The Sims 2 Updated Impressions - The Sims on the DS

Little computer people are heading to a Nintendo DS near you all over again. We've got updated details.

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We had a chance to see The Sims 2 for DS at a recent press event. The new game, which will be rendered in full 3D, will let you create your own character and explore the streets of Strangetown, the Roswell-like city from the PC version of The Sims 2. Your character will arrive on the outskirts of Strangetown only to find that you have been left the deed to the local hotel, which you'll move into as its newest resident, owner, and manager. Over the course of the game, you'll meet the town's citizens and gain missions from three VIP characters, either by speaking to them face-to-face or receiving messages on your in-game cell phone.

Your overall goal will be to build out the biggest and best hotel you can by acquiring enough cash to unlock individual rooms and wings for your guests. You can earn cash and items by completing missions and by playing the game's numerous minigames, all of which involve using the Nintendo DS's stylus and touch pad, its built-in microphone, or both. For instance, there will be a soundstage room you can use to record your own voice as a sound sample to incorporate into your very own custom tune, piping in various synthetic instruments and actually recording the music to listen to later, trade to friends, or use as ringtone on your in-game cell phone. You'll also use the microphone to operate a vacuum cleaner in another minigame, similar to the "blowing" minigame in the recent WarioWare DS game from Nintendo.

In addition to exploring the town and unlocking various hotel rooms, you'll also be able to explore the outlying desert, where aliens have apparently taken residence. In the desert, you'll be able to use a metal detector in another minigame to look for hidden items and fragments of flying saucers to sell for cash. You'll also be able to use your Nintendo DS's touch pad and stylus to pump up your sim's plastic water gun, which you'll use to fend off the aliens (who are apparently afraid of water).

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