Sims 3 – Story Progression and Graphics

I finally decided to go ahead and buy the Sims 3. I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have to play it, or if it was really different enough from the Sims 2 to be worth it. I must say, it’s almost like a whole new game. Since the game centers around the town as a whole instead of the household, there’s always a lot more going on at once. Which makes the performance seem a little slow. Perhaps I should lower some of the graphic settings to see if that will help. But it already seems like the graphics are not as detailed as the Sims 2 unless you are zoomed in very close (and I stay a little zoomed out to see everything). An interesting concept is Story Progression. I guess it would be handy to have all your Sims friends grow up at the same time he/she does.  I tried it for a few days, but by the time I spend some time with one family, all the kids are grown up in another family, or some adults are almost elders and haven’t gotten very far in their careers. I would prefer having a chance to play each family throughout their development and guide them in what they do. So what if it means that my least favorite families are ‘left behind’ and never age. I try to make my rounds to each family. Luckily we can disable Story Progression. One disadvantage is that when you switch the ‘Active Household’, the current family loses their wishes that you’ve chosen. Not too big a deal, but when I come back to the family I’d want it to be the same as I left it. Another annoyance is how buying groceries and books work. Gone are the days where we can buy a bookshelf with all the books we’d ever need to learn skills. We have to buy each book separately based on the skill level we want to get to! And they are expensive!! And now you have to buy cooking ingredients separately based on the meals you want to make. Very annoying. Each family has a difficulty level — seems like based on the number of family members. Overall I think this game is more difficult, compared to the Sims 2. Needs may be easier to fulfill, but career progression (and therefore the lifetime wish) is so much harder. But these difficulties make the game more realistic and sophisticated (and still fun), so I won’t be switching back to the Sims 2 quite yet.

Apartment Life: Butler vs. Servo Robot

In the Apartment Life expansion pack is a new NPC character, the Butler. He does many domestic chores, much like the Servo or Robot does for a family. So the question is: Which is best? Hiring a butler for a base fee of $20 and $25 per hour, or getting a Servo (Open for Business) to join the family?  First of all, it is more difficult to get a Servo. You can build up the Robotics badge and build one yourself, you can become friends with an existing one and invite him/her to move in, or you can go to another Sims’ store to buy one that they have built (and pay the specified price). The butler can just be hired over the phone. One disadvantage to the Butler is that he seems to arrive around 10 am and leave sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, while the Servo is a part of the family and is there all the time. The Servo is controllable, so you can tell him which chores to do, and he doesn’t need to sleep much. He also has fun and social needs, so he will not do chores all the time. But he may play with the kids or pets. The Butler will cook and serve food, while Servo will make food but not serve it. This means children won’t be able to eat until another family member serves it. The Butler can also order groceries or hire repairmen/exterminators when needed, which is very useful. I read that he will also greet guests that arrive. I believe both will clean and do the gardening. What are your thoughts as to which is better in which circumstances?