|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Maxis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: April 4, 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
The Sims has found success on multiple platforms, but their home has always been the PC. With good reason too. PC gamers have always been the most faithful when it comes to increasing the functionality of their beloved Sims - ranging from the many expansion packs of the first Sims game to the highly popular Sims 2. As the popularity of the Sims 2 grew, Maxis slowly began to release additional packs for us to devour into our already successful Sims' lives. Celebration Stuff adds a lot to the already impressive possible inventory of stuff for your Sims to buy and, just as the title suggests, it is time to celebrate. If you have never experienced the Sims before, maybe you have been waiting for this one.
The world of the Sims 2 is a very interesting one. It is divided into three locations for you live in. Pleasantview, your basic town that has been turned upside down due to family strife with an influential family, the Goths. Strangetown is a desert plain in the vein of Area 51 where Aliens and scientists seem to congregate the most. Then there is Veronaville where the Capps and the Montys have been feuding for years, but now star-crossed lovers could possibly set the path to end the feud forever. This location choice, however, is only the beginning of the many choices you will have to make in order to grow with your Sims.
While the town you selected is loading, you will notice the vastly improved graphics. The amount of little details in the trees and the homes are definite improvements. The character models also have been improved, which you will notice when creating your family to move into a home. More features and clothing for your Sims to wear are just a few of the little additions in the graphics department. When designing the home of your dreams you will also notice how refined the graphics are. For example, in the first Sims game, your television had blurred still framed pictures displayed. Now, those pictures not only move, they are also clear enough to distinguish the action your Sims is watching. This example is further displayed when you turn on your Maxis Game Simulator to play SSX 3.
The sounds of the game are still kept in unison with the first title. The music has been revamped a touch here and there in order to keep the sounds fresh for your Sims to dance the night away. The town themes are never over the top or annoying. If this is your first time ever experiencing the Sims, the language of the Sims may become a little annoying but, as you progress in the game, that annoyance will quickly go away as you start trying to understand anything they are saying. Equal to the sounds of the game for first time players, the controls will take some getting used to. Even though the button configuration is not too strenuous, it's a good thing that the Sims 2 comes with a cheat sheet for the controls. I highly suggest becoming acquainted with the cheat sheet your first time playing through. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to keep it handy just in case. If you have played either the console version of The Sims or The Sims 2, transferring yourself over to the PC version will definitely take a little bit to get used to. This, however, is only a minor setback for new PC players. Once you have mastered the controls for building and designing your dream home, you will have no problem sustaining your control over the Sims every movement.
Bit of a warning though: if you are fresh to the PC version, make sure not to over extend yourself with controllable Sims in the home. Doing so may result in some unfortunate results that you cannot repair. For example, if you start out with a fully developed family, including kids, and you start to become lazy when taking care of them social services will come and remove them from your home. This hurts later on in the game, as you will no longer be able to adopt any kids because you have had children taken away. One or two Sims is enough for you to start with successfully.
Enough about The Sims 2 already, what about the Celebration Stuff pack? The title alone should be a dead giveaway to what the main focus of the stuff pack is. Just in case it does not, it is about the times in our lives that need to be celebrated, most notably our birthdays and the day we get married. How often in your life have you had a birthday party that you just wished you had that little something extra to rave about the next day at school? Well, now you can have that party designed the way you like it. With extras focused specifically on the birthday bash of your dreams, the game features new birthday cakes and several outdoor features to add to the atmosphere of your birthday.
While an awesome birthday party might be one of your dreams, a picture perfect wedding should spark the interest of many players. All of the extras focused mainly on the wedding aspect of the game not only add a special flavor to the game, it also allows you to control every magical moment of the momentous occasion. From bouquets to tiered cakes and oodles of formal gowns and tuxes for every possible Sim, there is even a "classy" neon heart-shaped light that you can display proudly at your dream wedding. With Celebration Stuff, your wedding in the Sims will be perfect.
There are also other parties you can throw, but the themes of the party changes according to your decorations. Meaning, it is all according to your perception as to what the party is - an evening formal, a barbecue cookout, or just a bash of your own design. For the fiesta lover in all of us, Celebration Stuff supplies a few lighting and decorative items for your other parties. Unfortunately, the additional items for the parties other than a birthday and wedding are just variations. Meaning that the tables are still decorated for weddings, but you can use them for an evening formal party. Sorry, no piñatas. Even though the items can be used for all forms of parties you throw, just being able to spruce up your event with a fresh touches here and there is nice. p>
Celebration Stuff is designed for the partier in all of us. Whether it is to throw the ultimate birthday party or to design your dream wedding, this Sims stuff pack has what you have been looking for. So liven up your Sims parties and give them their hearts desires with the Celebration pack.
CCC Freelance Writer
Rating out of 5
Advanced Sims character models with more stuff to add to their homes.
If this is your first outing with the Sims, controls may cause a few problems in the beginning.
/ Sound FX / Voice Acting
Proves that speaking your own language is fun.
While playing the Sims 2 is fun on its own, this addition lacks the true meaning of an expansion.