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on October 30, 2007
Two words: Bugs and SecuROM v7.

I'd have a lot more fun with this game if I was actually playing it. But as usual, this EP shipped with a bunch of gameplay bugs and also an ugly, potentially dangerous form of copy protection by Sony called SecuROM.

A Brief on Bugs:

- Game shipped w/a programming error that created Tour Guide after Tour Guide, unchecked. Too many character files in a sim 'hood means too many opportunities for them to corrupt and your 'hood to go boom. A third party fansite had a fix before EA did (like two WEEKS before EA did). The fansite fix didn't weigh in at a whopping 15 MB like the EA patch did either, considering the EA patch fixed very few things and another will be needed. Must be fun to download on dialup.
- One of the game's Twikii Island locations has an object issue that slows gameplay to an excruciating crawl. A prebuilt lodge in the woodsy vacation hood has no grill or phones, so sims can't cook or order room service and must leave to eat. A secret location in the Twikii hood is so poorly constructed it grinds the game to a halt. Stuff like this should've been caught in testing...BAHAHA! Like they test this game, ugh. Poor devs. I do believe they want to make a great game, but the time constraints put on them by EA management makes them churn out bugfest after bugfest.
- Funky installation errors told some people that they had to uninstall previous EPs to install BV, so they followed that advice and TADA! Doing so wiped out their entire saved games folder. Sure, you should always back up before installation, but that shouldn't happening in the first place.
- This EP has a new 'feature' called the Launcher, which will connect to the internet to inform you of patches or other EA spam before you get to play. Many people, myself included, found that 1) this game takes long enough to get running, extending the misery for spam isn't appreciated and 2) bypassing the Launcher via running directly from the SP6.exe made for much smoother gameplay, possibly because the game isn't still trying to connect to the web. *shrug* I don't know, but it did make a difference for me; the game was hitching and lagging the few times I used the Launcher, but was much smoother when I bypassed it and yanked my wireless router cord out of my computer when I played. EA denies the game 'phones home', but denial is their standard fallback position, and it might have more to do with the ugly new noose they've decided to put around our necks w/this EP...

Say 'No' to SecuROM:

SecuROM is Digital Rights Management (DRM) or copy protection software. EA doesn't want you copying the games you buy from them. 'Kay. *cough*violatesFairUseAct*cough* But SecuROM v7 is DESIGNED to disable software, like CD/DVD burner drivers or emulation software, that it thinks might be used for 'pirating'. DaemonTools, Alcohol 120, and the like.

Oh, and factory installed versions of Nero and Roxio too...?

Yes. Seems the version of Securom shipped w/BV wasn't updated enough; anything it doesn't recognize as kosher gets shut down, so if you've got a newer comp, it could very well affect you most of all. It doesn't happen to everyone, but that it's happening at all is unconscionable. Because of a game, some people are having drives REPLACED because they don't know about Securom's effects, reformatting their computers, finding their antivirus settings altered, and in the biggest of ironies, some are searching the web for ways to strip their comps of Securom and use a NoCD cracked .exe to run their purchased games, as they cannot otherwise.

Securom is PIMPING piracy! More simmers than ever are now aware of how to go about it, out of fear of what Securom might do or has done to their own or other people's comps.

In the US, none of the boxes came with any warning whatsoever that the DRM used might cause these kinds of issues. If you install BV, Securom installs with it, and the 'removal' tool from Sony EA was forced to post on the official site (after being harangued into investigating several weeks after BV's release) DOES NOT fully remove Securom from your comp. You're stuck with it, and due to it's very rootkit like behavior, it is a total bear to completely remove. Once you or a tech remove it, w/the Sony tool or otherwise, you cannot play the game you paid for. And problems Securom can create with driver software may or may NOT go away when you remove it, either.

BV has been out 3 months and EA has still not addressed this very serious issue in any satisfactory way. In fact, EA is blithely sticking with Securom for all its future games (it's in a lot of them already). People are contacting the FTC, states attorney generals, and the BBB about this issue.

Some who aren't suffering make light of it, blame people's comps, or call others hysterics, but when something that came unannounced with a game starts dictating what you can or cannot do with your comp outside of the game, it's not hysteria, it's major. It's affecting PAYING CUSTOMERS, people who gladly pay for every title they play and would never condone nor be involved with software piracy, and worst of all - Securom is a total failure as copy protection. NoCD cracks (ie. Securom-less game .exes) were available within 24 hrs of the game's release.

Anyone can understand a publisher's need to protect their product, but not at the expense of people's personal property, time, money, aggravation, livelihoods, etc. If this is the wave of the future, I want no part of it - we own our computers, not EA or Sony.

***If you are responsible for the welfare of your comp, you need to seriously evaluate the possible damaging consequences of installing this EP or any other game that uses such invasive and possibly debilitating copy protection software.***

EA has a Securom board on their official TS2 site, look it over, draw your own conclusions.

Check out the Bioshock, Neverwinter Nights 2, Command and Conquer, and Supreme Commander game boards too. It's not just BV that has these issues; those games all use Securom too and have similar problems.

Do I have anything nice to say about BV? The water's pretty, and walking to lots is cool. But my simming buzz is pretty dead right now from game bugs - and worrying about the future of my computer's functionality if I decide to upgrade a component or add a peripheral that Securom decides it doesn't like.

I wish I'd never installed it.

*Edited, as time marches on. Please see comments for updates.
5555 comments| 233 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 17, 2007
I'm pretty sure I might have had fun with this expansion pack if it hadn't shut off my CD drives (its not just that, my printer doesn't work either) and let me play my game. When I installed Bon Voyage I wasn't aware that a program called "SecuROM" was also installed along with it, and thanks to that, my CD/DVD burners are no longer functioning. Anytime I put the Bon Voyage disk I get an error message that tells me to put the actual game disk in the CD drive or something like that, when the original disk is actually in the drive already.

I can't burn or back up anything to disks, I can't play DVD's, it's just a disaster. Before I could figure what was causing all of these problems, I logged on to the official website to report my disk problem (asking for the original) which is when I also learned about SecuROM. It turns out that this software is causing all of these problems and there is no easy way to remove it. It installs itself with rootkit-like behavior, its very hard to find, and thus, very hard to remove as well.

As you can tell, I was extremely disappointed to read about this, and will be reformatting my whole computer to get rid of this nasty problem very soon. I just want my computer to function once again like it should, and I will NOT be reinstalling Bon Voyage or purchasing anymore products from the Sims 2 line until its guaranteed that the game won't cause any other annoying problems with my computer. Its such a shame that I didn't get to enjoy this game like I should have, and it's even worse that I can't play the game I payed $30 for, and that it just really messed with my computer.

And that's the only way I can sum up this game: very disappointing.
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on October 25, 2007
As much as I enjoy The Sims 2, this particular package has ruined the experience for me. Don't get me wrong, the game is great, but it is NOT worth the headaches SecuRom has caused. SecuRom is an anti-piracy software that comes packaged with the game and is installed on your system WITHOUT your knowledge. If I had but known the problems it would cause, I would not have installed it. I cannot write to my CD drive now, and after having called Maxis, they make it sound as if I am the only person experiencing this. They try to overlook the real problem and try to target game play, but I don't have a problem with the game. I DO have a problem with what their insecurity has done to my system. They finally gave me instructions to uninstall SecuRom, but THEY DON'T WORK. WARNING TO ALL WHO HAVE NOT YET PURCHASED THIS GAME, BUT ARE THINKING ABOUT IT. DON'T
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on October 10, 2007
Unbeknownst to you, this particular Sims 2 expansion pack will install SecurROM (a rootkit style copy protection created by Sony) to your pc and you won't be able to get rid of it. It's been known to screw up hardware configurations left and right. Nasty!
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on September 7, 2007
Overall, an excellent expansion. However, I would say that this expansion only applies to "hard core" players who enjoy different aspects of the Sims rather than just "life". It gives exactly as it promises: vacations. So does this really add to how your sims live? Not really. Unlike, say, Seasons or University, the Bon Voyage is more of a nice little add on rather than a change in lifestyle. Everything about this pack looks great. I haven't really encountered any bugs thus far. The vacation "badge system" is nice beucase it can make your vactation as goal oriented as you want. I enjoyed how in order to earn some local customs, you just have to let your sim roam around on his/her own (it allows the NPCs to approach your sim). So it's almost a vaction for the player compared to the nitty gritty details of Open for Business. The three premade vacation spots are different enough in that it will make you want to visit all three. Tons of new objects allow you to create your own vacation spot or just spice up a home. Also included are a few new serious build tools for those who enjoy making custom houses. So, as I said before, a really nice and well put together add on. I would rate other packs over Bon Voyage based only on necessity. But if you just enjoy the Sims and like those little touches that make it that much more like real life, Bon Voyage is a worthy investment.
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on September 5, 2007
The expansion was really bad, but the worst part is some kind of program called "Securom" that installs itself on your computer.
The problem is that sometimes when I try to start the game, this unwanted program locks the whole computer and I can't do a single thing, I have to turn it off by the powerbutton which is NOT healthy for a computer.
This happens 8/10 times when I try to play the game and it's not worth risking destroying my computer, so I'm uninstalling this game and never buying a Sims game again.
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on October 13, 2007
After the breakthrough of Sims 2 seasons, I found bon voyage a bit of a let down. In order to really get to the action you need to gather your sims family and take them to one of several vacation destinations. There, your sim checks into a hotel and has a 'vacation.' He/she has several new 'wants' and 'desires.' (Including the desire to pick up the local lingo, go on a tour, etc). While I had plenty of simolians to take my sims for a lengthy vacation, one of the things that irks me in retrospect, is that it requires a reasonable amount of dough for your sim to have a good time. (I don't cheat, so I have my characters work for their money). Second, it has a few bugs. For example, my sims starved in the local restaurant waiting for their dinners.

I do like the beachfront animation, the fact the sims can swim in the water, and the new properties where you can make your own store and other structures.

I found some of the tours to be silly... My sims were going on a tour, saw a giant camera, and when they dived down to touch it they got... Water lice? Ummm.... Okay. Who thought that up? Lame.

Overall, while I enjoy it, this expansion lacks the whollop of Seasons and/or pets and at times I found this to be a trifle silly. 3 stars.
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on January 27, 2008
If you don't have this ep get it.It lets your sim go on vacations and it also has a lot of cool new objects in it.New objects you can now put at your own home include saunas,waterfalls,tents and even a pirate ship.These are all available on the vacation lots but you can also put them on your on.There are a lot more new objects but I won't list them.There is 3 locations to visit.Tikki Beach is my favorite.You can also visit a mountain retreat and a place in the far east.Your sim can now stay in hotels and or buy a vacation home.New interactions include comb for seashells,watch waves,dig for tresure,build sandcastles and more.Your sim can even swim in the ocean and lay on the beach and get a tan or sunburn.

There is a new camera that gives your sims the choice to take a picture of themselves or themselves and other sims or to ask another sim to take the picture of them.There is many poses your sim can do by themselves and with other sims.Your sim can even kiss or makeout with their lover or spouse and have another sim take a picture of them doing that.Once your off the vacation you order the photos on the pc.You can get them in a book or individually to hang on the wall or put on the table.

Each vacation offers so much to see it's advisable for your sim to book at least 7 days to see it all.Their expensive but this is no problem when you use the motherlode cheat which gives you at least 50,000 dollars everytime you input it.

New to this expansion

You can now have a honeymoon at one of the 3 vacation spots.

You can get married anywhere in the vacation spots and have the wedding of your dream.

New public and private places to wohoo(sims sex).
On the campground you can wohoo in tents which counts as a public wohoo.
You can wohoo in saunas which counts as private.
You can wohoo in hamocks which count as public.

You can take up to 8 people with you.You have the option of reserving one hotel room or several for your guest.Tents on campgrounds are free they don't cost anything.

You can call for roomservice and they will bring you food to your hotel room.Some of the better hotels have swimming pools,hottubs and restuarents and are beachside.

The voodoo doll.If you can fix 3 objects in the witchdoctors house he gives you a voodoo doll.You can use this for curses on other sims or to make them fall in love with you or for freindship.I used this on a sim that didn't like my sim.Her relationship was -1 on the top and I clicked on that sim hit more then do voodoo.I picked romance and instanly she went from -1 to 70 that quick and started making out with my sim.

Teleporting you can do this if you complete some kind of goal with the ninja.I haven't done that yet.

Pirate Ship This is a huge ship and there is a lot to do on it.There is even a ghost that resides on this ship.

Waterfalls.Certain locations have this huge waterfall which you can also put in your own lot.If you add soap to it it chages to lava thou.

Bigfoot In the mountain locations you can see bigfoot or even talk to him.If you complete somekind of goal you can ask him to move in with you at your own home lot.You can then control him you can hug him but can't do any romantic interactions with him.

New hairstyles Women now have 3 new hairstyles and men have a couple and some new facial hair ones too.I really like the new long hair that they give the women.It makes them even prettier.

Jewlery you can now buy it at stores and in create a sim mode you can put it on the sims your creating.

Souvineers there is all kind of souvineers and trinkets you can buy.

Souvineer racks to keep your collectibles on.These are available in buy mode.

New clothes and glasses they actually have new tourist clothes and multicolored sunglasses you can wear.

There is so much more you can do in this game but I want list that as I don't have time.After seasons this is the best expansion pack I've ever played.I also recommend seasons,holiday stuff and sims 2 deluxe with nightlife.

One last thing make sure your pc has at least 512 megs of ram and that's just the minimum it calls for.I would suggest going to 1gb if you have xp.The minimum for Vista is 1gb.I'd suggest 2 or 3.This game takes up a lot of memory and it can lag if you just have the minumum.The specs are higher for this expansion then they was for the previous ones.
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on September 16, 2007
Ok so first off a warning: Apparently there is a programming glitch going on with this game where instead of re-using NPC (no-playable characters) like tour guides etc, it just creates new ones. Im not computer savy, but this means tons of new characters are being created everytime you play and thus taking up more space and memory on your computer. Theres a big discussion on the sims2 board. I won't be playing this game again until the patch comes out, since this expansion pack already slowed down my game considerably.

But really, this game is super fun. I love building hotels and vacation lots. Cuz Im a big nerd I made my campground mountain area Crystal Lake (aka home of Jason Voorhees) and an awesome beach town. There are plenty of things for your sims to do while on vacation, from going on tours (they leave, we don't see them, much like going to work)to sunbathing, log rolling competions, axe throwing and my favorite new thing: swimming in the ocean. Yes! Sims can actually sim in the ocean. Its so cute seeing the waves roll in. And I might be alone in this, but Im really glad pets and babies/toddlers can't go on vacation. They're too much work. My sims wanna rest!

I've experienced some little annoying glitches here and there but overall after the patch comes out, I'll be ready to play this again and again. It rejuvenated my love if the Sims.
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on November 21, 2007
This product has a destructive "anti copy" virus like program on it called "secure rom". It was very difficult to get it to install on my sons computer. Once installed he was able to play it for 20 minutes before his computer crashed due to the secure rom junk on this disc. The computer ceased being able to boot and required a complete re-installation of the operating system, programs and personal data. I think the sims games are wonderfully creative but most of the titles and expansions are a royal pain in the rear to install with various incompatablities and problems. Now we have the company treating it's customers, by default as criminals and putting "secure rom" tech on ALL their products thereby punishing all us honest gullible gamers who legally purchase the games. It's well past time that these companies started treating us like customers again rather than criminals.
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