Sims 2′ video game, rated T, gets four stars

“Sims 2”, sequel to the most popular PC game of all time, represents one of the few video games that appeals to almost everyone, male and female.

The sophistication and interaction reaches even deeper levels through new features, incredible graphic detail and expanded neighborhoods.

Aging and family are the most interesting new areas. Sims can generate offspring; pass on characteristics to families; retain physical similarities and even give inheritances (based on lifetime relationships and aspiration scores).

Players who don’t select the family option can choose their own personality types by choosing an astrological sign or distribute the personality points.

The progressive lifespan includes baby, toddler, teenager, adult and senior. Your Sims will definitely reflect their age when engaging in certain activities.

Archive your Sim’s life in photo albums and even create home movies (saved in AVI format. The game also features family trees and automatic memories — a thought balloon will appear above the selected Sim’s head and his/her memory will be stored in chronological order.

You can also create your own music folder with songs in MP3 or WMA format or give your Sim(s) a big mood boost with the new party activity that includes birthdays, weddings, and golden anniversaries.

The new life aspiration feature includes grow up, romance, family, knowledge, fortune and popularity (family and grow up is the only combination where players can satisfy two aspirations at the same time). Individualized wants and fears (you can lock one specific want or fear to achieve/overcome it quicker) directly affect the aspirations.

The buy mode features a great new eyedropper tool that clones items so you don’t have to select them one at a time from the catalog. The new design tool and hobby/collection categories add even more detail.

The build mode features a new Garden Center and foundation/decks option. You can take your chances with pre-made neighborhoods and characters or create your own.

You can’t play other players on-line yet, but you can share just about any item/person you create on the supporting Web site at that features several downloadable objects, player blogs and the Body Shop Content Editor. The upcoming expansion packs ensure even more fun interaction that should keep players busy for several hours and even years.