Sims Bustin’ Out (GBA) Review – “Su Su!”

This week of wasting my life away in front of a screen has been radically different for me. Well when I say radically, I mean, I still ignored the days trickling away from me in order to play games but that’s not the point. I’ll just explain, okay? Stop judging me.

So basically, I’ve been trapped in my bed  for most of the week, unable to walk over and switch my TV and consoles on due to immeasurable pain, so instead, I picked up a handheld which I always keep handy (haha! A handy handheld.)

Also, because my PSP is about as reliable as a sundial at midnight, it was a Nintendo machine that I chose. See what I mean about radical now? Okay, so it was my Game Boy Advance, so the wonderful not-quite-retro-but-not-really-new choice that could possibly be described as old school. In this week, I also realised that I was a girl and so popped The Sims Bustin’ Out into the slot and switched the power on for hours of fun…

Everyone knows The Sims Bustin’ Out as the one in the series that actually had a storyline, no matter what version you’re playing, which is brilliant and Maxis should realise this and have storylines in all of the games. (please?)

Anyway, you’re a young adult, visiting your uncle in order to get away from the big city. You walk around the small times meeting new friends, moving houses, running errands and jobs, catching evil roosters and building rockets. It still follows the formula of every other Sims game though, your bars continuously drop (such as fun, sleep and food) which you spend most of the day filling and in your spare time, you have to keep a social life and earn cash, known as simoleons. Phew! If you’re interested about the plot still or just want to know about the scary-as-hell Veloci Rooster that sends you straight to the hospital then pick up the game anywhere for about £2 and play it yourself. It’s more than entertaining when you’re on your metaphorical bed of death.

Moving around in the game is still quite blocky but that’s to be expected with just a D-pad and a very old game, let alone the age of the GBA. You mostly drive around on your moped which, for a moped, is extremely quick at getting you from place A to B and turning corners isn’t really annoying. After a while anyway. In the beginning, the fact that it doesn’t turn in a smooth circular motion may concern your little seventh generation minds – but this kids, is what gaming was like when I was younger… and I’m still in love with it.

Some of the mini-games that you play when you start a job turn into a couple of minutes of button bashing, but that’s really the worst of it and you can always stray away from those, they’re not needed to progress to the ending. Other than that, conversations and your errands are simple pushes of your buttons and seem almost flawless, that is, if you learn what the person enjoys and despises as you talk to them. Which I don’t, because I’m so anti-social, it’s unreal.

The graphics are to be expected of a 2.9 inch screen on a console released in 2001. They’re not great, but not uncomfortably bad either. You can tell what each object is with ease and that’s all you need in a game right? So what if everything is slightly square and you can see the pixels really clearly on the edges? I mean, the story is great, along with the gameplay and the hours of fun you get is unbeli- hey! There are shadows! That makes the graphics much better right? Be happy that you received that kind of power in a console that you could take on the bus to work each day 10 years ago.

The sound isn’t that great quality, but the effort they put in to make it realistic is commendable. You can hear the birds singing while the sun is out and as soon as the night takes over, owls hoot in order to creep out little girls playing the game (okay, so just me then.). You can hear your moped’s motor as you drive along AND they still put simlish in the game when you had conversations. Or maybe it was just random noises half the time but whatever. They tried didn’t they? The music I can only describe as funky. Whether you take that as sarcasm or sincerity is your decision. Hint: it’s definitely the former. I’ve been known for my sarcasm.

Now that I’ve played through the game once more, I can crawl back into bed to cough and splutter my way to death.  So see you next week!

-Sian

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Sian Bradley

Sian is a co-founder of Cubed Gamers, having been around since 2011. When she isn’t helping to manage the site, she’s exploring every nook and cranny in games to create guides you didn’t know you needed.