The Sims 3 to Hit the Consoles!

EXCELLENT NEWS for Sims fans whose computers might not be up to par when it comes to running the massive game! Here’s the story from PC World:

Surprise, The Sims 3 will soon shed its PC exclusivity by gracing not one, not two, but all three of the major consoles and a handheld to boot. Publisher Electronic Arts just revealed that The Sims 3 (PCW Score: 4.5 out of 5) is in the mixer for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Nintendo DS. It’s been secretly churning for some time too, apparently, since EA says it’ll be available for those four already this fall.

Worried it won’t transition comfortably from keyboard-mouse to couch-and-gamepad? Stay skeptical, but EA claims it “tailored each platform [version] of The Sims 3 with exclusive features to allow for even more control, creativity, and connectivity.” (I know, a little silly with the alliterative sunshine…and we’re not even to the part where they trot out shelf-syntax like “rich,” “immersive,” and “seamlessly integrated.”)

New to the console versions, “Karma Powers” let you fiddle more directly with your Sims’ well-being, and EA says you can employ them to help your Sim “get lucky,” offer them an “instant beauty” makeover, or slap them down with an “epic fail.” It sounds like the powers have flip-sides, too, and EA says using them “may have unexpected results and karma may come back to bite.”

Of the lot, it looks like the Wii and DS versions are the ones to beat. The PS3 and Xbox 360 ports will share the PC version’s option to share custom content with others. They’ll also include an option to automatically annoy–I mean “notify” Facebook friends of your in-game achievements.

But it’s the Wii and DS that have with the coolest-sounding new content.

For instance, the Wii gets a brand new beach town, with “unique residents, traits, careers and lifetime wishes.” You’ll be able to square off with friends in a new “Life Moments” mode (no explanation how it works) to earn rewards. And it sounds like EA’s added exclusive “adventure quests” designed to flesh out each area and break up stretches of needs-juggling monotony.

The DS version, by comparison, gets a “never before seen” feature where players can use the device’s stylus to “build their Sims’ homes with tools, draw walls and floors, and customize virtually everything from décor objects, textures, and more.” The Create-a-Sim aspect’s also reportedly been finessed to play to the DS’s strengths, allowing you to literally sculpt your Sims’ attributes and wardrobe. And while I’m not sure what this next bit means exactly, you can “for the first time ever on the Nintendo DS…enjoy a complete life simulation.” I’ll just read that as “notably less emasculated” overall gameplay than previous handheld ports.

Conspicuously absent from the lineup of supported devices? Sony’s PlayStation Portable, whose monthly unit sales are in the toilet. That’s a shame, considering how well the PSP version of The Sims 2 sold (tepid critical reaction notwithstanding) when it shipped back in December 2005.

If you haven’t gotten your hands on the Sims 3 for PC and are still looking for it, or if you want to be kept up-to-date on the impending release of the console ports, be sure to take a look over at EA Games’ Official Site.

Best of all, they’re having a “graduation sale” for the month of May so you can save 10-30% on all your digital game purchases!

EA Games: Graduation Sale means 30% Off Games!

Listen up! The folks at EA Games (“Challenge Everything”) are having a “graduation sale” over in their online store! If you’re a PC Gamer, you can now save on games like The Sims 3, Mass Effect and Command and Conquer. It goes like this throughout the month of May:

Buy One (1) Game, get 10% Off!
Buy Two (2) Games, get 20% Off!
or
Buy Three (3) Games, get 30% Off!

A lot of their PC Games are also available as direct downloads, meaning that if you buy them now, you’ll be up and ready to play in a matter of minutes–and nothing beats that kind of instant gratification.

Personally, I would recommend checking out The Sims 3, The Saboteur and anything from The Lord of the Rings, but in the words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it! Check it out yourself!

Alice and Kev: The Final Chapter

If you follow this blog, you might remember back in June when I made a post about Alice and Kev, a pair of Sims in the Sims 3 who were designed as a homeless father and daughter and observed as they made their way through the world of the game, every action–no matter how subtle–recorded by Alice and Kev’s author.

Well, it’s been a while now and while I won’t spoil the ending, I’m sad to say that Alice and Kev is now finished. It’s an incredible story, especially given the source material, and is at once heart-breaking, uplifting and inspiring. Definitely worth a read.

Hosted right here on WordPress, the author is awesome enough to begin the page with a link to the first episode, which allows new fans to catch up at their own pace without seeing any spoilers. It may seem like a lot to read, but trust me. It’s well worth it.

And if you aren’t already playing the Sims 3, here are the Amazon links!

The Sims 3

The Sims 3: World Adventures Expansion Pack


10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Sims 3!

Over at About.com‘s Computer Sim section, Courtney Marchelletta has sorted out 10 fun facts about the EA Games’ hit and shares them with Sims 3 fans worldwide! Have a read: you might learn something!


I admit. I am a geek. I love it when I’m playing “The Sims” and something out of the blue happens. Like the time Aunt Matilda showed up at a wedding in a bathing suit. Gotta love those inappropriate Sims.

Below are a few tidbits you may not have discovered. It’s incredible the details the developers think of adding.

1. Teddy bears can be put into cribs in buy mode.

2. Pregnant sims who eat apples or foods made with apples tend to have boys. Same goes for watermelons and girl babies.

3. A baby’s sex can be determined before birth by a Sim in the medical career in at least the fifth level. This is found under the friendly interactions menu.

4. Click on your lights to change the color of lights and their intensity.

5. Sims can age anytime not just at the end of the age stage. Buy a birthday cake and pick the Sim you want to age to blow out the candles.

6. Childish sims can fish in pools.

7. Good sims can donate to charity. Click on a mailbox with a good Sim selected.

8. Rock stars will be cheered or booed when seen in public.

9. Handy sims can wire speakers so the whole house hears music when radio is on.

10. Sims in the Criminal career cannot be robbed.


Fans can grab The Sims 3 or its new expansion at Amazon.com!
The Sims 3 for the PC
The Sims 3: World Adventures Expansion Pack
The Sims 3: Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Official Game Guides)

The Sims 3 World Adventures Goes Underground

A follow-up to our last post announcing The Sims 3: World Adventures, here’s an artcle from Kotaku that tells use about a brand new addition that makes the expansion pack even better.

The Sims 3 expansion pack World Adventures brings with it a basement tool, which everyone will use to build tombs, and not underground Sim torture chambers.

The new basement tool allows The Sms 3 players to create underground structures up to four levels deep, and EA has plenty of new tomb objects in store in order to help facilitate the joy of exploration. Objects like the Fogger, which hides unexplored areas from the player’s view, or hidden stairways, which help facilitate secret passages. Other important objects include that old staple the floor switch, and traps that shoot fire, steam, electricity, or darts. This is going to be so much fun. Toss in a couple Saw-inspired face bear traps and I’ll be in heaven.

Check out the rather large list of tomb objects EA released today below, and start planning out your tomb so you can get building when the expansion arrives on November 17th.

And yes, I am already planning my underground Sim torture chamber, but don’t you dare judge me, or you’ll be right there with them.

Here is some of the dozens of Tomb Objects and Object Updates:

Tomb Object (Fogger): The tomb object is the cornerstone of tomb building and will often be placed in every room of the tomb. The Tomb Object is what creates the “fog” that hides non-explored rooms from the player. This lets you create a sense of discovery and suspense as your Sims explore new tombs. The “fog” will recede from a room when a player enters the room through a door, descends stairs into the room, enters a room that is connected to a fogged room with an arch, or if a Sim “Looks Through” a window that looks into a fogged room. Adding or Removing fog is also a potential Activated Behavior.

Floor Switch: The floor switch is a classic adventure game object. It is a small, 1 tile floor object on which Sims can stand or push statues. Stepping On and Off the switch are both Triggers that can connect to Activated behaviors. Floor Switches can also be set to Appear or Disappear.

Wall and Floor Trap: The traps are two different objects that can be placed on the wall or floor. These can be set to shoot fire, darts, steam, or electricity on unsuspecting Sims. They can have a variety of states, including hidden and dormant, armed and visible, hidden and armed, or hidden and firing. Each of these states can be activated by Sims walking over them or as an Activated Behavior. Traps can light Sims on fire or knock them out. However, there are multiple ways to handle traps. Sims can disarm them by tinkering with them, or push statues upon them to disarm. Water will disarm a fire trap, which makes a great puzzle element when paired with the steam trap…which creates water! Sims can walk with immunity through a fire trap when soaked. Experiment and come up with your own puzzles!

Dive Well: Dive Wells are one of the most exciting Tomb Objects. Sims can use them to become Soaked, which makes them immune to fire, or to put themselves out when already on fire. A Hidden Switch can be set at the bottom of dive wells as a Trigger. You can always place treasures at the bottom. Another fun element is that you can set the color of the water in the dive well, so fire tombs can have blood red water, whereas a tomb with a poison theme can have murky green water. Dive Wells are most fun when they are set up as portals. Dive Wells set as Portals will connect to each other. Sims will go to the bottom, and then emerge from the closest dive well on the same floor. It’s also possible to designate a Dive Well as an Uber Dive Well. Here, you designate a name so that you can define the precise point of origin and exit – even across multiple lots in the world. This lets you create one-of-a-kind entrances to island tombs and other inaccessible areas.

Treasure Chest: The biggest reason to explore anything is to find treasure at the end. Treasure Chests let you fill your tomb creations with various treasures, keys, garbage, or whatever you can imagine. Opening and Inserting a Keystone a treasure chest are also Triggers that can set Activated Behaviors.

Sarcophagus: The Sarcophagus can act as a large, ornate treasure chest, a place to hide, a place to sleep, and even a place to WooHoo. Most exciting, however, is its ability to spawn mummies. Mummies will patrol tombs in search of unsuspecting Sims to pummel and *gasp* curse! Mummies provide an element of danger and the unexpected to any tomb.

Torch Lever: The torch lever, like the Floor Switch, is an object for Sims to pull on to trigger Activated Behaviors. Some can be set to active, whereas others can be dummies, forcing players to carefully examine their surroundings. It’s possible to define the colors of the torch light, which allows Tomb Designers to provide hints and clues on how to complete puzzles. Or, to simply set the ambience of a tomb!

Pushable Statues: Pushable Statues are another classic adventure game element. They can be pushed on top of traps to disarm them, or cleverly pushed through a maze to unveil a formerly blocked path. Their most common use is to be paired with a floor switch. Floor Switch triggers can be set so that they activate something when a Sim is on them, but deactivate as soon as a Sim steps off of them. This means a Sim must push a statue on top of them in order to keep the floor switch depressed. Pushable Statues can be set to be secretly pushable (they require inspection), visibly pushable (no inspection needed), or not pushable at all.

Hidden Stairways: Stairways from The Sims 3 can be set to Hidden now. This is an Activated Behavior, so that a Trigger can now Hide or Unhide the stairs. Hidden Stairways are a great way to surprise players. Just when it seems there’s no way out, pulling a switch reveals a stairway!


You can get a copy of the Sims 3 and its expansion at Amazon.com!
EA Games’ The Sims 3
The Sims 3: World Adventures Expansion Pack

Sims 3: WORLD ADVENTURES!

Once again, some good news for fans of the Sims 3! This time from PC World

Pack your flip-flops and water purifying tablets, The Sims are off to party with the geographic glitterati in The Sims 3 World Adventures, the first expansion to EA’s June-released “life simulation” game (PCW Score: 90%). Trip around the world to “famous real-world inspired destinations” in China, France, and Egypt without leaving the cushy security of your comfy chair, or paying for expensive massages in strange places to minimize pain incurred by tourist’s neck.

I’m not sure how they’ll handle game flow as you make plans to leave. Small town travel agency? Can you use a multi-billions discount aggregator that’s secretly more expensive than booking directly? Will Sims under your tutelage back home auto-manage efficiently in your absence? Do you have to bring the whole family, or can your married forty-something Sim have a proper mid-life crisis and go hotel-hopping in “Sim Lanka” with a barely twenty-year-old Nabokov-obsessed artiste?

Just getting to-from your exotic destination could be interesting. Will your plane stall on the runway and make your Sims’s stress level redline? Hang for hours in a landing pattern waiting for traffic to clear? Can you strip naked and flash the attendant staff if they lose your luggage? Can you torment foreigners by blaring Ladytron’s “Ghosts” from a portable boom box? Can your Sim go in a cup if he/she gets lost in some dingy Egyptian pyramidal nether passage after tossing back a few too many mocha-lattes?

Okay, mic over to EA.

“We’re thrilled with the global success of The Sims 3 over these last few months and are looking forward to expanding on the gameplay experience with one of the most robust expansion packs to The Sims yet,” said Scott Evans, General Manager of The Sims at EA. “Players will be able to take their Sims on the adventure of a lifetime and explore lands outside of Sunset Valley and Riverview, pursue thrilling new life destinies in locations around the world inspired by famous destinations, and immerse themselves in the open-ended gameplay where they’ll discover new cities in China, France, and Egypt, and share new stories.”

Did I mention the game has ninjas? Not necessarily Ninjas, capital-N, but yep, you can actually “master martial arts” in Shang Simla, China. Don’t bother Google-mapping it–or Champs Les Sims, France and Al Simhara, Egypt either. It’s not just about visiting places you can’t afford to in reality, it’s as much about going where no one’s gone before–or ever will–too.

New challenges: Search for secret treasure, learn new skills, chase down new personal opportunities, meet new Sims and share their culture, even bring them home (word up, Madonna and Angelina Jolie!). Also: Discover new styles and share your experiences with the world (the Real World, that is) via photos, movies, and stories.

If you’re a budding virtual internationalist, it’ll be on your hard drive (and you’ll be 1,000 SimPoints richer, to spend on all the new online content) when it launches November 16, 2009.

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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