Review For: The Sims :: Bustin Out (GBA)
Date Written:
February 1, 2004
Written By: Webmaster Christopher Beley

Before you start the game, you first have to create your very own sim (person). On the first “customizing screen” you have to make up a name for your sim. After that another screen will come up, allowing you to make your sim any way you want. You can change things like gender, skin tone, hairstyle, hair color, shirt, pants, and shoes. Unfortunately, even through this may seem like a lot, there are not too many options in each of the categories. For example, you are basically only able to change the colors of your clothes and you can’t change what kind of shirt you want or any special design you may want on your shirt. Anyways, after that screen you will be presented with the personality traits screen. You can choose how messy or neat, shy or outgoing, lazy or active, serious or playful, and how mean or nice you are. I haven’t played around with the settings too much so I cannot say how much of a difference this makes in the game play itself. Finally, you are introduced to the game with a letter from your “Uncle Hayseed”. 

 Your “Uncle Hayseed” is letting you stay in SimValley (where the game takes place) for the summer and he is so generous by letting you live in the barn (you do know I am exaggerating). Well anyways, after getting settled in you will get to start making relationships, doing “weird” tasks for other people, and mowing your “Uncle Hayseed’s” lawn to pay for your food. Now that you have a little background information on this unusual game, I’ll now talk about some of my first impressions. 

This game is the best game I have ever played in my life! You get to mow the lawn, sleep, eat, go to the bathroom, take showers, make your bed, and do awkward tasks for people you don’t even know! Well, actually…maybe this isn’t the best game I have ever played in my life…actually, I don’t even think this falls into one of my favorites…Anyways, first I have to say that not everyone is going to like this game and that is why this game is very hard to review, because we are all different, however, most games have a little of everything and this game doesn’t. So, if you have never liked games like The Sims (offline version), Animal Crossings, etc. I would just stop reading this review right now, because I can almost guarantee you will not like this game. However, I will make one exception to my statement. You may want to buy it (or rent it) just to see the excellent 3D graphics in this game. So, now that we are on the subject of graphics, I’ll talk about that first… 

If anything is good about this game, it’s the graphics. This is the first GBA game (that I know of) that is an RPG(Role Playing Game) all in a 3D environment. Now, you may say, “Well Pokemon Ruby, Sword of Mana…. they are all in a 3D environment” Well, this game actually looks like some of the 3D games for the PC (of course the graphics aren’t nearly as good). There is not much more to explain here, so after you are done reading the review, make sure you check out the screenshots. Also, before going on to my next subject, I must say that the graphics were the only reason I gave this game a 4 out of 5 stars instead of a 3.5 out of 5 stars. Now I’ll talk about the game play… 

Interacting with other people and objects is quite simple. If you want to talk to someone, pick up an object, sit down, etc., you simply go to the object or person using your arrow pad and press A. Also, there may be additional menus after that, so if there is you just scroll through the menu with your arrow pad and press A. So no one should have any trouble learning to play the game. However, there is one definite flaw you will probably notice while playing the game. Let’s say you want to sit down on a small chair or you have to go to the bathroom (This game is very realistic, I know), well sometimes you will have to go up to that object a few times until you see the yellow arrow pointing down at the object so you can select it. This doesn’t happen always, but when it does it can be extremely annoying and frustrating. Also, another thing I have noticed with interaction with objects, is that when you try to move things, it seems as if the arrow keys go opposite ways occasionally, and some objects need to be put just in the right place, until you can leave them there. So now that you have listened to all the flaws I have found in the game, lets change the subject a little and talk a little more about what you do in the game itself… 

First of all, this is not your ordinary game. In this game, you get to do everything you would do in real life from making friends to taking showers. However, you will be surprised how much more fun all these things that you have to do in real life are so much more fun when it’s in a game (LOL). The only thing is, not everyone is going to enjoy this game for hours on end. For example, I thought this game was fun after playing it for around an hour, but after playing it for 5 hours it just kind of started to get boring. I mean how long can talking to people who say the same things almost all the time, doing awkward things for other people, making money by doing some job (like mowing the lawn), and collecting cans, 3 eared mice, and radioactive green bars for the lab people across town keep you entertained? So, now I’ll talk about 2 major parts of the game. The social interaction and your house. Of course there is more, but I feel that these are the most important things to talk about. 

Ok, the major problem with this game is social interaction. Of course, the social aspect of this game is much better than other RPGs (that have social interaction), but those other games don’t depend on it. Once you start talking to someone new, you will be presented with things to say. Well, when you go to talk to them some other time, a lot of times you will get the same things to say again and after you keep saying the right (same) things to make the person happy until you reach 100 relationship points, you still have the same exact things to say to that person, except after you get 100 relationship points you sometimes can ask the person to move in with you, but otherwise that’s it! 

So, now I get to talk about the thing in this game that I actually like, which is “your house”. I think this is a pretty neat thing in the game, because you are able to buy stuff, like inflatable aliens and put them in your house. Unfortunately, you have to do one of your jobs (like mowing the lawn) to get money to buy that inflatable alien. 

Finally, I have to have at least one paragraph on the sound and I have to say that I do like the sound. There seems to be a nice variety of “up-beat” type of tunes and the sound effects are very realistic. Sometimes, you will hear simple word phrases or the sound of your scooter zooming down the road.  

So, in conclusion, I really do like this game and I would buy it, however, sometimes you are going to get stuck in the game, or you won’t be able to find that person you have to talk to, to get further in the game. That’s when it can get boring, because you will end up rambling around the city trying to find that person. However, once you do find out what your next “mission” is, the fun starts all over again:-) However, not everyone is going to like this game as much as I do, so I would recommend that you rent this game or borrow it from one of your friends before buying it, to see if you like this style of game play. However, if you enjoyed The Sim’s PC games, you will probably enjoy this game.

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