The Sims 3 Goes Green!

The last few Sims 3 posts have mentioned the ways that the Sims have not only been fun, but actually made a different. And now, if that’s not enough, they’ve found another way to bring the fight to protect the environment into the online world.

Check out this article from Edmunds.com!

REDWOOD CITY, California — Electronic Arts’ Sims 3 game invites your cast of simulated characters to get virtually eco-friendly with a new 2010 Toyota Prius, now available for free download. The new hybrid car is advertised on the Sims 3 store Web site with the disclaimer, “Animated vehicle. Actual model will vary.”

The download is available to anyone with a registered Sims account at the Sims 3 store Web site. The Prius can be installed in a choice of six typically low-key Toyota shades including Blue Ribbon Metallic, Winter Gray Metallic and Blizzard Pearl. Once downloaded, it’s available to purchase in the Sims “buy” mode for 5,500 simoleans, the currency used by the game.

More to the point for Toyota, game users are offered a link from the download page to the official real-world 2010 Prius Web site.

The animated hybrid had been downloaded 136,182 times as of Wednesday.

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EA Games: MySims Racing and the New Sims 3 Patch!

Here’s some news for Sims fans! First we’ve got a look at a brand new spin-off, and then a long-awaited update (okay, not VERY long…) for the Sims 3!

Bill O’Keefe reviews MySims Racing for KansasCity.com. . .

MySims Racing
Reviewed for: Nintendo Wii
Alternate version available for: Nintendo DS
From: EA
ESRB Rating: Everyone (comic mischief)

When EA started spinning off “The Sims” beyond its original intentions, jokes invariably were made about when, not if, the brand would succumb to its inevitable kart racer incarnation.

All joking aside, now we know.

But while “MySims Racing” most assuredly owes no small thanks to “Mario Kart” for its existence, it sidesteps most of the pratfalls that sank so many “Kart” rip-offs over the years. More importantly, it adds a few things to the experience that not only justify the franchise’s move into this arena, but also give the game some legs even “Mario Kart Wii” lacks.

“Racing” leaves little to chance in terms of its basic racing component, which looks like “Kart,” moves like “Kart” and follows the same blueprint in terms of controls, drifting techniques and the implementation of power-ups on the track. Like “Kart’s” Wii incarnation, “Racing” lets you choose between multiple control schemes, supporting motion steering with the Wii remote and more traditional play via the Gamecube controller and Classic or nunchuck attachments.

Generally, it does a sufficient job of mimicry. The handling is a touch more unwieldy than in “Kart,” but “Racing’s” drift mechanic compensates adequately with a little practice. The power-ups are similarly mixed: Some are clever and funny, while others feel either like useless throwaways or less effective imitations of “Kart’s” more iconic offerings.

“Racing’s” lone tweak to the formula – collectable on-track gems that build up your cart’s turbo capability – isn’t particularly ingenious in the realm of racing games. But those gems’ secondary purpose – as off-track currency – is a bit more interesting, and it opens the door for those aforementioned new ideas.

As any “Sims”-branded game should, “Racing” allows you to design your character, which goes a long way toward mitigating the game’s lack of identity when compared to kart racers that are stocked with familiar mascot characters. But “Racing” also lets you design and modify three carts – normal, large and toy-sized – with upgrades, accessories and paint/decal jobs. The customization tools can’t hold a candle to the likes of “Need For Speed” or “Forza,” but they fulfill their purpose in giving “Racing” enough tools to keep the experience reasonably fresh and tailor it to individual player tastes. They also, along with the surprising presence of a nonsensical but rather entertaining storyline, give the game a steady stream of rewards to achieve beyond the usual cup trophies “Kart” trots out game after game.

“Racing” falls back to earth with its multiplayer (four players, offline only), which doesn’t even attempt to match “Kart’s” exquisite online component. The four-player splitscreen works fine, though, and it serves as a nice alternative to (though not necessarily a replacement for) “Kart” when a change of tracks and power-ups is in order.

And then, in even better knews, Sims 3 players will be pleased to know that the new patch has arrived to fix some of the game’s pesky little issues. From GamersHell.com. . .

Electronic Arts has issued a new patch for The Sims 3, updating to v1.2.7 the latest installment in The Sims series developed by Electronic Arts Redwood Shores. Thanks: The Patches Scrolls. The Sims 3 allows you to immerse your unique Sims in an open living neighborhood right outside their door. The initial feature-set unveiled includes the new seamless, open neighborhood, new Create A Sim, new realistic personalities and new unlimited customization. The new seamless neighborhood architecture allows your Sims to roam freely around the neighborhood and visit their loved one and friends or foes.

Download the Sims 3 patch here

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Upcoming Video Game Figures!

We’ve already checked out the new Halo figures in a previous post, and seen the Legend of Zelda, Gears of War and Prototype figures. But there are even more great figures on the way and we thought we’d take a look at two characters from brand-spanking new games and a new series for an old franchise! All of these can be pre-ordered now and will be shipping later on.

ISAAC: DEAD SPACE

The protagonist of the incredible Dead Space, Isaac Clarke is the latest figure from NECA’s Player Select line. One of my favourite titles in recent years, Dead Space is a survival horror epic that brings together the undead, sci-fi and a strange almost Verne-style aesthetic, which is seen here in the rusted suit of the figure. The Isaac Clarke figure ships in July!

DANTE: DANTE’S INFERNO


Already steeped in controversy (EA Games hired fake protesters to pose as Christians against the game in order to generate buzz), Dante’s inferno only launches in January of next year. But the Dante action figure from NECA can already be pre-ordered and will ship in 2009’s third quarter. He stands just over six inches and features brilliant sculpting and paintwork whose quality will hopefully be reflected in the upcoming game.

METAL GEAR SOLID: SERIES 5


Finally, for anyone who’s been missing Solid Snake and the gang, the good news has come that the fifth series of McFarlane’s Metal Gear Solid figures is now available for pre-order. Like Dante, these guys ship in 2009’s third quarter. Boss, Raiden, Crouching Snake, Tiger Camo Snake and Vamp join the rest of the figures and are a testament to the kind of quality design McFarlane has proven it is capable of.

“Alice and Kev”: Being Homeless in the Sims 3

With the Sims 3, players have far more freedom when it comes to creatings interesting characters, be it mentally, emotionally or physically.  No longer are you forced to build a Sim based on only a few characteristics. Instead, you can create almost anything you want, from exciteable, lovelorn romantics to brooding, unpleasant loners.

Or, in the case of one UK blogger, a homeless  father-daughter  pair taking on the world of the Sims 3 with nary a helping hand. Created by Robin Burkinshaw, the Alice and Kev blog follows the everyday lives of two Sims living in an abandoned park without any money or easy opportunities. They rummage through trash to find food, beg other Sims for help and, recently, fall in love. Burkinshaw documents their misadventures with as little melodrama as he can, but nevertheless you’re sure to find yourself falling in love with this pair. Even those who don’t play the Sims 3 are sure to find the story touching, sad and altogether inspiring. It’s a surprise internet hit and, personally, I can’t wait to see where it all ends up! Check out the blog here or click the pic below! You’re almost sure to be hooked.

Also, in case you weren’t already aware of the Sims 3 channel on Youtube (check out our previous post for more info), the good news has come in that the Sims Channel is the most subscribed-to sponsored channel of ALL TIME, showing just how far the game has come. Check out the channel or watch a quick preview video here.

Record Sales for The Sims 3!

Previous posts about The Sims 3…

The Sims 3 online leak

Contests, behind-the-scenes and an iPhone/iPod Sims 3

Was the online leak a marketing gimmick?

Well, it looks like the folks at EA have nothing to worry about! Despite the leak allowing millions to illegally download a leaked version of the Sims 3, pirates weren’t able to make a dent in the massive success of the game. The company was still able to sell an absurdly huge number of copies and, given the prices of both it and its Special Edition counterpart, plus the $10 iPhone app, I think it’s safe to say that we can expect a Sims 4 a couple years down the line.

For more info, here’s an article from CRN.com

If the recession has you in the doldrums, you can always escape to the virtual world of Sims for comfort. And according to game maker Electronic Arts, many people are doing just that: Reportedly, video game “The Sims 3” was the largest launch of a PC game in the company’s history with 1.4 million copies sold in its first week at retail.

Who said people are cutting back discretionary spending? Although unemployment figures have climbed to more than 9 percent, gamers are finding the $49.99 (at Amazon) to spend on creating and nurturing lifelike or “Sim”ulated people with individual personalities and lives. “The Sims 3” introduces a “traits system” that lets players make truly unique characters: neurotic, compulsive, loners, etc. Players can also create and edit videos they make in the game.

In addition, the $10 downloadable iPhone and iPod Touch version of The Sims 3 had hit the No. 1 paid App Store spot in 37 countries worldwide since release, according to Electronic Arts. Overall, the Sims franchise has sold more than 100 million units worldwide since its debut in February 2000.

However, the road has not been completely paved with gold for Electronic Arts. Immediately after its June 2 launch, fans of The Sims 2 were vocal in their disappointment that certain features of the earlier version were missing, in particular the player’s ability to be God-like. No news yet on whether Electronic Arts will add more controls in future expansion packs.

Buy your Sims 3 video game at Amazon.com:

The Sims 3 Video Game

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The Sims 3 Leaks Online!

EA Games has suffered in the last few years, with its games getting less buzz and making fewer sales. So it probably comes as a harsh blow that the third installment of their hugely popular “The Sims” game has been leaked online a full two weeks before its official release date. Popping up on download and torrent sites, the game and its creators must now contend with fans who couldn’t wait to buy the CD, or just wanted to snag it for free and hope that their game fares as well as the also-leaked X-Men Origins: Wolverine film, which suffered little for the piracy. Of course, it’s a different ball-game for them: the Wolverine was a workprint and thus not at the level of the theatre experience, but being able to download the complete Sims 3 leaves very little reason to then purchase a copy.

The major changes to the Sims 3 can’t be found in the graphics, which, while streamlined, aren’t that different, but rather in the composition of the Sims themselves. No longer are they mechanical and relegating to feeling using a number system (e.g. A sim is 40% hungry, with a 90% need to pee), but rather they will be more intuitive, more responsive and emotionally layered–in a word, more human. Definitely an exciting prospect for the series’ millions of fans, who were frequently limited by the previous games’ rigidity.

Of course, time will tell whether the leak will affect sales and if the new system will offer the same amount of fun as the old, but the Sims 3 will be released June 2nd and we can all keep our fingers crossed that it provides a worthy entry to an awesome franchise.