Have no fear, there will be no TS3 side blog~
AKA all the things that are wrong with TS3 in one, massive post:
(long overdue, but better late than never)
I have tried. I tried really, really hard. I got all the content, got defaults, got mods (to an extent), got custom content. I tried way harder than what I posted to my Tumblr, so in honor of honestly, deeply, sincerely giving The Sims 3 an honest to dragons shot - let me break it down for you:
The Sims 3 is a fucking awful game.
I was right 40 minutes after buying base game at Tesco when it released. I was right months later when I gave it another shot. I’ve been right in chats, replies, comments, always - I have been right. The Sims 3 is not a good game. This has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I’m a hardcore The Sims 2 fan and I prefer TS2 - you know why? Because TS3 is broken. It doesn’t work, and when it does, even then it’s questionable. I had zero mods in, and the game was broken. I did nothing to my sim, and she still jump bugged out (or, in TS2 we’d call it a jump bug, who the hell knows what it’s called in TS3.). I did nothing, and the game was not working the way I’d want it to - even if I were inclined to play it vanilla, it would be shit.
The Sims 3 has a lot of potential, especially for build and buy mode. Although I personally find the design tool obnoxious, I can see how it eliminated an annoying (although vital) part of TS2 CC: recolors. You don’t need them. Do them yourself. You know what the beauty of TS2 recolors is though? You don’t have to do them yourself. I consider myself to be moderately creative at TS2 build CC, but in TS3 I was completely lost. I know what I want, but given a color wheel I can’t do it. I can do what others do, but not in a shitty game option. Give me Photoshop, and I’ll do it.
If you ever get used to controlling the jerky, unreliable camera in TS3, you could potentially build some really nice lots with it, because the build mode tools are pretty good. If you can find anything in the menus made for children, that is. The whole UI in TS3 is pretty bad, to be honest - it’s overly complicated and overly simplified at the same time: at first glance it looks like it’s made for children, but good luck trying to locate anything specific in it, you’ll be looking a while. It literally took me five minutes to find a chess board the other day, but that could also potentially be because the tiny, spinning thumbnails of the buy mode items are nearly impossible to make out - unless I change my resolution to something it shouldn’t be, which, speaking of game options, you can barely do without restarting the entire game. If you don’t restart the entire game the graphics bug out. That’s great.
If you are into building and decorating though, I hope you’re either prepared to spend a lot of extra money buying store content, willing to hoist your pirate flag and illegally download it or willing to deal with every single shitty item at the start of a catalog that looks exactly like you can use it, but in reality you cannot - unless you do the aforementioned. Let’s also in the same turn cover how when you enter buy or build mode, a message pops up in the corner with “OMG POPULAR STORE CONTENT RIGHT NOW, YOU SHOULD GET IT” - no. No you shouldn’t. Unless you’re a pirate, you probably already spent a ridiculous amount of money on the game itself, and getting nagged to spend even more money (“cleverly” disguised as being bought with ‘sim points’, which is a fancy way of saying 'a currency that you pay money for but it looks better if they’re called sim points rather than $’), is very, very low. And also stupid. The TS franchise is already well known to be EA’s cash cow, so honestly I can’t believe they took it this far.
Gameplay in The Sims 3 is very different from The Sims 2, and not in a good way. I’m an infamous micro-manager in TS2, and I like it like that. I can control everything they do and everything they pursue, and it works. If you attempt to play TS3 the same way you play TS2, you will fail. You will literally be doing one pointless thing after another. There are some advantages to being able to take your sim wherever you want at the click of a button, but to what purpose? So your sim can disappear into a rabbit hole for 6 hours? To buy recipes you need the skill to cook? To go hang around community lots with awfully dressed “townies” making trouble everywhere? I can of course see how it’s more interactive, you’re more involved in what your sim does (or potentially: you’re so impatient that you can’t stand a 60 second loading screen), but it’s a pointless waste of machine power, in my opinion. Lets not even get into the whole “your sim ate a sandwich, congratulations!” – I mean, are you fucking serious? This feature would make so much more sense for massive events (child birth, promotion etc), but for every single thing your sim does for the first time, you get a virtual pat on the back… why? You could argue that ignoring them is easy, and it is, but it’s still a feature they decided to include and it is stupid. It’s the little things that bring the entire game down.
Social interraction. Where to start? Sims you communicate with give you status updates on how they’re feeling about what you’re doing/saying to them. “Bob thinks Jane is being sociable”. That’s nice. Watch out though, because one wrong interaction will bring Bob from thinking Jane is a blast to literally fucking hating everything she does and says from that point on. Thankfully, the game is simple like TS2 in this respect, and abandoning interacting with said sim temporarily will make them think higher of you. Makes sense, right? Nope, but that’s life simulations for you. Without having really done any deep and meaningful research on this, I was always under the impression that sim interactions had improved from TS2 to TS3 - especially when it comes to “grinding the social grind of love”, we all know it… talk, talk, talk, flirt, flirt, flirt, backrub, hug, hug, hug, flirt, kiss, kiss, kiss, get married. Like I’ve said, I’m a pretty hardcore TS2 fan, and I sort of want to avoid making this post a “everything is much better in TS2!!1”-post, but it’s very difficult… point being that the “love grind”, if that’s all you’re attempting to achieve, is much more forgiving in TS2, potentially because of Bob’s inclination to instantly hate Jane’s guts if she makes one wrong move - but the sims in TS2 just seem more interested in actually doing it, too. When I played TS3 for this experiment, I wanted my single, female sim to hook up with this guy she met outside work (or at work, maybe… somewhere between the x hours she disappeared into the rabbit hole and getting into the taxi that took her back to her lot). They had lots of things in common (music) and he kept praising her in little notification bubbles about how much he enjoyed all the things they had in common. He also constantly called her on her smart phone (…I’ll leave that one alone, don’t worry) and generally refused to leave her house once he first made it over there. So here’s the twist: Clara still had absolutely zero interest in interacting with him, unless I forced her to. Which I did. For two whole days. After two whole days of constant pie menu circulations, barely taking breaks for food and peeing, they could wohoo. So they did. Naturally. As you do. Clara got pregnant, what a blessed miracle, yada yada yada - and then their relationship progress completely stopped. In a perfect world (read: TS2), I’d want this guy to move in with Clara at this point, but either I have a case of the stupids or this game is pretty shit, because it didn’t show up as an option, and their romance never went further than kissing whilst in an upright position before Clara started refusing going to bed or taking a shower and I closed the game and haven’t opened it since because this is apparently enough to piss me off. :) And that’s when I officially ran out of patience.
In summation, if I even need to make a summation since this post is massively long and covers pretty much everything I bothered to remember about how little I enjoy The Sims 3: I will not be doing this again. I’m leaving the game installed for now (and believe me it took most of my willpower not to smash that uninstall option for instant gratification, but I have resisted) because I do want to be able to give build / buy mode more of a chance, since that’s what I found the least annoying and with the most potential, but it’s frustrating to want to be able to play an entire game, but instead you can only attempt to force yourself to enjoy 1/3rd of it.
I can also now honestly say that I don’t understand what the massive TS3 fanbase has done to be able to enjoy this pile of poo. I wish someone could let me in on their secret.
Just kidding no I don’t. This game sucks.
I’ll just stick with TS2 forever.
TLDR: not worth reading unless you’re exceedingly interested in my very biased opinion about how a 5-year-old game is worse than it’s 10-year-old predecessor. Also, there’s swearing.