Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's $29.99!
Shalom! Asalaam alaikum! Buenos dias! My name is Crispie Crouton and I was
born in the Fairaday Islands, a mysterious chain of volcanic islands that stem
from the liquor store around the corner and end, rather abruptly, in the backyard
of a little old woman named Mrs. Toosday. I have been described as an all-around
wonderful guy, but my natural modesty prevents me from making too much of such
I'm a Sim and I was absolutely flabbergasted when I was asked to be the first
in my neighborhood to give an honest review of The Sims: House Party,
the latest expansion to The Sims. But seeing as I was
recently elected president of my local neighborhood association, I saw it as
my duty to step up to the plate and give you all the skinny on this endeavor
from Maxis and Electronic Arts which is a lot of flash, a little short on substance
and a bit hefty on price.
I've been living in Simsville for about a year now and, phew, what a year it's
been! I've moved twice and had a house built for me, I was able to parlay my
occupation as a Treasure Hunter into a career as a movie Superstar and I gave
up a rather nasty grits habit I'd developed while making my climb to the top.
I can't begin to tell you how many cocktail parties I've thrown and basic schmoozing
sessions I've forced myself through to land leading roles. And with all the
moving and rebuilding I've had going on around me…well, let's just say I've
done more than my share of redecorating.
Being a high paid and popular entertainer in the bustling metropolis that is
Simsville, my house is my showpiece and I am always eager for new and different
furnishings for my palatial estate. I was a bit disappointed with the items
available for sale. Although there are nearly 100 new items to place in your
homes, much of the furniture is theme-based with Western, Techno-Industrial
and Beach/Tropical being the themes du jour. Not much in the way of tasteful
furnishings - unless inflatable plastic sofas figure heavily into your definition
The themed furniture suites seem oddly incomplete. For example, I was kicking
around the idea of outfitting my west wing pool house along a tropical theme.
I found the perfect little bamboo shower and a means of putting together a quaint
bamboo vanity and sink, which went very nicely with the woven reed carpet and
wallpaper I had selected. But then I realized there was no bamboo toilet to
complete the ensemble. I eventually gave up on my redecorative quest but discovered
a similar problem with the Western motif, which incorporates a sink/vanity but
no matching shower or bath and a bar and stove but no icebox or other appliances.
And I don't need to tell you how gauche a bamboo house looks with a standard
shingled roof. But seeing as there are no new roofs available, there really
isn't much of a choice. It's as if the items were selected for inclusion by
someone afflicted with ADD or narcolepsy or a combination of the two with a
little amnesia thrown in for good measure.
Of course, the main focus of House Party is on partying and,
after a cursory redecoration of my first floor interior, I quickly set about
the business of throwing my first mega monster bash.
I hired the best (and only) caterer in Simsville to serve from my new buffet
table and punch bowl. I bought the DJ Booth, which offers more choices in music
styles that sadly are not available on the other pre-existing musical appliances.
Now I can play Beach, Techno, Disco, Country Dance and Rap music (and you can't
fully appreciate rap until you hear it the way it was meant to be heard - in
SimTalk!). I bought the Dance Floor, which allows us Sims to dance differently
to different types of music. I even bought flashing disco lights and dance cages
in case someone wanted to get down with their bad selves. After purchasing a
few more doodads I set out the birthday cake, cranked up the music, pulled out
the new costume trunk, put on my best discowear and watched the guests pile
on in. And boy, did they pile in - even Sims I'd never seen before.
I was greeting guests…I remember that distinctly, and then someone suggested
I try "blowing a few bubbles." Others were doing it and, well, I bought
the "water pipe" so I guess I had to use it. Anyway, things started
to get a little fuzzy after that. I remember dancing the merengue with the Futhermucker
twins and something about sitting around a campfire singing Rum-Ra-Nah and then
the cake dancers showed up...I recall arguing with a mime and then Drew Carey
crashed the party and things got very weird after that.
Well, the next morning was quite an ordeal and if it weren't for the godsend
of espresso, I might have been late to the set and watched my career come tumbling
down. Thank goodness that caterer is big on cleaning up or my swinging bachelor
pad would have been left looking like it was eligible for FEMA aid by the time
I got home from work.
upon sober reflection, after the bubbles had cleared my central nervous system,
I realized that it was the intense one-on-one brown-nosing evening suppers which
had precipitated my rise to super stardom. While throwing huge parties is a
great way to meet new people, it's not conducive to forming great friendships.
I've always considered myself something of a social butterfly, but even I balk
at playing host to five or more guests. It's nearly impossible to keep up with
all of that mingling and as hard as I try someone always ends up wandering off
in a lonely funk.
I am a big star and make whopping fat loads of cash. I can afford to throw
down on these expensive and unwieldy party items like the Turntablitz DJ Booth
for 7129 Simoleans, the "Bounce My Booty" Dance Floor for 1250 Simoleans, and
the Super Schlooper Bubble Blower for 710 Simloeans. And it's nothing to me
to hand over 350 Simoleans to a caterer to help with the refreshments. But who
else has the means to throw these wicked parties?
Many of these new items are large and need more space than your average Sim's
modest homes allow. Of course you can always add an addition to your house to
accommodate the wares but that costs, too.
House Party does add at least three new neighborhoods to your existing
Sims communities and I'm all for making our town as cosmopolitan as possible.
The expansion also boasts a patch to correct faults with previous Sims installations.
But the patch offers no remedy for the buggy Livin'
Large robots which still get caught in changing-hat mode and continue to
haunt doorways until someone shuts them off. And how many honest Sims have lost
their jobs due to a robot blocking a doorway? Too many.
And at times, Sims still refuse to acknowledge certain items or greet
certain visitors. High fences and decorative wall pieces still obscure your
view of the action, and the game still has a tendency to chug on lots that have
very large buildings and many furnishings.
All in all, there are a few wonderful new items added to enhance the lives
of us Sims, but they're novelties rather than staples and they won't exponentially
increase your Sim's appreciation for their environment or your appreciation
for the game - and for $29, it should. If the content of Livin' Large and
House Party were combined, the price would seem far less steep. If you're
a faithful Sim fanatic who has run out and bought each release in new condition,
this expansion tips the scale to over $100 just for software - no guidebook
of any note, no mug, no tee shirt, no decoder ring. But then again, as long
as you folks stay hooked on this unique title, we Sims will never lack for tacky
furnishings and disco will never die.