The Sims is celebrating ten years since the first instalment in the series was released.
The Sims is 10 years old this week! To celebrate, we're dusting off our long look back at the series from the start of 2008, prior to the release of The Sims 3. For the full picture, make sure to check out our more recent reviews of The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: World Adventures. What's "happy birthday" in simlish?
We've been here before. Back in the dim and distant days of the original The Sims, EA released a version of the game where you could give your Sims pets, and gave it the quite pun-tastic title of "Unleashed". And since no-one has ever accused EA of letting go of a sellable idea when they could release it again and again and again (and again, but with nicer textures), we get the rather more prosaically named "Pets", this time based on The Sims 2.
Now, if this were the PC version of the game we'd just be concerning ourselves with those of you out there who already own The Sims 2 (which, judging by the sales figures, is most of you). However, this is the PS2 version, and thus is an entirely different kettle of, er, pet fish. The console versions aren't expansion packs, but rather full games. Thus, there are two different groups being targeted here: those who have never played The Sims 2, and those who own the original. Should either of you pick up this version? To which the definitive answer is (look away if you don't want the ending spoiled for you) probably, and maybe.
The Sims 2 Pets tries to make things easier for the newcomers right from the off. Rather than having to design and build your characters and houses from scratch, you can move into a pre-existing house, with the option of kicking out the existing residents, or turning up and moving in with them like some sort of often-mentioned but never seen relative in an Australian soap opera. It's a nice option, although we suspect that people who go for the easy route will end up quitting after a while and creating their own Sims anyway. The game is, after all, much more fun when it's populated by hideous caricatures of people you know. Watching a Johnny Random set himself on fire and then pee all over the kitchen floor just isn't the same as seeing your ex-girlfriend do it. And in the game as well.
Electronic Arts has announced The Sims 2 Pets, a new PC expansion pack and standalone game for PS2, GameCube, PSP, Nintendo DS and GBA.
You can choose from cats, dogs, guinea pigs, birds and more, and there's a wide range of breeds available. Or you might prefer to create your own pet, customising everything from fur colour to body shape. You can also alter their personality, making them clever or stupid, for example.
Your Sims will be able to train their pets to shake paws, roll over, play dead and the like. And if the pets are found digging up the garden or scratching the furniture, they'll need disciplining. By using special codes, you can share pet accessories, fur types and markings with other Sims 2 Pets fans.