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The Sims 2 Pets review

You might want to leave this puppy behind the window and adopt its PC brother instead

Pros

  • Cats and dogs are fun to watch
  • Especially in ridiculous costumes
  • Basic Sims gameplay is intact...

Cons

  • ... But made tedious by the controls
  • Stripped down presentation and options
  • Town Square mostly just Pet Square

Cooking, cleaning and using the toilet are, we hope, not the highlights of most people's lives. Why, then, do we find it so fascinating to watch those modern day sea monkeys, the Sims, go about these same insignificant routines?

It all comes down to fundamentals- gameplay and presentation. Ordering a Sim to serve dinner to his family, take out the garbage and then hit the john is so effortless and intuitive that, in the same span of time, you could also specify for him to serve grilled cheese sandwiches, take the trash to the compactor but not the curb and wash his hands in the bathroom but not flush. The Sims 2 isn't a digital dollhouse; it's a digital universe with you as its god.

The universe isn't a sterile one, either. It's bursting with quirky detail and colorful animations. Every object, every interaction and every facial tic is recreated with accuracy but also a skewed sense of humor. Simply watching your Sim cook that grilled cheese sandwich can be a rewarding experience.

Yup, The Sims 2 is a downright fun game... on your PC.Unfortunately, thisis a review of The Sims 2 Pets on PS2, a combination of the original console Sims 2 and some elements from the latest PC expansion pack, Pets. Here, both the gameplay and presentation are so cut down and mangled from the source edition that there might as well be a neutered puppy pictured on the box.

On the PS2, sending your Sim to the toilet actually is tedious. You must take control of him yourself, running through doors and around corners in what feels like the most uneventful action game ever, to finally get within range of the commode... where you scroll through a menu and click "Use." If you want to have him do something else afterwards, you're going to have to wait for him to finish his business and then guide him all over again. On the PC, this stuff could be taken care of in two clicks - two! - and you'd be on to planning the next task.

To be fair, the game does enable you to play in Classic Mode, which attempts to recreate the feel of a mouse. As you might guess, that attempt is sluggish, unresponsive and unsuccessful.

More Info

GenreStrategy
DescriptionEA's cat and dog-training simulator will be running on Nintendo's motion-sensing hardware.
PlatformWii, PC, PS2, GameCube, PSP, DS
US censor ratingTeen
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 20 October 2006 (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!
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