|System: Wii, PS2, GC, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Maxis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 12, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
Many people, myself included, might have a hard time imagining why this title was even brought out on the Wii. I was equally addicted to this game as I was to the other previous titles released on both the PC and several other consoles. I am here to say that I dare you to pick it up and not enjoy it just as much. Well, unless you are still playing it on one of the other consoled versions or the PC for that matter.
Once more, you are the creator of these Sims and their homes; the tried and true formula that we have come to know and love from the plethora of Sims titles already available for the PC is still in tact. In fact, we have been playing The Sims longer than some systems have been around. That right there should be an indicator of the importance of PC gaming. As I was saying though, you will create your Sims to interact with one another in the same fashion as all of the other Sims games, except this time you can create a pet to accompany your Sims as they give you the best renditions of the Surreal Life in whatever amount of dosage you need. You have the opportunity to choose from several different breeds of cats and dogs, as well as, my personal favorite, the mixed breeds for both dogs and cats.
These animals join your Sims family as easily as any one of the other characters. The Sims will interact with your animals, teaching them new tricks, playing with them, and, of course, training them to attack the would be burglars of your home. The sounds of your animals are convincing enough; they sound like they have been recorded from real life animals. The downfall here is the same thing that tends to plague the other Sims games in my humblest of opinions. The lack of variety of sounds in the game tend to lessen an experience that could be more authentic. However, it has been this way for ten years, so why change it now? The other thing that could be a gripe that falls under the same category of not-really-being-able-to-complain-about-it are the graphics. Nothing will ever compare to the graphics that first graced the PC, mainly because I am something of a purest and admire that the graphics for the Sims will always look better on its original source. Thus, when I see the graphics on the consoles, they do not hold a candle to the PC versions. However, I must say that the graphics on the Wii do look better than the GameCube version of the title. At least it was a nice step forward graphically instead of a direct port all the way around.
In addition to your pooches and kitties getting the family love, your Sims will enter them into competitions, with nice Sims-type prizes. You can also take your pets to the Town Park to mingle with the other pets visiting the park. Of course, you could do this and many other things I have already mentioned in previous versions of the game, however the Wii controls really add to the gameplay and make it a little easier to get enveloped by the game. At it's heart, The Sims 2: Pets wants to be viewed as a casually played game. Unfortunately, this is not the case at all. Yeah, sure you can just pick it up and move things around a little to say that you played the game, but that is not what makes this series of games enjoyable. At first, if you have played before, you will take a few moments to get used to the controls of the game. Once that is out of the way, you will be building and moving things around just like a pro. You will use the Nunchuk to move your Sims around and then the pointing sensor from the Wii remote to highlight and grab nearly everything. The only thing I did not really care for was selecting your options in several instances without a visible indication on what you were selecting on the menu screens.
The Sims 2: Pets may not be a new title for us to devote our Sims loving selves to, but it is at least a nice addition to hold us over until the Wii exclusive MySims comes out. Regrettably, this version may be viewed as too old a game to be viable in today's market. This is a really bad thing mainly due to the fact that this could easily prep new gamers looking for that pre-MySims experience on the Wii. Whether you are new or old to this title or the series pick it up even if a rental and experience The Sims 2: Pets on your Wii today. You will be glad you did.
CCC Project Coordinator