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The Backlash Begins...?
The first of Matthew Eastaugh''s irregular columns…
Hello there. Welcome to TheSimsFusion, here at the wonderful network that is GamingFusion.com. Sorry about the delays we''ve been having, but, y''know. Technical stuff. We''re here now, and that''s all that matters. I''m Matthew Eastaugh, the second in command around here. The easy way to tell me apart from the other Matthew (Mr. Sutton, the head bloke) is that I don''t use exclamation marks quite as much.

So then, what''s this all about? Well, I''ve decided to write a little column to give you all something to read. It''ll probably end up being a bit irregular and rubbish, but hey! That''s what I''m like. On to this week''s topic then..

It appears the backlash has begun. After topping the charts for the past few months, a few people have popped out of the woodwork and begun insulting our beloved ''Sims''. Here''s a few examples of what they''ve been saying, taken from the latest issue of PC Zone magazine..

''Upon playing the game, I discovered it was incredibly dull and repetitive. The AI is also not very good.''
''The Sims has to be the most anal game ever. What can we expect to top the charts next - Virtual Creosote Fence Painting?''
''The game is tedious beyond belief. No other game has bored me so quickly or intensely. Perhaps creating new genres should be secondary to providing some actual gameplay.''

Fairly strong words, really. Anyone reading that would think that The Sims was useless, and not worth the plastic it was burnt on.. but hang on. Both an expansion pack for the game and a full-blown sequel in the works. I''d guess that someone likes the game, then. Us at this site, for instance. I''d also guess that we''re not alone. Well, I hope so, otherwise we''re not going to be getting many readers here.

Some hate The Sims, some love it. There appears to be very little middle ground. So how come the game divides opinion so much? In a recent interview, Will Wright (the designer of the game) said this..

''The Sims is like a weird mirror. Two out of ten people find the game incredibly boring, another two think it''s okay, and the other six love it. It has a lot to do with how much people allow the game to reflect their own lives, and how much imagination they''re willing to put in. Some just sit there thinking ''There''s no cool cutscene here, what am I supposed to do?'' It''s interesting just how diverse the reaction can be.''

So basically, The Sims isn''t a game for those without an imagination. Some people look at the game wrong, expecting instant gratification for their money. That doesn''t apply here, and nor does it apply to the majority of strategy games. Those who enjoy it most are those who spend the most time with it, producing and downloading addons, recreating themselves in the game, or toying with different house designs. Those who want to merely spend their time finding new ways to torture and kill their Sims, aren''t going to end up liking it much in the long run.

Out of the last three months or so, The Sims has only been off the number one spot in the UK charts for one week. It''s been a great success, with a huge fanbase already producing addons by the bucket load - just like with games such as Quake, actually. New furniture, skins, scenarios, houses and objects can be found all over the internet, produced by fanatics to add more to the games. There appears to be a huge amount of people who like the game out there.. and to some it''s almost like a religion.

So, for those people who write into magazines saying how bad the game is, may I suggest you try something a bit more ''to the point''. Something like the latest overhyped first person shooter - Quake III or Unreal Tournament maybe. Perhaps you might even find some small amount of enjoyment with Daikatana. On the otherhand, perhaps not. That''d be impossible, actually.

Written at 00:20 on Friday 16 June 2000 by Matthew.

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