There's a few topics here comparing the various Sims versions, but I didn't see one comparing Sims 2 with its predecessor.
I played Sims 1 back in 2000 and loved it. It was constantly producing funny moments and it was probably the first game to really produce genuinely moving moments too. I remember being distraught when my first family's daughter got taken off to military school.
I recently started playing Sims 2 after my brother's old room was cleared out and I came across the CD. I like it, but I'm not sure yet that it beats the original.
A few pluses and minuses.
Plus - It's basically the same game with better graphics. They didn't mess with the basic formula that made it a great game.
Minus - They did remove a few funny things that always made me chuckle - Parents no longer boo their children while they practice the piano, Sims no longer open conversations with "Wet lemon!".
Plus - The community lots and travelling round the neighbourhood are great additions.
Minus - Obviously the Sims is made by a US company and models US life, but that wasn't an issue in the first game. The Sims 2 is even more US-centric though, and is littered with phrases that mean nothing to me (eg. "Gussy up"). The house and clothing styles don't really include anything that looks like it could be from outside north America.
Minus - Sims 1 had a number of game-breaking bugs in the initial release, but these were quickly patched. Sims 2 seems to be quite buggy and fragile even after patching.
Minus - A number of annoying issues from Sims 1 are still present in Sims 2.
- Sims still cancel a task to complain that they want to do that task. (eg. most commonly: you tell a sim to go to bed and they cancel the task to tell you how tired they are!)
- Sims autonomously make dinner rather than serve dinner and there's no way to convert them to serve, or put the food away if you cancel it.
- Some tasks still take ridiculously long: greeting people, collecting plates, stopping reading/studying.
Plus - The phone options are much better.
Plus - The aspirations system is a good addition.
Minus - Custom content in Sims 1 just worked. In Sims 2, about 50% of stuff I've tried either doesn't appear in game at all, or appears in the menus but cannot be placed. I assume this is because of dependencies (I only have the base game at the moment) but there doesn't seem to be any way to find out what those dependencies are.
And I was super excited to play and find out how TS2 worked. I played the tutorial and couldn't wait to build my own Sims and my own buildings and for the first time ever, buildings built within a mountain, and or on cliffs. Super cool.
It wasn't the same Sims with just better graphics, TS2 added Aspirations and Aspiration failure if we didn't fill some of those wants, and or fill their LTW, and added fears and a true memory system (not a scrapbook). That was huge to me.
For the first time ever, our Sims could travel alone without having to take the whole family along. True, there were a few community type lots we could build in TS2 base without Nightlife but having to go buy groceries was huge deal to me. And being able to go alone, was like the invention of the radio compared to the TV.
Babies weren't tied to the crib, and toddlers were a new life stage, which were little terrors to tend to, and very hard to play for the first few times etc.
For the first time ever I could queue up eight (8) things for a Sim to do, that really made playing easier and much more interesting as I played the other Sims on the lot.
Kids could play the piano. Maybe it didn't mean much to some but kids in TS2 had many more games they could play together and could actually use many more objects they couldn't use in The Sims. They had really spent a lot of time on kids, babies, toddlers. Teens were added which their antics and sizes made it all believable that yes, these weren't just mini me adults.
I could write chapters, but those were just some of the strong reasons to buy The Sims 2. And for the first time ever I could set the table in the game and call household members and guests to dinner and know what the Sim had cooked. And sometimes, if hungry they go sit and wait for their food at the table. That was so much better than quick meal or cook dinner and everyone having to grab a plate from the counter in TS1. Which came back in TS3....why, why, why.
Custom content was easy with Home Crafter for my walls and floors and bodyshop was a huge plus giving the community a tool to create their own custom CAS assets.
The base was patched right away and I can't see any reason to actually buy newer games after The Sims 2, but I like to try them all.
ETA: My Sims no matter their size get booed if they play badly. And The Sims were always very American centric. Portraying the ups and downs of American life. And that's not a bad thing. The assets in the game were yes, much more modern than in TS1's European medieval content or things from other time periods than the base was in TS2.
I can't forget TS2 for the first time ever, allowed us to change neighborhood decorations in base game, and to build our own hoods from scratch with the templates provided. And for first time ever, bulldoze and move vacant lots and not required to put them back in the same place....huge. Special event camera, special memories, and new life state. I don't know, I think it was worth the price and the adventure to play it.
My point about TS2 being TS1 with better graphics was intended as positive comment. I don't mean that they didn't add much, I mean that they didn't break the basic gameplay that made the first game so good. Unlike, for example, some of the SimCity games after SC4, which are very different and don't retain the same core gameplay.
Yeah, I'm not a fan of moodlet and buff systems. I like the system of The Sims and The Sims 2. It's why I enjoyed them so much more than moodlet motivators.
Some other things I wish TS2 had brought over in addition to those mentioned are the chemistry table, the little hut with pond for either sailing boats on or feeding fish, the separate counters/carts for things like pastries, ice cream, and hot/cold sandwiches; the two types of restaurant podiums that determined whether you got a fancy place or a 50s diner, the old town with its New Orleans feel and traveling street performer, each clothing type had its own unique rack so you could have a specialty boutique if you wanted, picnic baskets that worked, dates that focused more on the relationship than beat the clock button pushing. TS1 may be crude by today's standards, but it blew the doors off everything else out there. Like TS2, that game would suck me in for hours at a stretch.
But Magic Town was also fun, shame it was hard to live in unless you spent long time there.
I loved the bread oven (do I remember that right?)- it was so cool to have more than 1 meal option. Besides the fruitcake- which I always hoped Sims would bring.
But the biggest flaw that makes a lot of the game content hard to really play with is the motive decay.
The decay speed made a lot of it honestly painful to play after we play TS2-4 for so long.
I totally agree.
CAS in Sims 2 vs Sims 1: Sims 2 is the winner, no contest. But the memory of the Sims themselves in both games and the way they interacted with everything will always be a fond memory.
Build Mode in Sims 2 vs Sims 1: Sims 2 introduced basements and foundations, and expanded building above the 2nd floor. Community lot building was in Sims 2 from the start. Sims 1 had different build modes with different build music for different locations, and community lot building was only introduced with Hot Date. I still miss Makin Magic build mode.
EPs in Sims 2 vs Sims 1: Hard to say who is the winner: they were so different from each other. Sims 2 Seasons achieved what Sims 1 could only mimic in the Vacation EP in terms of snow and snow activities. In terms of comparing vacation EPs to each other, Sims 1 Vacation had the silly but annoying mascot, and introduced carnival-type games that you would see in a fair like whack-a-mole that didn't return in Bon Voyage. Bon Voyage had the silly but annoying pickpocket Charlatan, and custom dances, and gestures for each destination. Vacation technically had about 9 vacation destinations with 3 types of weather between them, while Bon Voyage came with only 3 but had hidden lots that were unlockable. Sims 1 vacation had interactable objects that never returned in any future games: beach volleyball, rentable toy boats, snow fight forts, and snowboard half-pipes. Bon Voyage introduced chance cards.
Music in Sims 2 vs Sims 1: Very subjective, but overall I enjoyed Sims 1's music better most of the time. As Sims 1 EPs came out, different EPs even had different startup music.
I ended up just downloading a recreation of Sims 1 inside Sims 2, and I have far more fun there.
Sims 2 has C&C3 Tiberium Wars as a game you can play on the computer or console in a later expansion, and 3 has actual Tiberium you can collect, that makes you sick if you keep it in your inventory Im pretty sure I spotted a Nod symbol on the criminal career's level 10 uniform too. Pretty sure theres more than this, but this is off my memory.
Sims 4 is where the references stop, not suprising, given by the point TS4 came out, EA had already ruined C&C and pretty much buried its remains.
See my Sims 3 studio for latest progress.
Sims 2 definitely was a step up in so many ways - but, like others also mentioned - it was the quirkiness of Sims 1 that I wished they had carried over.
Sims 1 & 2 are both fully immersible games, to this day and I'm glad we can still play them.
Both of these versions had my attention from the beginning and held that attention with each pack added. Many times, I didn't know I needed something in game until we got it - they were that good.
Yes, there were items that I would have loved to have seen what more they could have done with them in TS2, but that didn't deter my enjoyment of TS2.
The Sims 2 was the first Sims game. It was an actual game, purposefully made to be a game in every way. The amount of depth and gameplay it had, just in the base game alone, beat every single expansion Sims 1 had by a long shot. They put effort into it more than the original Sims, because the original Sims was a happy accident.
I still have and play Sims 1 from time to time, because nostalgia. Out of all the Sims games, Sims 1 has my favorite graphics. When I play a game, I want it to look like a game. I don't want too much realism in my graphics, because that takes away from the game for me. Sims 1 fits that very well. Its gameplay was terrible, but the graphics are amazing. Sims 2 is a very good middle ground between realism and old school, for me. It still had the 'bad' graphics, but a bit more smoothed around the edges.