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Lots in the Community
Introduction
We've seen Giselle evolve from just a lusty thought in Doug & Anne's eyes to becoming a teenager. However, she is not happy with the default clothing she has been issued and wants to buy some new clothes.

The only place to buy clothes is on a community lot.
Giselle's Trip Out
At the end of the last episode, we found that Giselle was turning into a close likeness to her mother and Giselle was unhappy with her hairstyle and default appearance.

Before she went out, she changed her looks in front of the mirror. She then picked up the telephone and ordered a taxi.
She had the choice to meet a friend there or take some of her family with her. On this occasion, she chose to go alone. Before long, a bright yellow people carrier turned up.

She was a bit hungry so she went to Tantrum Arcade first, which had a snack bar for hungry patrons. The choice of food was limited to burgers or hot dogs and she had to make her own. Being a clean girl, she also chose to clean up after herself. While she was there, she had a dance with some of her friends and hosted a game of Myshuno.

Regras Park had a clothing store so she chose to go there next. She called another taxi which came and took her straight there.
As she didn't like the default teen clothing, she bought a bright red top promoting the simrock band "Vixen" (Ed: One of my bodyshop creations) and a dark skirt.
She would be able to change into the new clothes when she got home. After she'd bought some clothes, she called a taxi to take her home.
The first thing Giselle did when she got home was change into her new outfit and call one of her friends recommending for her to do the same at her first opportunity and proposing that they meet there tomorrow after school.
Lots in the Community
community lot is somewhere that provides a service for your sims. Firstly, don't expect your community lots to give you everything. Similar to the community lots that were with the "Unleashed" expansion for "The Sims", they have similar and different features. You cannot sleep on a community lot, nor can you die, nor can you improve your skills.
Shopping
Retail therapy can be good for any sim.

Unless you want your sim to order food from the internet or telephone their local store, going to the community to go buy groceries is also necessary. As ordering from home costs ยง50 and getting a taxi to take you to a community lot is free, the trip can be worth it especially if your family is low on finances.

As TS2 originally only allows people to pick from the dresser or wardrobe what came as default, buying new clothes is necessary and going to the neighbourhood stores is the only way to change what they have. They then have the option to choose what outfit they wish to wear in whatever category that they have bought for.

You can also buy new games for your console or PC and magazines to help you learn different interests. The latter is a feature that has followed on from "Hot Date" for TS1.

Otherwise, that's about it.
Dining
If you were expecting a neighborhood coffee shop or bar to pop into, you can forget it. Dining is limited to barbecues.

Food doesn't cost, which is a plus but it is very limiting. All in all, I found this to be VERY disappointing. Perhaps I have been spoilt for choice from all of the expansions for TS1 but as the first proper "community" lots in TS1 did provide a capuccino stall, a coffee shop would have been somewhere for our sims to hang out.
Recreation
Community swimming pools, flower gardens, parks, galleries and amusement arcades are some of the options available. Pre-release of TS2, I was hoping to build a pool hall and bar as a meeting point for my adults, but that is not an option. With indications of what is coming in a future expansion, this might come to pass. I'll wait and see.
With pool tables missing from TS2, you are limited to playing darts or on pinball machines. As one pinball machine looks very much like the other, there isn't much choice. You can't even vary the colours. You can, however, have Myshuno, which plays a bit like Bingo and is very popular.
Things can only get better
... or they can't. As it stands, what has been described above shows the basic limits to what you can and cannot do in community areas. However, when the first expansion pack "University" is released very soon, it promises coffee shops and existing screenshots already show a pool table. Information received says that these will be available in the community lots also.
Conclusion
For those of us who have come into TS2 from TS(1) with many or all of the expansion packs, we have been spoilt for choice with what is available in community lots and hence my criticism of the limits of what we can do in community areas. I am sure that as time goes by, the same will happen again and the community lots will be richer places to be, but as things stand, we have to accept the limitations of what there is for now and personally, I wish there had been a bit more.
Written at 02:43 on Wednesday 29 September 2004 by Andy.

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