Fri, May 30, 2003 - Page 19 News List

CD reviews

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Sims 5+1 & The Sims: Superstar

International distributor: Electronic Arts and Maxis

Local distributor: EA Taiwan

Platforms: English for PC

Taiwan Release: Currently available

Over the last three years, The Sims have kept their position at the top of the bestseller rankings for electronic games. Now with the 5+1 set, you can get all the fun from the past games in this world-class series. A new product has been added to the series with the release of the new superstar version of The Sims. No longer a faceless member of the urban community, in The Sims: Superstar, you get to be a member of the jet set, one of the beautiful people, a super star.

In past extension sets to the basic Sims setup, the aim has been to simulate family life, community interaction and so on. With Superstar, you get to follow a character on the road to fame and fortune.

Your virtual persona starts off having to go through the usual trials of signing with an agent, accepting various television and film assignments, and generally hanging out in a location not dissimilar to Tinsel Town. A system of points is used to assess the level of success you achieve, and you are helped along your way by a number of comic characters. Although your virtual persona will enjoy the services of an ever-efficient valet, a skilled sushi chef and an intimidating masseuse, there are also plenty of challenges if you want to enjoy the limelight, such as Paparazzi and adoring fans who won't leave you alone. That's the price of success.

Living like a prince, or princess, is what Superstar is all about, and with this game there are loads of new material things to enjoy, not least among them being stunt parachutes, satellite dishes and a host of fashionable furnishings for your penthouse apartment. Taking a day off, treat your virtual superstar self to spas, mud baths, steam rooms and enriched oxygen. It's as good as it gets, virtually.

War Craft III: The Frozen Throne

International distributor: Blizzard Entertainment

Local distributor: Unalis Technology Corp

Platform: Chinese and English for PC

Taiwan release: June

The much anticipated extension set The Frozen Throne for the already hugely popular War Craft III, after many delays, is now slated to hit the shelves in Taiwan late next month in a simultaneous release with the US. According to Blizzard, War Craft III sold 2 million copies since its release last July, making it one of the fastest sellers in PC game history.

"After seeing demand totally outstrip supply when War Craft III was released, we have already prepared 150,000 Chinese/English bilingual copies of The Frozen Throne for release this summer," said Chuang Chen-han (莊承翰), manager of Unalis, the game's Taiwan distributor.

The Frozen Throne continues the story set up in the original game, although this time gamers will find themselves pitted against the disembodied person of the necromancer Nerzhul, who has been sealed in a prison of ice. In addition to extending the story, The Throne of Ice adds new hero characters for the different races and also new magical artifacts. It is also possible for the gamer to draw neutral characters to his cause, and new types of magic and new skills make the advantages and flaws of different races even clearer.

If that weren't enough, there are also three more continents to add to the library of game maps and these are filled with many new creatures. To deal with these, there are new weapons designed for the different races.

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