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The Sims 2 Pets
(hx) 05:35 PM EST - Nov,29 2006

The Sims 2 Pets is the fourth expansion pack to the sales-record-breaking The Sims 2 game. This expansion pack allows your Sims to create your own pet, breed, sell and even adopt lovable animals by phone. If you are already familiar with The Sims 2, which you of course need to run this expansion pack, then you can dive right into the furry fun!

To begin, you will have to obtain a pet. This can be executed by means of five routes - making friends with a stray animal, buying a pet from a store, making a phone call and adopting, opening up the catalog to purchase caged animals, or creating your very own cat or dog in The Sims 2: Pets' elaborate creation editor. Create-A-Pet is similar to Create a Sim, and you may customize a cat or dog by choosing patterns and colors of coat, adjusting body shape, facial structure, and personality, which determines playfulness, neatness, and intelligence.

Pets have three life stages: Puppy/Kitten (which lasts three days), Adult (which lasts 25 days for cats & small dogs; 21 days for large dogs), and Elder (which lasts 5-10 days). Pets are able to breed, and doing so will produce a litter.  Speaking of breeds, you can create your own new lineage of animals. When two pets mate, like human Sims, their DNA will mix and match, and may wind up with new breeds that are not actually terrible to look at. You can "register" the new breed with the SimCity Animal Agency, and you'll be able to buy those too at will.

Pets have wants and requirements similar to your human sims including social and playtime desires that can be met by going to the park, needs like food, something to chew, a scratch able surface, a place to potty, and time to rest. Just as in real life it is your sim's responsibility to keep a pet happy by feeding and watering it, playing with it, showing it love, going to the park, or teaching it tricks such as sit, stay, and fetch. Sometimes animals need to be scolded for actions such as chewing a favorite shoe or scratching up the couch, but with the right training, a chew toy, and a scratching post, those irritating habits should no longer affect your belongings. A well-trained dog or cat won't go to the bathroom in the house, will only eat pet food, will stay off of your bed and won't destroy your furniture. Teaching commands is only one method of interacting with your pet out of a plenty of choices. You are able to play games with your pet such as razzle/fetch as well. Additionally, giving your pal some love is also a relationship booster. Animals love it when you stroke their fur, rub their bellies, and give them treats. I should mention that pets cannot be directly controlled like sims (although one can view their action queue). Instead, you have to have a Sim interact with a pet to get it do various things. However, you also will likely get sick of the short range of interactions that actually exist - there are only 2-3 ways to play, and show love to your pet.

Beyond that, your pets can also follow one of three career paths: Security, Showbiz and Services. Yeah, cats and dogs can now have jobs, although not nearly to the extent of humans. There is also an opportunity to open a pet shop if you have The Sims 2: Open for Business expansion pack installed.

One of the new additions to The Sims 2: Pets is the chance for Sims to be transformed into a Werewolf, who can in turn make your Sims suffer from lycanthropy. Unlike vampires from The Sims 2: Nightlife, being a werewolf doesn't quite have the same game-changing impact.

Of course, as with any Sims expansion, by having older expansion packs will increase the value of the expansion. One notable mention is the great integration with existing custom content, which is a great thing as older expansions had problems with Custom Content.

Overall, The Sims 2 Pets is a very good addition to the game play and will offer a rich experience to the fans of the series. If you are a dedicated Sims 2 player then this is a must, if you are a Sims 2 hater I doubt 'Pets' will change your mind :-)

related links: homepage, cheats, trainer +1, decensor patch, The Sims 2 Pets CDROM PC, The Sims 2 Pets CDROM

System requirements: 1.3GHz CPU, 256MB RAM (512 MB RAM is recommended if you are running with a few expansion packs installed), T&L-capable video card with at least 32 MB of video RAM , Win98/ME/2k/XP, at least 1.5GB free HDD space /Requires The Sims 2, The Sims 2 Special DVD Edition or The Sims 2 Holiday Edition to play/

Note: Before you install the game, don't forget to disable CloneCD, Alcohol 120%, VirtuaCD, etc. Also, if you have any "hacked" / third-party objects/patches in your game, you MUST remove these BEFORE attempting install of Sims 2 University.


snd: 4/5 - simlish and effects are still good, good soundtrack
gfx: 4/5 - still pretty good, dogs and cats themselves look outstanding, new animations to enjoy, several new and interesting objects
playability: 4/5 - entertaining and addictive, great variety of pets, pets can do many things; wreck your furniture, sleep on your bed, etc., wolves, no attacking neighbors, no new clothes at all, very few new objects (of which all revolve around the pets), bugs
genre: life simulation
platform: PC (also available on GC, Wii, NDS, PSP, PS2)
release: October 2006
developer: Maxis
publisher: Electronic Arts
Very_good
Overall: 75%


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