, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes etc.) & horses...as well as wild animals, which you can take in as pets, and eventually can actually tame and take in a Unicorn!!!!
Pet Adoption via the Cell Phone can become very annoying! I have adopted many pets, and started off with a female Boxer dog and a male Old English Sheepdog (their puppies looked like neither breed!!!!), with pet adoption you cannot choose a breed...they are all mongrels...and you cannot even see the traits they already possess...like on the PC version. The pet centre is exactly the same too...only allowing you to choose the Species (cat or dog), Age (puppy/kitten, adult, elder) and sex (male/female)...so unless you want purebred dogs throughout the game...my suggestion is to start off with a male and female dog of your breed choice, and just keep having puppies!!!
When you have puppies and kittens, I think it's quite cute how you have to help them up stairs...although not so cute if the food is inside the house, and you have stairs leading up to it, and a puppy that needs to go outside to pee...when you're at work!!! But I guess its more 'realistic', although real pets would at least try!
Pets cannot have lifetime wishes, although I think that it would be pointless if they did as there would be little choice. However they can have lifetime rewards. For cats and dogs they are:
- Immunity (1,000 points, pets can digest anything and never feel nauseated)
- Vomit Machine (1,000 points, pets last meal can make an 'explosive return' on demand)
- Alpha (1,500 points, toughest pets around, and win fights against any challenger)
- Friends with the Animals (1,500 points, improve relationships faster)
- Happy-go-Lucky (2,500 points, earn more happiness from wishes)
- Sleeping Buddy (2,500 points, Sims sleep better with a pet by their side, leading to faster energy game)
- Well-Groomed (2,500 points, enables Sims who are 'Allergic to Fur' to be around them easier)
- Fertility (2,500 points, increases the chance of conception and bigger litters)
- Best Behaviour (2,500 points, pets don't have destructive urges)
- 9 Lives (CATS ONLY, 3,500 points, the reaper doesn't take the cat when dead)
- Find-a-Friend (3,500 points, pets can find friends for their owners, or 'fetch dates')
- No Training Fatigue (5,000 points, pets don't get 'Brain Ache' when being taught tricks)
- Cat Burglar (CATS ONLY, 5,000 points, cats make excellent thieves)
- Iron Bladder (5,000 points, pets never need the toilet)
- Fast Learner (5,000 points, pets learn faster)
- Extended Lifespan (7,500 points, happy pets live longer)
- Beloved Animal (7,500 points, pet gets more attention and Sim relationships improve faster)
- Skilled Hunter (10,000 points, learn and perform faster and better and the offspring may gain a special trait if the pet has this trait)
- Strong Genes (10,000 points, pets pass on their abilities if they have strong genes)
Pet Breeds Available:
Now, this is just going to look like LONG paragraphs, but I can assure you that it is every breed of Cat and Dog available for you to create for your Sims home...you may think it's pointless me even mentioning it here, but the breeds interest me, and if my favourite wasn't there then I don't think I would have much interest in the game at all. Find out before you buy, and at least you're not sorely disappointed if you buy the game and the breed you prefer isn't there, you now know beforehand!!
Cat's (I never realised there were so many breeds!!!!): Abyssinian, Balinese, Birman, Bombay, British Shorthair, Burmese, Calico, Chartreux, Devon Rex, Domestic Shorthaired, Egyptian Mau, Exotic Shorthair, Havana Brown, Himalayan, Japanese Bobtail, Maine Coon, Manx, Norwegian Forest, Ocicat, Oriental, Oriental Shorthair, Persian, Ragdoll, Russian Blue, Shorthair Tabby, Siamese, Siberian, Singapura, Tonkinese, Tortoiseshell Cat, Turkish Angora and Tuxedo Cat.
Dogs (Small and Large Breeds): Airedale Terrier, Akita, American Bulldog, American Foxhound, Appenzeller Sennenhund, Australian Shepherd, Basenji, Beagle, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Tervuren, Bernese Mountain Dog, Black Lab, Black Russian Terrier, Blue Heeler, Border Collie, Borzoi, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Brittany, Bull Terrier, Bullmastiff, Canaan Dog, Caucasian Mountain Dog, Chessie, Chihuahua (Long and Short haired), Chocolate Lab, Chow Chow, Chow-Lab Mix, Collie, Curly Coated Retriever, Dalmatian, Dingo, Doberman Pinscher, English Bulldog, English Foxhound, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, French Bulldog, German Pinscher, German Shepherd, German Shorthaired, Giant Schnauzer, Golden Retriever, Goldendoodle, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Greyhound, Husky, Irish Wolfhound, Italian Greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Japanese Spitz, Keeshond, Kerry Blue Terrier, Klee Klai, Kuvasz. Labradinger, Labradoodle, Malamute, Manchester Terrier, Mastiff, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Newfoundland, Old English Sheepdog, Pharaoh Hound, Pointer, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug, Puggle, Redbone Coonhound, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard, Saluki, Samoyed, Schipperke, Schnoodle, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Smooth Fox Terrier, Spaniel, Staffordshire, Vizsla, Weimaraner, Whippet AND FINALLY the Yellow Lab.
Phew, glad that's all put down into words now! Like I said, looks like a lot of words, but useless to some, is useful to another!
Lifetime Rewards & Lifetime Wishes:
If you are familiar with the Sims 3 then you will know about lifetime rewards and lifetime wishes, if you are not, then here is a brief explanation of both. Lifetime wishes is simply a wish that your Sim wants to complete before the return to the Netherworld (or before they die). For example, the 'World Renowned Surgeon' lifetime wish means that your Sim wants to reach Level 10 of the Medical career path before their time is up. Lifetime rewards are when a Sim wants to complete something, a lot easier, and quicker than a lifetime wish. The way you obtain the points to get lifetime rewards are by completing promised wishes which pop up through the game and can be anything from 'Make the bed' to 'Buy a telescope', these little wishes give points to lifetime rewards, which eventually add up, enabling you to 'buy' lifetime rewards. Lifetime rewards that are new to Sims 3 Pets are:
- Raised by Wolves (5,000 points, which enables pets to fill a Sims social needs more than other Sims)
- Animal Expert (5,000 points, which enables the Sim to look after their pets longer, leading them to a longer and healthier life)
- Efficient Inventor (10,000 points, able to tinker and create more inventions with less scrap)
- Sponsorship (30,000 points, where a Sim randomly receives sponsorship cheques)
The new lifetime wishes for Sims 3 Pets are:
- Pack Leader (Have 10 pet best friends over lifetime)
- My Robo BFF (Invent a Simbot, and become best friends with it)
- Beast Master (Own a Level 10 digging dog, a Level 10 hunting cat and perform a trick exhibition with a owned dog)
- Pet Whisperer (Train 20 pet traits by scolding and praising)
- Pet Matriarch (Raise 4 pets from birth to elder).
Traits are what you can give your Sim to enhance gameplay, and help them further their career and complete lifetime wishes. For example, to reach Level 10 of the Medical career, it is wise to use the 'Genius' trait as it helps the Sim learn the logic skill faster, which is crucial in the Medical career.
New traits for Sims in Sims 3 Pets are:
- Allergic to Fur
- Cat Person
- Dislikes Pets
- Dog Person
Traits for cats and dogs are as follows:
- Adventurous (conflicts with Skittish)
- Aggressive (conflicts with Friendly)
- Clueless (conflicts with Genius)
- Destructive (conflicts with Non-destructive)
- Friendly (conflicts with Aggressive)
- Genius (conflicts with Clueless)
- Hyper (conflicts with Lazy)
- Lazy (conflicts with Hyper)
- Neat (conflicts with Piggy)
- Non-destructive (conflicts with Destructive)
- Piggy (conflicts with Neat)
- Playful (conflicts with Proud)
- Proud (conflicts with Playful)
- Quiet (conflicts with Vocal)
- Skittish (conflicts with Adventurous)
- Vocal (conflicts with Quiet)
- Digger (DOGS ONLY)
- Hunter (CATS ONLY)
There are still your bog standard careers in the game which have always been there, for thos who haven't played the Sims before; I shall list all career paths, as well as NEW ones available in Sims 3 Pets.
Part-Time Jobs (For Sims):
- Bookstore Clerk
- Grocery Store Clerk
- Mausoleum Clerk
- Pet Care Specialist
- Spa Receptionist
- Spa Specialist
Full-Time Jobs (For Sims):
- Business Career
- Criminal Career
- Culinary Career
- Journalism Career
- Law Enforcement Career
- Military Career
- Music Career
- Political Career
- Science Career
- Medical Career
Self-Employed Jobs (For Sims):
Part-Time Jobs for Pets:
- Crime Cat (CATS ONLY)
- Crime Dog (DOGS ONLY)
- Grave Keeper (CATS ONLY)
- Police Dog (DOGS ONLY)
- Pet Therapist
The personal touch I love about this game, which I guess is just because it is the Xbox version, is the challenges. It gives you points towards Karma...which then in turn lets you cast a 'spell' over the Sims...my favourite is the Giant Jackpot...free money! Kachinnggggg!!! The challenges also encourage you to do things that you may not have thought of...for example, a pet dog can become the enemy of the mailman...or there can be a full on family brawl at a wedding. The opportunities to do stupid things are endless, and I think that it gives this game a good touch.
I love how they've integrated some of the PC expansion packs into the Xbox version, like the Inventing skill...which in my opinion is more fun than on the PC, you can create lots of things, like a time machine...or just a normal children's toy, the choices are endless, and it could be a good career for the Sim!
The fact that on this version as well, the pets can have part time jobs, which they cannot on the PC, is also another fun factor to the game. I think that it gives the opportunity for the player to control the dogs a bit more, so improving their skills for a reason, and not just because they can.
I absolutely love the Mystery Journal challenges that are available, it makes the game a little bit more exciting, and can unlock cool new things that can save a lot of time, and is a good way for a bit of extra cash, earning skills and friends along the way! My personal favourite is the bottomless pet bowl! When I had 5 dogs, I was forever filling about 8 food bowls up, but with the bottomless bowl, I only needed one between the 5 of them!!! One thing that puts a dampener on this is the fact that there are only 5 mystery challenges over the whole game! My one generation completed them one after the other, and I was left with no more within the game!! I think they could have made more, especially as they're so fun and easy to complete.
I like the ghost-hunting factor too, the Ghost Zapper can be invented by a Sim with the inventing skill, and also when a cat is level 7 of hunting it can help ghost hunt too...catching spirits, which in turn give 'charge' to the time machine (also invented by the Sim).
One thing I have found about this game is that when the pets die, you are not left with their gravestones/ashes like you are normal Sims, which I think is a little bit of a downer, not that I'd want my own full on graveyard in my back garden, but it would be nice to have the choice!
Although I understand that the Sims on the PC needs a lot more memory to run, the major point of Sims 3 was the 'no loading' screens, and free roaming of the map...however on the Xbox all there is are loading screens...even when you go into Build/Buy mode and place one item...let's say a fridge...you've got a loading screen when you go back into 'Live Mode'. Whether or not this is because there is little memory on Xbox...or just because the disc cannot process it like the PC, it really bugs me!
I really, really, really do not like the fire meter. I think it is just a pointless thing to have. Yes it makes the game a bit more challenging, but at the same time, you want all of the objects your Sims need/want in their house to progress further without having to worry about the limit, and whether or not your house will catch fire if you put that one telescope in, or that one extra painting on the wall. Although it recommends you to move to a bigger lot so you can place more furniture, I think this makes no difference. Bigger lots don't necessarily mean you can have more furniture...or not as much as you may want anyway.
When puppies and kittens are born you're NOT told the sex of it, therefore making naming them a bit of a guessing game...I had a male dog called Paige for a while...annoying! Although you can rename the pets at the City Hall, I couldn't be bothered!!!
The little things that make a BIG difference:
The charisma skill is one I always struggled with in previous Sims games...however not sure if it's just the Xbox version, but I found it much easier to make friends, and master the Charisma skill...as well as actually completing ALL of the milestone challenges for the skill too. SUCCESS!
You can literally customise anything you want, from the dog's bed, to the cooker, ANYTHING. It's pretty simple too, just use the Create-a-Style tool in Build/Buy and there you go...
The houses are not all readily available for you to buy if you have the SImoleons (§), instead you have to unlock two of the house (The Goth Manor and the Old Gilman Farmstead), the Goth Manor you unlock via the Mystery 'Just Nine Lives to Live' and the Old Gilman Farmstead which you or your pet cat has to catch overall 24 ghosts, spirits or poltergeists.
When inviting Sims over, they don't take FOREVER to arrive like they used to...instead they turn up pretty quickly! It can get quite annoying though when you invite someone over, they say yes, then all of a sudden while you're still on the phone a dialog box appears 'Sorry something has just popped up, maybe another time!', but I guess it's more realistic?!?
Weddings are a bit more 'realistic' as they have to exchange rings, and also the 'You may kiss the bride' part happens too. Although, it's only formal wear...not like on previous Sims where they had wedding outfits for the special day!
The birth of children is a bit better too...although the Sim still spins round and a baby is in her arms, they have the choice now to either have the baby at hospital or in the comfort of her own home!
I have found a few glitches with the game. One which realllllly frustrates me as it meant I had to restart my game all over again (first happened on my 6th generation!!!!). My Sim was madly in love with someone, and it was only her and a dog in the household...however, even though they were 'Boyfriend & Girlfriend' there was NEVER the option for them to propose marriage, or to even move into the house together...after much searching on online forums, I found that this was a game glitch and meant that I had to restart my game, as it was unsolvable...which for some people would be okay, but I like to progress my families and get them married before they have children!
Another glitch I have found is that sometimes, when you open the Challenges menu, it is very 'blank' and does not have the challenges completed ticked off, and is generally just missing a format to the menu...I have also noticed that it does this with the save menu too.
Although this glitch, not as major as the previous two, I have noticed as well, that when I get my Sim to go on the Anachronism VCT (laptop), when they are on it, the screen is down...like I said, not major, but can be very annoying to look at!
Glitching out all over town apparently! I visited the dog park, and kitty corner...and Sims were just sitting in mid-air...no furniture or anything was present...yet another glitch EA need to sort out!
Another glitch...my cat got stuck under the foundations of the house :| even trying to delete the house didn't work, so in the end I had to move house...and kick the cat out. Sad glitchy times.
I think that just about concludes my review. I've put in everything I can think of, although if there is anything else that has slipped my mind and I remember in the future, I will be certain to add it! I hope it's helped you, and maybe encouraged you to buy the game? Please rate me, and comment on where you think I could improve, and if not I would be delighted if you think that this review is worth a crown!