The Sims Trailer
Enjoy the trailer for the game now considered a classic masterpiece!
There has never been a better time to buy the game everyone is talking about. The Sims Deluxe combines into one premium edition the most popular PC game of all time, The Sims, as well as the top-selling Sims expansion pack, The Sims Livin' Large, and a host of all-new exclusive features and content.
Enjoy the trailer for the game now considered a classic masterpiece!
Watch the introductory cutscene to the very first Sims game.
High quality gameplay footage of a day in the life on a Sim.
It's been almost three years since the original The Sims was released, three years of almost unopposed chart domination by this most unlikely of hits. But five expansion packs later, it's clear we were right about the game's lasting appeal, as it's one of the few games which really deserves a perfect ten out of ten in that category.
And The Sims juggernaut rolls on. The original game no longer tops the PC charts, but that's because it's been replaced with this version, The Sims Deluxe, which we're reviewing today. Just make sure you realize that The Sims Deluxe isn't a new game. It's not a sequel, it's not even an expansion pack. Instead it's the original game, bundled together with the first expansion pack (Living Large, called Living it Up in the UK), with a few new extras thrown in. These extras consist of some skins, some new wallpapers and floors, a handful of new objects, and a utility for making custom Sims called Sims Creator.
So in that respect, there's not really that much to review here. The original game, The Sims, is basically the same here as it was back then. The game itself certainly deserves the high marks it received in our original review and there's little to add to that now. And as far as the inclusion of Living Large goes, that's probably a good thing, because it is easily the weakest of the expansion packs, offering little more than new objects and new skins, whereas later packs all added significant new game elements, from pets to vacations to downtown shopping malls.
So about all there is to cover are the new additions. What can I say about the Roman and Sci-Fi themes? I found these to be slightly lacking, consisting mostly of some new beds and other objects, a few skins, columns, and wallpapers, that can help give your house a different look. And while the quality is very high, as usually is the case for Maxis objects, they often fall back on that old technique of making slight color variations with the different wallpapers to increase the amount of "new" material available. These themes just aren't complete enough to completely makeover your Sims world -- Sci-Fi for example has some space-age looking chairs and beds, but your Sim Trekkers will still have to use 20th Century appliances for the most part.
Probably the most interesting thing in the package is the Sims Creator, which offers a fairly easy way for Sims newbies to create new skins and use photographs of themselves in the game. The program is slow and clunky though, and if you have lots of skins, scrolling through them is a painful process.
For the most part, everything that can be done in Sims Creator can be done with various third party tools as well, whether we're talking about something as simple as using PaintShop Pro or PhotoShop to create your own skins or going all out and using 3D mesh editors to make your own heads and body models. So in this respect, I found the Sims Creator to be a bit underwhelming, because if you know what you're doing you're going to get better results doing it on your own. On the other hand, I can see where this would be a useful tool for someone's who not very experienced with computers, who doesn't understand file organization, and who doesn't have a decent art program but is just stuck with MS Paint. I also like the 3D preview of The Sim you get to see in Sims Creator, it's a view with more detail and sharpness than you'll ever find in the game. The photo importer is pretty nifty too.
All in all though, there isn't enough here to justify picking it up if you already own The Sims and all the other expansion packs. On the other hand, if you're new to the world of Sims or buying the game for someone else this Christmas, Deluxe is a nice upgrade over the original offering, definitely the way to go.
So if you are shopping for The Sims this Christmas, remember that the game is very picky about what order you install the expansion packs in -- basically, if you buy a later one, install it, then buy an earlier one, you may in some cases have to go back and completely reinstall the game. And you don't want to do that. So here's the current order of all of The Sims releases.
[The Sims and Expansions - Install FAQ] Created By: Matt - a.k.a Croft237 --------------------- INTRO --------------------- The one thing people have trouble with The Sims most, is installing items, EPs, etc. into the game. So hopefully this new guide will help you through some of that process. It's really not that difficult. It can just eat up a lot of your time. -------------------------------- EPs (EXPANSION PACKS) -------------------------------- As you may or may not know, you can buy what's called an "expansion pack" for the original Sims game that allows you to add more exciting features like, pets (unleashed), downtown lots (hot date), and have parties like it's 1999 (house party). I'm sure a lot of you have heard or seen these "expansion packs" in stores. The newest being Makin' Magic Since you HAVE to have the original Sims game for the EPs to function, you also really need to buy them IN ORDER if you're going to get the expansions. If not, installing them out of order may cause damage to your game (check the manual about it for more information). Now it's alright to buy whichever you want, just make sure you install them in the order that they came out. Here's the complete list. The Sims - I think we all know what this ones about... The Sims: Living Large (Living it Up) - Adds new functions, objects, interactions with The Sims, more jobs and plenty of new action to the game. The Sims: House Party - Adds mostly objects and skins with some new interactions to host a party theme at your Sims home. The Sims: Hot Date - Adds and entirely new section to The Sims...Downtown! Why stay at home when you can go out? The Sims: Vacation (On Holiday) - Want to get away from work? Then just go on vacation, this one mostly brings objects and interactions for going on a vacation. You can visit an assortment of different types of places (mountains, camps, beaches, etc.) The Sims: Unleashed - Adds a surprising new addition to the game. Pets! Also adds some new interactions and objects to the game, like working a garden. There's also a completely new neighborhood/downtown setup to your neighborhoods. The Sims: Superstar - You can be come a famous superstar! This expansion lets you actually have a "job" that you can go and work at. Go to the new studio town and build up your status by taking up singing, or telling jokes in a comedy club. Then go home and practice your lines for being a sitcom actor on the side. The Sims: Makin' Magic - Why watch Harry Potter when you can join in on the fun? With this expansion it's all about becoming the neighborhood witch or wizard. This adds many new interactions, and fun situations to The Sims game. Here's an example of what to do if you bought living large, and Makin' Magic only. Since you already have the original game installed (if not, reinstall it FIRST). Then you need to install living large next. Why? Living Large was the first expansion in the series to come out. If you were to install it out of order, than some of the interactions and objects from a later expansion might cause your game to have severe problems. Afterwards since Makin' Magic is the last expansion to come out, you need to install it LAST. If you decided to buy the House Party expansion pack later, then you would have to uninstall ALL the games and reinstall them in order so that they run properly. So then you would install them in this order. The Sims, The Sims: LL, The Sims: HP, The Sims: VC, The Sims: UL, and lastly The Sims: MM. If you plan to get them all eventually anyway, it's better to buy them in order than to pick favorites. It'll save you the pain of having to reinstall them all every time you buy an older expansion first. (If you're having problems installing the game or any of its expansions, see the troubleshooting section of this guide.) --------------------------------------- DOWNLOADING FROM THE NET ---------------------------------------- This aspect of the game is by far the best. You can download just about anything for your game, whether it being a skin, wall, floor, house, or object. If you're getting bored with the game, then this is the way to go. You can find some of the most interesting objects on the net for your game, including ones that do new things. Here are some sites to get your started. http://www.7deadlysims.com http://www.8thdeadlysim.com http://www.trinketsandtreasures.net http://www.thesimsresource.com http://www.secretsims.com http://www.xomtek.com http://www.simulationsims.2ya.com What to look for - Every site you come to, you'll always want to look for one thing, the requirements For instance, at www.7deadlysims.com, every time you click an object a popup will show up for you to download. When it's finished loading, a picture of the object, along with some stats will show. In the middle is a box. If the box is empty then it means that particular object only requires The Sims to run. If the box has an expansion logo in it that means that particular object requires that expansion to run. Not all sites uses logos, but most will have some sort of text or notification telling you which objects require what expansions. If you see no logos or text, that just means that every object on that site, UNLESS NOTED can work with the original Sims game. Now that you know what to look for, let's get down to the ACTUAL downloading and installing. You'll need a program called WinZip to extract all the Sims files you download, please head over to. www.winzip.com and download the program. Once you've downloaded WinZip and installed the software, all you have to do is click the zip files you downloaded. When you get the zip open make sure you read the "read me" file that looks like a little notepad first. The read-me file is very important, as it'll explain where to put the files you need to use in the game. Once you've found out where to put the files, simply highlight, and right click the file and press the "extract to" button. Find the folder the read-me file told you to install it to, and press the "extract" button. Easy, isn't it? Now close WinZip and delete the zip file you downloaded, don't worry, you don't need it anymore. Here's a list of folders to put the type of downloads into. FOR OBJECTS - C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsGamedataObjects - OR - C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsGamedataUserObjects *NOTE* There are two differences between the USER objects folder and the regular objects folder. Regular Objects Folder - If you put your objects here you can organize your downloads into different folders. After downloading a few hundred objects you'll really want to do this when you have to find a particular something in the game. Instead of doing it by what TYPE of object they are, I organize them by site. That way I can always remember where I got them from if I need to ask any questions, or I have problems with downloads. User Objects Folder - For some odd reason you're not allowed to make sub folders in here. So you can't organize your objects. That's the bad side. The good side is, is that this folder is SAFER download wise. Since objects are "cloned" from original objects that maxis made, some ID numbers might have accidentally been set as the same as a number already in your game, either by maxis or another fan-site. Somehow this folder prevents that object from causing any mix-ups if there is a problem with the ID number. Although the User objects folder may be safer, I've used the regular folder ever since I bought my game when it first came out. I've never had any problems with them. Although, since I've only downloaded a total of around 1500 objects if you plan to go any higher then it might be safer to actually use the other. The more objects you have, the higher the chance you'll get of an ID number being the same as another one on a site you downloaded. FOR SKINS - C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsGamedataSkins FOR WALLS - C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsGamedataWalls FOR FLOORS - C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsGamedataFloors ------------------------------------------ TROUBLESHOOTING DOWNLOADS ------------------------------------------ If your game or expansion(s) aren't installing at all, they might need what's called a "patch." Patches are simply fixes for your game to fix corrupt or bad files. To fix the problem you can head over to www.thesims.com and find some of the patches for the separate expansions in the "get cool section" of the site. Please take your time, and read carefully. From time to time, you may encounter a problem with your game, which is caused by a bad skin, object, wall, floor or other texture file. This can cause your game to crash, or make some of the elements in the game appear odd. This program can simply be addressed by heading over to www.thesims.com and downloading a program called "Sims File Cop" in the get cool stuff section. This program will find all your bad files a.k.a textures and quarantine them to a folder for you. *NOTE* File Cop DOES NOT find or remove bad object files (although it may pickup bad object textures), downtown lots or house files. If you've downloaded a recent object or house file that's causing trouble, simply go back to the last one you've downloaded and delete it from one of your maxis folders. If the game continues to crash even after you've run file cop and deleted the last few things you've downloaded, simply just reinstall your game(s). If you're still having problems you can check the maxis support page here - http://thesims.ea.com/us/support/index.html --------------------------------------------- INSTALLING MUSIC INTO THE GAME --------------------------------------------- If you're getting tired of frequently listening to that awful lounge music, or you just want something new other than the in game stereo then maybe it's time for a change. First find the MP3 music file on your computer, once you've gathered a song or two just right click and copy, or create a shortcut. Now simply go into your maxis folder where I've directed (see below), and paste your copy or shortcut into the different types of radio station folders. *NOTE* it's really not a good idea to put more than 3 or 4 songs into the game. If you put too many it can cause your game to crash or run REALLY slow. C:Program FilesMaxisThe SimsMusicStations.... Now just load up your game, and have a Sim turn on the station where you put your music in, and voila! You're all done. Now you can listen to your favorite music on your stereo. ------------------- FINIS~ ------------------- Now that you've installed your new expansion, added some new objects/skins/walls/floors and put your favorite music in the game, it's time to actually STOP reading the FAQ and play your game. Have some fun and don't forget to stop playing for awhile and visit the boards too. :) This game is TOO addicting, it's like crack but worse.