SIMS 2 10th Year Anniversary Special – A Story of a Sims 2 Gamer
SIMS 2 – The 2nd Stage of ‘Simvolution’
Sims 2 debuted on September 2014 and the rest was history. The successor to the original Sims series came out of the gates strong, selling over 13 million copies worldwide and is part of the top 15 highest best-selling PC games “OF ALL TIME”(Russell Hantz). This entry talks about how this famous game was a part of my gamer life.
REAL WORLD: STRONG STYLE
Initially I was already contented with my Sims 1 (and the expansions up to ‘vacation’) at that point. That was, until I saw…THIS!
Yes…it was through a wrestling simulation game message board where I was convinced to buy Sims 2. Then known as ‘Extreme Warfare Battleground IV’, a game diary named ‘Real World: Strong Style‘ caught my eye on October 2004. While the diary wasn’t as good as taking pictures (initially) from some of the best stories in the Sims 2 Exchange, it still drew me in. The premise of 7 pro-wrestlers in Sim form, living together and narrated in a ‘reality TV-esqe’ manner, sold me on the idea of buying the game. If you followed the link, some of the highlights of the initial season included Shane Helms giving birth to an alien baby and Val Venis, being Val Venis. So yah, if there’s anyone you have to thank for me buying (and writing this verbose ramble about the ten-year anniversary of Sims 2), it’s Fanku Kaibutsu, the author of the said thread in EWB.
You can find the diary here (note: You have to be a registered member of the forum to check it out. But hell..it’s WORTH checking it out…not because I’m overly biased for it or anything.)
Family Bonding > Slow PCs
Being a gamer in the Third World, (shout out to 3rd world gaming) however, has its drawbacks. Having a not so fast PC was the initial problem that led me to not playing the Sims 2 optimally during my first year of purchase. By X-Mas time, I shipped/gifted it to my cousins who loved the game and had a faster PC that can make the game play more bearable than my clanky PC. Little did I know that it would begin a whole ‘exchanging of the owner’ phase when one of us upgraded a desktop. The game came back to our household around 2007 or so since our DELL PC was fast enough with its mighty 2 GB of RAM! (Eventually all the CDs went my way around 2009 or so…thanks guys :D…now I feel bad :()
It was during the Summer time where we convene in our aunt’s house (usually after swimming somewhere) and play the Sims 2. We rarely played together, but when we did, it was a very fun time. Each cousin took turns in designing their Sim, building their room area and designing their personal rooms. We did get to play afterwards and there were some memorable glitches, like the swimming on the floor glitch. Yep, Jesus walks on water, Chuck Norris and our Sims swam on land! It sounds cheesy but I have to say that Sims 2 truly helped us cousins bond over a videogame, which is always an awesome thing. Speaking of cheese..yes..I also served ‘grilled’ cheese sandwiches once or twice during the Sims 2 sessions at my house, just because it’s…y’know, a grilled cheese sandwich.
I Was Amazed by the Game’s Soundtrack and the Amazing Promotional Videos
It’s rare that I’d rave about a game’s soundtrack. You’ll only get me to rave about that certain aspect with the Suikoden Series, the song selection of NBA 2k games…and The Sims 2. The great mind behind the music of Nickelodeon’s Rugrats (and many other shows…and videogames) shared his magic with The Sims 2 team. Mark Mothersbaugh was the lead composer and made memorable Sims 2 tracks such as the one in create-a-sim, build mode, buy mode…hell almost ALL the music! Mothersbaugh aside, the ‘simlished’ songs of Natasha Bedingfield, Lilly Allen and DataRock were quite amazing too.
At the start of my Sims 2 gaming experience, of COURSE there was no expansion packs. As soon as my DELL was used, we eventually grabbed all the EPs we could find. University, Night Life, Open for Business, Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage and FreeTime were all put into my deskstop. I loved the obvious addition of the ‘college life’ part of the University EP. For Night Life, it was the clubs and the cars. Open for Business was a little ‘meh’ for me but hey, it didn’t hurt to have some ‘in house’ income at times. Pets was rather nice because it let me add some more factors into the Sims 2 story telling I was dabbling in. I found Seasons rather enjoyable with all the change of weather and stuff. Bon Voyage..let’s just say it helped us learn how to teleport. FreeTime was fun since the gardening, pottery and arts badges were addicting to progress through…but I found that Ron Humble guy quite creepy @_@
Sadly, Apartment Life was never bought since I can’t find it anywhere in the PC shops when I was still on a Sims 2 high. Man, even if I don’t play the series anymore, I’d love to have a copy of ‘Apartment Life’ to my collection. Yeah, just putting it out there for those who might want to gift me something in 2-3 months down the road (and it better be a REAL copy of it…yarrr).
Story Time! – and the Pleasantview Bias
No Sims 2 game experience is complete without making ‘stories’ of your sims via the album feature. My very first Sims 2 story upload was that of Erik Swain’s college life…which kinda sucked ass. Eventually I dabbled with various households in the Pleasantview neighborhood and did a few story styles. One story (Burbs) involved storytelling with two people doing online chat (Lucy and her dad John). Another story involved a ‘diary’ style storytelling (The Broke Household + Caliente). Two story albums, however, were ‘loosely’ based off 2 WWE wrestlers (Santino and Y2J) and they were fun to write. Yes it was quite evident that my bias led me to write stories solely on the Pleasanview neighborhood. In my defense, I wrote the ‘asylum’ game off that new neighborhood in FreeTime…so, yeah…there ya go!
College Life and Great PC Crash of 2009
Sadly, real life (college) caught up and I had to put my ‘story telling’/gaming of Sims 2 on hold. Another factor brought upon the temporary end of my Sims 2 gaming life in a form of a PC crash. Thankfully I had a backed up save file…but it didn’t have the pictures I was ready to use for the ‘story telling’ plots I wanted to have T_T. Another problem I had was the ‘sims 2 exchange import’ was messing up…so I made a livejournal wherein all my ‘future’ works would be put up. As of today, it only added ONE future work…and that was it. Another PC crash later…and it was goodbye Sims 2. The combination of academics, travel and the eventual night shift job of early 2012 were main factors (oh…also this blog…darn you, blog!) as to why I couldn’t even re-install the game on my PC. Maybe one factor that I hate to admit was the fact that maybe, just maybe, I ‘grew out’ of it.
A Toast to Ten Years of Sims 2!
While I doubt I can fully go back into playing Sims 2 on my desktop (work) , I have to say that it was a highlight of my gamer life in the late 2000s (2006 up to 2010). So to you, Sims 2, here’s a big thanks. Thank you for inspiring me to cook grilled cheese sandwiches. Thank you for giving me and my cousins something to bond on during the weekends and the summer time. Thank you for inspiring me to write sims story telling albums on the sims exchange…and even do that ‘asylum challenge’. But most of all…thank you for giving this guy one heck of a gaming and storytelling experience. Congratulations on hitting your 10th year anniversary!