This is a guest review by LydiaInsane, which show a comparison between the GBA and DS version of The Sims 2.
Having played The Sims 2 and both expansions on the PC, I expected something very similar, if rather cut down to appear on these handheld consoles. But instead of the usual house building, plus worrying about work and friends, I found myself playing two very different but equally addictive games. These games have more in common with The Urbz, than The Sims 2 but in my opinion are much better and more fun.GBA
In the Game Boy Advance version, your sim is an actor who has just moved into a new town, 'Strangetown', the whole town is being filmed by secret cameras and you are the only person living in the town that knows; as you are the star of the latest reality TV sitcom!
At the start you create a sim from a small number of options, including the usual clothes, hair and aspiration. You are given a completely empty house, for which you can buy furniture for in a shop in town. In the first introductory mission you make friends with a neighbour, visit the shop and then report back to your producer, Daddy Bigbucks via a bugged mobile phone (so the audience at home can hear what your saying!)
Even the very first level is a lot of fun and quickly introduces you to how the game works.
As many people will know, toilets are one of the most important things a sim can own! So the producer kindly buys you one, but once you get back home you find an Alien already using your facilities, so you have to convince him to leave! He even breaks the toilet, so you then have to fix it before you can use it... At this point I knew I was playing a really great game!
The game controls are simple and intuitive, while the graphics and sound are what you would expect for a GBA game.
The levels are episodes (and seasons) of the TV show and you get game points to buy things such as social moves by completing various missions. You can also purchase 'Plot Twists' to make the show more interesting therefore getting higher ratings.
There are five mini games you can play, three which can be played in 2 player link mode; you earn money by playing these games. As this is TV you also must take part in commercial breaks, which take the form of more mini games, for these you can earn even more cash.
I guess some players may find the gameplay a little linear compared to the PC version, but this is a very different game, although it still has many of the features that make The Sims so addictive. I liked bieng able to play through levels and build up my sim, while still upgrading her house as I went along. I can find very little to complain about with this game, but I guess it won't be a game I could go back to many times once completed.
I would recommend this game to anyone who loves The Sims or a good but different adventure game and would probably even appeal to those who found The Sims PC game somewhat tiresome. If you have a GBA or even a DS buy this game!
Use this link for the GBA related information The Sims 2 - GBA
In the Nintendo Dual screen version of The Sims 2, you once again find yourself in 'Strangetown' but this time you are running a Hotel.
The game immediately takes full advantage of both screens and is once again very easy to control. Plus as the DS is a much more powerful machine, so you get a much larger choice of clothes and hairstyles.
You have an apartment in the hotel, which you can buy more furniture for, but thankfully it came with more than just a toilet this time!
The first main difference between this game and all other versions of the Sims is the fact that it's in real time and uses the DS clock to keep a track of things. When I first heard this, I knew that this game would suck up a lot of my life, but at the same time I wasn't quite convinced! I think in later levels it will get tedious and I am sure many people will just change the clock on the console to speed things up a bit. Of course, the advantage of this is that if you don't have much time, the game can also be easily played in small chunks. I recommend this for people who take the bus or train to work every day, you can get a good few hours in each day.
The start of the game will have you forced into taking over the hotel because your car broke down and then rather oddly collecting nuclear power rods to put in the hotel boiler!? The nuclear rods are scattered throughout the whole town and you can even sell them...
Upgrades for the hotel can be brought at the planning office and the first you buy is a casino. This is very much needed early on, as the mini game you can play there earns you some much needed cash.
The guests at the hotel and the other citizens of 'Strangetown' are a very odd bunch; so I found myself having to calm them down or stop them going completely insane! Even the guy you get to build your casino, you have to cheer up as his girlfriend has been dragged away by giant scorpions!?
The same characters appear in this game as the GBA version, which feels somewhat odd as I had been playing both the games in turn! Even my alien friend made an appearance early on, this time he was planning invasion and need to be fought off with a water pistol!
Once again some may find the game too linear, but the DS version has plenty to keep you entertained, such as several very addictive mini games and the option to design paintings for your hotel, which increases the décor of the room and the guests might even buy them. You can also create music for the game from various samples; you can play your new tunes to NPC's in certain locations to earn a bit more cash, well if they like it of course!
The start of this game is a little more hectic than the GBA version, with things to buy, guest to keep happy, as well as the usual desire to sleep, use the toilet and shower. Of course the odd alien invasion and mysterious fire kept me even busier! Even so things such as building new guest rooms seemed to take ages and ages because of the real time element and I found myself occasionally wanting to speed time up like in the PC game.
Despite a few minor gripes, this is a still a great game and proves The Sims franchise still has plenty to offer!
Use this link for the DS related information The Sims 2 - DS
It truly is nice to see a games developer creating two very different games for the GBA and DS, when it would have been easier to port the same game from one to the other. While some fans of the PC game are disappointed by the fact that these games are not actual simulation games, I think the platform/adventure format fits perfectly.
I truly would recommend both these highly original and very quirky games; plus if you own a DS you can of course play both of them.