The sequel to the popular people simulation game, The Sims, The Sims 2 is a new and definitely improved version of the original. The graphics are better, the game play is better, everything is better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the original, but I love The Sims 2 even more. They’ve even given you a story element to the game, it doesn’t seem to be that important and you don’t have to follow it, but it still adds a little more life to the game. This is a guide to the base game The Sims 2 and not the Expansion Packs. To understand this guide, you’ll need a basic idea of how to play the original. I know it doesn’t seem fair, but it is very difficult to explain the entire game in one article.
In The Sims 2 you are given three neighborhoods to start your playing. They are Pleasantview, Strangetown and Veronaville. You can create your own neighborhoods, but you start with no Sims, no houses, absolutely nothing, so unless you’re willing to invest the time to build a neighborhood from scratch, stick with the three you’re given. Each neighborhood has it’s own theme, own characters and own story. The Sims from one neighborhood cannot visit other neighborhoods, but you can take an occupied house, put it in the occupied houses bin on the main neighborhood menu, got to another neighborhood and place it within the new neighborhood, the transported Sims will not remember they’re old friends from home, but their relationships with other members of their households. So the Jones’ of Pleasantview (not the name of a family you actually start with) can’t visit the Smith’s of Strangetown (they actually do come as a comp. created family) unless one family moves to the other family’s neighborhood. I usually stick to Pleasantview when I play The Sims 2, so my knowledge of the other two is limited, but I will try to give you as much info. on them as I can.
1. Pleasantview : This is the neighbor hood fans of the original Sims will recognize best. That’s because it’s supposed to be the original neighborhood from the original game, just twenty-five years later. The neighborhood has changed. The Goths have changed the most from the original game. First Mortimer and Bella had a son, Alexander, Bella mysteriously disappeared, Cassandra grew up and is engaged to the town Lothario, literally his last name is Lothario, but is secretly in love with the town’s struggling artist and Mortimer has struck it rich, but is lonely with out Bella.. You also might recognize the Pleasant family, Jennifer and Daniel’s parent’s have passed but their children are still around. Daniel is married, but not happily, with twin teenage daughters and he’s having an affair with the maid, yes you can interact with the hired staff (boy can you ever). Jennifer is married to Johnny Burb (you might remember him from The Sims Unleashed expansion pack) they have a daughter, Lucy and not nearly as much money as Daniel, but they have something Daniel doesn’t, real love and happiness. There are many new characters to, the Calliente sisters, Don Lothario, Darren Dreamer and his son Dirk and many more.
2. Strangetown: As I said, I don’t know much about Strangetown, but I think the name of the town says it all. The residents of this desert town aren’t what would be considered your average neighbors in our world. For instance, the above mentioned Smith’s consist of Pollination Technician #9, an elderly alien who retired to planet earth and met his wife (an earthling) and had two kids, the oldest, Johnny, has his fathers green skin and has trouble fitting in with his earth friends.
3. Veronaville: I know less about Veronaville than I do Strangetown. I can tell you that the characters included with the game are based on William Shakspere’s “Romeo and Juliet”. Other than that, I can’t tell you much. If you want to know more, play the game, or read the play, or both, I recommend option 3.
Designing Your Sims
Unlike the original, in The Sims 2 you have much more control over your Sims looks. You can pick and modify each individual facial feature, their hair, their makeup, their weight. Their clothes are decided individually as well, no more sets of clothes that are not interchangeable. You can pick each article of clothing, individually, from their outerwear to their underwear to their swimwear. You can also chose their age, which are now: Toddler, Child, Teenager, Adult and Elder. If you have two adults in the house, there is a new tool you can use to design a child based on the parents genetics. You also choose their aspirations, Family, Romance, Knowledge and more. More on that later.
Otherwise, designing your Sims is pretty much the same, in regards to personality. When your family is complete you have to give them relationships with the others in the household, Parent, Sibling, Child, Roommate. If you chose roommate, they will still have the same last name as the other Sim(s).
The game comes with already designed homes in the lots and houses bin that you can place anywhere in your neighborhoods where there is enough space. You can design your own homes by placing an empty lot from a separate section of the lots and houses bin in your neighborhood and entering it. Building your house is basically the same as the first Sims. Place walls, doors and windows and put in wall coverings and floors. You must, however put your own roofs on with the roof tool, as opposed to them appearing automatically in Sims 1. You can also place foundations for your new buildings before the walls and everything else. If you put in a foundation you must leave some overhang or add a deck and attach the new connecting staircases so the Sims can enter their new homes. Buy mode is still pretty much the same, except there are more objects to select from and some come with a design option where you can chose from different colors or woods for you’re new object. For instance, if you choose a certain couch with the design option, a box will appear with the options you can chose from, some might have a choice of cushions, some a choice of wood, some you can mix and match different options for both. Some objects are not designable at all, so you are stuck.
There are also business in The Sims 2. Supermarkets, shopping centers. Video game stores. They are basically just like the commercial lots of The Sims Unleashed. In the expansion packs there are more options for these shopping districts, but this is a guide to the base game only.
Gameplay in The Sims 2 is basically the same as in the original. Of course there are differences
though not many. Interactions are the same, but gone are the days when your Sims could conceive their babies by a kiss. To get pregnant, the Sims, who must be in love with each other not just a small infatuation, must each choose the “relax” option in bed, once both are stretched out in bed, you must click on the Sim you’re not controlling at the time and choose the “Try for Baby” option. You can use your imagination as to what happens next. Once your Sims settle down, listen closely for a special music, if you hear it, then your Sims are about to become parents. The Mother Sim will be pregnant for three Sim days. At the time of birth the game will bring you to momma Sim and will bring up a screen where you are told the baby’s gender and a box to enter the bundle of joy’s name. And gamer beware, the Sims can have twins. You can also follow the full lives of your Sims, from newborn to old age. Sims can also move out of their parents house and strikeout on their own, when they reach adulthood. And the Sims don’t last forever, depending on how good their lives have been, they can live a long life, or day way to many days early. Maybe there are more differences than I thought.
As mentioned above, the Sims now have aspirations. They have goals and fears which depend on what you chose as their aspiration. It is all monitored in a new meter, at the elderly stage of life, the higher their aspiration meter is, the longer their life, the less full it is, the shorter their life will be. Achieving their goals fills their meter, realizing their fears takes away from their meter.
The main reasons some people buy these games to begin with. Here are two of my favorite cheat codes.
More Money: Open the cheat code box in the neighborhood screen by pressing the crtl-shift-c keys on your keyboard. Type in: familyfunds, family’s name, amount, for example:
familyfunds Goth 190000 and hit the enter key and your family will have a sudden windfall of cash.
Move Objects: Open the cheat box on either the neighborhood screen or gameplay screen and type in: moveobjects on to gain the ability to move objects to places they wouldn’t ordinarily go.
Well, I guess that’s it for now. I could go into a detailed description of every Sim in the game, all it’s expansions and whatever else you can think of, but my hands would probably fall off. I do, however, intend on writing a guide to The Sims 2 Expansion Packs soon, so stay tuned!