Released in 2000 and was the first Ridge Racer that was released not on the PlayStation. Very similar to Ridge Racer Revolution but with a different track appearance and a new soundtrack.
There are signs of a limited draw distance, as you can see a billboard-like objects that pops into view when you move close, this occurs on long stretches of the track, mainly near the start line. The N64 exclusive track does not seem to suffer from the issue, possibly due to it being designed for the console’s limitations, the other tracks were designed for the arcade hardware and the PlayStation respectively.
On the actual console itself it is not as noticeable. But on an emulator with an increased resolution, you can definitely see the pop-in.
A minor annoyance is the same replay audio track plays after each race. Why not play another track at random like Type 4 does?
All tracks from Ridge Racer and Ridge Racer Revolution appear here and are considered updated versions with some scenery changes. Given this game was released in 2000, that’s 7 years compared to the arcade original released, Let’s see what changed in Ridge city:
The original Ridge Racer track has appears since the arcade original to Revolution. There the city looks similar to how it’s presented in Ridge Racer V, which also came out around the same time for the PlayStation 2. Below is a comparison of the arcade version of Ridge Racer, and Ridge Racer 64, Showing the differences between the track details.
The seaside area has been updated with different shop buildings but remains the same with its palm trees
Hmmm, one of the shops on the left appears to have been removed
Still some construction on the add-on section, you would think this has been completed by now but after 7 years – nothing. Funnily enough, Ridge Racer V shows this to be a grass area, with no construction at all.
Maybe planning permission is an issue in Ridge City?
An exclusive track appears that only appears in this game, set in the desert which is a significant departure for the Ridge Racer series.
Most cars from the earlier games also appear here and are the main focus of the game as there is a dedicated car attack mode to unlock new cars, which can be used in Grand Prix mode. The teams from Ridge Racer Type 4 also make an appearance in car design form only, it does not feature the managers from Type 4. Car designs from the early Ridge Racer game also make an appearance.
The game was ported, or remade somewhat on the Nintendo DS. The graphics have seen a downgrade due to the limited 3DS graphics capabilities.
The first exclusive console release of The Sims, and sequel to the original console port. The Sims Bustin Out reuses a lot of assets from the original game with many objects returning along with their animations, however a revised user interface for both Live and the Build/Buy modes. Sims themselves have been redesigned along with new hairstyles, customizations and clothes styles.
The game builds from the previous console instalment and a lot of objects looks familiar. An improvement is the lighting engine, sunrise and sunsets are gradual and look more natural comparted to the previous title, which would blank the screen whilst it switch to day or night mode. The lots themselves are more details with various background elements that set the environment, like moms house being set on a barn, Clubb Rubb being set in a city downtown, Shiny Things Labs being set in a waste plant and Casa Caliente set on a beach.
Bustin Out Mode
The main game mode that is similar to Get A life mode from the first release. You start off at Mom’s house and then progress onto different lots, gaining several job promotions along the way. As you gain promotions and unlock goals you will unlock new objects and social interactions, many of which were exclusive to The Sims Bustin out.
Like the previous game, Most levels had a few common goals that most be completed in order to unlock new locations, social interactions and objects
Parties can be started by using the Throw Party option on the telephone, which is available from 8am to 11pm. Once started, a random collection of sims will arrive to your house (Just like the MySpace bulletin parties back in the day). To throw a good parties you have to keep your guests needs satisfied. Complete this by serving a few meals (Pizza, BBQ burgers or a meal from the fridge), have plenty of toilets of which you may want to build more outside the house since some lots only have one bathroom. A large table with plenty of room, a few free counters and a dishwasher are also highly recommended. A hot tub is a must, although its quite expensive to buy. Lastly have some music in the background and some entertainment objects. Either a good TV, the unlockable game console,
Its worth noting that if your guests motives fall low, your guests will leave automatically. You can call sims individually if you require a specific guest, which is needed for a few goals. A little cheat you can do is using the Aromaster, and choose the Juniper and Rosemary setting in increate your sims energy in that room.
Upgrade or make improvements: Just spend a certain amount of cash on new objects, or sell and buy new objects to replace the old ones.
Get to know (Sim) Better: Make friends with the named sim, this normally unlocks a new social interaction or a item of clothing.
Dream Club: The opening dream sequence where you are in a nightclub. You have to kiss your admirer, who turns out to be Candy/Peter from Free Street. This lot is very similar to 3 Free Street in Free play mode judging by the environment surrounding the lot. Sadly this lot does not appear again, the closest to it would be Club Rubb.
Mom’s House: the starting level, House is like a cottage barn. No bus will arrive here for work but is a great place to upgrade your skills, and if your money goes under 200 you will receive a phone call will a reward as a way to earn money. The only annoying bit is Mom like to turn the jukebox/radio on at night.
Mimi’s House: Unlocked after you get a job, some careers will branch here. It’s a decent lot with two bedrooms so there’s plenty of space. Mimi herself is annoying and will constantly make meals and try to interact with out, often standing in the way. The house on the other hard is pretty much complete with little to no improvements needed, its just a bit too .. pink? Probably just purchase a computer or a skill building item, and change the carpet to a more masculine colour.
Dudley’s Trailer: Also unlocked after you get a job, this lot is used for certain careers and is set on a desert trailer park. Like Mimi, Dudley will also try to interact with you and will cook food constantly. As for the lot itself it’s a bit shit, but not the worst the game has to offer, you will have to clean up the entire lot since there’s a lot of trash. You will want to improve the kitchen area, and replace the couch for a more comfortable one. Also build or expand the bathroom, since sims tend to get stuck in there due to how cramped it is, maybe create an outhouse keeping with the trailer park theme.
Goth Manor: Remember the Goth family from the first Sims game? They reappear here albeit without Cassandra. This might mean the game was set before Cassandra was born, or they just abandoned her. Bella and Mortimer are present, along with a large synthesizer that they love to play at 2am of the morning, thankfully this is in a separate room and won’t wake your sim which is surprising considering how loud it is. You can only control your sim and Mortimer (or Bella if your sim is female) so one if them is guaranteed to be playing the synth. Also if you invite guests round, they start playing the synth too.
Like other Goth households in the sims, this one is haunted and has a chance of ghosts appearing at night. There is even a mission goal for communicating and convincing the ghosts to leave by using the crystal ball.
Studio 8: This is supposed to be an art gallery although I found it a pain to live in since half the lot is dedicated for the gallery. Not much fun items here so you will need to buy a TV or have your sim paint on the easel to increate their fun, which wont be possible if they are in a bad mood. Just don’t sell the art items, since they tend to increase in value over time.
Toane’s Gym: Another crap lot to live in since this is supposed to be a gym but you only have one back room for all sims on a lot to sleep in. It would make sense it this game supported two-story buildings so you could at least have an apartment on the second floor instead of having a couple of rooms squished at the back.
At this point its worth mentioning some of these levels from this point forward have goals relating to marriage, you only have to get married once and it will unlock on every lot you move in. Same applies for the children goal.
Casa Caliente: Some sort of beach shack, set on a tropical beach. You will need to purchase two beds since Malcom will take the existing (unlockable) bed. Overall this is a nice lot to play on since its set on a beech and you have background noise of the waves to listen to.
Club Rubb: A nightclub, this is similar but not the same as the club in the dream sequence when you first started the game. Sadly Malcom takes the dance floor and the laser thing. There are also no bedrooms, and there is some hut at the back of the lot with a recliner and a toaster oven. There are also no bathrooms or showers.
Shiny Things Labs: My favorite lot, this is themed after a desert laboratory, like the Curious family from The Sims 2, Strangetown neighborhood. Its also well equipped with beds, proper bathrooms. Only thing its missing is a living area but there’s plenty of items to increase your sims fun rating.
Tinsel Bluffs: looks like a Hollywood themed house, with a garden that overlooks the city. Plenty of well equipped items on this lot although Malcom does take the high end TV.
Pixel Acres: A nudist colony, bet you’d never thought you would see this on The Sims. Thankfully the sim themselves are censored. A gripe with this levels is there’s near to no fucking rooms! That means if you purchase a TV or a stereo , ensure it is turned off otherwise it will wake your sim, since it and the sims beds are in the same room (Outside, which the game considered to be one large room). Also make sure you hire a maid, or ensure you clean up after your sim since dirty plates will cause the room score to plummet. Honestly this is one of the worst levels of the game since there are little rooms built. I ended up building a small hut just for my sim and partner. Chase and Ying were left outside however, if they choose to live like that that’s their choice.
The Octagon: This is a military themed lot, similar to the Grunt family in The Sims 2, you might want to upgrade some of the objects here since the beds are quite basic. Everything else seems to be Ok.
Malcom’s Mansion: The final level of the game, and it’s a nice one being set in a typical mansion. Still only one floor though. The good news is Malcom gets kicked out of the house, allowing for your sim to move in freely.
Free Play Mode
This is the sandbox mode of the Sims game and is quite a downgrade compared to the previous release. You only have three lots to play with on this game, compared to the six on the previous console instalment. And you have a different set of careers in this mode which we will talk about later.
The game save for this mode is intertwined with the bustin out mode which means sims from that mode will appear once your sim progresses to a certain point. The intention is that your player sim can marry and have one of those free play sims move in with your sim, rather than being stuck with your premade sim.
Up to 8 save games can be made, when you take into account the three lots per sim you have up to 24 different sims that can be saved. However only three can be interacted with at a time, its not possible for sims from one save file to appear in another save. Also each save games will have its objects locked again, unless you unlock them again in Bustin Out Mode.
Honestly this mode seems to restrictive and feels like it was tacked on at the last minute. For open ended gameplay you are best of sticking with the PC version of the Sims, or if you prefer playing on s console or like 3D graphics, the original Sims release for consoles.
Tutti: A sausage party consisting of four males, intended to be married by a female sim in Bustin Out mode. If you have played the previous console instalment you will recognise some of the names
Frutti: All female version of the Tutti family
There are seen new careers in Bustin Out mode and five new careers in Free Play mode. These careers remain exclusive to the game and do not appear in the PC counterpart. I’m not sure why the careers are separated by the game mode, as it would have been fun to play this in both Bustin Out and Free Play mode.
Bustin Out Mode:
Paramilitary, Movie Star, Mad Scientist, Jock, Gangster, Fashion Victim and Counter Culture.
Free Play Mode:
Slacker, Swindler, Rock Star, Computer Geek and Artist.
A few unique objects that are exclusive to the game, many of these are related to skill building
Tumultech Sim-Phony Synthesizer
Like the piano it increases the sims creative skill. The tune that it plays depends on your sims creative level. Bella and Mortimer love to play this at 2am of the morning
Can be used to tell your sims fortune and to communicate with the dead, required to complete a goal at Goth manor.
Use this to create your sims logic skill and to create a mutant plant which will eat your sims trash. Unlocked after being promoted to virus breeder in the Scientist career.
Sham-Shag Polar Rug
A carpet for your sims to relax on, required to complete a goal as Casa Caliente
Sims can perform a single, double or a triple flip, which is required for a later goal. Sims can die if they perform tricks if their needs are low.
Great for parties since it can serve 5 people at a time and is very satisfying for hunger. This can also be used for an outdoor table
Ping pong table
Another fun group activity that raises fun and social with other sims.
Multiple sims can play with this. Unlocked by promotion to Love Guru in the Counter Culture Career Path
Also good for parties, sims can make and serve drinks for other sims and builds the cooking skill
Floyd Co. laser Light Show
Emits laser effects and can boost your sims mood. Unlocked at Fingernail Painter in the Fashion Victim Career path.
Kraftking Potters Wheel
Like the artist block, finished pots can be sold. Higher the creative skill, the more valuable the pots will be.
A programmable robot, similar to the Servo object in The Sims Livin Large. Can be set to clean, socialize and guard. Unlocked after being promoted to Robotician in the Scientist career.
Looks similar to the one in The Sims 2, builds the body skill the fastest. Unlocked by completing the “Seek and Destroy Bioweapons” goal
Hellagraphix 1024 Diamond Edition
A holograph powered game console, does not require a TV and good for playing with multiple sims. Service NPCs can also play with this in a group session. Unlocked following promotion to Boot Polisher in the Paramilitary career.
Also in the first console game but not the PC release. Supposedly vibrates all the dirt of your sim with sound, ideal for sims with low neat personality since it does not flood.
Fastest way to build the charisma skill, unlocked after getting promoted to Sex Symbol in the Movie Star Career Path.
Information Overload by Bu Butubu
A TV with 9 screens and a snack dispenser, unlocked after reaching Head Coach in the Jock Career Path
Console Specific Features
PlayStation 2 – Online Weekend: Exclusive to the PS2 version, this was an online mode that used the PS2 network adaptor to connect online. This has since ben shut down, but has been resurrected using the same netcode as the Sims Online ran on.
Strangely the Xbox version lacks any sort of online play, which is an odd decision by EA since every Xbox has an ethernet port and was designed for online play, whilst older PS2 units require a network adaptor to go online (The PS2 slim wasn’t a thing when this game was released) Therefore the install base for online play would have been smaller for the PS2 compared to the Xbox, despite the PS2 selling much more consoles.
Xbox – High Definition: The Xbox version is capable of running in high definition with the use of a component cable for the NTSC version of the console. PAL/Europe consoles have this feature disabled since HD wasn’t a standard until the launch of the Xbox 360, but can be enabled by softmodding the console and changing the consoles EEPROM to NTSC and using the component cable. The only issues is the UI does not scale very well with the opening FMV being centered in a pilliarbox, but the 3D environment itself does and is a noticeable improvement with the higher resolution.
(How does this compare to emulated Gamecube/PS2 versions? that are upscaled)
Gamecube – Gameboy Link: The Gamecube version can link with the GameBoy advance version to exchange minigames.
Screenshots from the Gamecube version, captured on the Nintendo Wii using DIOS MIOS. Textures are slightly downgraded, but is hardly noticeable compared to the Xbox version.
Lights – They keep breaking. Literally after a few days of your sim being on a lot all the light will be out, with the interaction ‘Replace Bulb’ needed to fix the light. This is common amongst all three console versions and require your sim to constantly repair the lights otherwise the lot will be in darkness. Hiring a handyman will help, but they will soon break, one by one. I even had one break a couple of seconds after it was fixed.
Gossip – This social interaction is a huge pain. First is every sim loves to do it, it’s the most used autonomous social interaction so your sims will often be doing it. The second issue is the time it takes to perform the interaction, sims will often gossip 3-4 times per interaction. Lastly its hard to cancel, literally nothing can stop this interaction once it starts. I’ve had sims miss work because they were stuck gossiping with a sim
Dialogue Boxes – Affects Bustin out mode. NPC sims will often try to tell to you directly though the game, usually by telling you a certain hints on how to complete certain goals or general game mechanics like taking care of your needs. Usually this is fine if there was a way to disable them, but you can’t.
Object Limiter: See the bar on the left when you’re in buy mode? That’s the object limiter since these console has a restriction on the amount of objects that could be placed because of the limited Ram these console had. It’s the same throughout despite the console having varying amounts of RAM (PS2 had 32MB, Xbox 64MB)
The first Simpsons game on sixth generation consoles, Simpsons Road Rage is a combination of racing with taxi driving. If you’ve played Crazy Taxi before, you will already be familiar with the games concept, but for those who aren’t, the objective here is to pick up passengers and drop them off at their desired location within the time limit, all whilst avoiding traffic obstacles. There are six locations, and over 20 different characters to choose from with slightly different mechanics.
Story of the game is Mr Burns has brought out the local bus company and has filled the buses with radioactive waste, which are wrecking havoc across Springfield (You will see why in the game) Simpsons basically predicted Uber.
The main mode of the game and the one used to earn money to unlock characters and locations which can be done by dropping passengers off as fast as possible for bonuses. If you fail to get a passenger to their destination on time, you sill get to keep cash accumulated so far. As soon as you start a game you will have to pick up a passenger by stopping within the blue rings that surround a character, an icon of the destination will appear on the left of the screen, and a hand will appear at the top which will point in the direction where you need to go, along with a point marked on a mini map. The passenger time limit is also displayed.
Slow: Between 0% and 20% of the timer left, $25 bonus only Normal: Between 21% and 35%of the timer left, $50 and 1 second added Fast: More than 36% of the timer left, $100 and 3 seconds added Safe Driver: Awarded when the bonus randomly appears, you have to avoid and NOT hit traffic three times. If you hit three cars then you lose this bonus. $250 and 5 seconds added Road Rage: Awarded when the bonus randomly appears, you have to destroy a certain amount of objects before you drop the passenger to their location. $1000 and 10 seconds added
The Safe Driver bonus is triggered when ‘Avoid Traffic For Bonus’ appears when you pick up a passenger, the Road Rage bonus is similar where upon picking up a passenger, you are prompted to destroy a set amount of objects by running your car into it.
When the time runts out, its game over. You will return to the score screen to see how much you have collected, then you are promoted to enter your initials if you have a high score, then the game auto-saves and you can then picked a different character or location.
Be Mindful of
Mr Burns will randomly appear during the game, (you will hear him say ‘Get them Smithers’) who will then try to drive into you to disrupt your driving, but due to the poor AI will either miss you completely, or crash into another car or bus. The Buses, These wreck havoc around the town, and will leave a trial of destruction in their path such as cards and objects which can be of hindrance since you will have to drive round them to avoid them slowing you down. Transit Stops, Knocking over these add an additional 2 seconds to your time, and you can hit them on your way to your passengers destination Obstacles: Some objects like billboards are solid and will cause your car to crash which impacts your speed. Some billboards can be knocked down but others are solid and will cause your car to collide with them. Physics: The game doesn’t have the best physics engine, and sometimes you car can crash into something that isn’t there due to a faulty hit box detection, or when you drive into the air, your car may land at a weird angle which will take some time for your car to correct. Not something that you want when your trying to beat the time limit. Best thing is to ty and straighten your car as its about to land.
Sunday Drive Mode
The chilled mode, here there’s no time limit or fares. This means you can explore all unlocked locations at your leisure, and find new shortcuts for road rage mode (There are loads) You cannot unlock anything in this mode since you don’t earn any fares.
A series of 10 missions where you have to complete an objective within the time limit. Most of these missions consist of knocking over X amount of objects within a set time, or just getting a passenger to their destination at a specific time limit. There’s little variety here and you only unlock the special car for Homer when you complete all 10 missions. Also these missions are very short, with the games loading screen taking more time to load than the game-play itself, at least on the PS2 version.
Evergreen Terrace: The location that contains the iconic Simpsons House, along with the Kwik-E-mart, Springfield Church, Retirement Castle and the Elementary school. This is the only location that’s available at the start of the game.
Entertainment District: Where Moe’s, Duff Brewery, Mini Golf and the Rusty Barnacle are located. Plenty of shortcuts but due to the tall buildings its easy to miss them.
Springfield Dam: The infamous Spring Dam, This locations has no transit stop so you will need a fest vehicle to get the faster times, this is despite having plenty of transit buses? Destinations here are quite far apart, so make use of the shortcuts. You can drive down the damn itself into the water to get to Rancho Relaxo faster. Kamp Krusty, Jittery Joe’s Coffee Shop (From the season 5 episode where Marge and Ruth Powers meet) and the Stonecutters lodge are also here
Nuclear Power-plant: This is an odd location, since half of it is for the Power-plant with the other being for the Springfield Mall. As a result many character locations will be parts of the Plant itself, like the cut off valve or the cooling towers, which makes no sense as to why a character would want a taxi there. At least there’s a baseball stadium that you can drive through, and an Ikea knock off with the Springfield mall.
Downtown: Various familiar locations are here like the Clown College, Androids Dungeon, the Police Station and the Monorail. This location can get a bit busy with a lot of traffic and objects, and there’s plenty of items to destroy when you get Road Rage bonus.
Springfield Mountains: The final location, set in a rural area like the Springfield Dam. Burns Mansion is located here along with Springfield Gorge. A hard level to make any money on since everything is a large distance from their destinations, there are very few short stops.
The game was released on all three major console platforms (GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, with no native PC port). There’s very little difference between the three, with the Xbox version having the most detailed textures and stable framerate. The PlayStation 2 version is an earlier build and has a few extra passenger locations which were removed since these could be exploited to gain faster time, you could pick up and drop off the passenger, the race back to the same pickup location and since the destination is very short, you could easily make time by exploiting this.
The main screen that shows the playable lots in the neighbourhood, clicking on a house will load that lot. The first game supported only one neighbourhood, with multiple ones requiring an expansion pack. The default install ships with five pre-made families and six houses.
Goth: Bella, Mortimer and Cassandra – An easy house to start with, although during the first few nights they have an annoying trait of mourning near the gravestones, usually that stops after a few days
Newbie: Bob and Betty, Tutorial household, a nice introduction to The Sims
Roomies: Chris and Melissa, another small household, this family is vacant and can be moved into any lot they can afford.
Bachelor: Just a single sim, Michael, typically moved into 1 Sim Lane
Pleasant: A hard family to play since they have two kids and not much money, and you have to move them into a household. With two adults working two jobs you should be able to progress nicely.
There are also five other families that could be download from the Sims website. Although the website is now offline but mirrors exist to download from. These families can be added to the base game or to any install expansion pack but wont work for the console versions.
Hatfield: A very hard family to play. They are poor and don’t have a very good house with basic furniture, but at least both parents are working. If you can get the kids grades (there are three of them) to an A+ you can earn a (random) bonus for good grades.
Jones: straightforward family to play with two adults (Edward and Barbara) and a kid (Bobby), similar to the Goth house only less extravagant
Valentino: Rudy and Julia, who live in a large house
Snooty Patooty: Chip and Buffy, supposed to be a parody of a wealthy couple
Maximus: A bizarre family, only two adults and the weirdest house you will ever play
How well your sim knows other sims and if they are friends, lovers or enemies. Some jobs require you to have a certain amount of friends in order to progress to a promotion. The base games has a simple bar that measures your sims friendship from 1-100, with 100 being the highest. In the base game there is only one relationship bar, with two being introduced with the later expansion packs.
Should be notes if you want two adult sims to share a bed they will need a relationship of 50 or higher
Marriage: Sims can move in and get married if their relationship is high enough, this will move the sim into the household, along with any kids if they live with the sim and that sim is the only adult. Same sex sims have the option too move in instead. That said, the game has a very loose concept of marriage, since its possible for one sim too be married to multiple sims, although if they perform any romantic interactions they can become jealous (and the Woody Woodpecker sound plays)
Cooking: Helps prevent fires, and improves the quality of your sims cooking which increases the effect on hunger. The noise the sim makes will also change when food is cooked at a higher cooking level. When playing a sim for the first time its advised to raise their cooking skill level to two bars or higher to reduce the risk of fire.
Mechanical: For repairing items, the higher the mechanical skill the faster they will repair the item. Sims can get electrocuted if they repair an electronic item with a low skill level
Creativity: Play the piano or paint on the easel, which is useful since sims with a high creativity skill can sell paintings for a lot more money.
Logic: Playing chess or looking through the telescope increases this, only useful for job promotions
Charisma: Increased by talking to yourself in them mirror, supposed to help with how your sims interact with others, but is mainly useful for job promotions.
Body: Helps keep your sim fit, but this has no affect on their appearance. Its mainly useful for carers and winning fights if your sim has enemies
Fire: Occurs when your sim tries to cook with a low skill level (2 points or lower) or when you have objects near a fireplace. Buy a fire alarm which will summon a firefighter to extinguish the fire automatically.
Burglar: Randomly comes during the night, but can come during the day of the sim is at work. Buying a burglar alarm help the police to capture them when they enter your lot.
Floods: If a toilet/sink or the dishwasher breaks, it can cause a flood which must be cleaned up by the sim.
Aliens: looking through the telescope at night has a risk of being abducted by aliens, who will randomize the sims personality upon return.
Sims can also leave the game autonomously, adults will leave if they get into a fight multiple times with a sim and have a serious degraded relationship. Kids will leave if their grades fall below D- and will be sent to military school. When these occur the sim is deleted from the game upon saving, and cannot be restored unless you exit without saving.
The base game comes with ten careers (Six in the console release) with 10 jobs in each. Each job can be accessed by having your sim promoted by fulfilling the job requirements. Certain jobs will require you to have a set amount of friends, and a set level of skills.
Services can be ordered by using the phone, an NPC will then arrive on the lot
Maid: A maid will come from 9am every day, and will always leave by 5pm every day. Cleans the lot.
Gardener: Waters the plants, comes every 3 days
Repairman: Repairs all broken items on the lot
Police: No reason to call them unless a burglar comes on your lot and you don’t have a burglar alarm.
Fire Service: Only used if a fire breaks out on your lot and you don’t have a fire alarm, can be fined 500 for a false emergency.
Pizza: Delivers pizza to your house, costs $40
The game offers a help systems that pops a question mark symbol in the corner, informing the user that a tip is available.
Where you can purchase items for your sim. Items are grouped by category – Seating, Surfaces (Tables), decorative, electronic, plumbing, appliances, lighting and miscellaneous (items that don’t belong in any category. Clicking on the buy mode icon again switches to room category view
The Sims: Original base game
Deluxe Edition: The base game with the Livin Large expansion bundled together in one install, also features The Sims Creator
Complete Collection: Includes all expansions
The game was ported to the Mac platform in 2000 by Aspyr and was for the PowerPC platform. This version was very similar to the PC release and is compatible with any downloadable content intended for the PC release, but attention must be made to the file name length since the Mac is limited to 31 characters instead of 255 characters used on Windows for its file name. Files may need to be renamed for it to be used on the Mac version.
A Carbon version was later released for compatibility with Mac OS X, Carbon was an API that help facilitate the transition from the classic Mac OS to OS X. Carbon applications are only supported on OS 8.6 and higher. When you install the Carbon update, two executables are present in the games folder as some expansion packs rely on the older version. Starting from Hot Date, Carbon was installed as standard.
Lastly, OpenGL is used for the graphics API instead of RAVE, and must be installed on classic Mac OS 9. It is integrated by default on Mac OS X.
The Sims (Console)
A console adaption of the popular PC game but I would consider this as a remake, The Sims are rendered entirely in 3D graphics complete with new lighting effects and redesigned objects. A new game mode, Get a Life is added which featured level type gameplay where the player has to progress from house to house, building up their career.
The console version was released for the PlayStation 2 first, with an updated build being released for the GameCube and Xbox. Compared to the PC release there are a few differences due to the consoles typically having less memory compared to the PC, and with no expansion packs available what you see in the game is what your stuck with. You also cannot download and install objects or families from the PC version.
Get A Life
In this mode you create your own sim, who lives in their own rags to riches story as they start off in a basic house. The aim of this model is to reach the dream house stage, which can be achieved by completing goals that consist of getting certain promotions at work, cleaning and upgrading the houses and throwing parties that sims enjoy.
Whilst this mode seems easy at first, it will get progressively harder as it taker longer to raise your sims skills, jobs will require more friends in order to get promoted and you have to battle with refilling your sims needs quite often.
The Xbox version saves directly to its hard drive and has seemly unlimited save slots, memory units are not directly supported. The PS2 version can save as much as its memory card allows, with each save consuming 1.1MB. The GameCube version is limited to 1 save file per card.
Moms House – Starter level, objectives are to repair the TV, gain two cooking skill points to make a meal, and borrow 800 bucks from ‘Mom’ who is a pain in the arse and will randomly complain and refuses to clean and cook
Reality Bites – This level can be a bit lonely since its just your sim, Dudley (Mimi if your sim is a female) will occasionally pop round but cannot be interacted with unless you invite him. Thankfully Mom can be invited and two neighbours (The Peacocks, Pauline and Pierre) pop round. Get two job promotions, clean and fix everything and spend $1000 upgrading the future to progress.
Party Animals – You have a new roommate, the snag is its Dudley or Mimi (depending on your sims gender) who are a pain to live with. Like Mom they wont cook or clean, and skill building is out of the question so getting a job promotion is a challenge. But it can be done, Dudley/Mimi can build his body skill using a swimming pool which is enough to get promoted two times. The house itself is quite large which makes navigating it time consuming, you may wish to alter its design as part of the $1000 improvements. Two new neighbours are available to meet, the Froofraw (Fran and Freddy, fuck knows how they came up with that surname), along with Dudley’s Roomies friends (Leon, Carlos, Betty, Layla) which you must befriend one of them in order to move out to the next level. There is also a bonus sim, Bobo the Bum, who walk past your house every morning. Give him food and you can unlock a 2 player mode games.
Hot to Trot – You start with the sim that you chose to move in with from level 3, like the previous levels you need to earn two promotions and spend money on upgrades for the house. Again you will be introduced to more of your roommates friends, only this time you have to choose which one you want to marry. This will always be the sim of the opposite sex, as gay marriage wasn’t a thing until the later games. Once completed you will move onto level 5.
Who loves ya baby: The worst level with the worst designed house. Here you have to earn another two promotions and you have to raise two babies to kids. When you first play the lot, you have to manually rearrange the furniture since tis all condensed into two rooms. The worst part is having to raise two children which seems to drag on, you basically need to feed and sing them to sleep every 8 sim hours.
The last Simoleon: You move into a dream mansion. Being the final level, the objective is to reach the max promotion for your career, have 20,000 in your savings and get your kids grades up to an A+ level which will send them to boarding school. Once finished, the end credits will play and you will be returned to the main menu.
Bonus Unlocks: making friends with neighbour sims unlocks certain create a sim cloths and hairstyles or accessories
Play the Sims
Sandbox style gameplay like the original PC version of the Sims, although you have much less lots to play with, having only 6 lots from the 10 that PC version offered. You are also limited to 4 sims per lot with the PC version supporting 8, however the game internally supports 8 sims when using a modified save file.
Game saves in this mode are the same as the Get a Life versions, with the PS2/Xbox being ale to save multiple games deepening on the storage capacity, but the GameCube version being limited to a single save per card.
In the PS2 version the default neighbourhood has no defined name, and the player must enter one when first created, the Xbox/GameCube prepopulate the name with ‘Willville’ but this can be changed by the player.
Up to 2 players can play on one console using a split screen method, however the lot must have 2 or more sims on the lot.
The premade sims are the same as the Pc version, with the Goth, Pleasant, Newbie, Roomies and Bachelor families being present but with a slightly different appearance and personality. The lots have also been amended since the console versions only support a single story. The Goth, Roomies and newbie families are already moved into a lot, but the Roomies house is unfurnished.
2 player mode is supported with the use of mini games, similar to the 2-player mode in Play The Sims mode, but in this mode each level has specific challenges that must be completed by each player, and the player that completes their goals first wins. There are 8 in total:
The Frat House
Party Motel: Unlockable only by a cheat, Enter PARTY M in the cheat box
Comparison with the PC
Console versions only has a single story houses, the PC supports two
Console used 3D rendered graphics for everything, PC version only the sims themselves are 3D with the world being an isometric 2D design
No online exchange support for the console
No 2 player mode for the PC version, whilst the console versions support split screen like multiplayer
The PS2 version was a fresh copy, Play The Sims mode is unlocked after starging and saving in Get a Life mode
The options menu
Slight difference with the font display on the PS2 version with larger line spacing
Create a Sim mode, The Xbox version will ask you to confirm the changes upon pressing the B button, the PS2/GameCube versions do not
The GameCube and Xbox version comes wit the name prepopulated
The level start screen
Example of the user interface, the directional pad has a different appearance on each version
The first level, some minor difference in the details. It’s possible the game was built for the PS2 and was the lead development platform and was then ported to the other consoles.
Family selection screen
Buy mode, all versions have the same object limiter
The Xbox version seems to be the best one with its sharper textures, but its graphics ae slightly zoomed in, like the FOV is different compared to the Gamecube/PS2 releases
The Xbox version has bonus loading screens if the game takes too long to load. You will only see this if the game disc is dirty and the console is struggling to load
PCem seems to have issues playing the game with certain emulated graphics cards.
A utility by EA that checks for updates and downloads them, no longer functional.
Released in the arcades in 1998 and the ported to the Nintendo 64, here you are racing across various locations across the sunny state which range from cities to the beach. Many of the tracks are quite wacky, with you racing up the rails of the golden gate bridge, in a spaceship, a volcano or inside a trippy computer, in a way it feels like a roller coaster ride, of which there is a track where you can drive on a roller coaster. The game has various similarities with other Midway or Atari racing games like Rush or the Crusin games, which were also on the Nintendo 64 and plays like an arcade racing game, back in a time when this sort of racing game was popular before they all degenerated into racing sims.
There’s a good selection of cars which feature different stats like the handling, acceleration and speed. The N64 version allows you so alter the cards slightly by changing the colour hue, and the engine whilst they are fixed on the Arcade version. There’s a good verity of vehicles from muscle cars, pickup trucks to golf carts and sports cars. Music is pretty good using its own soundtrack inspired by various genres that were popular towards the end of the 90s, with grunge and progressive style rock tracks to techno and house, with a folk inspired track on the farm course. Like Crusin USA there are opponent cars and AI oncoming traffic which you have to avoid.
The arcade version is using the 3DFX graphics processor paired with the MIPS R5000 CPU which Atari were proud of as it is present on the billboards plastered throughout the track. You can even see the 3DFX chip towards the final stage of the Silicon Valley track, since 3DFX were based in California.
The arcade mode features a single race or a Do The State mode which takes you though all the tracks
This is one of the few arcade games that runs off a hard disk, thus required a separate CHD file in order for it to run in MAME. Hard disks gave advantages compared to the CD_ROM drive as they were still able to offer a lager storage capacity and faster loading times, important for arcade games since the user does not want to wait for the game to load. Typically most arcade game uses surface mount ROM chips that stored the game data. Multiple versions of the game exist, this is version 2.1a of the game.
The arcade version of the game runs on a MIPS based CPU paired with the 3DFX graphics accelerator. You can race in a similar fashion to Cruis’n USA with ‘Do the state’ – in this mode you complete a series of races
The arcade version is also uncensored, as you are able to hit people in the mall (this can be an optional settings within the games setup mode) hitting them just causes them to scream and bound away down the track in a comedic fashion.
This was a conversion of the arcade version, and there are some differences in the presentation of the game. Graphics have had a noticeable reduction with lower resolution textures being used in place of the detailed ones used in the arcade, the environment has also been changed slightly with the N64 having less items in the background. However the N64 does have its trademark fog effects to cover the draw distance which leaves the impression your racing on a foggy autumn day, whilst the arcade is set in the summer and has nice backdrops and sky textures This version is also censored, as in the mall track its possible to run over the shoppers in the arcade version, but they don’t exist on the N64 version, this isn’t violent as you don’t see any blood or guts, in fact it looks like there bouncing around the mall when your call collides with them. Another change was the bikini girls that appears at the start and end of the race. The most noticeable change is the music, with everything being converted to MIDI instead of using the Midway Sound System on the arcade Sadly the game was only released in NTSC regions, A PAL version of the game exists and the Rom is fully playable in both emulators and an actual PAL N64 but was cancelled close to release. It even has support for five common languages in Europe (German, Spanish, Italian & French) The gameplay itself its slightly different with different cups being offers which offer a series of racers (around 6) to complete. Like the arcade, ‘Do The State’ mode exits which takes you through all the tracks in the game.
As mentioned in the arcade version, some elements of the game have been removed, most notably are the track/trophy girls that appear when you win a race and the removal of people in the mall track.
The game was officially released for NTSC (America) regions, a PAL version was planned and a ROM of it exists but was never released to market, until now.
Start screen, the arcade version had an attract sequence, whilst the N64 version shows a static screen that cuts to a demo sequence
Winning a race on the arcade version causes a group of bikini clad girls to appear to celebrate your win, which don’t appear on the N64 version. On the arcade version, the effect looks creepy because they sometime appear when you can is still moving and since they follow the car, it looks like they are moving at 30mph whilst standing still…
The track selection screen, the arcade version looks similar to the crusinUSA screen. The N64 version is split into different series of racing, known as Light, Sport. Each series has 5 tracks to race accross different weeks, which unlocks cars.
The LSD tunnel in San Francisco track
The start lady appears when the race begins for the arcade version, she does not appear in the N64 version
Entrance to the LSD tunnel, building resembles a workstation PC of the era. Although the front looks more like a PC speaker
Tree are much more detailed in the arcade version
The pier section, just before the rollercoaster part
Inside the LSD building which also simulates parts of a computer, you can see the 3DFX chip in the arcade version, and the Nintendo/SGI chip for the N64
Drving on the rollercoaster, the arcade version has a better draw distance with the sky being visible, the N64 is fogged out
The game based on the popular TV show, came out very early in the shows life, along with a hit number 1 single
Story mode does not make for a good game, with the enemies being repetitive to the point of tediousness. The first level starts you off in your home town where you are attacked by deranged Turkey’s (who have the most horrible sound effect, and it’s horrendous if there’s 3 or more enemies present) and throughout the first three levels its just ongoing Turkey’s, with the occasional cow thrown in (only on the PC version, I’ve not seen the cow in the console versions on this level).
On the next stage you encounter Tank enemies which are larger Turkey’s that have the ability to spawn more turkeys that will attack. The tank’s have much more health than regular turkeys and will start to run into the beginning of the level when their health goes below 30%. If a tank manages to make it to the start point of a level, than another stage will need to be completed after you complete the level, where you have to kill the tank enemies that escaped, with a replenished health bar. You will need to do this before they destroy the town, of which depends on how many tanks had escaped. For this reason its a good idea to kill the tanks in the main game, since you are going to have to beat them regardless. What’s frustrating to me is they speed run back to the start of the level, meaning you have to chase them whilst firing, and causing you to backtrack. This makes the level much more tedious since you hare going through areas you have already passed.
The next levels don’t change much, replacing the turkeys with clones, robots, aliens and moving toys, however its mostly the same type of enemy throughout the level which become boring fast. Some of the later enemies becoming literal bullet sponges, taking 20-30 hits before they go down.
The multiplayer on the other hand is rather fun, playing as a regular FPS with a interesting selection of guns. The console versions let you play with two players, whilst the PC version supports LAN netplay. If there is one reason to play this game, its for the multiplayer mode.
The Nintendo 64 version has 17 different maps to choose from, all with a variety of weapons. The PC version has the most maps, with 26 in total This includes all the N64 maps, plus some PC exclusive maps. PlayStation has an alerted version of the multiplayer mode, discussed in its section.
The first release of the game, and was the best version of the game until the PC version, however it remains the most accessible. Multiplayer supports up to four players on one console with a range of multiplayer options, including deathmatch. This version also features a high score table and supports 16:9 aspect ratio and a ‘High-Res’ mode with the use of the expansion pack.
Downside to this version is the significant frame drops when there’s a lot of action on the screen, and the short draw distance being disguised as fog.
Below is running on Retroarch Mupen64plus with Angrylion RSP plugin, I do own a copy of the PAL version of the game, but my N64 is one of those models that only supports composite out (No RGB or even S-Video, way to go Nintendo)
Released a year later (1999) and used a revised soundtrack compared to the MIDI N64 version, the cutscenes are captured from the N64 version instead of being pre-rendered on a workstation like many other games of the era. Graphically its a downgrade compared to the N64 version, and the multiplayer only supports two players, known as head to head in this version.
The PlayStation version comes with a head to head mode that has 6 maps, some of which are modified from the Nintendo 64 version. DM1 is based off the Ravine level from the N64, but with some alterations like the removal of water. DM4 is based of the badlands level, DM5 off badlands 2 and DM6 is based off the Gym Class map. DM2 and DM3 look to be unique maps for the PlayStation version.
Captured on Duckstation emulator with bi-linear filtering and rendered at twice the original resolution, with GTE accuracy enabled
The definitive port of the game, with better graphics and CD audio. Also comes with a proper multiplayer mode that use the Gamespy client (now defunct) to organize games. However there are issues running this game on modern systems, as the game only seems to work on Windows 98/Me systems (95 untested but assumed to work) this could be down to DirectX/Glide support on modern systems.
Below is running on the PCem v17 emulator running Windows 98, emulating a Pentium Overdrive MMX 200Mhz, 3DFX Voodoo graphics, with a Aztech sound galaxy soundcard.
There is also a software rendering mode that renders the games graphics in just the CPU, ideal if you do not have a dedicated 3D accelerator or one that is unsupported. Unfortunately it gives PlayStation level graphics at a weird screen aspect ratio.
These were hard to find, so I thought i’d put them here
Press the Esc button, select Options and move the mouse cursor to the lower left of the screen and then click, you can then enter the below cheats. Sometimes you may have to move the cursor so it goes off the screen before you can enter a cheat.
A racing game set across the USA, you play from point A to point B with a single lap, giving the impression you are travelling through (Cruising) the USA. Each track has unique scenery and opponents, with rival cars and traffic becoming a hinderance, thankfully the controls are easy to adapt although collision detection can be an issue.
All of these tracks are set around different parts of the USA, and vary in environmental scenery and difficulty.
Golden Gate Park: The first track in the game which features the golden gate bridge. Very easy with only slight bends and wide roads
San Francisco: Featuring rolling hills and an increase of traffic from the previous track, ends with a tunnel.
US 101: Set in a rural desert, the track here is narrower and features a lot more bends, there are also gaps in the road which your car must drive over
Redwood Forest: Continuing from the desert and into the forest, the road here is a lot more narrow which gives little space to navigate through opposing traffic and rival cars.
Beverly Hills: Featuring Bel-Air style houses and mansions along with the Hollywood sign. The scenery here can be distracting so try to focus and concentrate on the road.
LA Freeway: There’s a lot more traffic on this one
Death Valley: Sounds a bit morbid but is set in a rural desert area, this one also features a narrow road so watch for traffic
Arizona: Set in a rural desert in the first half, this one has powerlines as obstacles that can be knocked down but will impact your cars speed.
Grand Canyon: Drive through the Grand Canyon itself, again has powerlines as obstacles that can be knocked down, also features Mount Rushmore
Iowa: Set on rural green farm which looks more like an English countryside, has narrow roads and powerline obstacles and a toll booth which you have to be careful not to hit the hubs in between
Chicago: Features factories and an urban like environment with large buildings and an underpass. Be careful not to hit the overhead railway columns
Indiana: Very similar to Iowa
Appalachia: Track with a bumpy road and a lot of curves and hills, defiantly one of the more challenging tracks.
Washington DC: The final stage with a lot of nice scenery but equally as difficult as Appalachia, Ends with a money tunnel
Completing Cruse the USA mode unlocks a faster car, and the arcade features a very special ending FMV featuring the then current Present and the First Lady
Released in 1994 on the Midway V Unit arcade board, it was one of the early textured 3D racers alongside Ridge Racer and Daytona USA.
Not much is known about Midway’s V unit 3D hardware, originally believed to be based upon the Nintendo Ultra 64 that was in development at the time, however closer inspection of the specification revels the hardware to be very different. With the V Unit running a Texas Instruments TMS32031 CPU at 50Mhz compared to the NEC VR4300 MIPS CPU in the Nintendo 64. Whilst the N64 is complemented by the SGI Reality co-processor, the V unit uses an currently unknown 3D processor, which accelerates the 3D graphics used. As it was released in 1994, there are a few possible vendors:
A PC graphics accelerator like the Yamaha Tasmania 3D or Matrox Millennium
SGI (Possible the V Unit is a very early design of the N64? unlikely since SGI have always used MIPS CPU’s, unless they wanted to cut costs and use a TI CPI instead)
Or it could be an entirety custom chip Midway had designed…
The boot screen of the arcade version is interesting, the first seems to going into some hardware test routine, whilst the second looks like its downloading something off a remote server, or simulating it. OS-WMS is mentioned, and the next line reads WMS Satellite COMM, CHANNEL 42, which makes me think the game was capable of being distributed over the air via satellite? its not out of the ordinary since that’s how Nintendo’s Stellaview worked, and BSB’s data service allowed you to broadcast data in the early hours of the morning whilst its TV channels were off air. The last command looks like it’s trying to retrieve something off an external FTP server, despite the game being stored in ROM. These messages appear every time you start the game, so its not some first-time utilisation process.
Graphics-wise its similar in vein to the other arcade racers of the time, Ridge Racer and Daytona USA, however this is clearly running on lower-end hardware with the framerate and resolution being reduced. Winning first place nets you a free race (adjustable in the games test modes) otherwise you will need to add credit to progress onto the next track. Completing the game gives you an ending cut-scene set on top of the White House.
Nintendo 64 Versions
Released early in the N64 life, Cruis’n USA took a downgrade in the resolution and censored a few aspects of the game. The former caused critism since this was one of the first racing games on the Nintendo 64, and the game was promoted as being built on Nintendo 64 technology, so it was expected to be a perfect port of the game. Meanwhile the PlayStation enjoyed a satisfactory port of Ridge Racer, however by that point it was already two years old by the time it was released in 1996, had the N64 came out in 1995 as originally planned, the port may have been better received.
Graphics took a reduction in this version with the textures being downgraded to fit into the Nintendo 64 memory limitations. The framerate is also inconsistent, since having many cars and track objects on screen to reduce it to a crawl, which can frequently happen when you crash into another car, CPU cars will also crash into you and have no awareness of the track, often resulting in a slideshow when there are a lot of cars and track objects on screen. Saying that, the N64 does benefit from perspective correction, which means no warping polygons or textures, and there is also bilinear filtering for the textures, although for this game the arcade unfiltered textures look better.
The sound has also been altered, since the Nintendo 64 didn’t have a dedicated sound processor and had to render the sound on either the CPU or the reality co-processor, depending on how the game was designed, the arcade version has extra fidelity since it was done using the Midway DCS sound system.
One other thing to mention was the saving issues on the Everdrive64, as the game uses the gamepak in order to save data, but upon starting the game it complains about the pack being corrupted/invalid and will not start, removing the gamepak results in another error messages instructing you to insert the pak back into the controller. The only was to start the game was to boot without the controller-pak connected, which results in the game saving to the cartridge memory, which the Everdrive can emulate.
Left: Nintendo 64 – Right: Arcade, which has the indicator on the bottom
Textures are generally more detailed on the arcade release, but the Nintendo 64 makes use of texture filtering with the arcade being unfiltered.
N64 version looks more blurry, whilst the arcade version looks sharper.
Transmission select screen
Heads up display of both versions, the N64 compensates of the PAL/NTSC overscan by creating a buffer for the HUD design. The arcade cabinet has illuminated lights which indicated the games status which MAME emulated as an on screen display which can be seen at the bottom.
An example of censorship of the N64 version, either that or the woman must have felt cold. A nice feature with the arcade version was you got a free race if you came in first place (dependant on that feature being enabled in the games settings)