Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4 Seasons Fun

I wanted to get a post about Sims 4 Seasons done before this, but ended up completely distracted by computer issues. Thankfully, I’ve gotten those squared away, and the PC is running great again. I still haven’t sat down with Sims again after being so rudely pulled away… but I think the few days I spent with it is enough to spin up a reaction post.

Namely… this expansion changes just about every aspect of the game in such a way that it completely enhances the experience for me. There’s just so much going on here, I know I will never remember all of it to write about.

Weather and Seasons

Of course, Seasons brings seasons… which means changes in weather patterns. But, just like in real life, weather doesn’t always make sense. I saw snow in the middle of spring, for example, which can actually happen IRL. It was a cool little touch (no pun intended).

There’s also changes in temperature that effect your Sims (and can even kill them). This is something you can toggle on and off, but is also easily handled with the right clothing. Below is my Sim on the right, toasty in her warm clothes… while the Sim next to her is turning blue from cold.

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There’s a lot of customization to the seasons — you choose how long they last and set up a full calendar. After running through a full “year” of seasons at the default length of 7 days per season, I quickly doubled that to 14 days. 7 days per season just feels too quick. There’s not enough time for transition and events. 14 days feels like a good middle ground.

For all the fan grumbling about the look of the snow before launch, I actually think that Winter is my favorite season in Sims 4. There’s something really serene about the snow falling and the little blanket of snow that covers all the objects outside. The little touches, like windows frosting up, are very nice.

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My sims went out to eat on a Winter day. Look at that frost on the window!

There’s all sorts of thoughtful touches like this that really impressed me about this expansion. Sometimes it’s the little things that raise immersion.

Sim Events

I really liked the calendar and event features, too. On days with set holidays, you get small goals to achieve that make your Sim happy once completed. These can be things like decorating the house, opening presents, shooting fireworks, etc. Each Sim has different traditions they enjoy and really wish to fulfill… while other Sims might hate those same things and want to avoid them.

I had a really sweet moment when Santa… I mean Father Winter… came to give my Sim a gift on Wintersfest. He gave her an awesome digital camera.

But, she was a broke, single, gardener who was just scraping by on the merits of the plants she harvested. Since the gifts you can give are limited to what you have in your pockets, my Sim rummaged around and could only give him a flower in return.

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Not only did Father Winter sound absolutely delighted with the gift, but he lifted the flower to his nose to smell it! His Sim identified the gift as a flower and interacted with it realistically, rather that just putting it away after accepting it. I was really tickled by that.

Speaking of events… There seem to be three kinds of events. The big normal holidays, like Wintersfest, the custom holidays you create, and holidays that pop up unannounced. I really like that unannounced holidays because they add a quirky twist to the day.

For example, one random event day said that a brand new TV show was premiering that night… and your Sim just HAD to watch it to prevent being spoiled by co-workers and friends the next day (it happens!). Again, just something little and silly, but a really nice touch.

Gardening

Gardening got a pretty big overhaul and is a totally viable way to make a living now. Though it has its own career track, I decided to start a fresh Sim and see if she could survive on just the little garden she tended.

The free patch before the expansion brought glass roofs to everyone with the game, which really makes some neat skylights and greenhouse builds open up. I built my own little greenhouse for my Sim, which you can see below.

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There’s some really nice new selling, watering and weeding options for crops, and the profit you make from selling produce was increased significantly. You can also buy seed packs straight from the buy menu now.

Plants are assigned a specific season to flourish. If left outside, they will go dormant in the off seasons. But they will always produce just fine all year as long as they’re sheltered, such as in a greenhouse.

It took a little investment in building the greenhouse and getting the seeds, but once the produce started improving, my Sim was able to live quite comfortably in her little cottage on what she made.

Final Thoughts

Again, there’s no possible way for me to cover everything this expansion pack does. I know I’ve not seen everything it has to offer yet. I feel like this one’s done something right, though, because every time I turn around, I’m being delighted by something unexpected.

I think that the random nature of the weather and seasons really spices up the normal day-to-day Sims play… which can fall into a rut once you get your Sims to a comfortable space. Weather doesn’t change things so drastically that it distracts from the base game, but rather adds another layer of immersion on top of what was already there.

Events and holidays add nice little social touches and days off that encourage your Sims to enjoy their lives outside of the norm… kinda like what holidays should do IRL as well. When I left off, my little single gardener girl had married the guy of her dreams… and come to find out, he lives in a huge villa in the middle of the Oasis town.

It’s a big upgrade for a small-cottage girl. But hey, that just means she can plant a bigger garden now! She seems pretty happy about that. 🙂

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Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Looking Forward to the Sims 4 Seasons Expansion

The newest expansion for Sims 4 — Seasons, is gearing up to drop at midnight EST on this Friday. I’m trying to temper my feelings for the pack, but I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t pretty excited by what I’ve seen.

In fact, I decided to officially take a vacation day so I could immerse myself in all the expansion has to offer. I’ve learned in the past that Sims expansions require at least a full day of my time for me to feel like I’ve got a grasp on what all they have to offer. Since this releases on a Friday, that lines me up for a long weekend (of Sims).

Traditionally, Seasons has been one of the most popular and requested of the Sims expansions, right up there with Pets. With this version of Seasons, we’re not just getting weather, but a focus on an in-game calendar and holidays.

In the past, Seasons had holidays, but they were usually something quickly done with. This time around, you can make a calendar, create your own holidays and traditions and deck out the house with decorations (other houses in the neighborhood will also auto decorate I heard).

I think this is something you have to set up in advance, but the house seems to automatically remember what your decoration preferences for holidays are. Or, that’s the impression I get.

Not to mention how the world transitions from one season to the next — winter doesn’t just pop into spring, it slowly changes. Also, there’s a huge overhaul in the gardening system that has to take into consideration seasons. That should be fun to learn.

Not to mention, certain places actually have climates — the jungle and desert shouldn’t get snow, for example. And they have their own specialized seasons, too.

Of course, despite all the good things, some folks had to find things to grumble about, like the lack of snow depth . Sims 4 has always been under fire for one thing or another by disgruntled community members. I can’t completely blame them, though, when we’re seeing more stuff packs pop up now than ever.

As for this expansion, I feel the team put a ton of work and love into it. I just hope that the expansion plays well and lives up to the hopes of the players.

I’m probably a lot easier to please than most, but I’m just here to have some fun.

Now, which family should I play?