Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Sims 2 review...sort of...

Installed the 4 CD game into my PC the other day and when I attempted to launch the game, a program error came out asking me to stop running any CD emulation software. What!?

I have no bloody CD emulation software installed on my PC. No Alcohol 120%. I used to have Clone CD but has been uninstalled since 2003. I only have a legal copy of the excellent Ahead's Nero v6 that came bundled with my LG's CD-RW drive installed. I attempted to close all my background running programs including essential temperature tracking programs but to no avail.

Flicking through the manual to find a solution I found a completely ridiculous advice that EA Games seems to think its okay to give out. It advises users to shut down all anti virus and firewall programs before running the game. This is totally irresponsible of the publisher to ask users to disable security programs from their PC. But I did shut down my anti virus and firewall softwares since I have already disconnected myself from the local LAN because I had no choice. Was my Norton Anti Virus program a CD emulation program. I just had to find out.

No... It was not. What CD emulation software am I running I ask you EA? Can you e-mail me a list of all CD emulation software that your program scans for?

All this and it was the original copy of The Sims 2. Feeling angry I went to GameCopyWorld to download a patch executable in order to run the game (this even with the original game disc in my drive). But the game kept crashing every hour. Frustrated I took the game back to WHSmith (£32.99) and asked for a refund. I told them that the game was not playable due to the incompetence of the programmers at Maxis and EA and advised WHSmith to sue EA for selling faulty products.

I am now waiting for a sensible publisher to develop a The Sims 2-killer game. Have been an avid fan of The Sims but sadly I would not be joining The Sims 2's very small users of satisfied customers.

Note: Do not purchase your games at Electronic Boutique or HMV. They would not refund your money even if the game is at fault. The would attempt to get you to buy another game or DVD. WHSmith might not be a savvy place to purchase PC games but it has the best refund policy (30 days).

Update: I found out that it was likely that Sims 2 was scanning through my registry for Clone CD entries. It is possible that few remnant files from my old Clone CD was left behind when I uninstalled it. Still that does not give EA the right to sift through my computer looking at what I have installed. Isn't that illegal and invasion of privacy? Has EA become the Microsoft of the gaming World. First they made a racist game in the name of Command & Conquer : Generals and now this.

Update 2: Apparently, according to this bulletin board, Nero could be the culprit. Ahead is quite a big company and their software is bundled with alot of leading CD-RW and DVD burner packages.

Now what EA is doing is making us think Nero is a bad program and wants us to uninstall it. Is this legal? I actually think not. EA (and Macrovision) is actually dictating to us what we can have installed on our PC and what can't be.

If such a thing happened when people are installing Windows XP SP2 update (and the update asked users to uninstall Firefox or Netscape) then there would be an uproar.

Who wants to wager a bet that EA would be marketing a CD/DVD burner software in the near future? This is illegal and I hope someone sues EA for this.

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