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The Sims 3: Showtime review

Wednesday 28 Mar 2012 2:51 p.m.

The Sims 3: Showtime was released March 9, 2012

The Sims 3: Showtime was released March 9, 2012

By Angela Beswick

Sims 3 Showtime: Katy Perry is a worthwhile add-on for the avid Sims fan, but those who bought the game in search of Katy Perry content will be disappointed.

The usual updates and add-ons that come with an expansion are all present – new traits and lifetime wishes (we’ll get to those later) and new objects and clothing – but apart from a few short dresses and stage props, very few of them link back to the Katy Perry theme.

Surprisingly for a game which seems to have been marketed mainly on its connection with the pop starlet, there isn’t even a Katy Perry karaoke song available.

Outside of that, Showtime is a solid addition to the Sims family, with the new social networking elements adding dimensions to the game and allowing more interaction with friends.

The social networking allows your sim to store memories, send messages and respond to friend requests – the closest thing yet to a Sim Facebook – and to use SimPort, a new feature which sends your sim into a friend’s game while you aren’t playing. Sims return from other players’ areas with shared experience and memories, but there don’t seem to be any major benefits.

Showtime’s new town, Starlight Shores, continues the showbiz focus of the expansion pack with some cool performance venues and a few new buildings. But as the game expands, it’s becoming harder and more frustrating to play in just one town without being able to ‘travel’ between towns and holiday homes like the original Sims Vacation series offered.

One other negative thing, now when you go into the store to buy things for your house, it includes items that you have to have real money to buy. That's a bit stink and should be saved for the online store.

The new Performance career path, which allows your sim to be a singer, magician or acrobat, ties in nicely with the added traits of Diva, Social Butterfly, and Natural Born Performer. The somewhat self-centred traits add an entertaining amount of mayhem, although the Social Butterfly has an annoying tendency to talk to other sims instead of responding to commands.

Performance is unlike other Sims career paths; instead of travelling off to work for eight hours every day, your sim can take a more lateral, interactive path to success. Career progression could see them playing on a stage in the park, performing for an audience, dealing with hecklers and asking for auditions.

The new style of career path play is far more involving and stops the daily routine of “leave for work, come home, learn new task” from becoming dull, and puts the focus on the player to push their sim to the heights of stardom.

While not without its flaws and frustrations, Showtime’s focus on interactive content and reimagining of the ‘career path’ element will broaden the horizons of even the most jaded player.

     The Sims 3: Showtime  
:: Publisher: Electronic Arts
:: Developer: The Sims Studio
:: Format: PC, Mac
:: Rating: M

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