Who would have thought that EA would be releasing another Sims game for the consoles in 2006? Well, I am sure I was many of the millions who figured it was just a matter of time before we saw the next console installment of one of the best PC game franchises of all time, still attempting to make the same popularity on the home consoles as well. Thus far their efforts to do this have been merely average, and none have gotten the game to the next level. Today we check out The Sims 2 Pets for the Playstation 2, which promises plenty of dog tricks and cat litter, and about everything else in between. But is The Sims 2 Pets worth the time? Read our full review to find out!
When reviewing a game like The Sims 2 Pets you have to first take a step back and look at how the franchise has done as a whole on the consoles. Although the numbers seem to tend towards success on the consoles, you can always sense the overwhelming feeling that Maxis has not been able to take that same sort of feel of the PC to the consoles. So the big question is can the pets bring that needed spark for the series?
Ok so what do you do first in The Sims 2 Pets? Well of course you’re going to create your family. What is funny is everyone has their own "typical" or "conventional" first setup of the game, and so I went with mine as well. Being that this is The Sims 2 "Pets", of course I also went along to create man’s best friend, a dog. The game hosts just a ton of different breeds to choose from, and creating your compatriot is as easy as you would expect, and the level of detail is actually pretty impressive.
One of the big disappointments I saw in the game right away was that you are limited to just cats and dogs in the animal creation. The game does allow you to buy goldfish and hamsters, but those are actually pretty uneventful pets to have. With that being said, with the developers scaling back to just the typical cat and dogs, comes a lot of depth with these animals, including unique personalities and individual wants and needs. So not only will you have to take care of the humans aspirations, but the pets as well, which does increase the difficulty and managing of the game a bit.
One of the big features that I have not gotten to is going into town with your pet, which is something that I am sure a lot of fans of the series have been craving. It is here you can have your pets roam free, while you shop around for your dog or cat for food and other essentials. The town feature is a nice addition, but it really is only fun for so long. You will get through everything the area has to offer in either one to two visits, and after that going back doesn’t seem all that worthwhile.
The Sims 2 Pets is still the same great Sims experience that we have come to love, although I have to say adding Pets just didn’t add much to the experience. I am a big dog lover, and in fact out of all the latest Sims titles, this was the one I was looking forward to the most. And on many levels Maxis managed to give fans of the series exactly what they asked for, however on the other hand the addition of Pets just didn’t make a significant enough impact on the game to say this is a huge leap forward for the series. It seems more like a half step forward and a half step to the left.
As much as some may say that we have seen all the series is going to offer us on The Sims 2 engine, I have to say the developers did an amazing job with this game. The animation that you see with both Cats and Dogs is just an unbelievable accomplishment, one that still look good on the Playstation 2. Everything else in the game still looks exactly how you would expect, with not much going out of its way to say "hey look at how much I have improved".
The thing about The Sims 2 Pets, unlike some of the previous console games, is that this is one that doesn’t try to make this more interesting for those who have got tired of the Sims formula. The Sims 2 Pets for the Playstation 2 is a game that is made for the avid Sims fan who also has a thing for animals, which I am sure there is a big market for. For me, I liked being able to really make the family experience even more realistic with the introduction of pets, which although not a huge gameplay shift, does make the game even more rich.
The Sims 2 Pets is a game that you can picture in your mind and when you play the game for the first time you will find that what you pictured is probably pretty accurate. This is still the same great Sims formula with animals thrown into the mix to give one solid outing on the Playstation 2. The controls are still not as fluid as that of the PC, but the game manages to keep things running smooth and adds enough in this game for fans of the series to once again go out and pick up this game.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.