LGR – The Sims 3 Island Paradise Review

[typing] Sometimes, you just wanna get away
from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Or the little city. Or the rock… …with grass… It’s all way too routine. Way too action-packed. Way too much muchness, you know? So you make a hot dog,
thinking that will suffice, but no, it’s just not enough. What you need is a change of pace. What you need is the tropics! And what do you know, you’re in luck, if you just fork over the cash. Yeah, it’s The Sims 3: Island Paradise, the freaking tenth expansion
pack to The Sims 3, and the second one to
include vacation themes. But only sort of. So don’t assume that this
is just a rehash of a rehash, as it actually does quite a bit that’s completely new to the Sims 3 franchise. Adventure, resorts, water skiing, scuba diving, sunburn, bug bites,
sand in exactly the wrong crevices, and all the other things that make
living on an island worthwhile. Island Paradise begins with
a blue screen of loading, which is fine since at least
it’s not a blue screen of death. Unless your death comes
from drowning in the ocean, and in that case… dang it,
blue screen of death it is. Once you reach the main menu,
the main thing to do is use the menu to select the neighborhood
or city you want to play. Island Paradise comes with a nifty new one called Isla Paradiso. Yes, take yourself down
to the Island Paradise city where the grass is green and the girls are… passable, at the very least. While it may be reminiscent of existing
towns like Barnacle Bay and Lucky Palms, this archipelago paradise is tailored specifically to work with the new objects
and activities of Island Paradise. Well, what might those be, you didn’t ask
but I’m going to tell you anyway. Well, the main categories as I see them are: First up is boating, which is something that’s been
requested to be in The Sims for as long as I can remember. Finally, instead of being
stuck on a lonely island, you can be on a boat. So get your towels ready. It’s about to go down. Err, actually, try to stay afloat instead using anything from rowboats
to paddle boats to jet skis to sailboats to speedboats. You also have boat taxis at your beck and call, and even the freakin’ delivery people have boats. They work almost exactly like cars. So, yes, you can stick it in your pocket and it’ll fit. Next is real estate, although oddly enough,
this actually ties in to boats. Houseboats, to be precise. Just choose from any number of
docks that have a houseboat slot and you can customize your own floating abode just as you would a regular house. Wanna make it awesome
with all the amenities of home, but with 100 percent more seasickness? Go right ahead. Wanna make it ridiculous, creating a barge filled with nothing but chairs? Feel free, sitting fanatic. They work just like a boat, too, so you can not only take
them from dock to dock, but you can also take
them out onto the ocean and never be homesick again. Just seasick. But chances are you don’t want
to just have a house-BOAT, you probably want a house-HOUSE as well. Now you can own more than one home at once through the real estate system, which is
handy for those with traveling spirits and secret lovers alike. Houses can also be built over water now using the new stilted foundations. This really allows for some awesome home designs as well as makes the home
feel a bit like a carnival act, which is great since that home
always wanted to be a clown as a kid. Next is the resort system, which works similarly to owning a business in The Sims 2: Open for Business expansion. You can either start a new lot and build
your own resort from the ground up, which is great when used in tandem
with the Blueprint to Building system, or you can purchase an existing resort and push its star rating to the
max using whatever you’ve got. Hire new employees, customize their outfits, upgrade buildings, add spas and suites, reach for higher review scores, run the front desk, choose the kinds of food you serve, and walk around like you own the place because you DO own the place, So what the balls is anyone really
gonna do if they have a problem with you? They can DEAL with it, etc. Yeah, I like owning a business. It’s fun when you have money you can… make more money with. Nothing like a good little bit
of cutthroat business action to spice up the normal routine. And finally, we have scuba diving, except that’s not entirely accurate
because we also have snorkeling but they both tie into the same skill, so shut up. Anywhere you see salt water
you can go snorkeling, which is useful not only for finding
random seashells and minerals, but turning yourself into convenient shark food. Eventually, your skill will raise enough for you to be able to attempt
diving with scuba gear. Although this can only be done where
you see these special buoys floating… buoy-like. It’s also worth noting that–
officially at least– underwater and hidden areas like this are currently only available
in this town of Isla Paradiso. But yeah, just go underwater
and feel the flood begin. Fingertips so gently on your skin. Collect fish, rocks, shells, and even treasure if you’re
lucky and skilled enough. You can also explore cave systems. And by “explore,” I mean
send your Sim inside and… just don’t stop believin’ that
cool things are happening inside. Though you can also get it on inside
the cave with a scuba diving partner, which is cool, I suppose. Though the logistics and
particulars of how exactly that works intrigue the crap out of me. Hehe… Gives a whole new meaning to
the term “wetsuit,” too, does it not? Just keep an eye on your oxygen, since Sims definitely
need to be able to breathe in order to stay alive. Except when they don’t, as is the case with the new creature/life state: the Mermaid. Mmm. Mer-people. Because what’s a paradise
without an evolutionary abomination that is traditionally associated
with doom and peril? You can become a mermaid
by ingesting mermadic kelp, and this not only gives you the
ability to breathe under water, but the requirement to be hydrated, much like Plant Sims. And of course, it also gives
them a fishy bottom half, although only when they’re in the water. When they’re on land,
they sprout scaly legs, which is awesome, but also unfortunate,
since I can think of at least one redhead who could have kept a
voice if she had this ability. Another thing you have to worry about– that is unless you’re a mermaid– is the massive sea monster
known as the Kraken. This thing is always unleashed and almost always pissed, so keep an eye out for it and hope it’s not hungry. Unless you just want to
witness carnage like this. Come on, you know you do at least once. And if you play your cards right, you can actually gain control of
the Kraken for your own desires, perfect for those last-
minute family get-togethers. While you’re out on the open sea, you may well run into these islands that are secluded by smoky clouds. Once may assume it’s a
chain smoker’s convention or Beijing’s atmosphere taking a vacation, but nope! These are hidden islands, which are only hidden in the sense
that you can’t just go there on a whim even though you can *clearly* see where they are. On your diving adventures, you’ll eventually find map pieces
and clues to these hidden islands. Gather enough information
and it’ll open up to you and become another piece of real estate, free for you to build
whatever you want to on it. There are some other random things
of note included with this expansion, like the new Lifeguard career. This works a bit like the careers from Ambitions in the sense that you are
given certain times of day that you’ll need to perform certain actions. You know, see a person drowning,
go hand them a red thing. And by all means, enjoy that down time because, hey, it’s a tropical island. That basically gives you a
free-for-all license to be a creeper. You also get a bunch of new items, like water slides, poolside bars, some island-y decor, some Tom Hanks-approved
survival items in the Limited Edition, and, yes… ohhh… Oh, yes. More chairs. Thank goodness.
I was beginning to think they forgot. And lastly, you get the expected
Create a Sim items like hair, appropriate for those that
say “Shyahhh!” and “Ya, Mon.” Apparel for both men and women
that fit the island life theme and new traits and lifetime wishes
that give your Sim the opportunity to excel at living by and on the sea. So, is The Sims 3: Island
Paradise worth buying or not? As one might expect, it retails for $40 USD. And I’d say it’s… 90 percent worth it. I really do like this expansion because not only is it trying some new things, but I also used to live on an island myself. St. Lucia, to be exact. So it’s friggin’ awesome to be able to have
a virtual island life to mess around with. For The Sims, it’s different, it’s fun, and it’s exactly the kind of thing I want from an expansion pack, except for one detail. There’s really not a whole lot here. I mean, sure, a lot of it can
be really time consuming, like running your resort and
exploring every underwater cave. But to use a sort of nautical analogy, it feels like a substantial ocean that’s only a few feet deep. I ran out of new things to try only a few hours into this expansion when more often than not it
takes at least a dozen or so hours to try all the new big additions. Coming off of University Life especially, this is just a noticeable thing to me, and it’s a bit lacking in comparison to that. However, that is not to say
that it’s bad by any means, and I would very much still
recommend grabbing Island Paradise. It’s the mixture of totally new things to do, the excess chairs, and just enjoying island life
that makes it worthwhile to me. So if that combination
intrigues you, I’d say go for it. [steel drum island music plays]

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