Monday, June 21, 2010

sims 3 ambitions

The latest Sims 3 expansion pack, Sims 3 Ambitions, has been out for a few weeks now and I have to say that for the most part I am really loving it. Sure, I've got a few criticisms here and there but overall I think that this new career-themed EP has a lot to offer and enhances the base game and the previous expansions.
First of all, I love the idea.
Sims players have been twiddling their thumbs for years watching the Sim clock ticking away as their little digital friends spent time at the office, the science facility, or wherever they may have signed up for a job. This is especially annoying in Sims 3, which seems to lack the truly fast fast-forwarding of its predecessors. So, EA decided to gift us gamers with a bunch of new career options that let you immerse yourself into your Sim's professional experience.
In addition to several new career paths, Ambitions also reinforces the idea of self-employed Sims with some new crafts for your Sims to learn and profit from. This includes being a tattoo artist, a sculptor and an inventor. I wish the game had incorporated the existing self-employments of Artist and Writer, maybe even Athletic Trainer or Tutor, because it would be nice for Sims that make a living those ways to be able to register as self-employed as well. Still, the Sculpting and Inventing career tracks (haven't really tried the Tattooing one much yet) are pretty cool - you proceed through the career levels much the same as you would normally although the criteria for raises is based on profit solely rather than other factors like experience or jobs completed.
This brings me to my first real gripe about the game, and luckily it's one that I'm hoping will be fixed eventually with a patch update as EA often does. This EP introduced another cool aspect: the consignment store! Now if you are into painting, sculpting, inventing or even collecting, you have a place where you can sell your wares other than through Buy Mode, and even make a decent profit margin when you're more skilled. I love this idea, and enjoy the notifications and moodlets associated with it. However, as far as I can tell, if you are registered as a Sculptor or Inventor and you sell your stuff at the consignment store, those sales don't seem to add in to your profit on the Career tab. This is a big problem and means that if you're trying to advance through the career you can only sell your stuff in Buy Mode or with the 'Sell' option! It's a shame since you can make quite a bit more in the shop than through other means.
I like the new traits that came with this EP as well. Like World Adventures, the Ambitions traits complement the new professions and activities added in the EP. I think my favorite is Eco-Friendly, which makes Sims happier to ride a bike than take a cab, and prefer recycling to trashing stuff. I also like the Dramatic trait, as traits that are not related to a specific activity or profession can make the most interesting personalities (although Dramatic does help if you want to make a Stylist Sim).
The new Professions include ghost hunting, fire fighting, fashion styling and interior design and are a nice middle ground between self-employment and normal Sim careers. These Sims go out on jobs that get assigned during a designated 'on the clock' time, and they receive a weekly stipend in addition to payment for each job. The jobs are pretty cool and for the most part are fun and enjoyable, though I could see some of them getting a bit repetitive. Still, I applaud the idea because I think it enhances gameplay and incorporates Build/Buy Mode into Live Mode, which is an interesting spin on the original game. I also like the spooky music that plays during a ghost-hunting job! The new professions also incorporate collecting and creating, making this EP fit pretty seamlessly into the existing game.
Some of the other new additions include a junkyard where Sims can search for scrap metal to be used in sculptures, and more importantly for invention design and crafting. You can also collect and sell scrap for simoleans, but I'm not sure how worth it this would be except for the most destitute of Sims. Another new aspect is doing laundry - Sims can now own washers and driers, or visit a local laundromat to spiff up their duds. The laundry serves little purpose other than some positive moodlets, effects on a few traits and more stuff for your Sims to clean up around the house.
All in all, I am a happy Simmer playing Sims 3 Ambitions, and I look forward to hearing about EA's new ideas for upcoming Sims 3 expansion packs. Although I will say that I have learned from my Sims 2 experience - I only buy digital copies now! No disc to scratch, no bulky (and cheap) case to take up space, and I can play games without swapping discs. It's awesome.

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