Sims 2: Seasons

It has been a couple of weeks since I first got Seasons, and have had ample time to mess around with it and see what it has and how it is.First of all, what I expected and what I got.

With seasons the biggest feature I paid attention to was the bonuses and penalties of each season. I was extremely worried that this feature would make the game more burdensome to keep the meters up than it already was, and to some degree it has but not as bad as I had feared. To be honest, I haven’t really figured out what all the bonuses and penalties are for the seasons. I have noticed that when it snows out all my meters go in the tube, and it does seem harder to bring them up in the winter time. And the easy bonus seems to be Fall’s skill bonus, which makes a world of a difference in learning skills. But I have no idea what other bonuses and penalties are and have no idea how to figure them out. (there doesn’t seem to be any info on this on the website, in the game, or in the manual, nor is there any of this type of info on what juices and fresh food does).

The new items are fairly disappointing. I think the most disappointing item expansion to date for Sims 2, and that is including the pitiful Open For Business where most of the items were store shelves, or toys that you had to make to get. This one’s new items are limited pretty much to some new career items for the 6 new career tracks, some gardening essentials, a few fruit trees, pool slide, some new food cooking items and decorations, and some yard items. That really is pretty much it. If it weren’t that the few options available are to enhance the outdoor part of your house which is much needed in this game, the items in the game would be almost a total wash.

I haven’t really tried out the new career tracks, my sims so far have not wanted to go down them for their lifetime aspirations. I really would like to try them though, but honestly this isn’t important. This just adds more variety pretty much in what type of clothes you wear to work. That being said, it is still nice to not always be a slacker or doctor so the added variety is very welcome.

New activities are probably the other big thing about this expansion. You can give gifts which seems to do nothing but offer a boost to friendship at the cost of an item. And there are all sorts of outdoor activities like snow angels, snow men, snowball fights, water balloon fights, playing in leaves, fishing, and catching various bugs just to name a few. These are fun, though largely unneeded. This is pretty much just different types of what is already there (for instance game-wise there isn’t really much difference between playing hacky sack and a water balloon fight). I have noticed Ice Skating and rollerskating wants but I haven’t figured out how to do these things.

The seasons themselves are beautiful. You can tell that the majority of the budget went into the graphics here and that is really probably why the game feels shallow elsewhere. (Not to mention that I have noticed less items in the game ever since they’ve started adding the “stuff packs”). Another affect of the seasons is the new temperature gauge (more guages yay). Which is probably the main source of adding more burden to the game. If you get to cold, you could freeze to death (though this seems unlikely, you freeze and then wake up and go in the house you are usually fine with a cold), or overheat. Overheating seems to be the big problem. I have read the boards and things like jumping on your bed or running too long will cause you to overheat. I’ve heard people dieing in the game because they didn’t have a fire alarm near exercise equipment or the hot tob and when you overheat you start on fire. Another problem I’ve heard of is people almost losing their kids to social services because their kids were jumping on the bed so long they began overheating. I wish I could turn this (and penalties even if it means losing the bonuses really) and just have the nice effects and activities of the seasons. this would be great to me, but as of yet I haven’t figured out how to do this.

Overall I think the expansion was fair, not great, even very good, but not completely a waste. I love the new activities for yards, the new plants, the new pool tools (not to mention you can do things with the pool now besides jump in), and the new careers. I am indifferent about the seasons graphically, but hate their advantages and disadvantages, I am disappointed in the lack of items and clothing (it would have been nice to finally have some new swim suits and work out clothes!). So it had it’s ups and downs, overall I think it was a down expansion.