The Sims 2: University
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|The Sims 2: University|
|Developer(s)||Maxis Redwood Shores|
|Publisher(s)||EA Games (PC)|
|Release||March 1, 2005|
|Genre(s)||Life simulation game|
The Sims 2: University is the first expansion pack for the strategic life simulation computer game The Sims 2 developed at the Redwood Shores studio of Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on March 1, 2005 to mixed reception. The expansion pack adds a new aging period to Sims which is Young Adult. Once they reach this life period, they can go to University to earn a degree, allowing them to take up any one of four graduate-exclusive careers. The expansion added several key gameplay elements which have been included in all expansions succeeding it. The Sims 2: University has won two Editor's Choice awards from syndicated game review publications.
Background and development
In 2004, Electronic Arts announced that it was planning on releasing a new expansion pack in March 2005. Sinjin Bain, executive producer and Maxis vice president said "We are thrilled to open up a whole new stage of life for the Sims, allowing players to lead them through all the challenges of college and living the exciting university lifestyle of the dorms, parties and exams." "This title is also the first in a line of expansion packs that will address our players desires, further develop The Sims 2 franchise and continually expand the world of the Sims creating almost endless gameplay and storytelling possibilities," he added.
The Sims 2: University was first announced in mid-November. A University-themed expansion pack was discussed for The Sims but the technology didn't support it. An interesting developmental problem occurred with rendering the dormitories. Maxis wanted to give the feel of a crowded dormitory without having a large amount of sims on the screen at a time. To solve this problem, a system was set up whereby NPCs disappear upon entering a private room. This meant that the engine didn't have to render the students.
University adds a simple instrument system, composed of the new Guitar, Drum kit and Bass objects. Multiple Sims can play together. Sims can make money by playing at their homes or at community lots such as music clubs or coffee shops. The Sims can play three different types of musical styles with these instruments and once a Sim begins playing one of the styles, the others who pick up instruments to play join into the same style. Although Sims cannot have actual vocalists, the new action "Freestyle" or "Freestyle For Tips" will allow another Sim to rap along (in Simlish) to the instruments being played or a cappella to have fun and annoy or entertain other Sims nearby. Students also have a variety of new objects centered around college life, including a fruit juice keg, togas, ramen noodles, and a bubble blowing machine.
University also adds the Young Adult life stage between Teen and Adult. Only Sims at college become Young Adults, and any Sims who do not attend college make the transition directly to adults. The new college towns are linked to a specific neighborhood and preserve the same separation home neighborhoods do. University comes with three pre-packaged college towns: Sim State University, La Fiesta Tech, and Académie Le Tour. In the towns are three further types of residential: dorms, private housing, and Greek Houses, although there are no Greek Houses in Académie Le Tour. In communal dorms, NPC Sims fill in the house vacancies. Custom dorms cannot be built without the use of cheat codes. A Sim with enough scholarship money may start out in a private house. Greek Houses function the same as a dormitory, but have increased Relationship and Motive benefits. The premade neighborhoods generally include recreation centers, libraries, and other student centers.
The Sims 2: University introduces the college system, which introduces classes, majors, and rewards. Students have the choice of eleven different majors. These majors require the advancement of specific skills in order to get the highest possible grades. Sims must complete four years of university to graduate. If a Sim fails a semester, they are placed on academic probation and must repeat the semester. Each student starts off with a budget separate from any family they may have come from. In University, students can spend their money on luxury objects in their living spaces, excess clothing, electronic gadgets or even on renting a private residence that can be a private home or can be converted into a Greek House. There are several ways to receive income as a student, including tutoring and physically training other Sims. Students may also play instruments or freestyle for tips or work part-time as cafeteria workers and baristas. Some NPC students are members of a secret society. University includes the Influence system. By achieving specific goals, Sims gain a number of Influence points, which may be spent on directing other Sims to do certain things. Sims now have a Lifetime Want which puts the Sim in Platinum mood for the rest of their lives if achieved. Over the course of a Sim's college years, towards the end of their education, the player is given the chance to change their Aspiration.
There are new social interactions in The Sims 2: University, including pranks, instruments, and pillow fights. University adds several categories of interactions, including "Influence To..." and "Hang Out". Sims can comprise study groups, providing social interaction while boosting grades. A common interaction between University Sims is "Kicky Bag", a hacky sack knock-off in which multiple Sims try to keep aloft a small bag filled with beans by kicking it to each other. University has new NPCs in the form of cheerleaders, mascots, cafeteria workers, coaches, professors, and students. Cheerleaders and the Nice Mascot, usually a llama, will generally repeatedly perform the School Cheer for the player's Sim, can enter homes at random without invitation through their lifetime. The 'Evil' Mascot usually takes the form of a cow and will be constantly pranking and provoking the player and his/her classmates. The NPCs can become playable characters under certain circumstances (e.g., a cheerleader or mascot is invited to join a Greek House).
University introduced Zombies, a new type of Sim. Zombies can result from the use of a Resurrect-O-Nomitron (a career reward for the paranormal career track) or through the use of cheat codes. When using a Resurrect-O-Nomitron, the player pays the Grim Reaper to bring back a deceased Sim. Depending on the amount of money that the player offers the Grim Reaper, the Sim may be resurrected perfectly, with less skill/personality points, as a zombie, or not at all. Zombies have gray skin, shamble when walking, and dislike whoever brought them back from the grave. Zombies also lose some of the skill and personality points they had when they were humans. They also tend to eat the garbage from the trash can on the lot. Depending on the amount the player pays, the zombie may range from no personality points to a complete reversal of their past personality.
The Sims 2: University received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom.
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- "The Sims 2: University Review". GameZone. March 12, 2005. Archived from the original on July 10, 2016. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
- Scott Osborne (February 28, 2005). "The Sims 2: University Review". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
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- "ELSPA Sales Awards: Platinum". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on May 15, 2009.
- Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Retrieved January 7, 2018.