Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Strawberry Shortcake in The Sims 4

You may not know this, dear readers, but for quite a while now, I've been into the Sims games. To be honest, I'd say that is the only other brand next to Strawberry Shortcake that I am immensely into, once I come to think about it. I guess I feel this way about it, that rush of excitement, that desire to play it, because there's no other game out there like it that could even compete (at least, not that I'm aware of). Besides, what isn't fun about creating your own world where you have control of the characters' lives?

My fascination with it began a little while back, which, believe it or not, was actually half a decade ago. I discovered The Sims 3 back in 2010, and I instantly wanted the game as soon as I saw all of the videos people made with and about it all over YouTube. However, since I was still on the pretty young side, but not quite too young for the game in my opinion, my parents wouldn't allow me buy it because they felt it wasn't age appropriate for me.

So now we skip to some years later, and by that time, I was pretty much over the game; I had no desire to buy it anymore, and I had decided to move on to other things. "Oh, well," I thought at the time, "I guess it just wasn't meant to be." But deep inside, I knew that I still wanted it, and this feeling resurfaced just a few months back after the release of the Sims 4 Create a Sim demo.

A few months ago (or it could have been more so like a couple - I'm not the best at keeping up with time), I decided to download the demo for myself, just to see what it was like. I was pretty interested in the new features such as the ability to shape the characters' faces with your mouse instead of a grid, and all the while I was very curious to see if I could manage to replicate the cast of Berry Bitty Adventures.

I overall really enjoyed the Create a Sim demo, but in all honesty, I felt like it was lacking something. Creating Strawberry Shortcake and her friends was a very fun task, but it was difficult all the same because I didn't have the necessary features to customize them the way I wanted to. I actually like how Strawberry and Blueberry turned out, but as for the rest of them, they hardly resemble their actual selves at all - well, I'd say Orange does a little bit, but Lemon, Raspberry, Plum, and Cherry don't even look like themselves.

Oh no! Where is Strawberry's trademark hat?! I didn't think that she needed a hat because I wouldn't say that it suited her well. Besides, she stopped wearing it as much in season three of B.B.A.

At first glance, you may not think that this looks like Strawberry all too much, but believe me, it was much harder than I anticipated to create a more humanistic version of the characters. On the show, they all generally have the same face molds and eye shapes, so the only distinctions they have between one another are their eye colors and hair colors. This being said, I tried to imagine what the girls would look like if they were actual people; I imagined that Strawberry would look something like this, so that's the look I went for.

Now we'll move on to Blueberry, and I'm overall pleased with her results. If she were an actual person, I assume that should would look a little something like this, so she turned out better than I thought. The hairstyle is pretty spot on to her real one, to my surprise, and the game even had her very fair skin complexion. I'm having a hard time choosing whether I like the Blueberry Sim or the Strawberry Sim better. What do you think?

And now we'll move on to the rejects, the sims that I had so much difficulty with that they wound up looking nothing like they were supposed to. This in part is due to the lack of content, so I believe that they would have turned out better if they had some things as simple as Plum's dark hair color or Raspberry Torte's hairstyle. Brace yourself.

This is how Orange Blossom and Plum Pudding turned out. Orange isn't too bad, I guess, but Plum is just a catastrophe. Her ponytail is too short and lacks a bit of definition, and as I stated above, there isn't an option for dark purple hair, so I had to settle for a more lilac hue. I know that they don't have to look exactly like the actual characters, but I'm a perfectionist: if I don't complete a task to my liking, I'll keep working on it until I deem it acceptable, and if it doesn't turn out the way I want it to, I become very frustrated.

And Lemon and Raspberry - oh boy. They are something else entirely. It was really hard trying to come up with molds for their faces; I had an image in my head for Strawberry's and Blueberry's but I could hardly think of a single thing for these two. Perhaps I can go back and edit them a bit more later, but I don't know if there is much more that I can do.

Out of all of them, though, I'd say Cherry is my least favorite Sim I've made. It's just something that I can't get right with her face mold, no matter how much I tweaked it and tweaked it some more. I could have possibly made her look a lot better if I used custom content, but I'm still new at playing this game, and I'm pretty leery about downloading things to my computer. You never know what file might contain a virus!

Anyhow, since my little adventures on the demo, I really got into watching Let's Play videos on YouTube, which led me into a dilemma. I enjoyed watching videos of the newest game, yes, but something kept drawing me back to The Sims 3. Perhaps it was because this game has an open-world view and it offers more customization for the characters (such as Plum's hair color). Perhaps it was because this version of the game allows the sims to ride in cars and actually walk on the street instead of having a loading screen in its place. Perhaps it was because The Sims 3 has more features in general. While The Sims 4 looks pretty great, I'm not too set on buying it; it's ridden of all of the features of the previous game and replaced them with more simplistic elements. I'm in no way criticizing or bashing The Sims 4, but The Sims 3 just has a place in my heart, and that's the game I want to stick with. However, what I really like about 4 is the style of the characters - I wouldn't say that I'm too fond of how they look in 3, but I'm sure I can work something out. Unfortunately, that means that I have no use for Strawberry and her friends in the demo whatsoever; they'll just stay in there, never again to be interacted with. I'm hoping that I can try to recreate them in 3, but that's going to take a loooot of work. I think I can manage it, though. I hope.

Once I finally came to my decision, I approached my parents again with my request to buy the game, and five long years later, they finally said "yes"! They said that they believe that I'm mature enough to play it now that I'm significantly older. After that, I jumped on the opportunity as soon as I could so I could order the game and a couple of expansion packs online (I'm really looking forward to playing Seasons - how fun would it be for the characters to play in the snow and celebrate Christmas and Halloween?). The convenient thing about The Sims 4 coming out is that The Sims 3 packs are on clearance to make way for the new games. When the 3 games were initially released, they were all about $50, no joke. Now, you can find three games in one for slightly less than $20.

I ordered The Sims 3 Starter Pack along with Supernatural and Seasons, but sadly, the third one was out of stock, so I have to wait about a week or so before I can place another order for it. I received my first two games this evening.

What you may be curious about is what I exactly plan on doing with this game. Well, besides playing it for leisure, I will once again attempt to create Strawberry Shortcake and her friends, but along with that I'll also try to build Berry Bitty City. I think it would be extremely fun to film a mini series of Let's Play videos and upload them to my channel, but I'm so paranoid about YouTube's gaming policy that I'm hesitant to do so. I've already used enough copyrighted content on my first account, so I really don't want to start doing the same thing on my second one. My main concern is whether or not EA is comfortable with YouTube partners uploading content from their games and placing advertisements alongside them. I just don't know; I'll have to investigate the issue more. But if I do decide to make a short gaming series, will my subscribers actually like it, let alone watch it? Everyone seems to only have an eye for my stop motions and whatever is entitled "A Day in Berry Bitty City," so I'm not too sure on that one. Risks have to be taken, I suppose.

I really wanted to install my game and start playing it tonight, but I wanted to back up my computer first so I could delete some of my files to create more space, and that in itself is taking a very long time. I've waited five years for this, Laptop - don't disappoint me now! I'll probably just have to wait until tomorrow or Friday. It just depends because I also have a five-page paper about an advertisement to write before Monday.

Anyway, I guess that's about it for this post. Sometimes I tend to ramble, so quite a few of my posts will be pretty lengthy. If you actually read this whole thing, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to do so. Here's a cookie as your reward. Okay, it's getting a bit late, so I think I'll watch a couple of more Let's Play videos before turning in for the night. Until next time!

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