(Originally posted on laurawritesanarticle.blogspot.com on the 11th of April 2021)
This is a follow-up article on a popular game franchise that contains some mild sexual references and one reference to extreme violence. Reader discretion is advised.
Sul sul! It is time once again to celebrate twenty-one years of The Sims before many Nintendo nerds celebrate the 40th anniversary of Donkey Kong, the iconic arcade game that started it all. Last year, the community of simmers alone ambitiously celebrated the 20th anniversary of such a memorable franchise with creativity and fact checking to make up for how uneventful the canon celebration mostly was in spite of a cool looking hot tub. Nonetheless, there was an official dedication of the franchise’s twenty-first birthday on Twitter asking simmers what their favourite thing about the community is, along with a special surprise about two months ago. Twenty-one pieces of contest created by the community for the community! How touching is that? Surely the 20th anniversary can still technically be celebrated as 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of The Sims being available for Macintosh outside of North America back in Summer 2001. As a supporter of gay rights, including gay marriage, I am eternally grateful for the series allowing same-sex marriage, same-sex WooHoos and even same-sex adoption to happen. Other than that, let us look further into the history of the franchise with fully green plumbobs above our heads.
The deluxe edition of The Sims came up with The Sims Creator, a program that allows a simmer to customise skins for clothing items, hairstyles and faces, thus being classified as the prequel to The Sims 2 Body Shop. Oh! Did I mention that 2021 marks the twentieth anniversaries of The Sims: House Party and The Sims: Hot Date? In 2002, a sim can either travel to somewhere totally summery or a winter wonderland after the installation of The Sims: On Holiday. Surely a simmer could help make Bella Goth a celebrity in The Sims: Superstar back in the days of 2003, but technically, she has already become famous. At least to us simmers anyway. The final expansion pack of The Sims was quite remarkable for being heavily based around magic. If there ought to be a HD remake of The Sims and its expansion packs, perhaps there can be a series of new expansions to make it fresher for a new generation of simmers, such as stuff packs with different themes. One of them could be centred around surviving on a deserted island, which will be further explained later. Besides, it has been confirmed that the base game of The Sims can be pretty glitchy on Windows 10.
I still cherish the Sims 2 era to this day. Interestingly, the Thai release of The Sims 2 did not feature the nudity for when a sim has a bath or shower, despite how it was legitimately censored with pixels in other regional releases. Aside from that, I once theorised that sending Romeo Monty and Juliette Capp to any college for Veronaville together after The Sims 2: University is installed would be a metaphor for them going to Heaven after they die for each other since their love story is based on the iconic play written by William Shakespeare that ends in a tragedy. Too bad The Sims 2: Body Shop was not fully functional with the Double Deluxe edition, but simmers could still rely on their favourite Stuff packs to get more outfit for their sims. I apologise for contradicting myself when it comes to aspirations, but if I ever owned a copy of The Sims 2 for Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox, my aspiration would be Creativity. Too bad the Power aspiration was scrapped from the PC version, but I suppose it would still belong to some simmers out there.
What else can I say about the stuff packs in The Sims 2? The previously mentioned IKEA and H&M themed stuff packs sure increased the realism of the game to a certain degree. As for some of the packs that are not based on a real-life company, I adore how the Celebration! stuff pack provided so much more to making a wedding or birthday party magical back in 2007 before it became part of The Sims 2: Double Deluxe about a year later. The “Socialite” and “Goth” themes in Teen Style Stuff just screamed “Angela” and “Lilith” while those red-haired twins’ boyfriends could rock the “Thrasher” theme. As for the Kitchen & Bath Interior Stuff pack, a sim could unwind in a more stylish bathroom or go on a romantic dinner date with a lover in a new kitchen. I think the theme of the Mansion and Garden Stuff pack suited the Goths, Capps and Summerdream family the best. Not only was the Happy Holiday Stuff pack heavily associated with celebrating Christmas, but there were also elements of celebrating New Year’s Day. Surely the Stuff packs were fun and varied, but I can understand why some simmers would have preferred to purchase them, along with expansion packs online.
Can you imagine an alternate universe where an expansion pack for the highly successful PC version of The Sims 2 was titled “The Sims 2 Castaway”, thus expanding on certain aspects of The Sims 2: Bon Voyage? In our universe, The Sims 2 Castaway is a spin-off title that was released back in 2007 for different gaming systems, from the Nintendo Wii and the PlayStation Portable. Its premise was basically helping a sim stranded on an island survive and adapt to a new lifestyle. Be sure to keep the Grim Reaper away by not letting your survivor starve to death! I am pretty sure plenty of simmers preferred The Sims Castaway Stories as it provided a free play mode. Furthermore, I could still imagine an extra expansion pack for The Sims 2 being heavily themed around The Sims 2: Castaway that consists of a sub-neighbourhood that exclusively allows sims to wear either tattered clothing or tribal outfits. Nonetheless, I suppose leaving the “Castaway” premise to consoles and the Life Stories series as a spin-off of The Sims 2 at least make it more recognisable on its own accords. Furthermore, if The Sims and its expansion packs ought to be remastered in HD, one completely new pack can be Castaway-themed.
Speaking of The Sims 2 for consoles, let us investigate more outside of the Castaway games. I would say the PSP port was arguably the most exceptional one as it consisted of similar graphics to the PC version. Too bad Nervous Subject was dead in that port, which was sad since his aspiration was pretty low at first in the PC version. The Sims 2 for the Nintendo DS was about running a hotel in Strangetown and featured Johnny Smith and Tank Grunt as adults possibly after their time at a college, along with a saloon chick, a safari chick and a superhero dressed up as a rat. The Sims 2: Apartments Pets for the Nintendo DS was basically a fusion of The Sims 2: Pets and The Sims 2: Apartment Life. Unfortunately, as a sequel to the DS version of The Sims 2: Pets, it received negative reviews. I would say that the PSP, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 2 versions of The Sims 2: Pets were arguably more preferable as someone who has played the PlayStation 2 version. Surely The Sims 2: Apartment Pets would have been better executed as part of the Sims Stories series as “The Sims Apartment Pet Stories” for laptops, right?
Is there anything else I can say about The Sims 3 for mobile devices with touchscreens and so on, despite how dissatisfying The Sims 3: World Adventures was to me? Not only were there mobile versions of the base game and World Adventures, but there were also mobile versions of Ambitions and Supernatural. Ambitions was also rendered in decent 3D visuals for iPhones and Window Phones in late 2010 and was later adapted with 2D visuals for Blackberry in 2011. Supernatural only took on the Blackberry format in 2012. Arguably, some of the console ports of The Sims 3 would be more preferable for bigger gameplay aspects. Nonetheless, I quite like how the 2D mobile phone version of the game came in various editions, such as a “Winter” edition that came with a wintery map as a shout-out to The Sims 3: Seasons and a “medieval” edition as a reference to The Sims Medieval. As for the smartphone version, was Ruth really a Sims 3 incarnation of Grandma Ruthie from the MySims series? Speaking of The Sims 3, I think the mediocre reception of its Nintendo Wii counterpart could be the reason why there is no port of The Sims 4 for the Nintendo Switch.
Speaking of The Sims 3, I remember checking out the list of neighbourhoods available to purchase from the game’s official website and add to the base game and thinking, “I miss the option to make your own neighbourhood from a template in The Sims 2.” whilst looking at the prices. At the time, I noticed that Riverview was the only neighbourhood that could be downloaded for free. I know that some expansion packs have offered default sub-neighbourhoods and new neighbourhoods that heavily expansion on the Sims 2 universe, but the option to create your own neighbourhood, downtown, college, shopping district and vacation destination with a template was still there, which added more to a simmer’s freedom to expand the universe on their own accords. As for The Sims 3, yes. There is always a new world or sub-world in an expansion pack. I have nothing against these kinds of services on a game’s website as the money they make can be used for developing more instalments for the franchise, but the prices for the kind of content still need to be reasonable to the point the consumer will not feel ripped off, which is what I will discuss more about later.
What else can I say about The Sims Social, other than how I miss playing it sometimes? The Paris Week that occurred back in early 2012 was magnifique. I guess you could just ask the handsome Jean Marc, the ex-boyfriend of Bella Goth. Would you believe that there were parodies of Edward Cullen and Jacob Black from the Twilight saga named “Edward Sullen” and “Jacob Slack”? I have nothing against Lily, Tabitha and Vicki, but the fact that they are all related to Bella contradicts the structure of the Bachelor family in The Sims 3, thus backing up the theory that the 2D version of Bella in The Sims Social is actually the impostor from Strangetown. Plenty of us recall EA filing a lawsuit against Zynga for how the outcome of The Ville was far too similar to The Sims Social. I am sure plenty of other simmers still miss The Sims Social to this day while other casual gamers who played and honestly preferred The Ville back in the day miss it. Moreover, it would be cool to play a sequel for mobile devices that does not require a Facebook account someday.
How I adore how Bella Goth looks in her party outfit. I was highly interested to see the Pleasant family return as a downloadable family for the base game since they were the first Sims family I have ever encountered whilst being introduced to the series. I would say the aspirations in The Sims 4 are more varied and specific with different categories, compared the aspirations in The Sims 2. This especially applies to the aspirations for children as they can desire to be intelligent, artistic, popular, physically active rather than just have a happy and fulfilling childhood. As previously hinted, my aspiration would be Creativity due to my passion for creative writing. Although The Sims 4 is rated 12 in Europe, the infamous “Extreme Violence” mod might have risked bumping the rating up to 16. After all, I am the author of three novellas. Since I am cool with special downloadable mods for PC games being downloaded, as long as they are safe and do not cause data to be corrupted, I cannot help but to quite fascinated at how the mod-exclusive set of commands from the MC Command Center feature an icon that highly resembles the iconic Deadpool emblem.
It sure is nice for some campers to unwind by stargazing at Granite Falls in the first-ever game pack, The Sims 4: Outdoor Retreat. As for the first expansion pack for the base game, a simmer could allow a sim to become a doctor, detective or scientist. Starting a social media career in a penthouse in The Sims 4: City Living sure sounds cool. Who would have thought vampires could finally WooHoo as bats in The Sims 4: Vampires? If only Edward and Bella Cullen could do so as bats in a greatly improved reboot of the Twilight saga. The parenthood game pack is very wholesome as it is heavily centred around raising children in preparation for how they will be when they grow up. The Sims 4: Realm of Magic brought some magic into the Sims 4 era in late 2019. If you a big fan of the Star Wars franchise, the The Sims 4: Journey to Batuu. I simply cannot help but think of Strangetown from The Sims 2 when I read the town name “StrangerVille” from the StrangerVille pack. Feel free to let me know what expansion and game packs for The Sims 4 are your favourites.
Shall we look at more stuff packs in The Sims 4? Okay then. I guess it makes sense that the My First Pet Stuff pack would require The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs to be fully compatible, despite how it is the first stuff pack to require an expansion to be installed led to many simmers’ disapproval. On a lighter note, the Vintage Glamour Stuff pack would be useful for setting up a thrilling detective story like Sherlock Holmes. The Luxury Party Stuff pack is sure to help set up a party that is sure to be beautiful, quite like the limited-edition Gold Pac-Man Plug and Play. Other stuff packs include:
- Tiny Living Stuff
- Toddler Stuff
- Kids Room Stuff
- Cool Kitchen Stuff
Surely a long run of stuff packs with a huge variety of themes for The Sims 5 will eventually be provided. Alternatively, there can be fewer stuff packs for a HD remake of The Sims, as well as HD remakes of its expansion packs from 2000 to 2003. As previously mentioned, stuff packs for a remaster of The Sims can make reliving the experience even more refreshing besides HD graphics.
Would you believe that there is a new category of additional content for The Sims 4 known as “Kits”? The variety of items in each of the three packs are smaller than the number of things in a stuff pack. The Throwback kit is full of trendy clothes that appear to be inspired by ‘80s and ‘90s fashion. The Country Kitchen kit shall provide what is needed for cooking around vintage vibes. Those who wish to purchase the Bust The Dust kit better watch out for adorable yet bizarre dust creatures! I would say that it is safe to be sure that kits would be a category of additional content for either The Sims 5 or a HD remaster of The Sims. Even though these smaller game packs may not be as satisfactory as expansion packs, game packs and stuff packs to some simmers, but sometimes less is more. However, that still does not excuse how the prices of these kits for both the PC and console ports of the base game have made some simmers feel ripped off. I know that hugely ambitious video games require a lot of money to develop, but still.
Still missing MySims? Me too. Aside from the Nintendo Wii version of the first game that was released in 2007, there was also a version of the game for the Nintendo DS. Next came MySims Kingdom, which was set in an empire made up of a large variety of different settings all in separate islands. I loved taking photographs with any of the characters being displayed in the scene back in my early teenage years, thanks to MySims Camera for the DSi. It is a shame MySims Agents 2 was cancelled and missed the opportunity to welcome Madison, Evelyn Gray’s twin sister to the franchise. Although MySims Party had its own individuality by featuring a variety of minigames as MySims’ answer to the Mario Party franchise and MySims Racing was another addition to quite an ambitious variety with how it had the required elements of a racing game, I still believe a sudden revival of the series should go back to its original roots, which ought to be just like the PC port of the first MySims game that was released in 2008 with some exclusive aspects. Care to demonstrate, MySims Fanon?
Have any of my dear fellow simmers enjoyed celebrating The Sims’ 21st birthday? As previously stated, the 20th anniversary can still technically be celebrated this August since August 2001 was when The Sims back available for Mac in Europe back in 2001. I am sure that our dear Catherine crusaders outside of Japan will be charmed and spooked by a little celebration of Catherine’s tenth anniversary after many animal crossers have celebrated the first anniversary of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I am sure that some will still be feeling that franchise’s spirit with beautiful new Animal Crossing-themed Nintendo Switch accessories, including a stylish new controller from HORI. As for The Sims franchise, I still hold many experiences I have had with it dear to my heart as my plumbob glows and shines like an emerald in the sunlight. There may still be hopes for The Sims 5 to be exceptional, despite how unnecessary it sounds. Nevertheless, I still believe it can feature Mortimer and Bella’s lives at college, along with a few other new aspects. Otherwise, remaster The Sims like a game has never been remastered before! Here is to the 10th anniversaries of The Sims Medieval, The Sims FreePlay and The Sims Social. Dag dag!