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The Sims Life Stories
(hx) 07:55 PM EDT - Jun,12 2007

The Sims Life Stories is the first game in the The Sims Stories series. The game is a laptop optimized (and lower end desktop computers) version of The Sims 2, and bears similarities to the console ports of sims games. The Sims: Life Stories is mostly about love, which has been a key focus points in both The Sims, and its sequel, The Sims 2.

The Sims Life Stories introduces an all-new Story Mode with two stories that follow the lives of Riley Harlow and Vincent Moore, two very different characters who have reached similar crossroads in their love lives. Each story has 12 chapters, with certain objectives to be met in each before you can move the tale forwards. Riley Harlow, the protagonist of the first story, is a feisty young female from SimCity who moves back to the suburbs for a fresh start. Soon, Riley finds herself confused by love... that's where you come in. Full of sitcom twists, and rivalries brewing in the mix, Riley's story is the easier of the two. The goals are very simple and most of them does not have to take too much time to complete. I've completed the game in just over a week, however you can probably finish it ten times faster if you play the game more consistently :-)

After both stories are completed the gameplay continues in open-ended Classic mode, which is similar in nature to The Sims 2. You can create your own Sims from scratch, build a home for them, and lead them through the trials and tribulations of Sim life. But you'll find that The Sims Life Stories is considerably more limited in terms of what you can do, what you can build, and where you can go. Also, there are less items for your Sim, making you feel empty inside. Fortunately, on the official website, EA has made a downloading page, so if you're a frequent downloader, you can make your own items and clothes. The open-ended gameplay also suffers glitches, and long load times (probably even longer than The Sims 2).

I would say the biggest reason this game was made was for people who travel a lot. The game is laptop friendly, so you can do almost anything and everything in one click. There are also loads of key shortcuts that make life a lot easier, especially for users playing on the go. WSAD keys move the camera up down, left and right, while keys on the other side of the keyboard pan the camera around. The real stroke of genius comes in the form of pressing T to talk on your mobile phone, pressing B for bladder to make your character go to the loo - or H for hunger to make your character eat. Besides, the game can be switched between full screen and windowed mode so you can chat with their mates on IM, check their emails and pursue other tasks whenever they wish which is quite convenient.

The question is, should you buy the game? Well, if you own the Sims 2, you may not want to look this direction but if you have a low end computer or a laptop, and have not played the Sims 2 before, this may be the Sims game for you.

System Requirements:

Minimum: 1GHz CPU, 256MB RAM, ATI Radeon 9000 or Geforce FX 5200 or Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 with 32MB RAM, 3GB free HDD space, DVD-ROM Recommended: 1.8GHz CPU, 512MB RAM, video card with 64MB RAM*, 3GB free HDD space, DVD-ROM

* NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200, 6600, 6800, 7300, 7800 NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500, ATI Radeon 9000, 9200, 9550, 9600, 9650, 9800, X600, X1900, INTEL GMA 950
** Of note, this is not an add-on or expansion pack to Sims 2, it is a full standalone game



snd: 3/5 - OK, the little Sims still speak "Simlish", music is great even though the song choices are limited
gfx: 3/5 - it still looks like The Sims 2, but the textures are a little fuzzier, the edges aren't quite as smooth and some 3D objects appear 2D when you zoom closer
playability: 4/5 - Story Mode with two stories, Classic mode, great for people with notebook who travel a lot, pretty shot (~ten hours of gameplay in all), bugs
genre: Life
platform: PC (also available on Mac)
release: February 2007
developer: Maxis
the game is similar to: The Sims 2
publisher: EA
Good
Overall: 72%


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