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Having a bursting headache from learning or partying are both possible; in The Sims 3 Unversity Life it’s not only about the studying itself. The ninth expansion pack for The Sims 3 is about partying, building up your social status but also about the studying. In this review FranSor and AnsjJ2 will inform you about the ups and downs of The Sims 3 University Life.
Create A Sim
Let’s start, as always, at the beginning, Create A Sim. You can definetly notice that the clothing is mainly made for young and cool Sims. Different than i.e The Sims 3 Showtime, these hairstyles are simple. Who even has the time to invest hours in standing in front of the mirror when you have classes!? It is nice to see that EA really paid attention to how students wear their hair nowadays, for example: the simple bun on the top of the head.
Of course the three social groups on which EA focusses in this expansion pack, the nerds, the rebels and the jocks, are easy to recorgnize! Still, I was very surprised by the clothing. The clothing is mainly made for these social groups but they are also wearable for every Sim. What also is noticable is the fact that EA used the real world as inspiration, the clothing could be worn by real students! Because next to the nerdish, sporty and the rebellish theme you can alsy choose to show how proud you are on your school by wearing the typical T-Shirts. When it comes to accessories I expected much more, that’s a bit of a disappointment. All in all, Create A Sim for women gives a very studentish atmosphere.
Everytime when I head over to the section for male Sims, I hold my breath. Oftener than once the males didn’t have many new or nice clothes or even hairstyles. Still, I am not very enthusiastic about the hairstyles, but this is mainly due to the choice to use a typical laid-back style for studentish hairstyles, when it comes to this I do miss the influences of the social groups like a nerdish hairstyle or a very sporty hairdo. I can describe the facial hair as rather funny, like the ‘over the top’ Santa beard which doesn’t fit with the other facial hairstyles.
The clothing for men is pretty cool after all! There is so much diversity. These clothes are as well made for the social groups, but it’s also made for the ‘general’ college time. However, there are two big letdowns. For example the shoes, in my opinion they don’t look good, only the neat shoes look good, and the T-Shirts are, as always, too short! They are supposed to go over the belt and they are not supposed to float above the belt. Further on, the accessories, in this case a set of bracelets and one stand-alone bracelet, are nice but there are few accessories.
Buy and build mode
The first thing I notice in the buy mode is that a big part of the furniture is pretty neutral. The other part really looks like very strong furniture that’s bought years ago to decorate big dormitories. These objects don’t have a personal taste and definitely don’t belong to a young student. Luckily enough some items look like they’ve been bought by a very poor student, these are partly made of plastic crated or are conjoined by duct tape.
But luckily enough this expansion pack contains a lot more accessories than objects to make your room look very fun. You will truly get surprised by the flags, paintings, posters, pictures and neon lamps. This is all done in a different style, again, they come in three well-known styles of this expansion pack, which can make your room very personal.
Further ahead there also are some different items which can boost your knowledge, you can read more about this at the ‘Students’ paragraph. But those are not the only things you can find, you can also find different items which can really make it fun outside of studying, like beer pong, a pool table, a beer keg and a camp fire. All in all you can say, The Sims 3 University life has many more useful objects than objects which you can decorate your house with. I think this is a big plus, certainly when you have (almost) every expansion pack, then you really don’t need many more items.
The build mode is truly the opposite of the buy mode, the build mode is just boring. I think the new wallpapers, windows and doors are very dull. These are standard items, like it’s just from the base game! Definitely when you compare this to CAS and the new items. I expected a few more exciting build items like a door covered in posters or wallpapers full of splashes of paint.
Heading towards the university
The Sims 3 University is loading, you’re expecting a new world but this new game shamefully doesn’t contain a new world. The new world which contains the campus is attached to the world you’re playing in. So it doesn’t matter if you load up Lucky Palms or Bridgeport, you can only go to the attached world when you’re heading towards the university. When you have placed a new family or loaded up your existing family, an odd creature appears on your lot. This odd creature is the mascot of the university and gives you a bucket with freebies coming from the university.
With this welcoming-bucket you can also take an aptitude test to see if your Sim is able to get a scholarship. When your Sim is able to get a scholarship the actual study is easier to afford than when you don’t get a scholarship, coming with that you’ll also get some study points for a few courses of your Sim.
The decision is made, your Sim is ready for university and doesn’t want to chill out in their parents’ house anymore. If you choose to go to college after the aptitude test, you can use the phone or the computer to enroll in university. You can choose to enroll in university on every other moment, of course. This all depends on when your Sim is ready for it.
When you decide to use your phone or your computer to enroll in university a little screen will pop up on your monitor with a few options on it. With that screen you can choose if you’ll take your siblings with you or if you want to leave them home alone. Next to that you can choose who you will take with you, you have six majors which you can do; Business, Technology, Science and Medecine, Fine Arts, Communications and Physical Education, to choose whether to go for one semester or two semesters. This means that your Sim will be away for one or two weeks, this depends on what you’re choosing. The total cost of the university depends on how hard you make it for your Sim and which major you choose. The noting system can shuttle you hither and thither, this takes care of the difficulty of your major. When you choose less points, you’ll have more time to do things next to your school stuff.
After you enrolled in university there will appear a nice little moving truck in which your Sim will leave with their suitcase towards the moving truck. When you’re leaving to university your remaining family members are friendly enough to wave at you, because you’ll see your remaining family members once again when you’re done with the semester. They won’t come with you to university, their age will be frozen and will proceed when you’re back from university.
Loading screen while travelling to the university
Your Sim is heading towards the university and we’re looking at a loading screen, with an image of the university on the background. This loading screen will be shown every time when you’re leaving from a semester and when you’re going back. This is, in my opinion, a letdown, because we were happy to have not as much loading screens than we had in the past.
Wealthy students can choose to rent a lot and share this lot with a roommate and the less wealthy Sims can better choose for a dormitory. If you decide to go for a rentable lot you’ll have some rent to pay and next to that, the bills for your study have to be payed, too, as well as the other things you want to spend your money on. You can let a roommate pay some money, you can choose to let a befriended Sim move in or you can place an advertisement. With this advertisement you have to make some things clear, how many roommates do you want and which gender. And when you don’t like your roommate, you can always kick them out.
Some less wealthy Sims can choose to live in a dorm, in this dorm you can stay without any charges. Next to that you’ll also have the option to share a room with another Sim, but if that makes you happy is the question. The room which you stay in can be edited to your wishes, but remember that it’s not as big as a rental place. Next to that, you’ll have to share the shower, the kitchen and the toilet with other Sims, just like in real life. You can also live in special dorms, those dorms only allow female or male Sims.
Campus, community lots and rabbit holes
When you moved into your new room or house you want to check out the town immediately for some hip and cool places to hang out.
On the campus itself you’ll surely find some places with nature than only building. Nice parks to hang out or sitting at the beach on your bum, it’s all possible. The campus has a lot of nature and nice big spaces. It’s not a populous town where you can look inside your neighbors’ house. Next to all the community lots and houses there are some free spaces of land available where you can build, you’ll have to pay rent for this lot just like a normal house. Something that I noticed as well when I looked at the campus was the parking lots. These also exist in SimCity where you can go to your work by bus, that’s a nice detail and very thoughtful!
Besides the fun and small little details in this world I think that the new community lots / rabbitholes are the best. All these lots get changed for a new world, just like it’s changed now. All the existing lots we know, like the gym the pool and the grocery store have all been changed. Next to the existing community lots, there are some new ones. Steven’s Strip Cartoons is one of these new community lots and you’ll probably guess it right what this lot is about. Right, strip cartoons! On this lot, you can buy strip cartoons and play retro games to get to know your inner nerd and escape the daily life. Next to Steven’s Strip Cartoons you’ll also have the Roasted Toasted Beans Coffeeshop where you can drink a delicious cup of coffe, thea and energy drink. Next to getting a drink you can also get some food and special herbs. And then there’s another new lot! You can’t miss the bowling alley in a world and this is finally added. Amazing to win from your classmates by bowling.
There also are new rabbitholes to find at the campus. There are some classrooms where you Sim will have to go to class, but there still are the standard rabbitholes. The building where your Sim has to go for her/his course or exam truly look stunning. The rabbitholes on the campus also are truly beautiful. EA will always take care of a world which looks like a completed puzzle.
Studying, timetable and your marklist
With every major you’ll get a timetable and just like in real life it might not be on the best and suitable times. You can have courses from 14:00 to 16:00 and after that you’ll have to go to another class from 17:00 to 19:00. Every timetable is different, this depends on which major you’ve chosen for you Sim and on how much credits you’ve taken. Next to your Sim going to a rabbit hole a few times in the week for his/her courses or/and to make an exam, you’ll also have a course where you can ask the teacher a question. Your timetable can be found under the button ‘Academic’ on your Sim menu. With that said you can see how late you should be at your class and most important, when.
Studying can be done by book, which you’ve gotten in your inventory, or by computer and telephone. The book will always have the most impact on your Sim when you’re learning, because when you use the computer or telephone you’ll get distracted easily when you’re getting a text or if you want to look at your blog.
Something else that can be found in your inventory is an extra study-object. These objects will differ per major. A student doin the communication major will get a radio station to spread the latest gossip, students doing the medicine major will get an anatomical skeleton, students doing the arts major will get a sketch book and students doing the business major will get a suitcase where they have to make and present their plan of action. These objects will give your Sim a higher prestation which will let the green bar rise, this will also take care of you getting a higher note while doing an exam.
Next to learning from a book, you’ll have to use this extra object once in a while to raise your skills. When you raise your skills this will also have a positive impact on your prestation.
At the end of every semester you’ll have to take an exam, while you’re taking this exam you can decide whether or not you’ll use a cheat sheet or you’ll do the exam without one. Be aware! When you’re using a cheat sheet there’s a big chance you’ll get caught and you won’t be allowed to finish the exam and you shouldn’t expect getting a high note. When you’re getting a good grade you’ll normally hear this the day on which you’ve taken the exam. You can take multiple exams on a day. When you’ve gotten your report you can expect a car heading to your home, over there you can pick up the telephone and reenroll in university again or you can choose to take a break for a few days.
A diploma is an important note to have. When you graduated you can start at a higher level of a job, you will gain experience more easily, your Sim will get more salary and will get more career bonuses. Remember that your final mark will determine how succesfull you will be in the real life. When you graduate with an A, it will be more likely that you will get a level 4 job. When you are done being a student and you graduated you can get a job in Science, Medicine, The Army, Business, Crime, Journalism, Music or Sports. We already knew these careers but still it is an advantage.
Life outside studying
Next to always studying it’s always nice to relax for a bit. You can go to a community lot and play bowls or read a comic book, but you can also play with some free freebies which you got on your introduction day, like a little ball and a frisbee. You can also go to the stadion and play a university sport and you can also wrestle with a vending machine. This is a new death type as well, another death type is dying by the murphy bed
Every Sim always likes a party, or two parties, or three, or four. Almost every night there is something to do at your friend’s place or in a dormitory. Very often you’ll get some invitations from your friends via your phone. Sometimes there can be found a camp fire as well. In this campfire you can throw herbs, these herbs have a special effect which differs. You can also add more wood to it and poke a stick in the fire. Something that also is new is the Juice Keg, this item is famous for being filled up with beer on American parties, but within The Sims it’s changed to a child-friendly juice. When you want to drink some juice another Sim can hold you and you can enjoy the delicious juice.
Sometimes you don’t have enough money when you’re a student and a full-time job or even a part-time job is too much to do next to your study, that’s why you can take a simple job for a day. This day job can be found on the bulletin next to your mail box, when you click on the bulletin and select the job option, you’ll get a pop-up with a day job. When you finish this day job you’ll get some money. There also are some ‘social group’ day jobs, these are pretty similar to the normal jobs. On the same bulletin where you can get a job, there also are a few challenges.
The most important show-off of this new expansion back is the social groups. This implies that the social interactions from your Sim decide whether or not your Sim will be part of the Nerd, the Rebels or the Jocks. This actually isn’t your Sim’s choice, it’s yours. Because of the usual things you’ll have to do to be part of a social group, for example; throw parties for jocks, play games for nerds and demonstrate for rebels, is it normal to join one particular group. This simply is due to the fact that you’re pretty stuck in your gaming pattern. Besides, it’s not easy like the system in The Sims 3 Showtime that your rank will be higher while you’re not doing anything, you’ll actually have to do something to get a higher rank now, like socializing with people that have a higher status. But why would you even want to be in a social group?
Being part of a social group gives your some advantages. zo krijg je een baan aangeboden, krijg je verschillende interacties en kun je na verloop van tijd zelfs een vaardigheid toevoegen! Maar wat hoort nou bij welke sociale groep?
As a nerd it’s all about games, comic books and knowledge. When your status has reached level two you can challenge other people to do a knowledge quiz, let’s look who’s smarter. When you reached level five it really gets interesting, you’ll get a job offer as a Videogame designer.
Rebellish Sims want to differ from everything that’s normal, that’s the reason why a rebel’s life is all about demonstrating. You can truly demonstrate against everything! From llamas to clowns. There also are some serious subjects, but those are a bit harder to accomplish succesfully. But that’s not the only thing; you can also cheat better than the other Sims when you reached level 5, when you reached level 5 you’ll get a job offer as a art judge.
When we think about sport jockies we immediately think of arrogant party animals and they are in The Sims 3 University Life. They can take selfies with their smartphone or they can hackney a party. Bu they also are very driven when it comes to college, they can do school shouts. But they also have to work and that’s why they’ll get a job offer as a sport agent at level 5.
Next to studying, parting and relaxing there also are three new skills you can train your Sim. The new skills are: graffiti, science and social networking.
With graffiti you’ll ‘learn’ to spray graffiti on the ground or on walls. At first it won’t look as great as you hoped, but once your Sim gets better at it, the graffiti artworks will get better and better. You do have to watch out for the police when you are spraying graffiti on a lot, otherwise they’ll arrest you and take you home personally! If you want to spray graffiti safely because you’re afraid of the police you can always completely spray your own dormitory with your artworks, of course.
Science certainly is a completely different skill than the graffiti skill, even though science is art on its own. The science skill can be bettered by using the scientific researchstation. With the scientific researchstation you can work with herbs and plants, with this you can increase the quality of your plant/herb. If you have a higher skill you can also try it out with gemstones, minerals and fish. But watch out, though! You might find something rotting in the fish!
The Sims 3 University Life truly is next to The Sims 3 Seasons one of my most favourite expansion packs. The new expansion pack adds so much to your game when it comes to gamplay which will cause you not knowing what to do, or you might even not have enough time to do something! Next to the bugs that still are in this game, this certainly deserves a 8,9 out of 10.
The Sims 3 University life is not one of the many expansion packs which truly adds a big chunk of gameplay to your game. You do have the campus that becomes its own part of your game, of course, but the social groups can actually be used anywhere. The Sims 3 University Life is not one of my most favourite expansion packs, but I do want to give a compliment to The Sims Studios and Maxis because it’s gotten so modern.
Conclusion of our team members
I didn’t really doubt to buy The Sims 3 University life to be frank. I really like this expansion pack and everything that comes with it, it does not really need my feedback. But if I have to point out one down side it would be about the clothing and the non-removablle stencils.
I also pitied the fact that they have used The Sims 2 a lot and that most of the movements looked like movements we’ve already seen there. But it still is an amazing game. There have been a lot of extra new things, compared to The Sims 2 edition. I like the coffee shop the best, after classes straight to this place to get a coffee and a donut!
This expansion pack deserves a 8!
When I first saw the producer trailer I actually got all psyched about University Life, and then a week later I got it, I was so excited, I always do a happy dance when I get a new expansion pack, just like I did now! So I installed it and I let my two teenagers from my legacy age up and then I got them to enroll in university and then it started, they got their timetable, but it’s a shame they got such a busy timetable, so no parties or they would do very bad, but okay, next time I’ll take some more time to get a grade, I really love the gameplay, not only the university itself adds this gameplay, but for example the coffee bar, comic book shop and such are just amazing! I really love the new gameplay! This expansion pack deserved an 8 out of 10 when it comes to me!
Conclusion of our members
I think this is an amazing expansion pack, everyone who’s doubting to buy this; just buy it because you won’t regret it. The amount of bugs is very bearable when it comes to me, except of the missing texture bug and such, but the most are caused by downloads and they aren’t even from the game itself. I think the small things are very awesome, like the Frisbee, the ball (without a goal) and the sketchpad, they are very fun and handy. The new interactions like showing a video of cute cats is very cool. xD There are a lot more fun things but if I had to name all of them.. hehe. The only thing I think is bit of a letdown, is that most of the courses are in rabbit holes, and when there is given a lecture, you’ll see everyone standing near the door which causes my Sim having a lecture of 30 minutes, the other thing is that there are not really many students (the last row of seats is always untaken, except when someone is going to sit there with their laptop) and the other thing is the university logos on the clothing. But I truly am very satisfied, I definitely recommend it. :thumbsup
This truly is an amazing expansion pack. The new gameplay is just amazing. The new items and building items are very nice, as well. And the new subworld is amazing. I just love it. It’s amazingly done and the atmosphere of the campus is very fun. I think this is my most favourite expansion pack!
I think this is an amazing expansion pack and maybe the best one in my opinion! I’m very satisfied with it because of the great amount of possibilities to do fun things with the family or with a Sim! I think that The Sims is way more fun now! And the new hairstyles, clothing, and items and everything else I forget are just amazing. Yes, this is an expansion pack I can recommend! And I might be very critic some times because most of the expansion packs were letdowns in my opinion! But this truly makes up everything and this is a big improvement for EA Games!
Ofcourse we would like to thank EA for yet another opportunity to review this game for our members!
Written by: AnsjJ2 and FranSor
Translated by: Shevens