YAB Review: Sims Medieval
- April 19th, 2011
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Today’s Ypulse Youth Advisory Board video game review comes from Julia Tanenbaum. Our resident YAB gamer steps up to give us her take on The Sims Medieval, the latest iteration of The Sims game. It’s less customizable than previous games in some ways, but takes the role playing game to the dark ages, complete with wizards, dragons, knights, and stocks, creating an entertaining fantasy world. Here’s what Julia has to say about it…
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YAB Review: The Sims Medieval
What was the biggest draw? I’ve been a long time Sims fan, despite many technical problems with previous games. I have all of the expansions for the Sims 3, and subscribe to a popular Sims news and custom content blog, so when I heard about the new game and its features, I had to check it out.
How’d you get the game? I borrowed it from a friend.
What’d you expect going in? How much did you know beforehand? I knew almost all of the features of the game beforehand from reading articles on Sims fan sites and the official website.
Describe the set up: The Sims franchise is known for allowing players complete control over Sims’ lives. The Sims Medieval is much more structured. Although some aspects of the game — like family, appearance, personality, and the inside of Sims’ houses — are still very customizable, the game revolves around predesigned quests, which provide certain tasks your character must complete. Whether you are able to successfully complete quests depends on how much focus your Sim has. Focus is obtained by completing daily responsibilities that correspond with your Sims profession, tasks like bathing, or doing any activity that Sims enjoy. However, Sims also have a fatal flaw that they must overcome (such as being a drunkard or a glutton), and events like losing a duel, getting sent to the stocks, not eating enough, or being rejected for a kiss all lead to decreases in focus.
The tasks add to the medieval environment — Sims cure patients with leeches, fight dragons, defeat evil wizards, and get sent to the stocks. In addition to this, features from previous games have been adapted to fit the medieval theme. Sims can woo, court, and complement the ankles of potential marriage partners; play “kingball;” watch duels; and even throw eggs at the Sims in the stocks. New personality traits include “hopeful orphan,” “parents were eaten by a whale,” and “chivalrous.”
Furthermore the various professions in the game make the quests and jobs varied enough to keep it from getting too repetitive. Kings can send enemies to the pit of death to face a fearsome monster, write new laws, or hold court. Priests can give sermons, wizards can use spells to curse or help other Sims, bards play the lute, and knights fight duels. Of course, how Sims go about their tasks — being cruel or kind — is up to the player. Completing tasks improves Sims’ chances in quests, which in turn fulfill the ultimate goal of bettering the kingdom. Certain quests provide benefits like increasing the culture, knowledge, or security of the kingdom. The kingdom can also expand by annexing new territories, or adding new buildings, which in turn adds new professions and heroes to play.
How’d it look? Any advertising? The game looks fantastic, and ads are nowhere to be found. The forests, towers, and castle look like they came straight out of a fantasy novel. Sims look much more realistic than in previous games, and, as always, are very customizable. Faces and clothing are very detailed, and extra sliders provide for more customization options, although the number of hairstyles is very limited, and I would like to see more. Sims still retain their cartoonish charm. The graphics are so good that I don’t feel the need to download custom content to make Sims look more realistic like in The Sims 3. Animations are exaggerated, but fluid and expressive, and they add to the charm and look of the game. Quests include short stories told with pictures, which are well drawn and add to the quests, although some are silly — did I just defend the kingdom from a dreaded evil Chinchilla invasion!? Overall the graphics are a huge improvement from previous games.
Bottom line, what’d you think? The Sims Medieval is a fantastic and entertaining game that will appeal to Sims fans and non-gamers alike. Sims lives are still customizable, but the game has direction and focus unlike previous titles. Quests and animations retain the sense of humor that The Sims is known for, and graphics improvements make everything look better than ever. The professions add variety to the tasks, so the game stays entertaining for a long time. It creates an interesting medieval fantasy world with magic, knights in shining armor, a pit of doom, and of course evil dragons.
Julia is a Sophomore in Claremont CA. When not at school, she pursues her interests of video games, anime, and reading. Although not a true author she also enjoys writing fan fiction, occasionally immersing herself in online role-play sessions. She is also is interested in the news, including video game news, and spends a large amount of her time with her school’s speech and debate team. Although she isn’t as hip as others when it comes to teen culture, and may prefer Metallica to Justin Bieber, she loves watching TV, and action movies with her friends. Although young, Julia has strong opinions, and is very excited to continue working with YAB, and writing reviews.