The Sims 2 (Xbox)

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Product Information
Gamers drive their virtual alter egos toward greatness, as the second generation of "people simulation" gets a life on consoles. Though it features the same charming style and real-world challenges, the Xbox version of Sims 2 has been customized for the console. As in the console ports of the original Sims game, there is more of a focus on the player's main character, and less on the neighborhood interactions as a whole. Along this line, the most obvious difference between the computer and console versions of Sims 2 may be in the way players control their characters. Instead of a point-and-click strategy game-styled interface, players take direct control of their console characters, "driving" them around the game world with the analog stick (as in a third-person RPG).

Other differences also allow players to concentrate on their individual console characters. Unlike characters in the PC version of the title, Xbox sims do not age or have children. Players still have great control over their characters' looks and lifestyles however. By choosing different "grandparent DNA," players can alter the look of their sim until it's just right. A new "fashion designer" feature allows players to create their own custom outfits from a wide selection of mix-and-match components. The console version also uses the Sims 2 aspiration system, which allows players to define their character's "life goal," and makes it easy to find everyday activities that help work toward it.

Other features are exclusive to the console versions of the game, such as personal interactions that blur out the background to concentrate exclusively on the involved sims, and a food creation system that challenges the players' creativity as well as the characters'. Characters can collect objects found all around the game world, from fruit off a tree to fish in an aquarium, and combine these as they see fit into a new meal. Some custom meals may produce desirable effects in those who consume them, while others may just make characters sick, so discovering and perfecting recipes can be an ongoing, profitable mini-game for those who are willing to experiment.