If she loves Yo!Ville, will she love the Sims?
November 22, 2009 1:41 PM   Subscribe

My wife loves YoVille, farm town, farmville, etc. on facebook - will she love the Sims (2 or 3) for Christmas?

She loves all these games on facebook where you build a house/farm/etc. Design and decoration are important, as is getting new items to place in said house or farm. When we used to play MMORPGs, she spent a lot of time on character creation and choosing outfits.

I was thinking about getting her the Sims 2 for Christmas - does that sound like a good match? Sims 2 is a little more in our Christmas price range, but I'd be willing to go to Sims 3 if it's significantly better. On the other hand, a lot of the reviewers on Amazon seemed to prefer Sims 2. I haven't played either, so I'm not sure.

Thanks for your suggestions.
posted by chndrcks to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Sims 2 will turn your wife into a monkey with crack bananas. She will be very, very happy assuming she doesn't have to go to work for the next... two months or so.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:45 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Part of the appeal of those FB games is that you can play them pretty much anywhere there's a computer, and part of the appeal is that, more than likely, some of your real-life friends are also playing. Would you get either of those things with a Sims game?
posted by box at 1:46 PM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have actually spent most of the weekend (and the weekend before, and the week, and the week before, and...um...pretty much every time I open my laptop) alternating between the Facebook minigames and Sims 2.

If she likes building things, decorating things, and then making them do crazy things, she'll love it.

I'd recommend getting the Double Deluxe edition (which comes with more costumes and designs and everything) and maybe one or two of the expansion packs if you can afford them. Then she can customise to her heart's content.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:52 PM on November 22, 2009

I think she'll enjoy it! The main complaint of many people who don't like it is its repetitive nature, but if she loves all those facebook games that's not an issue.

Sims 3 has some great features, but Sims 2 is still very enjoyable. If money is an issue, go with 2.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:55 PM on November 22, 2009

Depends on your computer as well. The system requirements for The Sims 3 are considerably higher than for The Sims 2. You mentioned budgetary concerns, so it's possible your system might be older and more geared towards 2 than 3. For what it's worth, my daughter has both 2 and 3 and plays 2 a lot more.
posted by barc0001 at 2:18 PM on November 22, 2009

She will love it. Trust me. The similarity of FarmVille to the Sims (and SimCity) franchises is why I'm a reluctant fanof all those time sucking Zynga games. I haven't played Sims 3 yet, but Sims 2 will be a winner with the wife, I'm sure. If you already have an Nintendo DS or iPhone, there are also versions of Sims games available for them as well.
posted by cgg at 2:29 PM on November 22, 2009

I played The Sims 1, not 2, but this is just a thought: If you can (don't know if this is an option with collections), install one expansion pack at a time. If I hadn't started from the beginning with Sims 1, I'd have been overwhelmed with all the stuff the expansions added on. Installing 1 pack at a time also offers the added benefit of adding interestnew content when you decide you're ready.

I didn't play Sims 2 not because of lack of interest, but because my laptop wouldn't run it.
posted by IndigoRain at 2:29 PM on November 22, 2009

Thanks for the answers so far all.

I don't think she cares too much about not being able to play with other friends. In a lot of the FB games, she only cares about friends joining so that she can reap more benefits.

As for system requirements, now that the new computer isn't crashing anymore (woops, I need to update this earlier question), I think it can handle either.
posted by chndrcks at 2:30 PM on November 22, 2009

There are some important differences between Sims and the FB games, and in the world of game design, they are pretty huge psychological differences.

In the FB games, you play yourself. In the Sims, you play an insane omniscient god.

In the FB games, much of the fun is social in nature - you interact with your friends and family from meatspace, and the game updates your status, creating lots of social back and forth. Unless you get involved with the Sims community online, Sims is missing that.

I've played both, and I would not continue playing Sims. It just seems pointless. The social driver in the FaceBook games is a lot more of a draw for me.

So I think it really depends what aspects of the games your wife likes - the social and roleplaying aspects of it, or the building and developing and scorekeeping aspects.
posted by Miko at 2:32 PM on November 22, 2009

If she hasn't played Sims before, definitely go for Sims 2. It's a huge step up over Sims 1, but not that huge a step down from Sims 3 (and 3 has more disadvantages depending on play style). It'll be a huge hit.

The different expansions add different modes of play and can either be awesome (like Pets or Seasons, which adds what it sounds like) or lame (I think Bon Voyage was kind of lame because it was the same three vacation destinations, and I was kind of burnt out on the Sims moneymaking expansion machine at that point). You can safely skip the "Stuff Packs" unless she has a particular interest in a specific theme. Many Sims modders have come up with similar or better objects.

There's also a huge library online of people who've made custom skins and objects (like Mod the Sims, which has a lot of objects and skins, or More Awesome Than You, which has a lot of mods for various game annoyances).

Definitely look on eBay and secondhand shops - lots of people are selling off their Sims 2 collections now that 3 is out and you could score a great deal on the set if you're willing to buy used.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:37 PM on November 22, 2009

It's possible that reviewers consider Sims 2 to be more fun simply because there are so many expansion packs available for it compared to Sims 3. If she likes decorating, both would be good, but Sims 2 has a big edge in terms of variety of decor because it's been around longer and people have created so many mods for building and decorating. However, Sims 3 is visually more appealing (great textures, shadows, animations) and the decor is inherently more customizable (see below).

Some similarities and differences in terms of building/designing:

-Sims 2 has a lot of options in terms of wallpapers, floor, roof designs as well as decor items. These can be found either on websites for free (made by users), and they are included in expansion and 'Stuff' packs as well. Sims 3 also has some user-made items, but since the game just came out a few months ago, there aren't that many to choose from. EA Games also has an online store where you purchase downloadable decorative pieces, beds, hairstyles, clothes, etc.

-Biggest limitation in Sims 2 has to be its ability to do recolors and textures. For example, the game itself will have color variations of a particular wallpaper pattern, but you won't be able to tweak it yourself. If you want a slightly different color, then you'd have to see if someone made a recolor of the same wallpaper on a website like ModtheSims. Sims 3 has a built-in recoloring feature so you can change both the texture of an item or wallpaper (metals, wood, stone, brick, fabrics etc.) as well as the color. This is the biggest advantage that Sims 3 has over Sims 2.

-On 'build mode,' both Sims 2 and 3 allow you to do a 360-degree rotation to see what your house looks like from different angles. However, Sims 3 has a tilt feature that might make the process of building easier.

-You can't place items diagonally in Sims 2, unlike in Sims 3 (you build and put items on a grid in your house/on your lot).

-Sims 3 has a tighter grid than Sims 2, so you have more options of where to place things around the house.

-Both have free user-made homes and community lots available for download; you can compare pictures from both games to see if you prefer the look of one game or the other (examples: Sims 2 vs. Sims 3)

Also, it would be good if you have a decent graphics card in case you opt for the newer game.

You must think I'm a Sims freak now...
posted by extramundane at 3:00 PM on November 22, 2009

Yes, she will love the Sims 3. Get it for her if your computer can run it.
posted by motsque at 3:22 PM on November 22, 2009

I've been playing Sims and Sims 2 since the first one came out. It can be terribly addicting, especially if she wants to explore the online offerings to get more furnishings/stuff or design her own.

But if she's into design and the "leveling up" aspects of the facebook games, I think she'll love the Sims. The Zynga games especially seem to rely on how to turn friends into stuff, with Sims it's her own skills at time management the will let her characters get better jobs, more money, better stuff.

I also love the relationships that the characters in the Sims can build. Getting them married and popping out babies is a lot of fun. Definitely get Nightlife for an expansion, I also have University which is like a completely different game. Pets drove me crazy, too much to deal with on top of taking care of the humans.
posted by saffry at 3:23 PM on November 22, 2009

If the main draw is decorating, she will probably enjoy the Sims 3 more than the Sims 2, for the reasons extramundane has outlined. I think the Sims 2 is a little bit easier to navigate than the Sims 3, but perhaps that's because I've spent way more time playing 2 instead of 3. If you opt for 2, be aware there are a number of simple "Stuff" expansions that add new objects. Well Dressed Sim is one of my favorite sites for stuff for Sims 2 (though it is now mostly defunct and most of the objects require a small membership fee). Around the Sims also has very good stuff.
posted by lilac girl at 3:41 PM on November 22, 2009

I'd recommend getting Sims 3 if you can afford it.
posted by kylej at 4:03 PM on November 22, 2009

I like those facebook games too and I'm an absolute Sims junkie - IMO the best present you could give her would be the Sims 2 Deluxe pack, alongside all the "Stuff" clothes/furniture expansions (eg: the IKEA expansion) they released (and possibly a later email with all the mod communities). There are other expansions (eg: Free Time/Apartment Life) that add more to the gameplay space, but they're usually more appreciated if you stagger their purchase once you've played out the base game. And they cost a little more.

Reading up, a lot of people are citing that the Sims 3 is better for decorating, but I disagree. The Sims 2 has a massive mod base that was supported by EA, and you have thousands and thousands of textures and furniture meshes you can seek out to download from reputable fan sites. Sims 3 has hardly any furniture (allegedly even with the new expansion) and if you want anything extra, you have to purchase (with real life money), furniture from their online store with Simpoints. You get the first $10 with the game, but frankly... it sucks. They really dropped the ball in that area. There are plenty of textures, but furniture meshes are far better for customising than just changing the colour/pattern. A lot of the old school Sims players went back to 2 after playing the limits of the newest one, as 3 plays more like a well rounded RPG game, rather than the dollhouse environment everyone knows and loves.

Also, be aware that Sims 3 is very resource heavy, and if her computer isn't up to spec, it's going to suck. Sims 2 will run on pretty much anything built after 2007.

OK. I'm stopping now. I've outed myself as a Sims freak, but at least I'm not alone. If you're confused, rest assured that she'll like either Sims 2 or Sims 3, it won't matter that much.
posted by saturnine at 5:19 PM on November 22, 2009

If she likes Farmville, I'd suggest getting the Seasons expansion pack as well as the base game. That will allow her (through her Sims) to grow crops, fish, and the like, as well as experience the weather. :)
posted by KoPi_42 at 6:12 PM on November 22, 2009

Also: Sims 3 has a gardening mechanic built into it. Sims 2, you have to buy the Seasons expansion to garden, as noted above.

The recolor ability in Sims 3 is REALLY great for the decorator-type players, because you can make things coordinate without having to create/download whole new skins.

Sims 3 has a good download manager and the ability to selectively turn off a buggy download if something starts causing problems with your game.

In Sims 2, there is a lengthy load process every time you take your Sim to a different lot. In Sims 3, you can pretty much go whereever you want, and you only really have load processes at the beginning of a session or if you swap to play a different savegame.

If you get the Sims 3 World Adventures expansion pack, you gain the ability to build up to four levels of basements on your houses. (I cannot express how excited I am about the basements.)

Basically, Sims 3 adds a lot of stuff I always wished I could do with the other versions. However, the mod base for Sims 2 is MASSIVE AND AWESOME, so if she decides she wants to be like me and create a whole neighborhood populated by Harry Potter characters or the crew of the Starship Enterprise, she can find suitable downloadable skins for that. Also there are a jillion expansions for Sims 2 which makes future gifting a snap.

Sims 2 is probably the sweet spot in terms of most-stuff-available-for-best-price.

My biggest quarrel with Sims 3 is that there aren't enough hairstyles available yet. But I have confidence that the modders will make it happen in time.

Basically, I think you can't go wrong with either.
posted by oblique red at 1:50 PM on November 24, 2009

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