Sims & More

For me at least, after the announcement of The Sims 3: Showtime , I was left feeling somewhat disappointed – the features looked slightly samey, the gameplay uninteresting, and what’s more, I couldn’t help but think that it wouldn’t hold my attention like some of the other EPs had done. Did EA prove me wrong? Read on to find out my thoughts on the game’s sixth Expansion Pack.

I actually think that my lowered hopes played a part in my first impressions of the game – although I was expecting a decent expansion,  I found it difficult to envision it being something special – so by the time the loading screen finished and I entered the new town (appropriately titled “Starlight Shores”), my view changed quite drastically. Looking around the town once I’d created my family, I found myself taking to it more and more every second I played – there wasn’t one community building in the neighbourhood which didn’t have a beautiful design. The whole combination of an urban and rural area worked nicely too, offering something different whilst still delivering a well executed parody of California. And that was just the start.

There were a few nice items and hairstyles added to Create-A-Sim, all of which were appropriately glamorous to suit the theme of the EP. The clothes really stood out, too – although some were a little wacky, when they were good, they were really good. However, I do have one problem with CAS content – the male clothes and hair, in comparison to the women’s at least, was pretty thin on the ground, so to speak. EA always seem to neglect the men’s content CAS wise. This will probably never change, but it is still irritating.

Once I had created my family of three – two brothers and one girl, all young adults – I each made them join a profession: Singer, Acrobat and Magician. These are the three new careers which came with Showtime and were also the main selling point of the game, along with the ability to moonlight as a DJ.

So they all became buskers for the day, performing for tips and earning a few Simoleons here and there in order to advance their career and increase their weekly Stipend. Although this was a way for all of my Sims to advance in their profession, they each had individual ways of gaining more job experience. The Magician of the household could practise illusions, the Acrobat could hone their athletic skill, and the Singer would perform Sing-A-Grams around town to improve their performance. It wasn’t until level 2 of their jobs that any of them were able to audition for gigs in one of the venues around town, and even then they only had a chance of getting a performance at the lowest-paid lots.

Finding the proprietor of various places around the neighbourhood in order to audition was enjoyable, but perhaps what was more entertaining was watching your sims stumble about as they tried to improve their skills – from the Magician brandishing burnt flowers from thin air to our Singer tripping over mid-way through a Sing-A-Gram, watching your sims gradually progress was both amusing and, after they started to level up, rewarding. However, I can’t help but feel that EA missed a chance to add three new skills to the game to accompany the professions. It would’ve been a better way to really track your Sim’s progress.

Onto build/buy mode. The new objects included in these modes were a real highlight of the game for me. They had an individuality about them, whilst still being stylish, and there were some great additions such as the photo booth, snooker table and dance sphere all from the sims 2 with a new twist. There were also some great new objects like the domino table and karaoke set. Because of this, I’d probably have to say that Late Night no longer wears the crown for the expansion pack with the best items – although it is very close, and, as with all these things, it eventually comes down to a matter of personal preference.

After just a few weeks of playing, my acrobat had reached the top level of his career, and he was earning §18,000+ for performing at the top venues – add that to the weekly stipend of over §2,000 , and it wasn’t long until he was rich – enter the genie and things get sped up even more.

Yes, you read right. If you’re unaware, the genie is the new creature included in the expansion pack. Once your sim earns 30,000 lifetime points from fulfilling wishes, they have the option to purchase the “dusty old lamp” reward. From here, your sim, and only that sim (no one else in the household) is given the option to clean the lamp and a genie is temporarily summoned. As you may expect from a genie, it grants you up to three wishes. You can choose from things like Fortune, which grants the household an instant 100,000 Simoleons (!), A Large Family, which will give you the “Feeling Fertile” moodlet (in my case it caused the sims to have triplets!), A Long Life, which extends the lifespan of your sim by around 30 days, as well as the option to free the genie if your relationship with him/her is strong enough, resurrect a sim and much more. It’s a really nice addition to the game, and certainly an easy way of adding money to the household. However, when I tried to make my sim wish to free the genie, there was a glitch – the wish was clickable, but remained ungranted, so they wished for a Long Life instead.

 

But where does The Sims 3: Showtime fall down? Like mentioned before, the addition of a skill for each profession would improve the game significantly, and at the time of writing the game is packed full of bugs which EA really need to sort out. Also, I feel that once you get going, the professions are easy to advance in. It would’ve been nice to have a fourth career, say a comedian, to make the game’s features last a little longer.
To sum up, I was pleasantly surprised by this EP. It was more than just a combination of Late Night and Ambitions, and, overall, earns its place as one of my favourite Sims 3 expansion packs.

 

Overall Score:

 

8/10

 

A great game, however, it doesn’t take long to reach the top of the professions and there are still a lot of glitches that EA need to iron out.

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