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News Archive - November, 2005
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Wednesday 2 November 2005
Strangerhood Halloween Special
Written at 15:47 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Albeit a little bit late now, Rooster Teeth has released a special video last week for halloween this year. The Strangerhood cast has whished everybody a nice and creepy halloween. It's been available to everybody (in low resolution) since monday now - sponsors have been able to download the high resolution version for longer. The special can be found in the Strangerhood's video archive.
The Sims 2 Prima Guide Details
Written at 15:53 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The strategy guide for the Sims 2 on consoles has been released along with the game itself. As usual, some of the key elements in the book have been published by Prima on their website. The book gives a complete walkthrough, information about direct control, and how to resurrect Sims. The complete list is as follows:
  • Maximize your creativity an customization
  • How to satisfy every gold and platinum want in all story lots
  • Details on socializing in Direct Control
  • How to use Direct Control mode and Direct Control objects
  • Unleash your Sims' culinary creativity by whipping up custom-made food power-ups
  • How to unlock every object, lot, fashion option, Sim, and recipe
  • Tips for returning from the dead and living as a ghost
  • Customize your Sims' fashion
More details, as well as a sample of the book (in PDF format), is available on the details page from Prima. If you want to order the book, check out our shop.
The Sims 2 (Consoles) Reviews
Written at 16:22 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
With the Sims 2 being out for about a week, many sites have already posted their opinion about the game. They're not all very positive about the game. GameSpot in particular isn't very enthousiastic about the game, as it lacks a real story, and the new features are not much more than a novelty. Others, like IGN or GamePro are far more positive about the new gameplay elements. Below are links to all the reviews for the console version of the Sims 2 we've found so far. You'll also be able to find screenshots with some of the reviews. If you found another one, feel free to submit the link to us.
The Sims 2 (DS) Reviews
Written at 16:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Although there are quite a few reviews for the console version of the Sims 2 already, there aren't as many for the DS and GBA versions. The game on the latter platform hasn't been reviewed yet (at least we haven't found any reviews yet), but the Sims 2 on DS has been scored twice. IGN says the game is heavily divided into chapters, and especially the real-time clock in the game is discussed in their review. For example, it'll take eight real-time hours to finish building a room, but getting some sleep can be done in 30 seconds. It also seems the game has been inspired by Animal Crossing, an other open adventure game. Altogether it's a solid game, worth 8.2 points (out of 10). Check out the IGN review for details.

The other review is from PGNx. They call the real-time clock nice as well, but say it adds some unnecessary waiting time, as the story is quite structured. Besides that structure, it is also open enough to stay interesting. The 3D mode and the use of all DS technologies is another benefit to the score of 8.5 out of 10. To find out what else they had to say, check the PGNx review.
The Sims 2 (PSP) Hands-On
Written at 16:37 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims 2 is only yet to be released on PSP and mobile. GameSpy has checked out the PSP version recently, and posted a hands-on preview of the game. The game is said to have a nice, mostly strange, story, but it also allows wandering around, working odd jobs, or fixing up your house. The game is full of action in every aspect of the game. If you're interested in reading more, then check the preview.

Tuesday 8 November 2005
Golden Joystick for the Sims 2
Written at 13:33 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has won one Golden Joystick award for the Sims 2 last weekend. Of the two nominations the Sims 2 has won the "Girl's Choice" award. The Sims 2 University missed out on becoming the best PC game of the year, in favour of Half-Life 2. More details about who won the other awards are to be found at GameSpot.
MP3s and Ringtones of EA Soundtracks
Written at 13:40 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
EA has recently announced that for several games, including the Sims, the soundtracks will be released in MP3 form and as ringtones and mastertones on several online stores. Together with Nettwerk Music Group EA has launched "EA Recordings" with several soundtracks from games like Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, the Command & Conquer franchise, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, the Medal of Honor franchise, SSX 3, and several EA Sports titles. Along with those games, there are also soundtracks for the Sims 1, by various artists, and Mark Motherbaugh's music (and remixes made of his music) for the Sims 2 and the two expansion packs. The music is available on Apple iTunes, MSN, Yahoo Music, AOL Music, Rhapsody and others. For the precise details, read the press release.
The Sims 2 Christmas Screenshots; Purchase Download
Written at 14:22 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack is coming out next week. Pre-orders for the CD version have been available for a while already, but now you'll also be able to download all 40 downloads. You can sign up for a reminder email of when the items are available for download. On the 17th you'll be able to purchase the download with all 40 bonus items in the pack. For details, also check out the about page.

Along with that news, Maxis has also posted three screenshots on the official site. Thanks go out to SnootySims for finding bigger versions at EAPlay.com as well. Those have been posted below.

The Sims 2 Holiday (Christmas) Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday (Christmas) Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday (Christmas) Party Pack
Sims 2 Screenshots
Written at 14:29 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The game has been out for a while now, yet last week a whole bunch of new official screenshots appeared for the Sims 2 on Consoles, DS and GBA. The PSP and Mobile games aren't out yet, but screenshots for those were also included in the batch that the official German site posted. Along with those shots, there are four other shots which GameSpot posted. As there are 29 shots in total, you'll have to go to the read more part (behind the link, or below) to see them all. Thanks to SimsZone for discovering the shots.
Read More!

Wednesday 9 November 2005
Cheats for the Sims 2 (Consoles)
Written at 14:39 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
Maxis has revealed a couple of cheats for the Sims 2 on consoles. As with the previous console titles, you'll first need to unlock a gnome to do the rest of the tricks. Also, the cheats have to be entered in a "defined window of time", and thus it might need a little bit of training to get them to work. You can find the cheats on a help page on the official site. Thanks to SnootySims for finding it.

Sunday 13 November 2005
The Sims 2 Christmas Update
Written at 13:30 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
It's been a while since Tim LeTourneau sent out a community e-mail, but he has done it again to promote the Holiday Party Pack (Christmas Party Pack) which is coming out this week, and the As Played By campaign for the Sims. He says that the holiday giveaway on the official site, during which Maxis will make 12 new holiday downloads available on the exchange, will start next tuesday. Included in the e-mail are the two screenshots below.

The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack
Read More!

Holiday Party Pack Screens and Movies
Written at 13:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has released a few new screens and two movies for the Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack (Christmas Party Pack in Europe). In one video you see a Christmas setting, whereas the other is on New Year's Eve - naturally with fireworks. You can see them on the holiday videos page on the official site. As the download links on that page are incorrect, we've mirrorred the videos on our server so you can also download them. Use the links below to get them (QuickTime required). Bigger versions of three new screens posted on the official site have been put at GameSpot. They're now also below (click the thumbnails to see the big versions).
The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack
The Sims Expansion Three-Pack Volumes Announced
Written at 14:25 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis has announced the Sims 1 Complete Collection on the official site of The Sims 2. However, that's not the only Sims 1 repackaging that's been released. EA has also made two expansion pack collections, each containing three expansions for the first Sims game ever. They're mentioned in the same announcement. The two "Sims Expansion Three-Pack Volumes" are now being sold at the price of $20 each. The first pack contains Unleashed, Superstar and House Party, the other has Hot Date, Vacation and Makin' Magic. Some (online) shops also list the packs as "Triple Expansion Collections". You can see the pack shots below, and order the collections from our shop now. If these expansion pack collections are being released in Europe as well is yet unknown.

The Sims 1 Expansion Three-Pack Volume 1 The Sims 1 Expansion Three-Pack Volume 2
Game Design Podcasts
Written at 14:56 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
In the past two weeks Maxis has, as usual, released their podcasts. The latest two are both about Game Design. Hunter Howe and Charles London answer questions from the community, like where they get their ideas from or what the funniest thing was that happened during the development of the game (including the funniest bugs). In the first podcast they also tell about the best object or interaction that may not yet be possible due to technical limitations, their own aspirations, community feecback and realism. The second podcast starts about when the designers, Charles and Hunter, decided to work into the games industry, and their paths to the Sims team. Then they answer if they play the Sims in their free time, if they download custom content, why llamas are so popular within Maxis, the biggest design challenge to date, Bella Goth, alternative jobs to game designing, and the cow plant. You can get the first and second Game Design podcasts from their pages, or check the RSS feed for the proper URLs. Alternatively, add the podcast to your iTunes.
XBox Sims titles not compatible with XBox 360
Written at 15:02 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Microsoft will be releasing the XBox 360, the next generation XBox console, in a couple of weeks. One of the big discussions about the new console has been backwards compatibility with the current XBox games. An emulator will have to be installed (either via XBox Live, download or CD) for old games to work. The emulator also requires a hard drive, which only comes with the more expensive version of the XBox 360. However, the emulator does not support all games. Microsoft has released a list of 212 games which can be run with the emulator. The Sims (Get A Life), The Sims Bustin' Out, The Urbz and the Sims 2 all cannot be found on the list, and thus aren't likely to run on the new platform but on the original XBox only. Microsoft has promised more games will be added to the list in the future, but whether the existing Sims titles will ever work is unsure.
"Played By" Campaign Update
Written at 15:16 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The "Sims Played By" advertising campaign, the first Sims campaign by W+K (see earlier news), has been running for several weeks now, and new items keep appearing. Maxis has again released a few new campaign videos on the official site. Five videos (of which three are brand new) have been posted on the videos page, bringing the grand total of videos so far to 13. We've also received information that there are 20 videos in total (10 for the US and 10 for Europe). The videos are also projected on buildings in various American cities, multiple TV channels, and stories can also be found in magazines worldwide. Besides all that, a video in which players explain the basics of the game has been published. You can see the About The Sims 2 video as well. More stories can be found on the Sims Played By website.

Tuesday 15 November 2005
Holiday Blow-out Started - Buying Guide from Maxis
Written at 16:37 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Today Maxis has started their holiday giveaway today. From today and throughout the holidays 12 downloads from the Holiday Party Pack will be published on the official site. Besides that other fun stuff will be released during the giveaway. By the looks of the calendar in the intro on the frontpage of the site, Maxis will give three items every week. The first this week is a "Classic Wreath", a decorational object for any family.

MaxoidKane has also sent a holiday buying guide, found in the Read More part of this newspost or on the buying guide page. In that guide, MaxoidKane also says the Holiday Edition of the Sims 2 won't be available in Europe and other territories, but the default game will be bundled with the Christmas Party Pack instead.
Read More!

Holiday Party Pack Shipping - 3 Screens
Written at 16:54 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
EA has today started shipping The Sims 2 Holiday Party Pack (Christmas Party Pack) and the limited Holiday Edition to the shops worldwide, so the game will be available next thursday. As usual you can buy the game in shops on a CD, but you can also buy the extra content for a price of $14,99 (the same as the retail price) at EA Downloader. Currently that service is only available in North America when it comes to the Holiday Party Pack. This service was recently officially announced in a press release from EA. The downloader will keep track of updates and more, and install them when necessary. You can pre-download a game from there, and then activate it at the day of release. In another press release EA announces the release of the Sims 2 Holiday Edition. From EA Australia come three new screenshots of the pack, which you can see below.

The Sims 2 Holiday/Christmas Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday/Christmas Party Pack The Sims 2 Holiday/Christmas Party Pack

Thursday 17 November 2005
Happy Birthday to TSZ!
Written at 23:38 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
Once apon a time, 17 November 2001 to be precise, a new Sims site was born. A team from a closed site about their mutual hobby had relaunched it, but differently. Their aspiration: to become one of the biggest fansites for the Sims in the world...

It's exactly four years later now, and we're well under way of getting to our Lifetime Want. Maybe not quite there yet, but we're still in our teenage years and have a lot of time to get there, if need be using some Elixir of Life to stay young. As long as Mr. Reaper doesn't pay a visit we'll continue to bring you the best in the Sims news, information, downloads, and more. The latest download, Yua the Banshee by Starrats, is a little gift for you on our fourth birthday. Next stop: 5 years old. Only 365 nights to go...

Thanks to the entire team, current and past, everybody at Maxis, affiliates, and everybody else who has helped TSZ become what it is now, four years on!

Friday 18 November 2005
Belated Birthday Goodies
Written at 06:00 by Andy - 1 comment.
Whether you would like to rub shoulders with a young royal, find a supermarket that sells almost anything, get a new medium-range house or instead take out your frustrations on a certain man who does not approve of hot coffee, here are some more downloads to celebrate our fourth birthday at TSZ.

Click right here!

Happy Birthday again from TSZ and thankyou for your continued support.
Dag dag!

Saturday 19 November 2005
Furnished Houses for the Affluent Sim
Written at 19:20 by Andy - 0 comments.

Here are two more houses for you to download for your affluent sims or just in order to decorate your neighborhood.

St. Oswald's Church is a home for your minister and a spiritual home for your community. Grissom Lodge is an old furnished mansion for your well-off sims.

You can get them here!

Sunday 20 November 2005
The Sims 2 Christmas/Holiday Party Pack - Fireworks or damp popper?
Written at 16:00 by Andy - 3 comments.

To whet our appetite until the release of the third expansion pack, EA/Maxis has released the Christmas (or Holiday) Party Pack containing many of the previously released items from the official site but also 40+ new items and textures.

This pack contains new architectural objects, walls, floors, decorative, electrical and party objects. Find out what we have to say about what is novel, what is repetitive, what are "variations on a theme" and what we would have liked to have seen but didn't.

You can find what we have to say right here .


Monday 21 November 2005
The Sims 2 PSP Video
Written at 00:04 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Since the release of the Sims 2 on Consoles, GBA and DS it's been fairly quiet around the PSP and Mobile versions of the game. There's a change for the first one, as Maxis has released a new video of the PSP game. Showing several scenes of the game the video gives a small overview of what it has to offer. See the official videos page to watch or download it.
Sims 2 Focus Group
Written at 00:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Maxis is regularly looking for feedback from its fans about the games. Besides checking out the bulletin boards and gathering their feedback from the net, they also hold focus groups regularly. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and have some free time 29 November, you can participate in a focus group. Only a select number of fans will be invited. All you have to do is send your name and phone number. See the official newspost for more details.
Nightlife IMVironment
Written at 00:12 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
To promote the Yahoo! Messenger a little bit, Maxis has published a so-called IMVironment for the chat program. This makes it possible for you to give your messenger a Nightlife look. IMVironments are only available for the latest Windows version of Yahoo! Messenger. Download the IMVironment if you want to try it out.
The Sims on MTV
Written at 00:18 by ChEeTaH - 5 comments.
As we mentioned a while back, MTV has been making a documentary about the Sims. This week it's MTV's Gam0RZ week, and that as you might guess that means the documentary will be aired this week as well. Tomorrow (21 November) at 6PM you'll see it if you tune in to MTV. It's unsure whether the documentary will be aired in Europe and other territories at a later date. Check out the Gam0RZ Week Website for more details.

Friday 25 November 2005
Written at 01:54 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
It was Thanksgiving this thursday, and to celebrate it Maxis has posted a special podcast, with a very special guest. A story by felseylax29 and coffeeandbananas, posted on the exchange, has been narrated by a Maxoid in the podcast. So "dim the light and start a fire (preferrably in a fireplace)", and download the latest podcast.
Holiday Giveaways
Written at 02:05 by ChEeTaH - 2 comments.
The first two weeks of the Maxis Great Holiday Giveaway are over, which means Maxis has been giving away six items already. Four of them are new objects from the Holiday (Christmas) Party Pack. The first was a Classic Wreath, followed by a Little Frock Tree. This week a Poinsetta Gift Pack and a CheerO'matic Precision-Garlarama Garland where posted. Last week Maxis also posted a factoid and blooper, like they did this week as well. The giveaway will last another month with a gift on every tuesday, wednesday and thursday.
Strangerhood 8 Online
Written at 02:12 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Strangerhood is a series by Rooster Teeth, all made with the Sims 2. The first episode was released shortly after the release of the Sims 2 on PC, and now they're up to episode 8. The episode is called "WSI", a parody on the famous TV-show Crime Scene Investigation. If you want to check out the latest episode then go to its download page. Go to the video archive for previous episodes, Strangerhood Studios, and new Sponsor MP3 files (for sponsors only).

Sunday 27 November 2005
E-mail/Virus Problems
Written at 15:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
If you've been trying to e-mail us the past few days, especially to the support, submission, and other generic addresses, it may have been that your e-mail has bounced. This is due to our mailbox quickly filling up with the Sober.X (Sober.gen - McAfee, Sober.X - Symantec) worm, that we receive several hundreds of times every day. Although the virus doesn't do much damage to your computer, it does send out a lot of e-mails (without you noticing it), if your computer is infected. The worm can only work in Windows systems.

Please bare with us until the outbreak has died down. If you have sent us an e-mail and got it back with an error, please resend it in a few days. We also recommend everybody to get a virusscanner (if not already installed), and to make sure it's up-to-date with the latest virus definition files. Do a full scan to make sure you're not infected. You can find links to several virus-scanners on Download.com. McAfee also has a free Stinger tool which helps you get rid of the virus. Note that the virus may also disable your virusscanner. Please check that your computer is not infected, or if it is take the necessary precautions to disable the virus. Thank you.
Sims 2 Mobile Released
Written at 22:08 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
The Sims 2 has been released for mobile phones last week. Because the connected version will work with the internet a lot, Maxis has launched a special page with information about the game. You can find tips, tricks, user guides, an FAQ and basic information of the game on the special page. After registering the game, you'll also be able to enter your webcode, and so get special information about your Sim on your phone. The site can be visited through http://mobile.thesims2.com.
Gifts for TSZ and Your Sims
Written at 22:10 by Jendea - 0 comments.

Hi everyone!
I'm happy to announce that I will be back at TSZ now as my new sim "home". In the past, I also ran Jendea Simitecture, jendea2 and SimsShoppe in addition to being known as "jen" or TSZjen here. However, from now on, my new creations can be found right here.
I am very pleased to be back as part of the TSZ team. To celebrate, I've posted my first offering today: a belated birthday object for the TSZ birthday month with recolors for other holidays and events.
You can check it out by clicking on the pic, or take a look at my other sims2 and sims1 offerings here: jendea

Possible Box Shot Open for Business
Written at 22:14 by ChEeTaH - 0 comments.
Expansion pack 3 is still to be announced, and usually pack shots aren't released until the product is close to its release date. This time however, EA Spain has sent out an artwork, quite possibly a packshot, of the Sims 2 Open for Business to Spanish fansites. Click the thumbnail below to see a large version of the shot, with thanks to SnootySims for the find.

The Sims 2 Open for Business

Wednesday 30 November 2005
Sims 2 PSP Gone Gold
Written at 01:18 by ChEeTaH - 1 comment.
EA has announced that the Sims 2 has gone gold for the PSP. It's the final version of the Sims 2 to be released this year, after the release on Consoles, DS, GBA and also Mobile phones. The UMDs are now pressed and packed, after which they will be sent off to the shops. The game will be available on 9 December in the US, and around the 23rd in Europe, according to EA. We've updated the release dates in the right sidebar to reflect these new dates. For more information about the game, we recommend you read our preview. If you wish to pre-order the game, then head over to our shop. Also check out the official press release for more details about the Sims 2 going gold on PSP.