The Sims 3: Pet Peeves

Excited as I was about the launch of The Sims 3, and though I am still enjoying the game immensely, not everything in Simonia is rosy.  Lest you think I am a rabid EA fangrrl (because that’s what you are if you like a game, a rabid devotee of the company that makes it), today’s coverage focuses on those things about TS3 that irritate me.


Syp mentioned in a recent post about the game that the item selection is somewhat limited, and that players must use their precious dollars to purchase additional items from the Sim Store if they want to add more variety to the game.  That, or wait for expansions which will undoubtedly have a few new clothing items, hairstyles, or decor items.

Syp’s right; the selection is pretty small when it comes to hairstyles, clothing, furniture, and construction tools.  Sure, the amount of items available when The Sims 2 launched was pretty small as well, building over time with expansions and “stuff packs.”  Also true is that the create-a-style feature, in which the player can change the color, pattern, and texture of nearly every item in the game, adds a degree of variety to the limited selection.

However, when the game launches with such a limited amount of items and the Sim Store — on launch day — has four new furniture sets available for purchase, one has to wonder if EA is simply angling for more money.  Players already paid $50 for the game, more for the collector’s edition; they don’t want to be asked to contribute more of their hard earned cash to gain access to items that probably should have been offered straight out of the box.

FishyThere are no hot tubs in The Sims 3, a popular item in the previous games and an alternative place for romantic Sims to woohoo.  (They were especially beneficial for two-timing Sims who lived in one-room apartments.  Bed occupied by your sleeping spouse?  Head out back and hop in the hot tub!)

Another thing missing is a large aquarium.  I made a new Sim recently whose lifetime wish is to have thirteen different species of fish swimming in aquariums in his house.  In TS3, this can only be done by buying 13 individual goldfish bowls and housing one fish in each.  Perhaps if there was a multi-fish aquarium, this lifetime wish would be less annoying.  Especially when you consider I have to feed each fish individually.


Don’t get me wrong.  Customization is AWESOME in this game.  There are immense opportunities for customizing anything and everything.  The character creation is especially dazzling, with endless possibilities for skin color, hair color, facial proportions, and more.

My beef with customization in The Sims 3 is that body parts do not have individual sliders.  Facial features have sliders galore, but the rest of the body has two: thin to fat and scrawny to muscular.  Sims are all the same height, have the same proportional figures, the same leg and arm lengths.  I know my recent post about Team Fortress 2 decried the oversexualization of female avatars, but I find the lack of a bust or waist slider in TS3 appalling.

Breast sizes for Sims stay relatively the same — small.  While this means we won’t be subjected to millions of user-created videos depicting tiny-waisted and huge-breasted Sim ladies, it also means that there isn’t much in the way of body customization.  I applaud the game designers for allowing the weight bar to go as far as it does; players can make extremely obese Sims.  However, even at the fattest end of the spectrum, the breasts are still fairly tiny.  It makes it difficult to be true to life.

It’s a very, very minor detail, but I don’t see why these extra sliders couldn’t be added.  Aside from the breast issue, I’m sure Boyfriend would have enjoyed making a freakish looking Sim with extremely broad shoulders and a teeny tiny waist, or ridiculously long legs on a very short Sim.  I was able to make this lovely, unique Sim (pictured below) with the character creator, but there’s nothing I can do to customize her below the neck aside from changing her clothes.  It just feels like a missed opportunity.

For the record, she's a plant Sim, not an alien or Princess Fiona.

For the record, she's a plant Sim, not an alien or Princess Fiona.


The trait system is a brilliant addition to The Sims.  Instead of having to assign various levels of cleanliness, friendliness, etc., Sims have five trait slots to fill from a list of many interesting traits.  I don’t have a problem with the system in and of itself.  No, my problem is with traits that are confusing or annoying.

See, when you create a new Sim from scratch, you can assign any five traits to him.  But if you grow a Sim — that is, raise him from pregnancy to adulthood — you can only choose his traits if his previous life stage (fetus, toddler, child, or teen) was successful.  Otherwise, the game will assign a random trait.  For the most part, I don’t mind the randomness; it adds more of a challenge where I otherwise would pick beneficial traits like “genius” or “lucky” or “neat.”

There is one trait, however, that I was unlucky enough to see assigned to one of my Sim children and it made playing the Sim a source of frustration.  That trait?  “Technophobe.”  Having a technophobic Sim is incredibly annoying for me, as my playstyle generally involves letting my Sims watch TV or play on the computer for entertainment.  Not so for the technophobic Sim.  She can’t stand using such devices and even refuses to be in the same room as an active television, receiving a negative moodlet until she leaves the room or it’s shut off.

While I’m sure there are some people out there who “fear” technology — who don’t understand, don’t want to learn how to use it, or fear that the rise of technology means the end of the world as we know it — I doubt that those people are so afraid that they can’t stand to be near a television.  Even if that kind of person is that frightened, and my Sim’s behavior is based on that fear, it doesn’t explain why she feels perfectly comfortable using her cellular phone.  She also feels fine using slightly older technology like electric lights, automobiles, and modern appliances.  But don’t get her near that computer!

One other trait that bugs me is the “vegetarian” trait.  I actually find the trait interesting and have assigned it to a few Sims, but it’s somewhat difficult to play.  Vegetarians can cook any meal that regular Sims can, with the exception of spaghetti, hamburgers, and hot dogs (all of which they cook a substitute vegetarian version).  That means they can cook the more ambiguous meals, eat them, and I won’t realize I’ve done something wrong until they’re running for the toilets 10 minutes later.  Ratatouille is one of the menu options, a dish whose ingredients — despite having seen the Pixar film of the same name multiple times — I am completely ignorant of.  Another ambiguous one is Eggs Machiavellian.  Do my vegetarian Sims consider eggs off limits?

Considering the length of this post, you might think I’m more frustrated with the game than I actually am.  I really do enjoy the game; I just wanted to make it clear that there are a number of things that disappointed me and things that could be improved.  Pets and universities will be a good addition to the game, as well as some of the other things I mentioned above.

In the meantime, I’m still having a wonderful time playing TS3.  I played TS2 on fast forward much of the time, trying to speed through my Sims’ lives to get tasks accomplished.  In TS3, I feel much more content to let the game run at its normal speed and simply watch my Sims live.  Following my plant Sim as she jogs through the neighborhood or pausing to appreciate the sunset over the river while she reels in a few catfish can be very relaxing.

Click for lovely full size view.

Click for lovely full size view.


40 Responses to The Sims 3: Pet Peeves

  1. Ysharros says:

    You’re really making me want to pick this up! Argh!

    As for ratatouille, it’s a French vegetable stew, usually made with whatever is seasonal. It’s usually got tomatoes, squash/zucchini, aubergine, garlic, onions, and so on. My grandmother used to make the best ratatouille in the universe EVAR.

    Point being, that one should be safe for vegetarians. If the Sims3 version of it has meat in, fie on them – it’s wrong.

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks for the ratatouille info. After writing this post I meant to look it up, but never did. I eventually just took the risk and had my vegetarian Sim try it, and he didn’t vomit or die so I figured it was okay.

      You should definitely pick up the game! Did I mention there are seeds, insects, and gems scattered around the maps that you can collect? That there are lots of interesting areas to explore, and it’s all open (not instanced like the old games)? Awesome for some explorer type I might know…

  2. Rico says:

    Damn your right on the money

    In addition to everything g you have said have you noticed how you cannot enter hardly any of the buildings

    the building options are great but it would be better if we had the option to assist them at work or watch them get massages or actually get a chance to choose what they eat at resturaunts

    If they are gunna make a sim game potentially better than previous version they’d better include the features that are in the previous versions or at least an updated better one

    and also the hair styles…extremely limited… With a number of them being unnatural

    it would be better if there were more common hairstyles

    and why can’t my sims swim at the beaches… It would be cool if they added like a cruise feture or connect the towns together so that sims can travel outside the residential town

  3. Shannon says:

    I’m looking forward to getting my Sims 3. Although the people look really strange and it sounds complicated, I’m still really excited. I’ll still play Sims 2 though 🙂

  4. Faye says:

    Hey, the only thing im doubting in the sims3 is having no pets and not being able to drive with a baby or a toddler ? single mums???? car seats ??????

  5. Amy says:

    I LOVE The Sims. I’ve played since The Sims 1..I highly anticipated the release of The Sims 3. However…I have found myself disappointed with that game. It seems like they have taken away options that were in The Sims 2

  6. sarah says:

    I love sims too im addicded to it but now its really boring becuase theres not much to do. so im getting sims 3 but i dont kno if i should becuase from what the comments and pics say it looks wierd but cool. is it easy to handling, like control and stuff..??

  7. Hayden says:

    I think you nailed every disapointment i had in the game. I just need to say, they really, REALLY need to add body adjustors such as leg, arm, chest, and waist. And also, i noticed the lack of objects such as hot tubs in the first 10 minutes of playing the game. It is also hard to make a normal to good looking person in sims, for there are very few normal looking options for features of the face. It is possible, it just takes a while.

  8. kb says:

    And no piano! what gives? Single moms can drive their babies but no pets. Anticipating an early expansion of pets and maybe other creatures?? Bought world expansions and love it. Sometimes I play with my one person family and still there’s TOO much to do. However, where is the Eifel tower!? So much hype and I can’t even find it in Paris. Also: perhaps my computer is glitchy, does anyone else’s computer screen minimize and then come back up darker? I think something to do with display driver on my comp, but anyone else?
    I do love the sims and this article. Completely agreed. Although anyone with doubts, I guarantee if you’ve played from Sims Bustin’ Out, like me, then you will grow to love sims 3 as well. 🙂

  9. Caitie says:

    I think that the sims 2 is way better than the sims 3 because,

    on the sims 2 i had all the expansion packs(e.g pets, uni, seasons, nightlife and more)

    and when i play the sims 3 there is no pets and no choice to send them to priv. schools or uni, and
    theres no rain or snow

    and there can’t go on hoildays if you don’t have the
    expansion pack, i thought they should of added all of thoses things,

    plus they add another age thing, it goes
    new-born, toddler, child, teen, YOUNG ADULT, adult, elder!

    and also parents can’t drive there kids to school, there’s no gardeners, and there still is a limit on how many sims can stay in one house hold,

    (I make big mansions, hotel like with a coupple of falls and I can’t have more than 8 SIMS living in it!)



  10. Sharane says:

    I am extremely disappointed with my Sims 3 game. I would play the TS2 all the time if I could get it to work…however, I’m stuck with this “newer” version. The creators are just greedy now, expecting us to pay a lot of money for expansions that should have been in the game all ready.

    Once again, I’m disappointed with my game, and find myself playing it reluctantly, because I did pay $50 for it.

  11. Nicole says:

    i completely agree with u! another thing, they need more hair styles!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sharane says:

      I completely forgot about the lack of hairstyles! And the lack of other “neighborhoods” or towns to choose from. All you have is the one. Plus, there used to be so many stores (clothing?) And now all you can buy from is the bookstore and grocery. Yay!?

  12. Andrada99 says:

    i don’t kre i want the sims 3 complete but…leave

  13. Claire says:

    Everyones acting like little kids. Do you Know how long it took them to make sims 3?? Its hard work so just WAIT. Quit acting like spoiled brats.

    • Claire says:

      Btw If you go to the sims 3 site they have free downloads

    • Sharane says:

      Whoa, as far as I can see, we’re all having a civilized discussion over a game’s obvious flaws…you coming in and insulting people just goes to show who’s acting like the child here. As far as I’m concerned, this “arguement” is over, I’ve said what I wanted. If you wish to come back at me, then go ahead.

  14. Maeve says:

    Oh my GOD! I actually AM a child and you’s are all probobly in your 20’s or 30’s and you acting like my 3 year old cousin Molly! I loved Sims 3 AND still do. And what are you’s on about it being £50? I got it for £32:50 in GAME in the Enniskillen shopping centre. If you didn’t notice, pets didn’t come into the Sims 2 until they made an expansion pack, and I don’t think you’s were complaining then! So give them time because I’d like to see YOU’S try and create a whole new disk that contains all these things you’s BABIES are unhappy with. And you know what? I don’t think you’d even be happy then!!! You know what you’s need to do? Grow the hell up and stop playing virtual games and live your lives! I’m 11 and I only play Sims 3 twice or three time a month! And y’know why??? I HAVE A LIFE!

    • Sharane says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life. You do realize, you ignorant little 11-year-old (by the way, ignorant means “foolish,” not “stupid,” in case you didn’t know), that because you live in a different country that the game will cost a different amount? Also, I am not a 20, or 30-year old, nor am I 3. My question for you is…why do you have such an issue with my opinion? I don’t like the game, pure and simple. The game has flaws, pure and simple. And some life you have, little one.

    • Caitie says:

      Don’t you hate it when younger people, are so rude, and ignorant, jeez, I have a life too!!!
      Also why do you just expect the people on these sites to be 20 or 30, I agree Sharane, your right!!!

      “You know what you’s need to do? Grow the hell up and stop playing virtual games and live your lives! I’m 11 and I only play Sims 3 twice or three time a month! And y’know why??? I HAVE A LIFE!” Quote from “Maeve”

      You know what your the one who needs to GROW UP cause your the one who’s accusing people of not HAVING A LIFE but the truth is would we be here if we didn’t, and DON’T CALL US BABIES when your the 11 year old!!!

      Plus why did we need to know you live in Ireland, KIDDYWINK back at you!!!

      For the record, I’m 15, and does that make it different, nope just want to annoy you!!!

      • Sharane says:

        I appreciate your support Caitie.

        Also, I’m 17 years old there Maeve. Doesn’t mean that I’m found hunched over my computer, drooling over the Sims game…between two schools and a job, I’d like to think I’m a damn hard worker.

        Once again, this whole thing was just a simple discussion about a game, and the disappointment we felt at the lack of it. Just because you don’t agree with one’s opinion doesn’t mean you need to act out.

  15. Maeve says:

    For the record, I live in Donagh, Fermanagh, Ireland. Just in case I had you’s kiddywink comfused.

  16. Maeve says:

    For the record, I live in Donagh, Fermanagh, Ireland. Just in case I had you’s kiddywinks confused.

  17. amy o brien says:

    i really want there to be dogs cats rabbits and other animals in sims 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! amy o brien loves sims 2,3 and number 1.

  18. heartbreaker says:

    i just dont get it the sims 3 has its flaws but doesnt mean you ripp on a 11 year old of course im only ten and live in the getos usa but i feel like im 14 in the body of a ten year old i support all of these coments there true [at lest most of them] and thats wat i want every one to hear im sry if this offends u

  19. heartbreaker says:

    and meave you need to stop rippin on plpz that r older than u and dont you dare call me a baby or ill cus u out forien little boy

  20. heartbreaker says:

    meave ill cus u out if u call me a baby

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  22. shortey says:

    I have the sims 3, And I will say as much as i really reallyu enjoy the game, I think EA could have added a few features ( and hopefualy will ) from sims 1… like the holiday and magic expansion pack, have smaller packs that have the things like the hot tubs, honey maker, butter churn, a seasons pack so you have all four seasons of the year… and something that would make the game interesting would be an added feature in the saloon where you could change skin color and eye color… simular to fake tans and eye contacts…
    overall i’m pretty happy with it but hopefually more features and packs will come out that could be more enjoyed 😀

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  26. news says:

    Even though I really like this post, I think there was an spelling error close to the end of the third section.

  27. deepblue153 says:

    I hate how vegetarian sims faint because they ‘don’t get enough protein’. IRL vegetarians get plenty of protein. And they actually have MORE energy and feel better than people who eat meat. I like how Late Night came with more sliders, though. And you could always get custom ones. There one I particularly love. I think it’s Heiret’s Chin to Neck slider. I hate the weird turkey waddles…

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    The Sims 3: Pet Peeves | Girl Unplugged

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