Friday, September 7, 2012

The Sims 3 Store - Level Up Collection

With all the excitement surrounding the release of the Supernatural expansion pack, it seemed like almost everyone forgot that there was a little something else being released the same week.

That little something else is the Level Up Collection, a set in The Sims 3 Store featuring the return of the basketball hoop as well as a basketball arcade game along with 8 other items. Currently the set is on sale for 1,250 SimPoints until September 20th. After that the price will be bumped up to 1,650 SimPoints. Also released was the Man Cave Compilation which includes the Level Up Collection as well as It's Game Time! and Championship Dreams for 3,000 SimPoints but 2,600 from the early bird sale lasting until the 20th.

An interesting thing to point out is that the number of premium content included is misleading...ish. There's an object called The Galactic Simball Arcade that's a redesign of the Atomic Jack Planet Attack Pinball Machine we got with the Fun for Kids of All Ages set we got about a year ago. So really there's three premium content items. Man, we've been really spoiled lately between the three in this set and the three that came with Sunlit Tides (if you bought the Gold Edition).

So here's the first of the three premium items, the Rim Rockin' Basketball Hoop.

An old favourite returns! Man, did I miss the basketball hoop. I wasn't sure it would return but I'm so glad it did. It works very similar to the one in The Sims 1 and The Sims 2 Free Time so don't expect full on b-ball games or anything like that. When sims use this object, whether they practice dunking or hoops they switch into their athletic wear and eventually get fatigued just like a regular workout. The paint lines on the ground are attached to the object. However, you can put flooring underneath and recolour the paint to match the ground better. Or you can give the paint a cow print pattern if you really want to. Going to pass on posting those pictures to save you guys throwing up. :P

There's three new moodlets:

-Burnin’ Up the Hoops
-King of the Court
-Rim Wrecker

Here's the description for the Rim Wrecker (lasts 4 hrs with +25 mood):

"What happens when an unstoppable force meets a movable object? Apparently you shatter the backboard. Well done!"

As you can see in the beginning of the video Ethan threw his ball with a trail of fire. That's the only time I've seen that so far and I'm not sure if there's anything special about it since he still missed the shot anyway.

Thanks to matrix54 I got the idea of trying to fit the basketball hoop into the wall of a garage using the moveobjects on cheat for the typical suburban driveway look.

Since it's obviously made to stand on its own this doesn't work too well. Practicing hoops seems to work okay, but when Cade practiced dunking he scored but landed halfway through the garage door and got stuck, throwing route failure tantrums. Taking away the garage door didn't change things since when Cade shattered the backboard (which almost instantly repairs itself) he went straight through the wall. Not to mention the back of the hoop sticks through the wall.

If you have a long driveway you could still try having the hoop stand on its own as long as there's still room for cars. One thing I'm not so sure about is that the net briefly glows when sims make a slam dunk. Kind of treads on the realism line personally. Also, only two sims can use it at once. So even though I was doing a family outing with four sims, only two could go at a time.

The second premium content item is the Buzzer Beater Free Throw Machine.

And I'm free! FREE THROWIN'! 

Huh..where was I? Oh right. The Buzzer Beater Free Throw Machine costs 400 SimPoints individually if bought through shop mode in-game. This object is another athletic skill-building activity. Put two of them next to each other and two sims can play against each other to see who gets the better score! With all the arcade objects EA has been adding over the past few expansion packs, this is a great addition. I added them to a sports bar where they fit in pretty well.

Of course I can't forget the rest of the objects that came with this set! There aren't many but what's there is pretty nice.

The Galactic Simball Arcade:

The new big screen TV (almost as big as the Showtime one), sectional seating, coffee table, painting with 3 stencils (first one looks like Tiny Tower characters?), and video game console.

Big screen TV in action:

The new foosball table. Goes well with the Futureshock sets!
Overall I'm in love with this set. If you know me from Mod The Sims I'm always in favour of adding more sports to the game. The athletic department was sorely lacking but with this set, the rock wall, the chin up bar from Showtime, and the return of the Free Time soccer net with Seasons it's filling up nicely. If sports or hobbies in general are a big part of your gameplay I highly recommend it, at the early bird sale price of 1,250 SimPoints it's a steal. However, I agree with Aznsensei's review on the point that there should have been some new clothes to go with the set too. Seems to be the way the store's going recently, either all objects or all clothes. If you already own Town Life Stuff or Diesel Stuff, the clothes from those packs do go nicely.

Final score: 9/10. Highly recommended!

If there's any other store sets, or even expansion or stuff packs (own all except Katy Perry Sweet Treats and Supernatural) you'd like me to review, let me know in the comments section below and I'll see what I can do.

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