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News Archive - January, 2003
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Wednesday 1 January 2003
Unleashed (Mac) Released
Written at 11:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
A few days ago, just before the end of last year, Aspyr has released the Unleashed expansion pack for the Macintosh. For reviews of the game, please check out our review index. Our own review is still to come very soon, it's been delayed because Andy was busy with Sim Brother and a lot of other things since the game has been released. You will hear about that soon enough..The Macintosh system specifications are:
  • MacOS 9.2.2 or Mac OS X version 10.1 or later
  • G3 processor at 233 MHz or faster (450 MHz recommended)
  • 192 MB of built-in RAM (additional 128M recommended if running OSX)
  • 2 MB VRAM (8 MB recommended)
  • 750 MB of additional hard drive space
  • Quicktime 4.1.2 or later

    More information is available here at Aspyr.
  • PC Zone The Sims Feature
    Written at 22:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    PC Zone UK has written a 3-page feature about The Sims. The feature starts with the initial plans, which were to cancel the game. They also talk about the joy they had during the development, they laughed a lot. For instance when pets started doing 'human' actions like making dinner - floating in the air. The story continues with the history of the expansion packs which were released so far (and another one might be coming up), and the difference in the reviews written in the US and the UK. To read the whole feature, or see its screenshots, go here. You have to register (for free) at PC Zone to read the article.

    Thursday 2 January 2003
    New poll
    Written at 01:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last week we didn't add a new poll because of christmas, which is why last week's poll ended up taking two weeks. This week there is a new poll again though, and this time it's about last week. Have your Sims celebrated Christmas? Tell us, by voting on the right, or on this page. And for the last poll's results: most sims go to bed between 9pm and 12am - 76 of 145 votes (50.34%) were for that. With less than half as many votes (35, 24.14%), the option "Between 6pm and 9pm" came second. The other results:
  • They stay up late, so some time between 12am and 6am - 17.93% (26)
  • My sims have night-time jobs... They go to bed in the morning (6am to 12pm) - 3.45% (5)
  • Right after work! (12pm-4pm) - 2.76% (4)
  • Usually anywhere between 4pm and 6pm - 1.38% (3)

    More (and older) polls are in the poll archive.
  • 1,000,000 visitors!!
    Written at 20:11 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
    The Sims Zone now exists for more than a year. We've been counting our visitors since 2 February 2002, and had a few milestones since. A mention at the frontpage of the official site gave us a lot of visitors in April. Not long after that, in June, we reached our 500,000 visitors milestone, and now we're starting the year the right way with having reached 1,000,000 unique visitors within one year time. We are proud of that, and of course we couldn't have done it without you. We're now going for the multi-millions, and to do that we will keep providing you with what you've seen here so far. We have a few things which are in development stages at this moment, which you will see here sooner or later this year. Stay tuned to this channel for all that...
    The Sims on GameCube and X-Box
    Written at 21:52 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Rumours are going that The Sims will be seen on Nintendo's GameCube and Microsoft's X-Box. You can see so by checking out this page at ESRB, the US games rating board. There's a 'The Sims' in the list of titles, which is for the PlayStation 2 (that version will be released within 2 weeks), the GameCube and the X-Box. Also, a slightly older news post at GamerWeb says that "EA's Jeff Brown hinted that we could see The Sims on Xbox, saying, 'I can't say specifically what they are, but one would infer that Madden and some of the big hits on the sports side will certainly be in the early lineup. And we're looking at Bond, Potter, and The Sims as well.'". These console versions will probably be quite like the PS2 version: 3D and a storyline. Keep an eye on TheSimsConsole.com for possible more information in the future. We'll keep you updated here too.

    Friday 3 January 2003
    January Donation Files
    Written at 01:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The first part of the donation files for January 2003 have been added. There are 9 new files from Sumit and Jen. You are only able to download those if you donate money to The Sims Zone. Also remember our special offer which only goes until the end of this month:

    Donate now, and receive the files of this month and those of December 2002 without extra fee!

    So donate and get those great files! You won't help just The Sims Zone with it (although we really need the money!), but also the RGA! Those who donated last month should've gotten an e-mail with the new username and password for these files already.
    The Sims Superstar: more confirmation
    Written at 16:43 by ChEeTaH - 3 comments.
    In a German magazine, GameStar, there's a 'nice' piece of information from Will Wright. His new year's resolution is to release a seventh expansion pack (that's including Deluxe probably) for The Sims:
    "Nach Die Sims Online wollen wir im neuen Jahr etwas vollig Neues machen. Mir schwebt ein siebtes Addon fr Die Sims vor. Oder ganz anderes: Die Sums, ber das Leben in einem Bienenstock. Oder die Sams: Wesen mit Punkten im Gesicht erfllen Wnsche. Wie? Das gibts schon?"
    (Quote taken from SimsZone.de - thank you. If the full post is not show, click "Read More" to see the translation of this quote)
    Read More!

    Saturday 4 January 2003
    Maxis Lineup
    Written at 01:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Maxis is going to release quite some games between now and the end of year or next year. It's quite a lineup, and here's a list of games we can expect:
  • The Sims for PlayStation 2 - GOLD - 14 January 2003
  • SimCity 4 - GOLD - 14 January 2003
  • The Sims Online Europe - In Development/testing - January to March 2003
  • The Sims Superstar (Expansion) - In development - 2nd Quarter 2003
  • The Sims 2 - Unknown, probably in development - I think 4th Quarter 2003, but don't be sure about that
  • The Sims on GameCube and X-Box - In development - 2nd or 3rd Quarter 2003 probably, unconfirmed
  • SimCity Online - Unknown, could be in development - Late 2003 or 2004

    Only the first three games are definite, the fourth one (Superstar) is most likely true. The rest are only guesses at this moment. In a SimCity 4 chat it was said that Maxis will announce all their upcoming games between now and the E3 (which will be late May). At the E3 we will probably be able to watch The Sims 2 and The Sims on GameCube/X-box. Information about SimCity Online is only very vague, and it's not even sure if that will ever come.
  • 5000 TSO New Year's Eve parties
    Written at 01:16 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    At EA.com we can find a press release about The Sims Online. Not so very interesting on itself, but the information in it is something different than the usual 'EA Ships game' or 'Game goes gold' this time. Instead, it tells us that the TSO players held over 5,000 parties on new year's eve! A grand total of over a half million kisses were given during that one night:
    "'As our virtual party goers across the country can attest, The Sims Online was one of the most happening places to socialize and celebrate this New Year's Eve,' said Luc Barthalet, General Manager of EA's Maxis Studio, 'This online celebration marks the first of many fantastic events in this unique and dynamic Internet world.'"
    Quite amazing, considering The Sims Online is not selling as well as expected. In fact, Unleashed, Deluxe and Vacation are outselling TSO according to the NPD sales charts (see GameSpot). It sure was a hot place to be though...

    Monday 6 January 2003
    The Sims on GameCube/XBox: Q1 2003
    Written at 22:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims on GameCube and X-Box is definately coming. A dutch X-box xiste, Xboxworld.nl got this confirmation from EA Benelux (Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg). They also got a release date: 27 March 2003. That means it will still be the first quarter of this year. This is probably the European release date, which would mean that the US would be getting it about a week earlier. If 27 March is the US release, then Europeans will be able to get 3 or 4 April probably. You can find more information about the console version of The Sims at TheSimsConsole.com.

    Tuesday 7 January 2003
    The TSZ Review of TSDLE
    Written at 00:34 by Andy - 1 comment.

    It is now time to find out what we have to say about The Sims: De Luxe Edition. Is it a "must buy" or a "must boycott"?

    Read this and decide for yourself!
    Another TSO Review
    Written at 00:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    GameZone.com has posted a review of The Sims Online, and it's a good one. To be quick about, here's a quote:
    "The Sims Online is an amazing cross-section of people. It allows them to throw away some inhibitions and act out in ways they likely would not do in real life. This is not a game for younger children to play regardless of the parental lock. This is an adult game and some not the majority of social settings are geared for adults.

    "It can be routine, and you will likely run into the same people asking and talking about the same things, over and over. If the idea of chat rooms appeals to you, if the idea of stepping outside yourself and trying on a different life and face (even a polar bears head) is something you would enjoy, this could well be the game for you."
    The final score is a 7.3. The review is good and mentions some criticism. You can read the review here. For more reviews of The Sims Online, visit our review index.
    More TSO reviews
    Written at 22:48 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There are two more reviews of The Sims Online, the online version of The Sims that may flop if Maxis and EA aren't careful... First of all, there's GameSpot, which has added 16 new screenshots (still free) and a video review for GameSpot Complete members. The review isn't too positive: it criticises the limits that the game has at this point. There was also a mention of lag, even on broadband, but performance has been improved since the release. To read it, click here. They gave TSO a 6.7 - at the time or writing 334 readers gave the game a 5.6. The other review is much more positive...
    Read More!

    The 100 most wanted: TSO on 20, SimCity 4th
    Written at 23:59 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    IGN.com has posted a list of the 100 most wanted games at 3 January 2003. The checked the wishlists of released and unreleased games from the IGN readers, and made lists for each platform. The wishlists were made by readers of IGN using the free wishlist functionality at users.ign.com. Titles from Maxis occur in the lists quite a few times:

    4: SimCity 4
    20: The Sims Online
    55: The Sims Unleashed
    57: The Sims Deluxe
    81: The Sims: Vacation
    91: The Sims: Hot Date
    (Full list)

    PlayStation 2:
    47: The Sims
    (Full list)

    Wednesday 8 January 2003
    The Sims for Linux + T-Shirt offer
    Written at 22:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    For those who have Linux, TransGaming has an interesting offer. Although this news is quite late (it's a special holidays offer), it still seems to be there. You can buy The Sims - separately from the Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition for the first time. With that, you'll also get a nice TransGaming T-shirt. Note that this only is for the original version of the game, and you need Linux for it to run (it will NOT run on Windows or Macintosh!). Go to this page to order the pack, it costs $34.99. From this page you can also order the Mandrake Linux Gaming Edition which includes The Sims too, as well as other things. Note that the Linux pack is not for those who are relatively new to computers. It's also just a limited time offer, so you have to decide quickly.

    Thursday 9 January 2003
    New poll again
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    We've added another new poll that we want you to participate in: we want to know how long one session of playing The Sims takes. Do you play just a few minutes a time, or can you spend more than 6 hours in one go playing the game? Let us know, by voting on the right or on this page. Last week's poll had a somewhat surprising result: over 50% of your Sims didn't celebrate christmas. 51.46% (53) of the 103 people who voted said not to have played The Sims during Christmas. 13.59% (14 votes) of the sims didn't even deserve a Christmas celebration, according to their 'gods'. The same amount of Sims had a full celebration though, with cookies, a christmas tree, a fireplace and Santa of course. 12 Players (11.65%) told us that some families celebrated the holidays, but not all of them. The other two results finished together, with 5 votes each (4.85%): "They just got a big dinner or a turkey..." and "Only one family did". Another new poll will be up next week... Until then, there's the new poll mentioned at the start of this post. You can visit the poll archive here.
    New TSO features announced
    Written at 01:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims Online is out for about two weeks now, and EA has announced some new things that will be seen very soon. Players can expect several new objects, including a "Band object" for the musical groups of sims, or a set of casino objects for those who want to relax a bit. It will also be possible to trade objects with other players, so you can earn an extra bit of money. The other thing that's coming soon is the possibility of creating custom objects. Rumours go that these objects will have to be confirmed and validated by Maxis before they're allowed to be put in the game. However, the press release doesn't mention that... The press release, which also has 3 short stories of the latest happenings in TSO in it, can be found at this page at EA Games.
    SuperStar Fake after all?
    Written at 02:09 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Despite earlier rumours which appeared to be true about The Sims Superstar, a new expansion pack for The Sims, it now seems to be false again. We first reported about it in December, telling a site in New Zealand had the product up as pre-order. However, the page now shows nothing related to The Sims or any possible add-on anymore. Also, Maxis has contacted our affiliate SimGateway to remove posts regarding SuperStar. Another Australian site is still showing it as pre-order, but that may be removed soon. That only leaves the question what 7th expansion pack Will Wright was talking about in a German magazine - unless that was meant ironically, like the Sums and the Sams. This makes it all quite unlikely again that The Sims Superstar will ever be seen again, but we never know. If this expansion pack isn't coming, then we might even get to see The Sims 2 in the shops by the second quarter of this year - they won't have to keep it (approximately) 6 months away from SuperStar then. However, as they will probably show it on the E3, it will be late May or else probably after the summer before The Sims 2 will actually be released. But then again, it could also become 2004... Maxis knows, we don't...
    SimDay: One more TSO review
    Written at 19:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This week's SimDay, the first after Maxis' holidays, brings only one new item, a review at TechTV.com. All the other items have been posted about before. That's why we're going to skip the news about the new official UK site, the massive amount of New Year's Eve parties, and the announcement of new TSO features that we'll see soon. Now the review:
    "Also, if you do not already have one, you must register an account with EA.com. (AOL subscribers will have the option to use their current account information.) The only hurdle left to clear is choosing a payment option. You can charge the $9.95 monthly fee or buy pre-paid subscription cards. If you were to purchase the game now and have a fast Internet connection, you could make it through all of these steps in around 15 minutes and be ready to start the game."
    TechTV rates it 4 of 5 stars, which is pretty good. There's a nice headline at the page too: "Watch tomorrow at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday 1/11 at 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern." Check out TechTV at those times for, I guess, more about The Sims Online. Click here for the full review, or here for our review index.
    Probably no expansions for Linux
    Written at 19:51 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    After finding out about the offer to get The Sims for Linux together with a TransGaming T-shirt, I contacted TransGaming asking info about possible expansion packs for Linux. The answer is, unfortunately, that that won't come. I got this from TransGaming:
    "We are considering getting The Sims Expansion packs runnning with WineX but currently do not have the resources to put towards such a product. It was brought up in our voting section in previous polls and our subscribers have voted it very low."
    In that poll, 819 people voted and the rating was -321 in total. That may sound confusing, but this page might clear things up a bit. The poll was held in November 2002, and is closed now. If there will ever be expansions on Linux, then they probably won't come before The Sims 2 is out. Also note that the regular expansion packs for Windows will not work on Linux, neither will The Sims Online.

    Friday 10 January 2003
    New Wall Lights
    Written at 00:40 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    Sims cheer with joy as a new Wall Light Set has been added to their favorite store! Which one? Well The Sims Zone one of course! These beauties change the look of that hideous Aqua Blue Wall Light and now comes in soothing Yellow, Orange-Red, True Blue, and Purple. Because of this grand event their is a Golden Globe Wall Light as a bonus.

    Check it all out here.
    New Downtown Area and Windows
    Written at 09:59 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    For your sims cultural enhancement, I've added an Art Gallery for Lot 22. Also, I added the Downtown Windows Pack that I made for the gallery. The window pack includes four matching plateglass windows that I thought would be good for that "wall of glass" feel in downtown areas. Note: be careful about taking sims that are already bored to the art gallery - lol - it wasn't exactly designed for fast-paced entertainment. You may want to let them go dancing or to the pub afterward.

    Check them both out under my section here: Jendea


    Monday 13 January 2003
    Gaming Nexus reviews TSO
    Written at 22:46 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Another TSO review has been written, this time at Gaming Nexus. Although the game gets a final score of 8.3, the reviewer is not too happy about TSO at some points. For instance the graphics:
    "Im a little disturbed by the graphics as the majority of the visuals appear to be recycled from previous Sims titles. A graphical update is long overdue and with the upcoming release of the Sims PS2 I think were all aware of what the Maxis graphics designers are capable of. Edges are sharp, textures are blurry and the entire game as a whole looks completely dated. The animations in particular are pretty lackadaisical."
    The review consists of a description of the game on the first 2 pages, where the installation in talked about a bit, and from the start of the game it goes to describing setting up a business. The complaining starts with how career-focused the game is, there is not enough in it to stimulate interactions with other Sims. Gaming Nexus concludes with saying the game seems to be incomplete yet, and that it's better to wait until most promised features have been put in the game. The whole review is 4 pages long and can be found at this page. For a list of other reviews, visit our review index.

    Tuesday 14 January 2003
    IGN Update: Nominees and TSO review
    Written at 23:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    IGN PChas had a few updates recently, with several nice things. First of all, Vacation and Unleashed are nominated for the best expansion pack of 2002, according to their readers. Also, The Sims Online is nominated for best persistent world game - games that simulate real-life - of 2002. You can e-mail IGN to submit your vote if you want any other game than the nominated ones to win. Otherwise just participate in their poll to tell what game you like the most. Also, IGN put up a list of the 50 most wanted (and to-be-released) titles of 2003 (on all platforms), made using their free feature: the wish-list. SimCity 4 is in this list at number 30. Other Maxis games are not in this list, as there are no others announced already that are yet to be released... And The Sims on PS2 just didn't make it. The nominees for the awards awards for the best games on PS2 aren't available yet. Finally, there's a TSO review....
    Read More!

    Thursday 16 January 2003
    TSO Review... again
    Written at 00:31 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The gaming site GamePro has reviewed The Sims Online. It's just a small review, with no real interesting quotes. It's mostly a description of the game, with the sidenote that "it's almost not a game". Read it for yourself, over here or in our review index.
    Lots of die-hard The Sims fans
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There are a lot of die-hard fans of The Sims. We can conclude that from our previous poll. The question was how long your sessions of playing The Sims take. Absolutely nobody said they play just a few minutes before stopping again. Only 8 people (5.63%) voted they play between 30 and 60 minutes per session. Quite a lot of fans play between 1 and 2 hours in a go: 40 votes, which is 28.17% of the 143 votes. By far the most, with 48 votes (33.80%) comes the time between 2 and 4 hours. A bit less again is a play time of 4 to 6 hours, with 18 votes (12.68%). And the final result is quite a surprise: nearly 20% (28 votes) plays the game for more than 6 hours without turning it off.

    The new poll is about your download behaviour: do you download a lot, or don't you download files for The Sims at all. As always you can let us know by voting on the right, or by going to our latest poll page. For all our older polls, visit the archive.
    The Sims PS2: Released and 3 reviews
    Written at 01:05 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The Sims on PlayStation 2 has been released yesterday (officially), and already 3 reviews have popped up. All three reviews describe the game's features, like the story-based game mode, and the two-player mode. GamePro says the sound is stunning, and that you'll think you understand that Simlish talk after 30 minutes of playing. With a 5 out of 5, they find it a great game. GameSpot however, notes that the sounds are taken straight from the PC version of the game, as well as SimGolf. They also note that the game might be a bit too familiar if you played it on the PC already. Perhaps it's better to wait for The Sims 2 there - rumours go that that'll be released in March already, although that sounds awfully early. With a 7.9 it's a "good" game, and recommended to PS2 owners. The comments from IGN about the sound are positive too: "These little creatures speak the most inane, jumbled messed up gobbledygook you have ever heard. It's darn right wrong, and sadly, strangely, it's charming too". They're also quite positive about the graphics and the controlling interface. However, they say The Sims is not a game you'd buy for the graphics. All reviews also added some new screenshots to their databases, which you can find through their reviews.

    We've created another review index for this game, and you can find it right here. The Sims will be released in Europe in February, which means you'll still have to wait a while if you live there. Until then, have fun reading those reviews.
    A Sims's Best Friend or Unwanted Pet?
    Written at 01:30 by Andy - 0 comments.

    Still haven't made your mind up about whether to buy this expansion or not?

    Find out what we have to say!
    SimDay: SC4, TSPS2, TSO and an object
    Written at 22:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    A new SimDay on the official site, and it's not a very great one. First of all, there are the press releases for the releases of The Sims (PS2) and SimCity 4. Also, the objects from the SimDay before christmas have been updated and international versions are now available. You can download those now from Get Cool Stuff. And finally, there's a review of The Sims Online, the game that was released a few days ago, at Yahoo!:
    "You never have to worry if the guy you're talking to is a closet rapist, or worse. You are not allowed to steal, even if you're playing the role of a thief. If someone is being annoying, you can instruct the game to ignore them. If they persist, the owner of the house can banish them with a few clicks of a mouse. In extreme cases, you can complain to the game's developers and the offenders will be banished. Punishment is swift, unequivocal and not debatable."
    The whole review is available here. You can find more TSO reviews in the review index.

    Monday 20 January 2003
    More TSO reviews
    Written at 22:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    There are another two reviews for The Sims Online. The first one is a short one from Gamers.com. It's short, and the game gets a 9 out of 10. To read it, click here. A longer review comes from Game Industry. They tested the game for 1 month, and gave their opinion to us. According to them, it's well-worth the $9.95 per month. But it's not all good too:
    "I saw a lot of the same people online at the circle of places I visited, so it's obvious that Sims fans are having a good time and that the game has staying power. However, I have to say that there were a lot of times when I thought the game was a bit dull. Constantly having to study to improve your skills (they degrade after a time) was annoying. It was not very fun just watching my sim read a book for hours on end, with occasional rests to use the bathroom or eat food. You will spend a lot of your time just standing around fiddling with a guitar or with your nose in a book, especially when you are just starting out."
    Generally, they're positive about the game though, with 4.5 out of 5 gems. Read that review here, or go to our review index for more reviews.

    Tuesday 21 January 2003
    Formal Skins for the Whole Family
    Written at 08:43 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    New formal skins in all three skin types.

    You can check them out under Jendea or under Skins


    Thursday 23 January 2003
    Skinny poll
    Written at 01:10 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Last week we asked you how much you download for The Sims. And here are the results:
  • 41.38% (48 votes): I download more than I play the game
  • 17.24% (20 votes): I don't download too much, just some items every now and then
  • 15.52% (18 votes): I get something new just a few times per week
  • 12.93% (15 votes): I don't know how to get downloads into my game!!
  • 12.07% (14 votes): Just some new stuff every day
  • 0.86% (1 vote): I don't download anything at all, I stick to the original stuff

    For the 12.93% of these people, who don't know how to put downloads into their game, visit our updated FAQ where you can find some ways of installing downloads. This week, we have another poll about downloads, specifically about skins. Let us know what sort of skins you prefer: wacky ones, cartoon heroes, celebrities, relatives of yourself, normal skins or just those that come with the game? Vote on the right, or this page
  • SimDay: nothing much...
    Written at 20:45 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Just a few things this SimDay, but nothing much. First of all, an official site for The Sims has been launched again, this time in Danish. It looks like most other European sites (except the UK one), and is at www.Sims.dk. Furthermore you can take an animated tour through SimCity4. Take a look at the SimCity4 site. Next, the 'Intel Gila Monster' is now available for everybody, also international users. You can download it under Get Cool Stuff at the official site. Finally, there's a new review of The Sims on the PS2 at Game Rankings. And they find the game stunning:
    "Take this example from my Sim's life. I had a guy living with 2 women, involved with one intimately while on the side trying to do the same with the other. When his "mate" found this out she slaps him and their relationship begins to deteriorate. It gets worse when his "mate" sets the kitchen on fire, thus by killing herself accidentally. He then becomes depressed over the loss and still rejected by the other girl in his life thusby refusing to work, shower, eat or even sleep. Needless to say I failed to remove him from this slump and he eventually perished from starvation!"
    With a 10 out of 10 score, they find the game perfect. Read all of it at this page. For more The Sims at PS2 reviews, go to our review index.
    Avault reviews TSO
    Written at 21:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Another review of The Sims Online has appeared. This time it's Avault's turn to take a look at the game:
    "Once created, Sims enter their chosen city and begin virtual life. The first order of business should be finding a place to live. Sims can buy a plot of land and build a house, or find a room to rent and live with another Sim. Starting with a modest $10,000 in cash, the easiest option is to rent a room and scrounge off the benefits of another player. Items purchased, such as beds, TVs, chairs, and other furnishings, belong to the Sim who bought them. Should your roommate decide to decorate your new country villa with tiki lamps and giant statues of soldiers, theres very little you can do about it. While other Sims will have the option of moving things around, pieces of furniture can only be deleted by the owning player. Should a Sim change residence, however, their furnishings will move with them. Building a house, on the other hand, is no easy task and requires a lot of cash. Simply having a house creates the potential for Sims to come and visit, though few will stay if theres nothing to entertain them."
    Read the whole review, which is 3 pages and one page of screenshots long, at this page. More reviews are in our review index.

    Friday 24 January 2003
    New Wall Hangings
    Written at 08:51 by Jendea - 0 comments.
    New wall hangings added today: Two blue/green batik prints. You can see them in my section: Jen or under Paintings.

    Saturday 25 January 2003
    New Objects
    Written at 04:34 by Sumit - 0 comments.
    Goodness gracious after that long addicting episode with Simcity 4, here is something as a treat! One, there is a new dollhouse. Yeah thats right your sims will do all their dollhouse actions for this object! Well anyways its a Castle inspired by ofcourse the Simcity Castle (Simcity Unlimited owners know of this one) :) And lets not forget an elegant lamp ofcourse! After fooling around with some designs well...this came up by accident! And what an accident, it is truly a piece of art and is extremely realistic too (made with REAL textures). Enjoy and have a good weekend!

    Click on Pic to go to Castle or click here to go to the main section.

    Sunday 26 January 2003
    Another TSPS2 Review
    Written at 23:18 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Yes, there's another one. The fifth so far, another review of The Sims for PlayStation2. GameZone has reviewed the game, giving it an 8 out of 10. The start off with describing the first bits of the story-line:
    "Paul has a problem. He lives with his mother, has little money and no skills. He is neat; his mother is a slob. She leaves garbage on the floor. The television is smoking and she incessantly demands that he learn to fix it. Of course, just walking up to the television and tinkering with it is conducive to session of electric shock therapy. Paul will need to skill up, earn points by studying cooking and mechanics."
    They also describe the differences between the PC version and the PS2 version of the game. They don't dig into the game too deep though, but that doesn't mean it isn't a nice read. It's over here. For a list of the other 4 reviews, visit our review index.

    Monday 27 January 2003
    The Sims PS2 at Games Domain
    Written at 23:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The gaming site Games Domain has reviewed The Sims for PS2 too now. Here's what they say about the controlling of your favourite characters:
    "For the most part, the transition from mouse control to gamepad works surprisingly well. Though the gamepad lacks the speed and intuitiveness of the excellent PC interface, it is more than up to the job. The only deficiency comes through in design mode, which makes building houses a serious chore for the detail oriented. For most gamers, this shortcoming can be easily overlooked, but for budding architects that spend considerable time and attention building the perfect home, the frustrating controls can become a real nuisance. Most players, though, will be satisfied moving into pre-built homes and won't find the gamepad interface the least bit limiting."
    Also, one of the cons is that is misses new stuff from the latest expansion packs. They don't really recommend the game to those who have the PC game. In fact, they say it's better to have the PC version rather than the PS2 version, simply because on the PC (and Mac for that matter) you can add a lot of stuff. It's still a good game though, but for the multiplayer mode PC players should probably wait for The Sims 2, which will most likely contain similar features. The whole review is right here, and our review index is here, with a full list of all the reviews of The Sims (PS2) so far.

    Tuesday 28 January 2003
    Yup, another review... of TSPS2
    Written at 23:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    After quite a few other sites, GameSpy can't stay behind - of course. In the 2-page long review, there's one paragraph which tells more about the competative game mode:
    "Sadly, the two-player mode doesn't deliver the goods. At times, the competition feels more like a festival of yawns than edge-of-your-seat action. If you like social games, though, you may find competing against a friend in popularity contests and con jobs a worthwhile endeavor. It's also confusing to me why the competitive mode isn't easier to find. Just in case, it's buried under the Get A Life mode, under "Bonus.""
    The review is quite positive though. They find the 3D environment a pro, and the new game modes - especially the Get-a-life mode - are good. With a score of 85 out of 100, the game is good according to GameSpy. Read the whole review on this page. For more reviews of The Sims (PS2), visit our review index.

    Thursday 30 January 2003
    Poll Change
    Written at 01:00 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    As every week, we have a new poll for you again. This week we're asking you how well the children of your sims are doing at school. Please let us know if they're getting high grades or if they're sent off to military school, by voting on the right, or by going to this page. And for the results of last week's poll: we received 114 nice votes to the question "What's your favourite type of skins?". Most people like the normal ones the best: 42 people (37%) went for that option. Celebrities are also popular, with 24 votes (21%). The following three follow each other closely, with the wacky weird sims making it to the third place with 15 votes (13%). Fourth are the cartoon & comic super-heroes with 13 votes (11%). With just one vote less (which makes 12 votes or 10.5%), "I make skins of people I know, and use those" comes fifth. And last and least are the regular skins that come with the game: only 8 people (7%) voted for that option. That concludes these poll results, now vote for the new one. To go back in history, you can browse our poll archive.
    SimDay: The Sims Xbox and GameCube announced
    Written at 22:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    This simday contains one interesting thing, and two minor things. The less interesting ones: A link to the GameZone Review of The Sims at PS2 which we told you about a few days ago. The other thing is the TV commercial for SimCity 4 which has now been put online. You can download it from SimCity.com. You need QuickTime to view the movie. The more interesting thing is the announcement of The Sims at the GameCube and Xbox. However, we already knew this from earlier rumours. It's now been confirmed by Maxis though, and there's a press release about it. This version will likely not differ much from the PS2 version, so if you already have that, don't bother buying it for the GameCube or XBox too. According to the press release both versions of The Sims will be available in Spring 2003, so late March seems to be about right. Once we get exact release dates, we will put them in our countdown at the right side of every page at The Sims Zone. More details will probably follow soon.

    Friday 31 January 2003
    The Sims Xbox/GameCube first screens
    Written at 00:17 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
    The first screenshots of the XBox and GameCube versions of The Sims announced this simday have already appeared. They've shown up at ToTheGame. There are 4 different shots of each version, the Xbox ones looking slightly better due to better anti-aliasing. The difference is very small though. The graphics are similar to the PS2 version, but the whole game is pretty much the same. 2 shots of each version are showing the Create A Sim screen (with different sims), the other screens show a hot tub and an arcade party. You can find the GameCube shots here and the Xbox shots are here. Below is the arcade party shot for the GameCube.

    TSO doing bad
    Written at 00:32 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Many already expect this: The Sims Online isn't the hype the media believed it was. The sales of the game are disappointing to EA. Since the release, 82,000 people registered, while EA was expecting to have sold 200,000 copies of the game by the end of March 2003. The offline version has sold over 8 million times now worldwide (that's only the original, including expansion packs it totals 20 million sold copies all over the world), but the online version isn't doing that well. Several reviews are not too positive about the game, and many fans find it lacking the experience they expected. Other players quit the game because their accounts are being flagged for saying they're bored or for saying the game's boring - 3 flags means you're banned from playing the game. To improve sales, the game will cost $39 to buy starting next week. If you're planning to get it, wait a week and save $10 - that's one month play time.
    Read More!

    GameSpy reviews TSO
    Written at 00:39 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    Even though the game's been out a month now and isn't doing too well, the famous gaming site GameSpy has finally posted a review of The Sims Online. They tell us a bit about the earning of the hard cash:
    "The Sims Online provides two ways to earn money: solo or with a group. Group objects require two to four people, depending on the object, and each station needs a person with points in a particular skill. The higher the individual's skill is on the particular station, the more money each person makes. The players communicate with each others in order to complete the task. While this sounds like a potentially interesting idea, the reality is a repetitive chore that is both boring and requires you to pay attention."
    They also mention roommates that can redecorate if they like - no matter if you like their design or not. Also, the game is still lacking a lot of things and it's boring. They even say it's been called the world's most expensive chat room, and they think that comparison is not completely wrong. They rate the game 'fair', with a score of 60 out of 100. To read it for yourself, go here. More reviews can be found using our TSO review index.

    Saturday 1 February 2003
    SuperStar: real or not?
    Written at 00:22 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
    The question whether a new expansion pack for The Sims is still coming or not is yet to be asked again. Even though Maxis told other sites to remove news about Superstar, it seems that EA mentioned the expansion pack in a financial conference call. In that call EA told The Sims Online wasn't doing too well (and more about the financial status of EA), but they also revealed some of the plans for The Sims Superstar which would be due this spring. It would include celebrities, and they say it's going to be the biggest expansion pack ever. However, we can't confirm anything yet, as long as there is no official announcement. Once there's more news, it'll be here. This news comes from HomeLan, you can listen to the conference yourself here.