The Sims 3: Showtime - Limited Edition|
Sixth in a running series of gameplay expansions for people simulator The Sims 3, The Sims 3: Showtime features an entertainment and rise-to-fame theme that opens up several new performer careers for your Sims—Singer, Magician, and Acrobat, as well as the opportunity to moonlight as a DJ—along with related venues, objects, and interactions. These new careers tie together and build on some of the main gameplay features introduced in earlier expansions, particularly Ambitions (hands-on jobs) and Late Night (celebrities, bands, and fame). Placing the new performance venues in a pre-existing town opens up new opportunities for your Sims, allowing them to approach a venue proprietor, embark on the entertainment career of their dreams, audition for gigs, and perform shows.
The Showtime careers work much like the careers introduced in Ambitions: performer Sims have flexible work hours during which they can choose to take care of job opportunities that pop up throughout the day, perform for tips, schedule and perform gigs, or take a break. As they progress, they also garner fame and gain access to new perks and celebrity friends, a la Late Night.
As might be expected, your Sims start out small, and this is where Showtime shows some trademark Sims sense of humor. Fledgling Singers, for instance, start off delivering Sing-a-grams and sometimes suffer humbling blunders that land them on their rumps, and wannabe Magicians can accidentally kill boxed volunteers with an ill-maneuvered sword. Still, practice makes perfect, and as your Sims get better at their craft, they draw bigger crowds and are invited to perform at classier venues.
The performance aspect is an amped-up version of the band gigs in Late Night. In Showtime, you can arrive at the venue early to do some custom stage setup with the newly introduced stage props, and you can save these setups for quick use later on. The selection of items available may not look impressive at first, but more objects unlock over time through Showtime’s new achievement and social features. Showtime’s optional social features—including a chat feature, posting messages directly to your Sims 3 profile, and Facebook and Twitter connect—add real-life interactivity without interfering with the standalone aspects of the game. The game can be played fully offline, but there are benefits to trying out features like Simport.
The new Simport function allows you to send a performer Sim to tour a friend’s town, and if your friend agrees to host your Sim, that Sim will pack his or her bags and disappear for 12 Sim hours, then return to your game with goodies from the trip. Conversely, you can host a friend’s Sim at any venue around your town, and you’ll also unlock rewards for your participation such as Simoleons, Lifetime Happiness points, and additional stage props and outfits.
Naturally, Showtime also throws in a new SoCal-esque town, Starlight Shores; new objects, including a return of the karaoke machine, dance sphere, and mechanical bull; new traits, wishes, and rewards; new hairstyles and clothing; and the option to create custom career outfits. As usual, the new content is delivered with the zany humor, seamless integration, and attractive graphics and sound that we’ve come to expect.
As fair warning, some of the problems that plagued Sims 2 seem to crop up here: Showtime does seem to significantly increase the already lengthy load times, there are still a few bugs to be wary of (my Sim got stuck behind the fridge, then fell through the floor and disappeared), and even my relatively powerful PC choked a little here and there. I also found it a bit odd and disappointing that my top-of-career Rock Star Sim had to quit her job to start over as a Singer (you’d think there could be a smoother transition), and she could perform vocals with a guitar but not a keyboard or piano.
Additionally, I never thought I’d miss the separate town districts of The Sims 2, but at this point, with all the necessary new lots added to fully experience each expansion, it’s getting pretty difficult to try out the new content without just starting over with a new town each time another expansion comes out. It’s sadly a bit difficult to build a town in which a Sim can experience the full spectrum of all six expansions.
These nitpicky complaints aren’t anything particularly new, though. If you’ve been playing the game long enough to have interest in the sixth expansion, you’ll probably enjoy it regardless of these relatively minor gripes. The Sims 3: Showtime comes in three flavors: regular ($39.99 SRP), Limited Edition ($39.99), and Katy Perry Collector’s Edition ($49.99). The Limited Edition comes with an additional venue and stadium, and the Collector’s Edition comes with the Limited Edition items, plus a set of Katy Perry-branded items, including stage props, a guitar, and fashions.
As with the previous expansion packs, The Sims 3: Showtime provides many hours of new content and storytelling options for those who enjoy The Sims 3, with the additional perk of allowing players to interact with each other while they game. Admittedly, many of the experiences might feel familiar if you’ve already played previous expansions and Sims iterations, but it also brings back some fan favorites and is all in all a decently solid addition to the Sims fan’s library.