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-   -   The Sims Medieval - Review @ IGN and GamePro (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13044)

skavenhorde March 28th, 2011 09:10

The Sims Medieval - Review @ IGN and GamePro
 
Awhile ago I promised a few of you some coverage on The Sims Medieval. I went back on my word because truthfully I still didn't trust EA to make The Sims Medieval an actual RPG. Having played it this weekend I can safely say that it is or at the very least it is a light RPG. So here is the first of many newsbits from a game series I never thought I'd be posting here at RPGWatch.
IGN - Editors Choice and 8.5:
Quote:

The Sims Medieval has successfully breathed new life into a franchise that was getting pretty stale. The Medieval setting combined with the streamlined gameplay and quests create an evolved Sims experience that feels deeper and much more fun than any of the other recent Sims games. If you’ve given up on The Sims, you’d be smart to give The Sims Medieval a try. Even with its minor flaws, The Sims Medieval mixes a great sense of humor with simple role-playing game mechanics that result in hours of fun.
GamePro 4/5 stars:
Quote:

I was a little unnerved by this sitting down for my review — part of what makes the Sims fun is not having something I'm "supposed" to do — but a Patrick Stewart voiceover in the opening cinematic convinced me that the game would be lighthearted and fun the way so many Sims games are. As this benevolent Watcher character, I could control various Hero Sims (Monarch, Knight, Spy, Wizard, Physician, Blacksmith, Bard, Merchant, two Priests) to guide the kingdom toward one of the Ambition goals selected from the main menu. Each character is playable just as I expect a Sim to be — I can make them eat and sleep to satisfy basic needs and prod them into falling in love or starting fights with other Sim characters around them. But in addition to this traditional gameplay, The Sims Medieval also wants me to fulfill specific tasks to complete quests and "jobs" that each Hero has to fulfill as part of their role in medieval society. The Monarch, for example, might be called on to hunt boar in the forest and hear petitions from the throne for part of the day before I can send him to the Village Shoppe to pick up cheese for a beer-making quest. The Bard might have to speak to three other Sims for inspiration to write a new poem at their Scribe table before I can free-play with her a bit by seducing an Alewife.
More information.

skavenhorde March 28th, 2011 09:10

I have a very bad feeling that EA just hooked me on this series and I'll HAVE to buy every little stuff pack and expansion that comes out for it.

It really is a lot more fun than I thought it would be. Sure the RPG mechanics are basic, but they are there. The quests give me some kind of goal I can reach towards. I don't know about you guys, but I really don't like making my own story in a game. When people say things like "I made my own story in a game" I just WHY??? I don't do well making my own damn story. I need a goal.

The Kingdom points, quests, even character classes makes this game everything I wished for since the first time I played The Sims 2. It truly is fun and it will be sucking up a lot of my time in the future.

Oh and they got rid of peeing all the dang time. The single most annoying thing I've ever had to deal with is having to tell my character to go to the bathroom every 10 to 15 minutes. I'm all for realism, but when realism gets in the way of having fun then get rid of it.

Zerotown March 28th, 2011 10:07

Haven't done a search for it, but: does this game try to create a semi-realistic sense of what life was truly like in medieval times or are the non-realistic things like magic spells etc? I read there is a wizard, for instance… are they more like ah.. dabbeling alchemists?

DArtagnan March 28th, 2011 10:10

Fantasy dollhouse by EA?

I have a hard time imagining a more senseless way to spend my time :)

zakhal March 28th, 2011 10:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zerotown (Post 1061059809)
Haven't done a search for it, but: does this game try to create a semi-realistic sense of what life was truly like in medieval times or are the non-realistic things like magic spells etc? I read there is a wizard, for instance… are they more like ah.. dabbeling alchemists?

They are more like regular magic-users with lightning and mindreading spells. The world does seem like fantasy. It even has stuff like elfs and genies.

skavenhorde March 28th, 2011 11:22

Don't forget about Dire Chinchillas.

kalniel March 28th, 2011 11:33

My partner says it's better than DA2 ;)

Roi Danton March 28th, 2011 12:55

I'd probably buy it if I hadn't just bought Shogun 2 and Arcania. And I'd actually like to finish both games (or play enough Shogun since it's rather difficult to actually 'finish' it) before Portal 2 is released. Maybe after I finish that.

sakichop March 28th, 2011 15:07

Was thinking of getting it but not sure after the review. I thought it would be less structured something I could screw around with to see what happens. Don't want to play a sins game where im forced from quest to quest.

Another review where they trash the game then at the end say ,but its great fun, good game 4 out of 5. I just don't get reviewers.

guenthar March 28th, 2011 15:12

Actually the fantasy elements don't surprise me since they have Sci-fi elements in the other Sims games. This one actually seems interesting now unlike the previous games in which I played for a short time and then dropped them.

PS. Does this have actual stats or does it just have rpg elements?

skavenhorde March 28th, 2011 17:24

Stats as in STR, INT etc…. No it doesn't, but it does have skills and levels. You earn experience points through doing a number of different things. Normally it is related to your profession or the quest you have undertaken. The higher your level the more abilities in that profession you will have. For example wizards will do more "wizardly" things the higher the level they are. I'm not exactly sure what the abilities are since I just recently started playing and the manual doesn't say.

It's not all about the characters though. It's also about your kingdom. You have four different stats for your kingdom; security, health, culture and knowledge.

They affect what goes on in your kingdom. For example if your secutiry is too low then you'll have thieves and robbers all over the place or if the health is too low then disease might rage through. I'm just telling you what the game said in the tutorial. I haven't experienced any of those things yet.

On top of that you can build buildings to enhance your kingdom. Like a blacksmith, but that blacksmith will require materials in which you'll have to get. For example in the tutorial I had to mine and chop down some trees for some stone and wood resources.

All this talking about it makes me want to go play now to figure out how it all blends together. So far I'm very impressed. They got rid of the annoying bits from The Sims and blended in some rpg/strategy gaming elements to make something rather unique. Granted I've only played a little bit, but what I've seen is impressive especially coming from EA. I got a bone to pick with those guys for Dragon Age 2 and would have liked nothing better than hated this game just to prove that I'm right and their a bunch of idiots ;)

But hey, I'd rather be wrong and have fun than be right and be bored out of my mind.

Edit: I almost forgot about the other nations. You have to deal with them as well. I don't know too much about that portion of the game yet since the tutorial only went over it briefly. Will talk about that more when I learn more about it.

zakhal March 28th, 2011 17:26

Items have stats too like swords and armor.

Neverwinter27 March 28th, 2011 18:04

I went into this topic expecting some backlash on this game, guess rpgwatch isn't so predictable after all

rune_74 March 28th, 2011 18:20

It is actually quite fun….for instance, I need wood for my kingdom(this is in the tutorial) so I go to the woods and see a bunch of bushes I need to identify and find out they are wild flowers where I can seeds and flowers from…then a bandit shows up and I have to chase him from the area….we get in a fight and it's quite funny actually.

I think the best way to describe this is the sims meets kings quest.

xSamhainx March 28th, 2011 20:13

I'm into it about 20-25 hours. This is a kingdom sim as much as individual character sims, and what type and how your characters are determines your kingdom's aspects which in turn influences how your characters live. So yeah, it definitely feels like a "monarch rpg" in a way as your burgeoning kingdom grows w/ the development of the kingdom aspects. Each sim lives the fantasy rpg archetype lifestyle as well, and uses new abilities that they acquire as they level up. Lots of crafting, etc has me considering it more of an RPG than some action-rpgs that are considered so without question.

As I mentioned, your kingdom is rated in certain aspects like "security" which develop over time according to what building you place and in turn the heroes you hire. For instance, I unfortunately didnt create a "knight" early on, so my security rating is severely lacking. As such, there's random muggers and criminals all over my kingdom and it can be difficult if not impossible to simply get my sims to their quests, market, etc without facing some gnarly and potentially fatal fights. Using my spy character, I can craft healing potions w/ the herbs she can gather, and that helps (unfortunately after a fight when she's suffering a 'grievous wound' or something of that nature that has her limping around, a potential victim..) I've also leveled my blacksmith a bit w/ his personal quests, so he can make some better weapons and armor, thus helping my cause further. My new knight is very low level at this point, so he cant take on much yet, but I have him training and hopefully will be up to speed soon enough.

The good side to there being a high crime rate is that as my spy lurks around, I can have her rob people without much resistance from the law (a lower rating seems to affect overall enforcement of crime even in relation to sim behavior). If she gets caught and thrown in the stocks, she can pick the lock and escape after a certain number of levels.

Yes, there is magic in the game as well.

SO yeah, i feel it's "RPG enough" for coverage.

Thrasher March 28th, 2011 20:47

Wow. This sounds rather elaborate. Or is it just sugar coating on shallow systems?

Capt. Huggy Face March 29th, 2011 04:18

Sounds more intersting than I would've guessed. I'd also be interested in hearing folks' thoughts as they play through, particularly as to the game's depth. The Guild 2 wasn't exactly I had hoped, and I wouldn't mind a good kingdom sim.

How open-ended is it? Do you feel like you're just endlessly sending your sims on quests?

skavenhorde March 29th, 2011 05:49

Always having to send out your Sims on quests is one of the major complaints from the Sims community. If they want a sandbox then play TS3. This is supposed to be different from that and thank god it is.

I have heard people saying there is a "freedom" quest or something like that. I tried looking in modthesims forum and couldn't find it again, but I swear I read somewhere that eventually you'll have a quest where you can just do what you want.

It takes a little getting used to only being able to interact with the Sims I created when I am on a quest with them, but I'm liking it so far. There isn't really a time limit on the quests I've taken. They have objectives to meet. I do one of those objectives a day and the rest of the time I'm goofing off just seeing what I can do. My sorceress is on a "save the boar" quest, but I don't really do that. I'm far more interested in cursing everyone that crosses my path, going to every location in my kingdom and finding out what I can do and searching bushes for herbs.

I forgot how much fun it was just wasting time by goofing off in these Sims games.

Capt. Huggy Face March 29th, 2011 06:42

Thanks, Skaven and others. Sounded interesting enough to me and with enough options and freedom to give it a shot. I'm such a sucker for things medieval. Picked it up on my way home tonight. :p

rune_74 March 29th, 2011 07:48

You go, girl;)


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