Sims 2: Pets Wii Review - 26/07/2007

The hugely popular Sims series has arrived on the Wii, but will the pets just mess up the lawn?

The Sims steamroller keeps on coming and this is the latest game to grace a console – with the console games differing from the main PC updates as they stand alone as full games and not just expansions of the full releases.

So what we have here is a Wii update of the year old Sims 2 Pets which looks like it was ported from the best selling PS2 version, unfortunately with not much improvement.

But first for all three of you who have been living under a rock for the last decade, The Sims 2 is the hugely popular follow up to The Sims, the multi-million selling original. It's basically a more personal Sim City clone, one where instead of constructing buildings you have to make relationships and worry about things like getting a job or how to cook. The games are most loved by female gamers around the world, but there is something about building your own little version of yourself and your friends. Pets was an expansion pack for the PC, so what has beefed up the main game in this version for the consoles?

Well you still have to eat, sleep and clean, but now your Sim has aspirations and a want list, keeping all things juggled is nigh on impossible - my bladder is weak, but Jesus the Sims need to go to the toilet every five minutes. Trying to keep the buggers fed also proves difficult as they seem to need feeding as much as they need the toilet, perhaps the two are linked?

Pets are obviously new to the game and they seem more of an oversight than anything, following on from the success of Nintendogs it seems EA has thought to include not only dogs but also cats into the game, the trouble is they're not implemented well at all. The main problem is that because you're so busy making sure the humans have a job, have had enough sleep and something to eat, and of course have kept everything tidy, your pooch or kitty get neglected because there just isn't enough time to tend to their needs. Not only that but you can't control the animals - it would have been fun to have a pet-cam and seen the Sims from a brand new angle.

The game being a port means it doesn't look the best and the odd graphical glitch is apparent - the game doesn't need flashy graphics to be honest, but making use of the Wii's chip would have been the better option. Sound is pretty good with a lot of licensed tracks to listen to; sound effects are kept to a minimum, which is a good thing because of the annoying Sim speech, basically it's gibberish and grates after a short while.

The biggest crime against the Wii in this version is the controls, they are awful and add nothing to the experience, the remote is used as a pointer, but is unresponsive, you'll end up using the nunchuck's stick and the face buttons on the remote to navigate through the (many) menus - it's a real shame as EA has been the only developer outside of Tokyo using the new controller to the full, it seems they really dropped the ball on this one.

Maybe I'm being overly harsh to the game but the main structure is good and lots of things work really well, everything is set up ok and fans of the Sims should enjoy this, but for anyone new coming into the game it might confuse as much as it delights. Best thing to do would be to hold out for MySims, the brand new game coming soon as this feels too much like a stopgap.

- Emera1d



EA Games
EA Redwood Shores