The Sims 2
is a bit of a misnomer. This GBA game is actually the third in the Maxis series on the handheld, following The Sims: Bustin Out
and The Urbz: Sims in the City
as the yearly portable release. The game was on display at Electronic Arts' Hot Summer Nights press event either today where we got to play around a bit in this new adventure.
Griptonite Games, responsible for the past games in the series on the GBA, is once again putting its handheld experience into the latest in the Sims adventure. In Sims 2, players act out a "reality show" in Strangetown, with chapters separated into episodes and seasons. Each episode has specific tasks to perform, but these episodes don't have to be completed in any specific order.
And because this is "reality television", players will be involved in product placement commercials that change up the action. Performing in these commercials will award players Simoleans which can be used to purchase items for the customization functions of the Sims game. Commercials are really this adventure's version of the "mini-game," with players performing tasks with unique situations: in a Cola commercial, players will have to run from a soda mascot without accidentally shaking up their own canister of carbonated sugarwater. In a car commercial, players drive around in an isometric engine doing driving tasks that the director's calling out.
The Sims 2 utilizes the familiar sprite-based isometric engine from the past couple of Sims GBA games. There have been improvements made, including a more dynamic camera and the ability to push large on-screen objects. This is proven in one of the "episodes" where your character is accidentally shrunk down to bug sized and put to the task of exterminating ladybugs the size of compact cars. EA's also proud of the fact that this Sims sequel also allows for players to put a skirt on the girl Sims, something that wasn't possible in the previous two versions of the game.
Multiplayer will once again be a focus of this Sims product. Through the use of the link cable, two players will be able to compete in three specific mini-games. This connectivity will also open up a brand new television episode that involves that linked-up player's personality.
The GBA game is being prepped for a simultaneous Fall release with the DS and the console versions.
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