Singles 2: Triple Trouble PC CD-ROM
Published by Deep Silver
Developed by Rotobee
Release Date: Out Now
Singles 2: Triple Trouble, an introduction.
Singles was kind of an adult, cut down version of The Sims. When I say adult, I mean it was heavier on the sex and a lot more obvious than any of the games from Maxis. As you might expect the game turned out to be popular (it was a good game anyway without the lure of the more adult stuff) and it's no surprise to see that we now have a sequel. Singles 2: Triple Trouble goes down a very similar road to the first game only this time you'll find there's a third person sharing your apartment.
What's the game about?
The game is comprised of a Story mode and a Free Play mode. Free Play offers a choice of free locations, the apartment, the backyard and the penthouse (the latter two being initially unavailable), for you to play out your game and do as you please. It's the Story mode that most will be interested in though. You get to play as either Josh or Anna. Whoever you play the story is as follows. You used to be part of a happy couple until one day your other half arranged for you to meet some music producers (you are a budding musician after all) and you failed to show up. This breaks the relationship and you decide to move to town to be close to a friend called Magnet who owns his own bar. You find a place to live, an apartment with a young lady named Kim. Unfortunately Kim is also sharing the apartment with your ex.
What's good about the game?
If you liked Singles then you'll like Singles 2. Nothing has been changed from the formula as such and you'll feel right at home playing the game. You still have to do housework and 'level up' your character. As they gain experience you can improve their ratings making them more successful at erotic and romantic actions for example. There are a few more characters this time (around 17 in total) so you have a little more choice although the Story mode confines you to controlling either Josh or Anna. Fancy changing the character's skin, eye or hair colour during a game? No problem. You can always pop out to Magnet's bar and meet other characters. This makes it easier to improve your character's mood because it doesn't matter if you don't have the latest and greatest items in your apartment.
What's not so good about the game?
Despite the game being a sequel it's actually far too similar to the first game. Yes there's now 3 people in the apartment and you can go to Magnet's bar and pick-up whom you please but essentially we have the same formula from the first time around and if you're tired of playing the first game there will be nothing here that will revive your interest. The game is also a little buggy and rough around the edges. Although the game is in English you'll come across the odd tool tip that's in German. At times characters have not responded to my instructions for no apparent reason. There's also too much emphasis on the sexual side of a relationship. The game would have been much more satisfactory if you had to work at the relationship (and not just click on the same actions again and again to improve the ratings with a certain character). You ought to be able to go on holiday, visit the cinema, and go out for a candlelit dinner in a restaurant and such like. There's no real sense of emotion between the characters. I appreciate some would see this as toning the game down a little and maybe taking away from the free and easy attitude the game has towards sex but it would add substance to the game and make a fulfilling relationship much more rewarding. A new photo mode has been added that allows you to pause the game and put your characters into certain poses. To be completely honest it's a fairly useless inclusion as it serves no real purpose. Finally it would have been nice to create your own characters instead of having to use the rather strange bunch that's on offer.
How does it look?
Essentially Singles 2 looks like Singles. There's no obvious graphical update from the first game. Sure the locations are different but things are pretty much the same. With that in mind there are still some performance issues and even running the game on a PC with a ATi X800XT, P4 2.8GHz and 1GB RAM the experience was not a consistently smooth one. The camera feels awkward to control and the developers should have opted for one that was easier to use like the one in The Sims 2.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
The cutscenes are not subtitled (such as the one that introduces the Story mode) but this is the only disappointment. The game makes good use of icons and just like The Sims you'll see icons that accompany your character's conversation. The actual speech is simply gibberish so you're not missing out on anything. All tutorial messages and objectives are shown in text so you'll have no problem at all in playing the game.
Singles 2 is disappointing because it doesn't take the Singles series forward at all. You could even argue that what's here could have been included in an expansion pack. With that in mind the price of the game is that of your usual expansion pack so it's difficult to complain too much on that score. Those who have played Singles a fair bit will be disappointed that a lot more wasn't done to expand the game though. If you haven't played Singles then you might as well start with Singles 2 but if you've played (and had enough of) Singles you might not be too impressed with what's on offer here.
Overall Game Rating: 6.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
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Singles 2: Triple Trouble doesn't offer enough to make it feel like a new game. Much of what's here has already been seen before and the rest could simply have been made into an expansion pack.