Monday, July 28, 2014

Sims 2 Castaway for the Nintendo DS: Is it Worth $29.99?

I'm a huge Sims fan, and when I learned that Sims 2 Castaway hit the shelves this past week, I of course hit my local game stop for the game.
I really wanted to purchase the game for the Wii, but I figured I would spare myself an additional $20.00, and purchase it on the Nintendo DS for $29.99 instead.
I figured the game would be similar to Wii's version anyway.
The Game:
When the game begins you start off by creating your Sim. You can make them male or female, and you have very little options on clothing. There are about 4 shirts to choose from, 4 pairs of pants, and shoes. Hair styles are also very basic. It's definitely not like original Sim games where we had tons of customization options.
The Sims 2 Castaway starts off a bit confusing, and there is no actual storyline to read about. Basically the game starts off with pictures. You are supposed to figure out what's going on by following the small storyline of photos. I didn't quite get the whole jist of what was going on in all of the photos; what I did get though was that my Sim was on a ship, the ship broke down, and my Sim ended up stranded on an island.
The island can be explored in a side scroll type manner.
When you first hit the island, you are given small tutorial hints and tips. I didn't really have to follow what the tutorial said, because everything was pretty easy to figure out on my own.
After about 10 minutes of playing the game I figured out how to get food for myself, eat, pee, and all that other good stuff. Oh yeah; I also built myself a sleeping hut.
The island is pretty easy to find your way around, and you can even warp yourself to certain parts of the island by using your map in your menu screen. The map though must be found on the island first. Don't worry though, it's easy to find. I found mine just 5 minutes into playing the game.
After you learn the basics, you will find areas on the island where you can prepare special meals, craft paintings, and build weapons and tools.
There will always be an abundance of food on the island, and there is really no reason your Sim should starve to death. In certain bushes you will find berries, in trees you will find fruits, and in the water you can go spear fishing. If need be you can even lift rocks up to hunt for bugs for food.
Other Sims:
On the island you will locate other Sims. When you find them on the island they will first need you to deliver them special things. You must deliver these things to them in order for them to be any use to you. After you find the things they ask for you can then trade items with them. These Sims will have special abilities such as doctors, that can make things to heal you when you are sick. These items though will cost you items; as they want a trade for these special items.
Tool Making:
Tool making is very basic, and I was actually disappointed with that, because according to the game I get to build everything from scratch. This is true, but also far from the truth. Everything you build in the game already has an outline of what it's supposed to be. There is no gamer customization that goes into building. So I was a wee bit pissed about that.
Anyhow, tool making requires other resources. If you want to make a knife, you must first collected the needed items to create the knife. You will need wood and a piece of glass or metal to make it. If you need to make a rope, you will first need some vines.
Preparing Meals:
On the island there is a large rock that allows you to prepare certain meals for your Sim. You must have certain food items though in order to make the special meals. These special meals when prepared though will keep your Sim full for a longer amount of time then berries or bugs.
Sims Needs:
This is the one aspect of the game that all Sim fans already know about; Sim needs. Like with all Sim games your Sim has needs. You must fulfill their hunger, comfort, bathroom, hygiene, sleep needs.
You Sim can go to the bathroom using a bush, they can eat whatever you find or hunt, they sleep in the hut you create for them, and they get their bathing and comfort needs by bathing in the ocean. You can also gain comfort by warming yourself up at the campfire.
Hut Upgrades:
When you locate more resources, you can at some times upgrade your Sims sleeping hut. You go from a small wooden hut with a large leaf on top, to upgraded wooden huts. You must though find things around the island before you can do so.
The Sims 2 Castaway for the Nintendo DS started off as a relatively good game, but as an hour or so passed by, I had already explored nearly the entire island. The game began to feel repetitive, and got to be boring really fast.
Although gathering and hunting was still fun, it seemed more like a task that I just kept repeating. Also finding new Sims on the island should of been a fun, new and exciting feat; yet when each of the Sims I met with had tasks for me to complete it got to be annoying meeting up with them. Each Sim required 3 tasks for me to complete before I was worthy enough to trade items with them.
I would of liked them to join me or something, instead though they stood to their area on the island and never ventured out beyond that area.
What I Liked:
Of course the Sims 2 Castaway is not a 5 star game in my opinion, but it still had some fun aspects of it that I enjoyed. I enjoyed the mini games in between actual game play. Hunting bugs and sear fishing are 2 of the mini games that I enjoyed playing over and over again.
What I didn't like:
-No customizations what so ever
-New resources pop up every day. Once you clear each area on the island of its resources you have to wait till the next day for new ones to arrive
The graphics in Sims 2 Castaway is decent. I would of liked things to be a bit clearer, but it is what it is. The island is pretty, but it lacks that awe that some DS games actually deliver.
Nature sounds are played in the background of the game. You have the option though to lower the sounds or turn them off if you want. I enjoyed the sounds though.
So Is Sims 2 Castaway Worth $29.99?
Not really. Seeing how it is a new title to the DS though, they feel obligated to charge you more money. I give it a few months or so and the title will surely drop to $19.99.
It's not that it is an awful game, but it is not a great game. It has its pros and it has its cons. I like the game and can see myself picking it up every now and then, but not often.
It's a 3 out of 5 stars. It's just eh...okay.

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