The Urbz: Sims in the City
|The Urbz: Sims in the City|
|Developer(s)||Griptonite Games (GBA & DS)
The Urbz: Sims in the City is a video game for the Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo DS. It is the third Sims game for video game consoles and is the second Sims game not to be released on Microsoft Windows. The next release for consoles and handhelds was the console port of The Sims 2.
In the console version of the game, the protagonist of the story moves from his or her mothers house to Simcity, where he or she moves into an apartment in the city. In the Intro, the protagonist decides to go clubbing. Once the protagonist gets to the club, he or she is rejected because they fail at performing a dance move. However, will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, along with the other members of the band, arrive at the club and help the protagonist enter. After the intro, a few days later the protagonist goes home and is greeted by Will and his friend Darius, who is the most popular person in Simcity. After showing off their guitar moves, Darius welcomes the protagonist to the city and they leave. Later on, it is discovered that Darius is missing parts from his secret machine. He promises the protagonist that if they finds the parts, he will have a special surprise for him or her. After defeating the villains in the games districts, the protagonist is asked to come to the penthouse owned by Darius. After arriving at the penthouse, he or she is greeted by Darius, along with the faction bosses from the city districts, and is given a key by Darius to the penthouse. Afterwards, Darius leaves the city on his blimp to travel to Miniopolis (the setting of The Urbz Handheld).
In the Handheld version of the game, the protagonist, who recently arrived in the city from Simvalley, is fired after the owner of King Tower sells the tower to Daddy Bigbucks. After a failed attempt to steal a key from Daddy Bigbucks assistant, Lily Gates, he or she is arrested and taken to jail. After convincing the city sheriff to let him or her go, they are put on probation and prohibited from leaving the Urban area of the city. After doing certain tasks, they are recruited by Grandma Hattie to lead a strike to open the city bridges to Sim Quarter. Afterwards, they are knocked off of a ship and wash up in the Bayou, where he or she is mistaken by its inhabitants as a vampire. After convincing them that they are human, the inhabitants help them get home. However, one of the inhabitants are bitten by a vampire and turn into one. Then, he or she arrives in Sim Quarter and is informed by Grandma Hattie that Daddy Bigbucks took over the city and outlawed running, and if anyone is caught running they will be arrested. She then gives him or her a cookbook in order to help them make the chocolate needed to cure the bayou inhabitant's vampirism. Later on, the protagonist and Grandma Hattie are arrested for running, but are let go by the Sheriff because he hates Daddy Bigbucks. Eventually, the protagonist arrives in Glasstown and finds the original King Tower owner, Mr.King. Later on, the protagonist, with the help of Ewan Watahmee and Sue Pirnova, fix a time machine and use it to help find Daddy Bigbucks. Afterwards, the protagonist defeats him, and he is banished to an island outside of the city, and the Protagonist is idolized by the city inhabitants and a lifelike statue of the protagonist is built in the city center, and the game ends.
Development of the console version of the game was carried out by Maxis from 2002-2004. It was initially planned to be the first Sims game on consoles, however, Edge of Reality developed a remake of the original game for the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube and it was released in 2002. Maxis then split the Urbz team in two. One team focused on the development of a console sequel to the console version of The Sims, which eventually became The Sims Bustin' Out and released in 2003 on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube consoles, with a version developed for the Game Boy Advance and Nokia NGage by Griptonite Games (Who would also develop The Urbz portable), while the other focused on The Urbz. During development, Electronic Arts wanted to get the game some more publicity, so the electronic arts division, EA Trax, contracted with The Black Eyed Peas, who at that time had recently shot to mainstream fame after their recruitment of Fergie and release of Elephunk. The Black Eyed Peas recorded a majority of the game's soundtrack, producing new songs exclusive to The Urbz, while also recording Simish versions of "Shut Up" and "Lets get it started", which both appeared on the Black Eyed Peas breakout album, "Elephunk". The game went gold in June 2004 and was shipped to stores in late November 2004. According to a former Maxis employee, an Urbz 2, as well as a PC port of The Urbz, were both planned if the game was successful. Electronic Arts wanted The Urbz to be a spinoff breakout series, similar to how The Sims was a spinoff breakout series of SimCity. Unfortunately, the game did not sell as many copies as Electronic Arts had wanted, so the PC port was cancelled, and the sequel eventually was reworked into a console version of The Sims 2, which released in 2005. Assets, as well as a logo, were leftover in the PlayStation 2 version of The Sims 2 and can be viewed with a model viewer.
Console game play
The game plays similar to the first two games in the console series, and the objective of the console games is to go to each of nine Districts and build their reputations (called "Rep", in-game). Rep is a measure of how popular a character is; as characters gain more reputation, they gain access to larger apartments and different Districts. In the end, the character will have the largest apartment and be able to visit any of the Districts.
In addition to gaining Rep, the player must also make sure that his or her character has its needs fulfilled, and to increase the character's skills by playing mini-games. The amount of money Sims can make at the various jobs in each of the districts is determined by what skills they've leveled up. As they progress through the game, players will get messages for rent from Darius, the Sim with the highest rep in the city, and get programmed messages to their XAM. Also, other challenges, like helping Sims (or Urbz) get money from people.
The player will be given different tasks depending on the District they are in. The tasks are varied in nature, including fulfilling needs, furnishing an apartment, building reputation, mastering a job, making friends, tagging an object, and helping others.
- Public places
- Gasoline Row
- Central Station
- Kicktail Park
- The Foundry
- Neon East
- Cosmo Street
- Diamond Heights
- South Side Bridge
- Skyline Beach
- 98th Ave, 3rd Floor
- Blankwood Towers
- Darius' Penthouse
Handheld game play
The handheld versions are played as an adventure game and require the player to complete missions to advance. The goal of the Nintendo DS and GBA versions is to complete the five missions. Like the other games of The Sims franchise, an Urb has eight basic needs; Hunger, Sleep, Fun, and so on. In order to succeed in the handheld versions of this game, these needs must be kept high and steady.
In this version of the game, Daddy Bigbucks plans to take control of the entire city, tear down all of the buildings and turn the town into a totalitarian world where its citizens are forced to pay for the most basic necessities such as charging for every time a Sim would breathe the air. There are three districts that can be unlocked upon completing certain sets of goals. Once the player has beaten the game, they are free to live in any of the houses or apartments so long as they have enough money, the most expensive and last to unlock being the penthouse in King's Tower.
The player also has the opportunity to change what type of person they are of the four: Richies, Artsies, Streeties and Nerdies. By getting a high rep with the leader of each group, the leader will give the player a list of goals, and upon finishing them all and getting the highest possible reputation with that group, will become part of them.
The Games soundtrack was composed by several different artists, however, the majority of the vocal music was composed by American hip hop group, The Black Eyed Peas.
The Urbz console soundtrack was released digitally on LastFM as an album for download in March 2007. Most of the games soundtrack is present, however, due to licensing issues with A&M Records, music recorded by hip hop group Black Eyed Peas was not present on the album. A physical release was planned by EA, but was cancelled after poor sales of the game.
The Urbz: Sims in the City received mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the GameCube version 70.84% and 73/100, the PlayStation 2 version 70.20% and 70/100, the Game Boy Advance version 68.92% and 72/100 the Xbox version 68.02% and 70/100 and the Nintendo DS version 67.12% and 67/100.
- "Urbz 2". Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "Urbz Soundtrack". Retrieved 2014-02-17.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for GameCube". GameRankings. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for PlayStation 2". GameRankings. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for Xbox". GameRankings. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for DS". GameRankings. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for GameCube Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for Game Boy Advance Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for Xbox Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- "The Urbz: Sims in the City for DS Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Park, Andrew (November 9, 2004). "The Urbz: Sims in the City Review". GameSpot. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
- Castro, Juan (November 9, 2004). "The Urbz: Sims in the City Review". IGN. Retrieved November 24, 2013.