Bella Dovah February Feature

Hi, Im Gabriella Di Gregorio, Gabby for short. I'm 21 and from Sheffield, UK. I’m currently a full time computer science student at the University of Lincoln. I'm about to start the final semester of my final year.

I started playing when I was around 8. Sims 2 and a couple of packs was out. I heard about it from a friend but I wanted to try Sims 1 first to see if it would help me get the hang of 2. So I started by having a little play around with Sims 1 to get used to the idea. It wasn’t long after that I got Sims 2 and fell in love and got as many packs as I could for every birthday and Christmas. Sims 2 was basically my childhood so the series means a lot to me. I’m always interested to see how it develops.

Nothing has come close to being as good as Sims 2 for me. I liked the art style, better than the potato-faces in Sims 3 that struggled to run on a good PC and the cartoony and plasticine style of Sims 4. My favourite thing was the wants and fears system, I loved that gameplay revolved around that and there were more consequences. Sims 3 got rid of fears and Sims 4 is entirely based around random mood swings. I loved the packs for Sims 2, they each added so much depth and were worth the money. I loved the rich storylines in Sims 2. I loved that aspiration categories really shaped how each Sim lived their lives. I loved the modular item swatches, better than the over complicated colour wheel in Sims 3 and the lacking inflexible swatches in Sims 4. I loved that you could easily create
brand new  neighbourhoods and place new lots. I loved the turns on and offs system. I loved the difficulty of keeping needs up, both the rate they decayed and the 2 extra ones - comfort and environment. I loved that cars seamlessly integrated. I loved the consequences, events and services like burglars and police. And finally, I loved the memory system. It was an amazing game and I’d love a remaster with high quality graphics and semi-open world and story progression/ageing.  

I'm totally gameplay oriented. I really want to get better and building but that's never what The Sims has been about for me. I like making stories and living out different lives. As boring as it sounds, I like regular family gameplay.

It would definitely be if it became simply too bad value for money. It took me a while to come round to Sims 4 because I was disappointed overall, especially with all the missing features at release. I already don’t think the packs are worth paying full price for - nearly £700 is ridiculous for a game. I usually only get packs if they’re on sale and because EA/Origin is ‘tight’ the sale prices often aren’t that big of savings. I think the base game is really bare-bones and you actually NEED all the packs to make it feel like a full, complete game. Its a big expense commitment. My fear is that Sims 5 packs will be even more expensive and maybe not even be value for money at sale prices.

I don’t have one specific favourite thing about Sims 4, but it has lots of good features While I don’t like that gameplay entirely revolves around emotions, I think they were a cool addition. The multitasking was groundbreaking at the time of release, but it can be annoying sometimes. I also like the short-term goals you can pick, I just think a broader aspiration would have been nice as well. I like the amount of control you get in CAS, apart from the extremely lacking and limited amount of traits. I like that it runs really well, which makes a nice change from Sims 3. I like that it isn’t fully open world but story progression and aging works well. I like the new ideas added by packs not seen before like parenthood and clubs. I also like how many skills there are. And I like the flexible building with object resizing and accurate placement.

Again, there’s not one major thing I hate, but it has a lot of problems. As already mentioned, I hate that my Sims lives are dictated by their erratic emotions and the whims are pointless - bring back wants and fears! I've also already mentioned the art style and the limited item swatches. While I don’t wish for the return of the colour wheel, it would be a good option for eye, hair, and skin colour. I hate how inflexible and small the worlds are. You can't customise them at all or make new ones and there’s very few lots on some of them. I think the aim of gameplay is sometimes unclear, Sims have no lifetime goals or aspirations, the ones that are in the game are very specific and short-term. The worst thing for me was how much basic things were missing on release - toddlers, pools, move objects, and support for cars. Lastly, the packs are too expensive and don’t bring enough to the game sometimes.

Wants and fears, long-term aspirations, cars, ability to customise worlds, more traits and trait slots, memories, consequences and difficultly, more cheats like easily increasing household and party size limit without mods, modular item swatches, colour wheel for skin, hair and eyes, less expensive and more in-depth packs would help improve The Sims 4 for the better.

I think The Sims 4 online community is nice! At least on YouTube and Twitter anyway. I’ve recently made a Twitter account and the community seems nice and my feed is always interesting. Small YouTubers and streamers support each other. The ‘Simstagram’ community is a weird place though. I've not been active on there for a while because my feed was just full of models and weird poses.

You can find me on;

Youtube: BellaDovah Gaming
Twitter: @BellaDovah
Origin: Gabby2805
Mod the Sims: Gabby2805
Instagram: @geminisims