Friday, March 26, 2010

What's New at The Loft - Episode 15

The 411 on Life at the Loft


Our general Guild meeting for March will be Tuesday, March 30th @ 6:30 pm and will feature guest speaker Nancy Nally from Scrapbook Update. For more on Nancy and Scrapbook Update click here.

For more information on these two upcoming events or to sign up online you can go to Seating is limited so don't delay!

Saturday, March 20 we conducted our first workshop featuring Mou Saha, and a project she created called "My Wish For You". For more information on Mou click here.  Everyone had a lot of fun with this project which featured masks, journaling and lots of paint.  Here are some pictures from the event. 


Here's a picture of me and Mou

Thanks Mou for such a great workshop!!!


Ok, so as promised here is my take on the subject of The Sims 2 vs Sims 3.  I know this is off the ususal topics for me but hey it's my blog and I can write about what I want.

To me The Sims is one of the best games ever.  I've been a fan of the the various versions of these simulation games for a long time.  I started with Sim City, graduated to Sim Tower, Sim Safari, Sim Town, The Sims, The Sims 2, Sim City Societies and now The Sims 3.  I always thought Sim City was fun, but limited, Sim Tower was a fave of mine for a long time until the The Sims came out.  I had all the expansions and could often sit, play and build for hours. I also loved that with The Sims you could download custom created content from other players.  When Sims 2 was released I was hesitant to make the switch.  I actually waited for over a year before getting it and loading it up.  I was hooked however from the start.  I purchased every expansion and every add on pack, plus downloaded an enormous amount of custom content.  The controls on Sims 1 were so limited in comparison, and with more building possibilities I never went back to Sims 1 again.  But now there is Sims 3, and while they have only released 1 expansion and 1 add on pack for this game, I still think a comparison can be made between the two base games. 

When you think of Sims 3, most people think that the new game must be improved from the other versions.  So what changed from S2?  Sims 3 promised seamless moving around town and from lot to lot, which meant no more tedious loading when going to another location as in S2.  As cool as it is to watch the taxi or my Sims car drive them around town, (you can even zoom in on them while driving), or watch them walk over to the neighbors house, there was a trade off for this.  Some of the locations that your Sims visit are no longer visible inside.  So places like restaurants, grocery stores etc. can be visited but your sim cannot be followed inside.  Instead you are given a menu of options of things that can be done on that lot, but you cannot see your sim actually do them.  This is limiting as now you can only have social interactions outside, since you cannot see who may be inside that you can meet up with. 

The second big change has to do with how the game loads now.  S3 definitely loads faster than S2 does, but what it loads is a family bin, not a neighborhood.  This is ok if you are just want to play your game, but what if you don't want to play a family and just want to build.  Building is one of my favorite things to do.  Even though it's all part of a game I find building sometimes can be a great creative outlet, and often turn to this when I'm in a creative rut with my conventional crafting.

How is it differnt? Mainly the difference in loading is that in S2 you loaded a neighborhood and from there you load either a family if you are going to play, or a lot if you are going to be building.  With S3 you no longer get the choice, you have to load a family, and then once loaded you need to go to your options menu and choose to edit the town.  You can build residential lots as well as community lots, but with not being able to go inside certain buildings anymore, there really isn't much point to building community lots.  

The third big change is the customization with your Sim.  Don't like the presets for the haircolor, no problem, you now have a color wheel to choose your own color, with additional customization for roots, tips highlights and main color.  So if you want your Sim to have bleach blonde hair with black roots, purple tips and red highlights, have at it.  You can also do this for clothing as well. The trade off is that the number of options for hairstyles is limited, and most of the clothes are horrible to start so customizing them really doesn't help much.  This was an obvious ploy by EA games to get you to purchase stuff from them since now the game loads through a new launcher which can pitches items from their store by tempting you with free stuff too. 

To be fair, I'm a little biased towards S2 because I have all of the expansions with some being good and some not so good.  I love the Open For Business expansion where you can create and run your own business and the Bon Voyage expansions where you can go on vacation or build your dream vacation home on the beach, but could have done without Pets and Freetime.  The expansions are usually what makes the game more interesting and fun to play. 

So what about S3 first expansion you ask.  It's called World Adventures, and hyped a great deal, like being able to travel to China, France or Egypt.  Bon Voyage for S2 was one of my favorite expansions but the places you travelled to were pre made locations, with the option to create your own "vacation" location as well.  Each location was like it's own neighborhood, with you could literally build from scratch.  World Adventures for S3 works a little different.  First, your passport allows you to only go on a 3 day trip to start regardless of the amount of money your Sims have.  If you want to go on a longer trip you are forced to participate in the adventures to game more points in your passport to allow a longer trip.  Even after you complete all of the adventures your passport still only allows a maximum stay of 7 days. To gain more points to get more days allowed on your passport however you may need to make several trips to an adventure location just to complete tasks.  The second thing that really bugs me about this is that in each of the places you visit it takes forever to travel from one lot to another.  You waste a lot of your vacation time just getting around.  Poor planning I think. 

Thirdly a lot of attention was paid to developing China, but Egypt and France were sparse in what they had to offer, leading me to a feeling that the product was rushed to put on the market for the holiday shopping season.  I admit I fell for it too.  Both the expansion and the base game were being offered at such great prices during the holidays, I put them on my Christmas list (I would have waited to move to S3 if the deal wasn't so good).  And while there are some fun parts to World Adventures mostly the whole expansion pack seemed lacking.   
The Big Picture:   So what do I think overall, where Sims 3 is fun, and the seamless transitioning between lots is cool, I can't help but feel that all the new things aren't worth the hype or the trade off's sacrificed for them.  Of course every person Sims differently so what I don't like about S3 may be the things another person loves.  But for me I still think S2 is for now the better game, even with the slower loading.  We'll see what the future holds for expansions on this game.  I'm waiting for them to knock my socks off with something never done before.

Well that's all I have for now.  I know there was no posting for the ATC 3.6.5. Challenge this time but I promise next posting I will catch up on with that.  I'm still making a card per day so there will be lots to show you.   As always comments are welcome so feel free to drop me a line.  Thanks for stopping by
and come back soon.

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