You know , playing the Sims three can be really depressing if you think about it .
What does a typical Sims life consist of getting older and older and older then they die , throw a lot of working and woo hoo in there .
And that about sums it up .
It gets even more depressing when you realize that's pretty much what real life boils down to as well .
But thank goodness for the kind old souls at electronic arts who have developed a solution to alleviate some of the depression of the Sims .
And that solution is the Sims Three Generations expansion pack .
It is the fourth expansion pack to the Sims three base game .
And contrary to my initial thoughts , it does not have anything to do with Captains Kirk and Piccard joining forces against the mysterious nexus .
The actual theme of the Sims three generations expansion is the expansion of your generations of Sims .
That is , it gives Sims of all ages , more stuff to do , living life to the fullest and such .
So their existence is less depressing to observe .
It's somewhat hard to explain .
So allow me to explain .
Generations , starts off with a very striking yellow loading screen overlaid with what appears to be a family tree of sorts or maybe the latest random screen print T shirt from American Eagle Outfitters .
Take your pick .
You can then start a new game or choose an existing one to play .
There is no new town included with generations , so you're stuck with what you've already got .
The additions this expansion provides are most easily separated into the different life stages of a Sim , infants and toddlers , Children , teens , young adults , adults , and elders .
But before we get into specifics , there is one major edition that launched with this expansion .
And that is Memories .
Memories are well , if you don't know what memories are , just try to remember and I'm sure you'll get it .
But for Sims , Memories are basically a record of major events that occur in the game .
Whenever a memory happens , it will pop up on the screen , take a screenshot and give you the opportunity to write a description .
This will then go into a scrapbook which chronicles everything from birth to death to the times you hurt someone's feelings or failed epically , pretty much anything that you do in the game .
So yeah , it kind of gets a little annoying pretty quickly , but you can just ignore them if you'd like .
You can also use this little icon to record your own memories of any moment no matter how mundane or bizarre .
The scrapbook also brings back the bio feature so you can further flesh out the stories of your Sims in text form .
There's also a bunch of social features integrated into the memories thing , like the abilities to share them on the Sims exchange or post them to your Facebook wall .
And if you don't want to do this , you don't have to .
But there are incentives for doing so , at least at the moment like exclusive downloadable items and crap like that .
All right .
So let's begin to commence to start with the main features of the game .
Beginning with infants , there's still immobile pooping crying bundles of joy .
So that hasn't changed about the only thing that has is this mysterious package that shows up from somebody mysterious with this mysterious doll inside that just shows up often after a SIM is born .
We'll come back to this thing later for sure because it's just plain weird .
Toddlers don't get much out either .
But what they do get is pretty significant .
There are now strollers for older Sims to push these younger Sims around in .
They work pretty much just like bikes and cars and finally let you feasibly roam around town with a toddler along for the ride .
But it's with Children that you really start to see some big additions to the game play before .
This kids didn't really have much of anything to do other than homework and make noise and they still do that .
But now there is a costume chest to occupy their time as well .
Inside this chest is a collection of various costumes to stimulate the synapses of a young mind like a prince , an astronaut , a tyrannosaurus rex and a princess .
And yes , a boy can dress up as a princess and yes , his macho father may take issue with that .
There's also a complete selection of playground equipment for Children to conquer .
You've got a slide , a seesaw , a swing set , hopscotch court , one of those springy ride things , one of those giant playhouses that only rich kids have and even a couple of different water slides which are just awesome .
Although you may have to fight off grandpa for a turn .
You also have sandboxes to play in which double as a great stress relief option or a handy place to bury your homework and school textbooks .
But if Eric AOA is your thing , you can instead buy a tree house .
Contrary to popular belief , these are pre built miniature houses built into a tree and not houses for trees to live in .
They come in various themes for varying fantasies for varying Children .
And one of them does come pretty close to Star Trek with this sci fi theme .
If you remember the Tardis rip off time machine from the Sims Three Ambitions or the Mausoleum from the bass game , that's pretty much what this is .
It's just a rabbit hole so you can't see inside and instead can only click on it and trust the cool things that are happening within .
I do like some of the things you can do with it though , like choosing the classic no girls allowed option and being able to dump water on your mother when she's asking you to come down .
The last main children's thing is the imaginary friend .
This is that doll creature that comes through the mail once a baby is born , although it's just a doll for a while .
Eventually it starts to come to life .
As your SIM grows older and closer to the doll .
It looks a bit more like a robot if you ask me , which is somewhat unnerving because if it is and is not telling anybody does it follow the laws of robotics .
I don't know what if it has ulterior motives .
I mean , I'm just not totally convinced it's not a cyborg with selective cloaking abilities since it can start to act like a real Sim , but is only viewable by the child it belongs to .
That gives me an idea .
Holy crap .
Someone please come out with a Calvin and Hobbs mod for this immediately .
They can talk with it , play with it , befriend .
It just like it was a normal SIM .
Except nobody else can see it .
It's even possible to pull a Pinocchio and turn it into a real child if you can find out how to that is and no , you can't woo hoo with it .
At least not in robot doll form .
I can't believe I have to say that teenagers receive another large amount of additions in generations .
Apathy and lethargy for starters playing in the sand and swinging on the swing set just isn't the same anymore .
Kids stuff is lame .
Now it's time to move on to bigger toys like cars .
They can't exactly own a car yet , but they can learn to drive from an adult with the expected bumps and skids along the way , eventually earning a driver's certificate with a learner's permit to drive around town .
But that is only if they are good standing with the adults of the house because there is now a punishment system in the game for kids .
There are two new traits in the game relating to the actions of younger Sims and those are rebellious and nurturing rebellious Sims will have a tendency to challenge authority and complain about the status quo hoping that teenage angst will pay off .
They can also sneak out at night and play all sorts of pranks like ding dong ditch laying a flaming bag of something nasty on the porch , egging the neighbor's houses switching shampoo for hair dye booby , trapping the sink and planting Whoopi cushions .
They can even play some more serious pranks on the local school , which may get the cops after you .
If those meddling kids get too out of hand , adults of the household have the option to send them away to one of a variety of boarding schools like military sports and even hippie schools and you don't have to see them again until they grow up and out of their childish ways .
Hopefully , it's not all bad .
At least they'll learn new skills and traits while gone .
The other trait is nurturing , which pertains to how well a SIM works with kids .
They will not only be able to punish them in a variety of ways but also build a relationship with younger Sims more easily than Sims without the trait .
They're also especially good at the new profession in the game .
Running a day care .
This is essentially a babysitting service for teen and older Sims to run out of their home .
Parents will drop off kids in the morning and pick them up some time in the evening and not on time either .
How much you get paid , depends on how well you do with the kids and how happy they are at the end of the day , it works a lot like the new careers from the ambitions expansion in that it demands you a full attention and is much more interactive than simple rabbit hole jobs .
It's quite challenging , but it has its own rewards in the form of special interactions and bonuses later and other Sims in the household can at least help you out .
The rest of the team stuff relates to school events such as being able to take in school related activities like field trips , ballet , music and drama classes .
Amongst many others .
They all seem to be rabbit hole locations .
So that is kind of lame , but at least they're learning skills along the way .
There will also be special events like school dances and of course prom night complete with the awkwardness of trying to get a date .
Or if that's too much sims aged teen and older can just go on simple dates around the town , which works the same way as going out with a group except it's more of a one on affair .
And finally they will graduate high school and get a diploma before heading off into adulthood .
This seems like a perfect time for a university expansion .
Like the Sims two had to come into play and I'm actually rather surprised there hasn't been one yet .
Come on .
Just give me university in seasons and I'll be one happy simmer , please .
And thank you , adults also get a fair amount of new things to play with .
Which makes sense considering this is usually the longest single age you'll play with .
I say usually because now you can individually adjust the length of each age measured in sim days , very handy if you want to say , skip the cumbersome toddler years and really dig into the teen years .
So what are you going to do with all those bonus , adult years ?
Well , for starters , you can't cheat on your spouse easily anymore .
Dad gun it .
There's now a reputation system in the game which affects pretty much every social interaction .
There is practically everything you do will now be scrutinized , both good and bad .
If you're flirting with someone in a bar or get into a fight in public Sims will notice and start to put that gossip interaction to real use for once and not everything they say will be true about you either .
So yes , you can have false rumors going around , which really sucks .
Eventually you'll become known for your perceived public actions and will be branded as such until you can prove yourself otherwise , you'll also have to be especially careful with the new Woohoo locations .
The first being the shower and second being the children's tree house .
It's really simple to keep track of all this madness in the stats section of the scrapbook .
It's extremely tough to remake yourself and it just takes a lot of time unless you earn the new clean slate lifetime award .
Another way to start over somewhat is the midlife crisis .
This will happen soon after a SIM hits the adult portion of life and is pretty much a pain you will receive what you wish to fulfill .
But it will have this red blue thing around it , which means it's bad , possibly instead of being able to choose it and then get rid of it .
After selecting if you want , you will have to fulfill it in order to make it go away , stuff like buying a new car , a new house or a new spouse , if you don't want to deal with this and you probably don't , you can just go to the hospital and pay a fee for therapy and it all go away .
Of course , you'll want to record all of this craziness for posterity , not just with the scrapbook , but also with the new video cameras .
These are rather similar to the cameras in the world Adventures expansion , except that you record motion pictures instead of the non motion pictures , record and zoom in on whatever you happen to find interesting guitar players , women , creepy lip m the crap you just took .
You know , this camera is really educational , for instance , did you know that Sim Poo is invisible and that spying on Sims having woohoo from a Sims point of view is actually really unsettling .
You can also move around while taking videos giving it a clunky first person kind of feel and I do mean clunky , the movement is way too freaking sensitive and I feel like my Sim is walking on propulsion gel or something .
What's really cool about these cameras is that you can then watch your videos on disc player equipped tvs .
I don't know why but I just find this awesome and highly gratifying .
Another great place for putting this video camera to use is a wedding with the addition of the wedding arch cake and decorations .
You can now have a proper wedding wherever you wish .
But before that come on .
You've got to have a bachelor or bachelorette party .
Music , drinks , dancing and perhaps a little flirting with the hired party dancers makes for a wild night .
Just be sure that whatever happens doesn't get back to your spouse to be .
Or those wedding plans might come to an abrupt and premature halt and those aren't the only parties that have been added .
Oh , no , you've also got wedding parties , teen house parties , slumber parties , tea parties , republican parties .
And finally you've got the elder Sims .
They really don't have a whole lot to do still .
But reminisce about the golden years , pinch children's cheeks and yell at those darned kids to get off their lawn .
Oh , yeah .
And they can own canes now , which is kind of awesome .
It makes them look like olden stuff instead of just Sims with gray hair and slightly saggier cheeks and with a cane equipped .
They have two walks to choose from the very feeble looking geriatric gate and my personal favorite gentlemen .
Yes , sir .
But wait , there's still more , more , more , more comes in built by in the create a SIM modes .
Create a SIM , gives you the expected new hair and clothing options for Sims of all ages and genders .
And while most of it is stuff I'd never make my SIM wear .
Some of it is actually not that bad and will at least give a little more variety around the town .
A completely new feature that's been added is body hair .
Yes , you can .
Now give your man an epic man sweater who needs a shirt to stay warm when you look like a werewolf .
Chest hair , back hair .
Happy trails arm hair , leg hair , even feet hair .
It's all here .
It's pretty much applied in the same way that tattoos are .
So if you're familiar with that , it's quite intuitive .
And if your Sim is too hairy , you can always send them to the salon later to get waxed and I checked and no , you cannot apply body hair to female Sims .
And I'm sorry to say that just seems to down discriminate against hippie chicks and those with hormonal imbalances .
There's also a pretty big addition in build mode and that is the long time requested .
Spiral staircases .
These are exactly what they are staircases that spiral taking up only a small space instead of a long rectangle that gets in the way .
Then there's bi mode and holy crap .
I am pleased you can finally sort the objects by collections .
You just want to see some custom content or content from a specific expansion pack or stuff pack .
Dude go for it .
It will lay everything out in nice little rows .
I admit that makes me way way too happy .
There are also quite a few options that can be used throughout the game like sleeping bags , which I found surprisingly fun to use .
They're basically beds that don't look weird when placed outside so you can now camp and stuff while star gazing and telling ghost stories .
There's also a bunch of really retro looking items like lamps , a big console TV , a giant freaking record player system , a retro looking chair , a beanbag chair and lava lamps in various sizes .
And there are also a couple of high end cars added ideal for the SIM going through a midlife crisis .
And then there's this bizarre looking vehicle , the motive Magenta 3000 , which is an un lockable car that boosts your Sims motives while using it .
Another of requested item that is now included is the bunk bed which comes in all sorts of types .
You got lots of Sims and very limited space or just like waking up and banging your head on the ceiling , grab a bunk bed to solve your problem .
And lastly , there is the return of the chemistry set .
It works a lot like the inventor's table and can be used by any Sim child or older to learn the logic skill , but also discover potions to apply to all sorts of situations .
They're a mixture of helpful and devious potions and you can use them on yourself or any other Sim or the entire family at once .
I mean , everybody's going to die some day .
So just grab one gulp it down and hope you don't die now .
So is the Sims three generations expansion worth buying Y as usual , the recommended price is 40 bucks which ain't that bad considering the amount of potential game play you get .
And following the current trend at there is no manual included .
So you'll just get this little information sheet and that's it .
I guess you'll have to get over it .
But whatever , if you're into the whole social aspect of the game , it's pretty much a must have because it expands practically everything in the game at some level .
If you're not so much into the social game , there's still lots of new items , customization options and overarching gameplay features .
The Sims three generations is really quite awesome if you like the game already and need a good reason to jump back into things since it takes what's already there and augments it in ways that make sense .
So if you're on the fence with this one , allow me to push you over to the side of buying it because it's pretty much