Saturday, January 18, 2003

I'd take "the hounds" over the installer any day.

Well, I've installed and played The Sims: Unleashed, and while I've only scratched the surface of this massive new expansion pack, I have gone through the torture of its two-disk installer.

Installing Unleashed is a major pain in the etc. The game is so large, it requires two CDs, which fumble through the installation. The first CD is simple enough, but when it asks for the second, I ran into problems.
The installer on the second CD started up, but suddenly gave me an error (which I've paraphrased): "You cannot install Unleashed from the second CD, please insert the first CD." The installer quit, and proceeded to tell me that the installation had failed (how observant of it). I told it to reinstall the application, and it proceeded to work through the second CD's installer as if nothing had ever gone wrong.
It wasn't more than a minor problem, and it corrected itself rather quickly, but it was a problem none the less.

With that bad news out of the way, here's the good news.
Since Hot Date came out, I always check the files recently installed by the latest Sims expansion pack for mp3s. Hot Date has some great jazz, Vacation has some fun island tunes (although the yodeling can get annoying), and Unleashed blew me away.
With 14 new songs, filling one hour of listening time (55.4 MB in my iTunes library), that vary from some surprisingly fantastic piano to a multitude of original music. Who cares about the game? $30 is worth the soundtrack (disclaimer: I have very, very strange tastes in music, but I still think that there's something for everyone in this soundtrack).

What about the game?
I haven't had enough time with the game to evaluate it, but it is promising. The "Old Town" area, which resembles the "Downtown" area (minus the $50 cab ride), performs better than "Vacation Island's" resorts do, although the game definitely made my iMac work.
The new items, walls, and floors are fun, and the way the game treats cats and dogs like semi-characters, instead of items, makes the relationship between pet and master more rewarding.

Anyway, I'll have more insights on Unleashed as I play it, but I like what I see so far.


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