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For all those gamers who delighted in Bustin' Out, The Urbs is simply more of the same in a different setting. There are some gameplay elements that differ from the 2003 release mostly concerning your character?s 'street cred' but the bulk of the game?s framework remains the same. What you are getting as a result though is a much more immersive, not to mention lengthier, gaming experience with added multiplayer to boot. We clocked the whole game at well over 20 hours which is quite impressive for a GBA title but do be aware that much of this is a result of your 'urb?s' constant need for guidance and pampering. It remains to be seen whether this slightly newer (and cooler) direction will find a new audience but judging by the sales figures of last year?s game I'm sure EA will be happy to hang on to their existing users. There's nothing much that?s really new then but it's still very enjoyable.
Game Informer Magazine
There's room for improvement, but I still can't think of any title that's this game's handheld equal.
Last year, Game Boy Advance owners were introduced to The Sims series in an original production that spun out the whole virtual life idea into an original, portable-centric edition unique to handheld gamers. As successful as that game design was, Electronic Arts, Maxis, and Griptonite have pushed the game forward into a bigger and badder edition to accommodate the new direction the console games have taken. Enter The Urbz: Sims in the City.
Game Informer Magazine
Last year’s The Sims: Bustin’ Out surprised gamers with its deviation from the traditional Sims formula by giving players direct control over their sim, and even allowing them to select different dialogue options in conversations. However, with this latest iteration the series has lost its element of surprise, leaving a slow-paced and generally average rehash of the concepts that made the first one unique.
Given the unprecedented success of The Sims, the EA and Maxis franchise that's all about controlling every aspect of the lives of little virtual suburbanites, it's not much of a shock that the series eventually took it to the streets. Enter The Urbz: Sims in the City, which is a hybrid of The Sims' easy-to-grasp, addictive gameplay and kid-friendly urban-hipster sensibility. The Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions of the game, which are mostly identical, are actually full-on adventure role-playing games, featuring a lengthy quest, lots of characters to meet and interact with, and a number of fairly entertaining minigames. The game's mundane subject matter sometimes overwhelms the experience, since having to frequently rest, shower, and relieve yourself in the game is about as much fun as it sounds. But The Urbz nevertheless provides some surprising depth and lasting value.
Cheat Code Central
There is no doubt that The Urbz will please Sims fans but keep in mind this is still the GBA and as such you will only get a fraction of the replay value as that of the console version. Still, it's one big game that rivals many RPGs in size.
Don't let the idea of a completely superficial game where you go around your city trying to look 'cool' put you off looking into this title. There is significantly more to it than that, in fact it often takes the Mick out of itself which can be quite amusing as well. Definitely worth a look for fans of previous Sims games and newcomers alike.
Les Urbz souffre du syndrome de la production paradoxale. On a beau se dire que le jeu couve plusieurs défauts de progression, que l'intérêt s'étiole à mesure qu'on avance, on ne peut cesser de vouloir en voir encore et encore pour connaître la fin de l'histoire. Cependant si cette dernière part d'une idée originale, celle-ci constitue malheureusement la première pierre d'un scénario dévoilant rapidement son manque d'ambition. Mais rien n'y fait, le jeu est prenant dispose de 8 mini-jeux plutôt fendards, et si on fait vite le tour de l'histoire principale, on en ressort globalement satisfait, et c'est le principal.
The Urbz: Sims in the City is a deep life simulation that's full of so many things to do you'll likely get lost for hours. However, as a DS launch title it's pretty lackluster, and it doesn't make good use of the system's abilities. That's not necessarily a strike against the game, but the fact that it's basically the GBA version with some lame touch screen stuff keeps it from being a must buy.
In the end, my trip to Miniopolis seemed pretty uneventful. There hasn't been a lot of improvement since Bustin' Out, and it's painfully clear. I was hoping to have a little more customization, a few extra options, and basically just a little more of what The Urbz brought to the home consoles. Unfortunately, for a game centering on being "cool," The Urbz on the GBA winds up being a victim of its own mediocrity.