|The Sims 2: Seasons (2007)
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Available for: PC
Good God, is it time for another “Sims 2” expansion pack? It seems these things are being cranked out faster than you can blink. The original “Sims” series had a mere six expansion packs during its entire life. “Seasons,” the latest offering for “The Sims 2,” is already the fifth, not counting four extra “stuff” packs, with a fifth on the way in April 2007 as well. You might get the feeling that all this is overkill, and unless you’re just a complete diehard Sims fan who has to have everything known to man for his virtual creations, then you’d be correct in that assumption. This is overkill, but at the same time it keeps the franchise going without having to create an entirely new version of the game. Still, how fun can these things be after a while?
Granted, “Nightlife” was pretty great when it came out, but we were only on the second expansion by then, and it made a little more sense to a casual fan than the “University” pack did. But after a while, it seems you can only go with, “Yay, another Sims expansion pack. Check.” and move on with your life. So what “Seasons” has is definitely of that quality. It’s interesting to a point, and it may help gamers blow off some dust on “The Sims 2” if they haven’t played it in a while, but it won’t keep them going for long.
As the title indicates, your Sims can now experience weather changes for the first time in their universe. Seems a bit odd that it’s taken this long for such an expansion pack to come along (you’d think such a thing would be more common than owning pets or running a business). Like real life itself, as the seasons change, so do the Sims’ moods. They’re a little more in love and happy-go-lucky in the spring and summer, and a bit more contemplative and bummed out in the fall and winter. What’s next, “The Sims 2: Paxil Junkies?”
In addition to all this psychological fun, your Sims will now also be able to plant and grow crops year round. These crops can then be sold to make a little extra pocket money, or be turned into juices to give the Sims a big energy boost. Other drinks can be made as well, such as love potions and the like. Man this feels like “Makin’ Magic” all over again. Oh, but wait, it’s for “The Sims 2,” so it’s new, and we should forget all about the older packs for the original game, because no one plays that anymore, correct? It’s sometimes easy to forget just how disposable these things can be.
Of course, the Sims will be able to do all those great seasonal things as well, like building snowmen and throwing snowballs and the like. And watch out for those big rain storms to roll in and really soak everything. To be honest, those moments do look nice in the game and give the whole thing a little oomph, but after you’ve seen it once, it becomes as predictable and depressing as, well, a real rain storm. Holy Jesus, I see where they’re going with this! One of these days this thing is going to take the place of real living! Meh.
Seasons are controllable on the fly if you’re into that kind of thing, and overall this expansion pack doesn’t make the regular game more of a task master than it needs to be. In a game like “The Sims 2,” sometimes a little diversion is all you need. That’s all this is, plain and simple. If that sounds groovy to you, then you’ll probably enjoy it a bit, but “Seasons” is by no means a must-have pack, or anything that will keep you riveted to your screens for weeks on end. Then again, it doesn’t need to be, and Electronic Arts knows this as they have 50 more packs stockpiled for your spending habits. Up next, “The Sims 2: The Sims” in which the Sims play themselves on a computer and the irony causes everyone to finally snap out of it.