The Sims 2 Ultimate Collection goes FREE on Origin

It’s just over a month now until the release of the eagerly anticipated Sims 4 (September 5th), and I for one am going to have it on pre-order as soon as I know I have enough money in the bank, and enough HDD space on my PC.

The same old Sims, but in a brand new style

The same old Sims, but in a brand new style

But before we even get to The Sims 4, EA and Origin have actually come up with a rather crafty marketing plan. After a little bit of backlash over the removal of swimming pools and toddlers in The Sims 4, it’s not exactly surprising that they are giving away The Sims 2 Ultimate collection for free to all Origin customers. Yes, they’ve said that it’s because they are no longer going to support it, but it strikes me that’s not the real reason. It might be because of my studies into Journalism and PR for the last three years, but this must have been planned for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I am by no means complaining. I’m a massive Sims junky, and I would do anything to have all the expansions for all the titles in the series. As I type this, I am downloading the 12GB file onto my PC, and will hopefully be playing it tonight or tomorrow. Babies, aliens, pets; I simply can’t wait to delve back into an old childhood favourite in anticipation of The Sims 4 in September.

A touch of nostalgia goes a long way in the video game word

A touch of nostalgia goes a long way in the video game word

A little bit of Sims nostalgia might just be enough to drum up even more interest in The Sims 4, and we all know that giving stuff away from free opens up your product to a potentially untapped market. Maybe this move will see a whole new wave of Sims fans. I truly hope it does, as I am so incredibly excited to sit down with The Sims 4, and spend hours of my time creating new sims, new houses, and building new relationships.

How excited are you for The Sims 4? Do you have any huge architectural plans already? Or do you have plans to create your perfect Sim? Or are you going to boycott The Sims because you can’t drown them on release?


Classic VS Modern…FIGHT!

It’s been a week of classic and modern gaming for me, not just in my own personal gaming experiences, but also in the news. I’ve bought an old and a new game for a total of £7, and my two biggest news stories have involved a new game and a classic favourite of mine.

Lets start with my most recent purchases. Wild Arms is a PsOne Classic on the PSN that I snapped up for £3.99 earlier this week. Anyone who knows my love for JRPGs will appreciate why I just had to have this. I’m going to attempt to write a retro review of it when I’ve finished, but I’m only about 10 hours into it at the moment. Anyway, it’s a really good classic JRPG, and I remember my parents playing the Wild Arms series when I was much younger, so I never really dipped my toes into it. I’m glad I spent the money though as it gives a real sense of nostalgia and joy being able to play a sprite animated, turn based, “oh my God the world is ending!” style game for the first time in a while. The story isn’t really anything to write home about (yet), but it’s entertaining nonetheless to pass the time with.

Don't judge Wild Arms by its graphics alone

Don’t judge Wild Arms by its graphics alone

There is also a new Kairosoft game on the Android store which I discovered at 2AM on Wednesday morning. Needless to say, £2.99 and several hours later I was very tired, but it was so worth it. The latest sim-style gem from Kairosoft is called The Sushi Spinnery, and lets you take control of a new Sushi-belt restaurant. Yes it’s pretty much the same concept as every other Kairosoft game, but that’s not the point. They’re fun, they have different things to do in each one, and well, I just love sushi. Playing this game did make me want to go and make some sushi, so if sales of nori sheets and sushi rice suddenly increase over the next week or so I won’t be surprised.

Persona 4 Arena looks stylish and well thought out

Persona 4 Arena looks stylish and well thought out

Now we move onto the news that excited me;  Persona 4 Arena on X360 and PS3. Of course I’ve known about the game for a while, but new videos have surfaced, and it looks amazing. I’m a massive fan of the Persona series, but I was a little scepitcal about this when it was first announced, but I have to say it’s looking pretty awesome now. I love that they have included characters from Persona 3, and watching some of the videos from it the battle system looks completely insane. It’s oh so Japanese, and that makes it even better. Aigis suddenly pulling giant guns out of nowhere, and Mitsuru casting Mabufu on an unsuspecting enemy. I need this in my life.

On a final note, there has been something in gaming news that doesn’t so much excite me, but I do have my own thoughts on it; Final Fantasy VII re release on PC. Now, everyone knows I love Final Fantasy VII more than any other game on the planet, but I’ve always been dead set against any sort of remake of it. I was even a little iffy about Advent Children because of it clearly having voice acting int it, but they pulled it off quite well. This PC re release isn’t a remake though, it’s exactly what it says on the tin; a straight re release of a game that’s already available on PC. Admittedly the original is probably not able to run on current Windows systems, but it still seems kind of pointless to me. I still have my original PSOne copy from 1997, and if I really wanted to I could download it onto my PS3 or PSP. I just don’t see point in the straight re release when they’re not even offering much in the way of new content either. They are including something to boost your stats to the max which to me is just cheating. FFVII is not a difficult game to level up in. As long as you know the best place to go and level up in then you’re sorted. There is no challenge in a game that allows you reach level 99 straight away.

Please stop cashing in Squeenix

Please stop cashing in Squeenix

I guess it’s just me but I’d rather they left FFVII on it’s pedestal and stopped bringing it down to cash in on it.

September’s Hottest Releases

Last month I spent most of my time playing Need For Speed Hot Pursuit and laughing heartily at the brilliance and comedy of Bayonetta. Both are quite old games due to the recent gaming drought, and the most recent game that I own is probably DEATHSMILES on the Xbox 360 which I got yesterday.

It appears that we are coming out of the gaming drought though, and it looks like September (including the beginning of October) is going to be a very expensive month for me. I like to keep these short and sweet, so I shall narrow it down to the three games I am most excited about.

RAGE – (All platforms) 16/09/11 & 7/10/11

RAGE is a game that we all first heard about properly at E3, so I am amazed to see it coming out so soon, not that I am complaining at all. As soon as I saw it I was reminded of the incredible & open world of Borderlands and even the Fallout universe. I am a massive fan of anything post apocalyptic, and this looks to fit the bill almost too perfectly. I hope that RAGE has the same amount of humour in it, and an equal amount of gore.

Harvest Moon; A Tale of Two Towns (DS & 3DS) 20/09/11

I always seem to be mentioning a Harvest Moon games in my monthly release updates. It really is a miracle to me that Natsume are still making these because I honestly don’t know anyone else who plays them. In this latest version of the classic farming sim, there’s been a bit of a spin put on things. From what I have read the player will have the choice between which farm they want to run, kick starting a competition to see who can make the most of their farmland. You can choose from an Asian style farm or a European style farm. I think we all know which farm I shall be going for. This is a must buy for me, along with Harvest Moon Grand Bazaar so I can get my farming fix!

Dead Island – (All platforms) 09/09/11

Dead Island is finally coming our way, and I think we will all be a little surprised as to how it has actually turned out. Many may have been expecting a generic zombie killer like Dead Rising of Left 4 Dead, but it appears that we have been given a game that is similar to Fallout, but with zombies (According to IGN anyway). Now to me that sounds like a perfect combination of RPG elements and glorious zombie busting.

Other notable games coming out this month are; DRIVER San Francisco, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Although it hasn’t received good reviews) and the God of War Origins bumper release for the PS3. Everything picks up once again just before people say goodbye to summer and hello to their jobs/full time studies. Thanks games industry.


Mystery P.I. Stolen in San Francisco PC Review

Article originally posted on This Is My Joystick 07/10/2010

Mystery P.I. is a point and click puzzle game created by Spin Top Games and published on Pop Cap games for what I believed to be quite a hefty price tag for what it actually is. My initial thoughts before playing the game, purely based upon what I had read about it, was that it would be similar to the Broken Sword series, or possibly Sam & Max. Unfortunately, I was proved very wrong.

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