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Finally we have Seasons!
on November 13, 2012
Seasons is the Sims 3 expansion I've been anxiously awaiting. I purchased every expansion up through Pets. Pets was a letdown for me - odd because I enjoyed it so much in Sims 2. I was let down to the point that I stopped playing Sims for months. I was ecstatic when I heard they were finally releasing Seasons, and after a 2 hour Origin dowload process very early this morning, I'm happy to say that I'm hooked again. (BTW, I'm very sorry to see so many people are having trouble with Origin. I did not get any error messages when I downloaded, but I did feel like every time I thought I'd finished the process, there was something else to do. My first step was to update Origin. Then, I followed the Amazon instructions. My final step was an update of the launcher, and then it was good to go, and I was able to play the game from my Origin library. I have not yet gotten the Ice Lounge pre-order bonus to install, but I'll worry about that later.) Now back to the game...
Seasons 3 has all the features we loved in the previous version, along with new features like seasonal festivals (in the fall they can participate in apple bobbing and pie eating contests), trick or treating, and my favorite so far: snowboarding. It seems like the developers put more focus this time on including events that emphasize community and relationship-building. So far, I'm enjoying fall and winter the most, as those seem to add the greatest enhancements, with the most fun activities, to the base game. One cool feature in winter is that you can see Sims' frosty breath outside. Oddly, vampires also have frosty breath. Developers, if you're listening, take this feature away from vampires!
On the options menu, you can set the length of each season individually - anywhere from 3 to 28 days, and you also have the ability to skip a particular season(s) altogether. One of the things I like about shortening the seasons is that there are more opportunities for festivals, which occur the last day of each season. You can also throw seasonal parties. My Sim family hosted a gift-giving party at home with around 12 guests. You can host it like a normal party by ordering pizza, buying a buffet table, hiring a mixologist, etc. The special part was the pile of gifts that were automatically set on the floor of the living room. At any time, your Sim has the option to gather everyone to open gifts. When I did this, all the Sims gathered in a pack in the living room and started complaining because they were stuck. After a couple of minutes, they sorted themselves out and sat on furniture or else upon the floor. Each Sim took a turn selecting and opening a gift from the pile. We can see from their thought bubbles what the gift was and whether they liked it. When your own Sims open a gift, it will be placed in the family inventory. One of my Sims received a very cool gift - a Sno-Cone machine!
I don't have Supernatural, but apparently there are some special fetaures that tie Seasons into that expansion. Now that I'm finally enjoying Sims 3 again, I might have to pick that one up!
Tip - buy your Sims umbrellas and parasols right away (available in the Outdoor Activities section) and store in their inventories. They don't like getting rained on, and they will use the umbrella automatically. Likewise, parasols will protect them from the hot sun.
Glitches - a few so far, but not bad. During the gift-giving party, the game started to freeze up. Perhaps because I had so many Sims on my lot? All the noise continued, but the Sims froze in place, and the clock stopped. The freeze lasted quite a long time - maybe 30 seconds. It unfroze by itself, but froze again a couple of seconds later. It repeated the process until I finally restarted the game. I have not experienced the problem again.
Occasionally outside, my cursor turns into a swirling circle that is difficult to locate. This also eventually corrects itself.
The only crash I experienced was when I installed the Ice Lounge. One restart, and I was fine. BTW, although it appears in the Launcher as though it's correctly installed, and I can see the file in the game folder, I cannot find the Lounge to place it. I've looked under the Edit Town function under Lots. Does anyone know if it's located somewhere else? I've searched online for a solution but haven't found one yet. UPDATE - Well, the Ice Lounge was there all along in Lots. I didn't recognize it because it was just called "Community Lot," and it did not even have have the Seasons icon. Now that I have it placed in the neighborhood, I can say that it's pretty underwhelming.