The Sims Bustin' Out Review


The Sims franchise is the stuff of legend in the PC world. There are stories of people becoming so addicted to the game that they lose not only sleep but also friends, family members, girlfriends and even jobs. All of which is pretty ironic when you think about it. I mean these people spend more time creating a wonderful life for their silicon counterparts than they do for their own carbon-based life. Now another version of this crack-like game called The Sims: Bustin’ Out is hitting the PS2 with some worthwhile improvements over its predecessor. So, should we be worried about missing out on the next year while we’re holed-up in our basements playing this? Let’s see….

Screenshots
Sims bust a move on the dance floor.

If by chance you are unfamiliar with the Sims franchise allow me to welcome you to a little planet we like to call Earth and also to the human race. Seriously, where the heck have you been? Your mom is very worried. Basically the Sims games are life simulators, kind of like Microsoft’s Flight Simulator except instead of a plane you control the actions of a little person, or Sim. You need to worry about things like hunger, hygiene and bladder control instead of altitude, speed and angle of approach. You build and gather more skills for your Sim so that you can get a better job, make more money and just be happier in general.

Now on the PC the gameplay was totally free form, meaning there were no real goals for you to complete. As long as your Sim was happy then things would go along very smoothly. Turns out that this type of open game play isn’t as interesting to the console crowd so they added a new game mode called “Get a Life” in the first Sims console game and called “Bustin’ Out” in this game. In this mode you and your Sim have actual goals that you need to accomplish. In general it goes like this. You first need to get out of your mom’s house and get your own digs. Once you have a job your goal is to advance to the top of your profession. While doing this you also want to keep your Sim happy and to create friends that will help you get a little revenge on a creepy guy named Malcolm Landgrabb.

The big deal with this new version of the game is that your Sim is no longer trapped in the house. Nope, just like the title suggests you can now bust out of your pad and see what’s happening in the rest of the town. At first you cruise around town on a scooter, but as you get more successful you can update your wheels. Depending on what career path you’ve chosen different areas will become available. There are several different careers you can pursue including a movie star, a gangster, a jock or even a mad scientist. In the free-mode you get a couple of extra like a rock star or artist, among others. With each career you start you begin at the bottom and must work at getting promotions. As mentioned, different areas become available depending on your chosen career. For example, the movie star path opens with Tinsel Bluffs and Studio 8 while the scientist get a place called The Shiny Things Lab. The nice thing is that once you unlock a location it stays unlocked no matter what your profession is.