The Sims: Life Stories review


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Buy your copy from The Sims: Life Stories (2007) starstarstarstarno star Publisher: Electronic Arts
Category: Sim/Strategy
Available for: PC
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Here we go again. Yes, it’s time once more for another look into the never-ending tale of The Sims. Before you start thinking that this is yet another expansion pack for the hugely successful “The Sims 2,” think again. For the first time the people at EA have slapped together a stand-alone Sims title that isn’t an official sequel for the PC. Console gamers have had a few of these so far, but the whole franchise never translated as well on the home gaming systems, regardless of whether or not the Sims game in question was a port or a stand-alone game. 

It’s kind of nice to see this version released, even if the whole idea seems a bit late on the PC, given that the consoles have had a couple of exclusive titles to themselves. Truth be told, once expansion packs start flowing for any Sims game, they get a little uninteresting after a while. Do we really need all those extras? Perhaps some of the gamers do, but there’s no denying that EA’s Sims expansion packs have gone a bit into the overkill zone lately. So here we have “The Sims Life Stories,” which allows gamers to play out the life of either Riley or Vince, each with their own tales of woe as they try to find the perfect life. 

If you’re familiar with “The Sims 2,” then you know everything you need to know. “Life Stories” is constructed around that game’s aspirations and wants systems. More than ever, meeting those things are 100 percent relevant to moving Riley or Vince’s stories along. Not that it’s a difficult thing to achieve. This is Sims 101, which allows new inductees to pretty much jump right in and not have to worry about making their own homes from scratch and all that minutiae. 

But for those of you who do demand that aspect in your Sim time, have no fear, because that mode is still fully playable in this game. Sure, you might ask, “What’s the whole point of this game?”, considering that “The Sims” and “The Sims 2” both came chock full of little story arcs you could play, instead of just starting from scratch. Well, that’s a good question, but I think the whole presentation here is to offer something to anyone who may have never really touched a Sims game and doesn’t want to get bogged down in every little detail. 

Truth be told, “Life Stories” is fun, and what’s more, it’s touted as “PC laptop friendly” right on the front of the box. So EA is going after those gamers who might only have a laptop, and were unable to play the other Sims games due to a lack of system resources and whatnot. Not that you can really tell if anything’s been “scaled down,” as the game looks and plays just the same as all the others. Still, the problem with this game is the same problem with all the other Sims games – it just gets damn boring after a while if you’re not new to the franchise. What was once fresh and kept people glued to their computers and out of the daylight for days at a time is now “been there, done that.”  Ah well, it happens to the best of ‘em.

~Jason Thompson