Reviewed: June 29, 2007
Released: June 5, 2007
- Sims 2
- Sims 2 Special DVD Edition
- The Sims 2 Holiday Edition
The Sims 2 H&M Fashion StuffóMaxisí latest stuff pack for their immensely popular people simulatorómarks a possibly trend-setting partnership with international clothing retailer H&M. Unlike previously released stuff packs (which were purely Maxisí original creations that otherwise did not bear any branding or commercial ties to real world products), H&M Fashion Stuff features a collection of new Sim outfits that are inspired by real H&M designs and that reflect this summerís fashion trends.
Like with previous Sims 2 stuff packs, H&M Fashion Stuff doesnít add any new gameplay to Sims 2, but it includes a collection of new items for your Sims to enjoy.
As one might expect from a name like H&M Fashion Stuff, this stuff pack is very fashion-oriented. Namely, youíll find that the bulk of the added content is the new line of H&M-inspired clothing for both male and female Sims. Youíll probably also notice that the gals get way more love when it comes to the new fashions, but the guys havenít been completely neglected, either. The ladies can now don brightly patterned sundresses and breezy tunics, as well as more unusual getups like the baggy jumpsuits that someone better versed in fashion would have an easier time describing.
Meanwhile, the gentlemen get non-dorky swim trunks (finally!), various casual button-up shirt ensembles, a couple new pinstripe suits, and classic hoodies (something that was, surprisingly, previously missing from Maxis-released collections). In short, H&M Fashion Stuff offers players a large selection of new, stylish clothing in which to dress their Sims this summer. Personally, I didnít find too many of the new duds appealing to my sense of fashion (though I liked the male clothing a little better)óbut, hey, Iím not a fashionista, so your mileage may vary.
The rest of the items added to the game can be best described as objects useful in building your own H&M retail store in Sims 2. If youíve ever stepped foot inside an H&M store, youíll easily recognize the black, H&M-emblazoned floor mats; the tall glass windows and doors with the distinctive black, red, and white color scheme; the huge wall posters depicting models in the latest fashions available at the store; and the sleek and contemporary clothing displays.
All these items and more (such as a more modern-looking cash register, mannequins, and new lighting units) are available for your decorating needs. Of course, these items are useful for other commercial lot situations as well, but many of the objects are clearly branded with the H&M logo.
Also, if youíve ever wanted to run your own Sims 2 fashion show, H&M Fashion Stuff includes a fashion runway setup, complete with stage, lighting, and curtains. Unfortunately, there arenít any new actions associated with the runway, so if you want your Sims to pose while they show off their attire, youíll have to make do with what you already have. That was kind of a bummer for such a neat idea. Otherwise, though, itís a nice touch.
The quality of the graphics for the new items, outfits, and other additions is on par with what weíve seen from previous Sims 2 expansions and stuff packs. Itís got the same high level of detail, and the new items donít look at all out of place when placed alongside existing items.
This new stuff pack changes the loading screen music that plays when Sims 2 first boots up, but as far as I know, the gameís sound hasnít otherwise been changed.
Like with the other stuff packs, H&M Fashion Stuff will mostly appeal to those Sims 2 players interested in collecting all the official Maxis-released items and players that are very concerned with compatibility or quality control issues. Like I mentioned last time in my review for Celebration Stuff, many players will probably find the $19.99 price tag too expensive for a stuff pack when so much user-created content is downloadable from the Internet for free.
My personal opinion is that itís a bit pricey to pay that much for an addition that includes no new gameplay when full-fledged expansion packs typically retail for only $10 more, but for those inclined to buy the official Sims 2 objects, itís not a terrible price for this decent-sized collection of new Sim fashionsówhich also means new, re-skinnable meshes, for those players who enjoy the design aspect of the gameóand retail dťcor.
Plus, chances are, smart shopping will lower that price for you. In the end, what this game is worth to you may boil down to whether you like the styles of the new clothing (which you can preview at the official Sims 2 website) and whether you like H&M enough to tolerate the brand logo being all over many of the new objects.
As I mentioned before, the Sims 2 stuff packs wonít be for all Sims 2 fans, and those folks who frequently download and enjoy user-created content for the game may not find them to be all that necessary. Additionally, though Iím not particularly bothered by it, some players may be irked by the prevalence of brand advertising in this particular stuff pack; itís just something to keep in mind.
For the generous collection of fashions (and re-skinnable clothing meshes) added, as well as the modern retail dťcor and fashion runway, itís not a bad addition to Sims 2 for the fashion-conscious player.