May 9, 2007 - Nintendo's newest console has seen its fair share of "Wii-makes" thus far, including everything from Prince of Persia to Resident Evil 4, and now The Sims franchise. As one of the main Sim titles at EA's press event in San Francisco this week, The Sims 2: Pets is looking to take advantage of the now-bustling Wii community, bringing out the previously-released console title to Nintendo's newest system. And while we can't come down on the decision to bring out The Sims 2: Pets on Wii - after all, IR control works like a charm - it's tough to get overly-excited about a game we played on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube just months ago.
For anyone unfamiliar with the world of The Sims, it's a spin-off franchise from the classic "Sim-whatever" world that has been around since pretty much the dawn of gaming (and mankind). In The Sims, players zoom in on the world of SimCity, and trade in the role of city manager for the life of a lowly Sim slave. Players can create and design their own houses, recreate a fully-functioning family unit, and even take on jobs and relationships in the more social-based Sim title. For The Sims 2: Pets, it's all about bringing in our furry friends from yesteryear, as EA encourages us to recreate or dearly departed pets from our childhood, or play God in creating our very own dream dog or cat.
Play fetch with the Wii remote. Not literally...
Putting aside the fact that we've seen The Sims 2: Pets on other systems already, the game is still a solid choice for Wii gamers. The title is as it was previously, allowing the ability to create and customize not only homes, city sections, humans, and full families, but also the most memorable members of the animal kingdom. Whether it's customizing your house interior, adding an extension onto your guest house for new characters, plopping accessories on your human/pet avatars, or actually creating new breeds (of animals, not humans - although that would rock), players are encouraged to grab the Wii remote, customize the world with drop-down menus and on-screen buttons just a click away, and really make the world their own. The IR control is definitely the primary use for the Wii system, as there's no real motion control, but the PC feel is duplicated quite well, and it's just as easy to select, tweak, and manipulate the world with quick sweeps of the controller.
And when it comes to customization, the game is virtually limitless, allowing for every minute detail of the world to be screwed with. Players can selected different locales for their homes, basically starting up a home and family from an entirely empty plot of land, customizing every inch of the place in the process. When it comes to pets, the same attention to detail is displayed, as you can select from existing breeds of cats and dogs, combine your favorite features from different breeds with use of tons of slider bars, and fully-customize your creatures with accessories and special items purchased from within the town center. As you upgrade your house with more customized aspects, the world evolves along with you, building more shops in the town center and opening a larger world for your Sim creations to explore.
On the presentation side of things, The Sims 2: Pets looks like a direct port of either the GameCube or PS2 version, as the game runs in 16:9, but lacks 480p display. The models look decent, as do most of the animations (though they still have that half-robotic stiffness found in other Sims games), but there's literally nothing here that'll push the Wii graphically, as IR control is the big selling point of the game. Whether that's worth $50, however is going to be on a person-by-person basis - especially when MySims is right around the corner as well.
We'll have more on The Sims 2: Pets, including a final review and added media as we grow closer to the game's release. Until then, be sure to check out our new images from the EA event, and don't forget to head over to our MySims hands-on for details on the newest chapter of The Sims built from the ground up for Wii owners.
Thanks to IGN.com for sharing the news with us!