Here's a continuation of my top 20 favorite games of all time.
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Bomberman is an arcade-style maze-based video game developed by Hudson Soft. It was first released in 1983 for the MSX, NEC PC-8801, NEC PC-6001, Sharp MZ-700 and FM-7 in Japan, and for the ZX Spectrum in Europe (under the English language title Eric and the Floaters, Spanish Don Pepe Y Los Globos). Bomberman spawned the long-running series with many installments building on its basic gameplay.
The original Bomberman is a robot forced to work at a bomb factory. He is the best bomb maker there. Bomberman starts growing bored of making bombs in a factory day in and day out. He hears a rumor that any Bomberman that makes it from the underground factory gets a wish. Bomberman, desperate to escape his job, sets out on a journey to the surface and to turn Bombermen into human bombermen, using his wish. The only thing standing in his way is the factory security guards who will do anything to keep the factory working.
The eponymous character, Bomberman, is a robot that wants to be free from his job at an underground bomb factory. He must find his way through a maze while avoiding enemies. Doors leading to further maze rooms are found under rocks, which Bomberman must destroy with bombs. There are items that can help improve Bomberman's bombs, such as the Fire ability, which improves the blast range of his bombs. Bomberman will turn human when he escapes and reaches the surface. Each game has 50 levels in total.
The Legend of Zelda
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
The Legend of Zelda is a video game designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and developed and published by Nintendo. Set in the fantasy land of Hyrule, the plot centers on a boy named Link, the playable protagonist, who aims to rescue Princess Zelda from the primary antagonist, Ganon, by collecting the eight fragments of the Triforce, a powerful artifact.
As the inaugural game of The Legend of Zelda series, it was first released in Japan as a launch title for the Famicom's Disk System peripheral, a year and five months before it was released in the United States. Because the Famicom Disk System was not released outside Japan, the game was published internationally on the Nintendo Entertainment System's cartridge format in 1987, with an internal battery to facilitate data saving. Nintendo released the game in Japan in 1994 on cartridge format for the Famicom.
When The Legend of Zelda was released, its gameplay defied categorization. The game incorporated elements from action games, adventure games, role-playing games, and puzzle games. The game begins with the player controlling Link from an overhead perspective, armed with a small shield. A sword becomes available to Link if he ventures into the cave, accessible from the start screen. When the game starts, Link spawns in the overworld, a large outdoor map with varied environments. Throughout the game, merchants, gamblers, old ladies, and other people guide Link with cryptic clues. These people are scattered across the overworld and hidden in caves, shrubbery, or behind walls.
Barring Link's progress are creatures he must battle to locate the entrances to nine underground dungeons. Each dungeon is a unique, maze-like collection of rooms connected by doors and secret passages and guarded by monsters different from those found on the overworld. Link must successfully navigate each dungeon to obtain one of the eight pieces of the Triforce of Wisdom. Dungeons also hide useful items, such as a boomerang for retrieving items and stunning enemies, and a recorder with magical properties. The first six dungeons have visible entrances, but the remaining three are hidden. Except for the final dungeon, which cannot be entered until the previous eight have been completed, the order of completing dungeons is somewhat arbitrary, but many dungeons can only be reached using items gained in the previous one.
Nonlinearity, the ability to take different paths to complete the game, separated Zelda from its contemporaries. Link can freely wander the overworld, finding and buying items at any point. This flexibility enables unusual ways of playing the game; for example, it is possible to reach the final boss of the game (but not defeat him) without taking a sword. Nintendo of America's management initially feared that players might become frustrated with the new concept, left wondering what to do next. As a result, the American version of the game's manual contains many hints, tips, and suggestions for players.
After completing the game, the player has access to a more difficult quest, officially referred to as the Second Quest, where dungeons and the placement of items are different and enemies stronger. Although a more difficult "replay" was not unique to Zelda, few games offered a "second quest" with entirely different levels to complete. Entering "ZELDA" as the player's name starts the second quest immediately. The Second Quest can be replayed each time it is completed.
Console: Nintendo Entertainment System
Tetris is a falling-blocks puzzle video game, released on a vast spectrum of platforms. Alexey Pajitnov originally designed and programmed the game in June 1985, while working for the Dorodnicyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the USSR in Moscow. Pajitnov has cited pentominoes as a source of inspiration for the game. He derived its name from the Greek numerical prefix "tetra-", as all of the pieces contain four segments, and tennis, Pajitnov's favorite sport.
The game (or one of its many variants) is available for nearly every video game console and computer operating system, as well as on devices such as graphing calculators, mobile phones, portable media players, and PDAs. It has even been played on the sides of various buildings, with the record holder for the world's largest fully functional game of Tetris being an effort by Dutch students in 1995 that lit up all 15 floors of the Electrical Engineering department at Delft University of Technology.
While versions of Tetris were sold for a range of 1980s home computer platforms, it was the hugely successful handheld version for the Game Boy launched in 1989 that established the reputation of the game as one of the most popular ever. In 2007, Tetris came in second place in IGN's 100 Greatest Video Games of All Time.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
Console: Gameboy Advance
Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire, released in Japan as Pocket Monsters Ruby and Pocket Monsters Sapphire, released on March 17, 2003 in North America for the Game Boy Advance, mark the beginning of the third generation in the Pokémon series of RPGs. Ruby and Sapphire were succeeded in 2004 by Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen and in 2005 by an enhanced remake titled Pokémon Emerald. The games feature 386 species of Pokémon.
Ruby and Sapphire feature a number of distinct differences from the previous set of games.
Because of numerous changes in the battling system, these two games aren't compatible with the first and second generations. New battling mechanics include Abilities and Natures. Abilities add certain characteristics that add strategy to battling. Natures raise and lower two stats (Attack, Defense, Sp. Attack, Sp. Defense, and Speed). Another new mechanic is double battles, where the Pokémon trainers send out two Pokémon at once. There are also more hold items than there were in the first two games. Like in FireRed and LeafGreen, the berries have also been renamed. The new names are similar to names of actual fruit, instead of being names which symbolized what each berry did.
These two games also have Pokémon Contests and Pokéblocks. Pokémon Contests are most like beauty contests, where Pokémon perform moves before a judge. Pokéblocks are synthesized from berries, which the player plants, waters, and picks. The player uses a tool called a Berry Blender to make Pokéblocks. Each Pokémon can eat up to 12 blocks, and each block enhances a characteristic (Cool, Cute, Smart, Beauty and Tough). Some Pokéblocks increase two stats, but half of the amount each stat gets. Feebas is the only Pokémon that is affected by these stats outside of Contests; it will evolve into Milotic after achieving a maximum Beauty stat.
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are also the first two Pokémon games where the player does not name the rival, as the name for the rival has already been reset to Brendan or May, depending on whether the player's character is a girl or a boy.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Console: Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, and is the third installment in The Legend of Zelda series. It was first released in Japan, and was later released in North America and Europe. Shigeru Miyamoto and his team were solely responsible for the development of this game.
A Link to the Past uses a top-down perspective similar to that of the original The Legend of Zelda, instead of the side-scrolling format that Zelda II: The Adventure of Link uses. It added many mechanics and concepts to the series that have become commonplace, including multi-level dungeons and a variety of new equipment (such as the Hookshot and the Pegasus Boots). It has been well-received since its release, and has been listed by GameSpot as one of the best installments of the series. To date, A Link to the Past has sold more than four million copies, and has been re-released for the Game Boy Advance and the Wii's Virtual Console.
Instead of continuing to use the side-scrolling perspective introduced to the series by Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past reverts to an overhead perspective similar to that of the original. Despite using many mechanics and concepts from the original, A Link to the Past introduces a number of new elements and innovations. For instance, although there are whole Heart Containers, which are usually obtained after defeating a boss, Link can also collect four Heart Pieces in order to form additional Heart Containers. Arrows are now separately replenishable (as bombs were in the original) instead of using a Rupee to fire an arrow. A Link to the Past also takes some concepts from The Adventure of Link, such as the magic meter, which is used by several items, including the Lantern. Control of Link is more flexible than in previous games, as he can walk diagonally and can run with the aid of an obtainable item. Link's sword attack was improved to slash sideways instead of merely thrusting forward; this gives his sword a broader range and makes combat easier. Link slashes his sword as the default attack in future Zelda games, although thrusting is also possible in the later 3D incarnations.
Several recurring items and techniques were introduced for the first time in A Link to the Past, such as the Hookshot, the Master Sword, and the Pegasus Shoes. Heart Containers that increase the player's maximum health (hit points) in the earlier two games are present, but many are split into "Pieces of Heart", four of which comprise one Heart Container. Most of them are well hidden, adding replay value to the game. Many dungeons are multi-level, requiring Link to walk between floors and sometimes fall through holes to land in lower levels.
A Link to the Past is the first appearance of what would subsequently become a major Zelda trademark: the existence of two parallel worlds between which the player travels. The first, called the Light World, is the ordinary Hyrule where Link grew up with his uncle. The second is what was once the Sacred Realm, but became the Dark World when Ganon acquired the Triforce. The Dark World is a corrupted version of Hyrule; the water is a dark, unpleasant color, the grass is dead, skulls replace rocks, and trees have faces. People change forms in the Dark World based on their nature; without an item to prevent it, Link turns into a pink rabbit. Each location in the Light World corresponds to a similar location in the Dark World, usually with a similar physical structure but an opposite nature (e.g. a desert in the Light World corresponds to a swamp in the Dark World).
Link can travel from the Dark World to the Light World at almost any outside location by using a magic mirror (and back again from the same location using the portal left where he reappears in the Light World). There are also several hidden warp locations throughout the Light World. This enables a variety of puzzles that exploit slight differences between the Light and Dark Worlds.
The Sims is a strategic life-simulation computer game created by game designer Will Wright, published by Maxis, and distributed by Electronic Arts. It is a simulation of the daily activities of one or more virtual persons ("Sims") in a suburban household near SimCity.
The Sims was first released on February 4, 2000. By March 22, 2002, The Sims had sold more than 6.3 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling PC game in history. Since its initial release, seven expansion packs and a sequel, The Sims 2 (with its own expansion packs), have been released. Another sequel, The Sims 3, is currently under production. The Sims has won numerous awards, including GameSpot's "Game of the Year Award" for 2000.
Instead of objectives, the player is encouraged to make choices and engage fully in an interactive environment. This has helped the game successfully attract casual gamers. The only real objective of the game is to organize the Sims' time to help them reach personal goals.
In the beginning, the game offers players pre-made characters to control as well as the option to create more Sims. Creating a Sim consists of creating a "family" (identified by a last name) that can hold up to eight members. The player can then create Sims, by providing the Sim a first name and optional biography, and choosing the gender (male or female), skin complexion (light, medium, or dark) and age (adult or child) of the Sim. The personality of the Sim is dictated by five attributes and a specific head and body (bundled with a specific body physique and clothing). The player cannot change a Sim's face, name, or personality once they have been moved onto a lot.
Each family, regardless of how many members are in it, starts with a limited amount of cash (§20,000) that will be needed to purchase a house or vacant land, build or remodel a house, and purchase furniture. All architectural features and furnishings are dictated by a tile system, in which items must be placed on a square and rotated to face exactly a 90 degree angle with no diagonals permitted. Walls and fences go on the edge of a "square" and can be diagonal, whereas furniture and Sims take up one or more squares and cannot be diagonal. There are over 150 home building materials and furnishings for purchase.
Sims are directed on the basis of instructing them to interact with objects, such as a television set, a piece of furniture or another Sim. Sims may receive house guests, which are actually based on the Sims of other game files. The player cannot control 'visiting' Sims, although it is important for Sims to interact with one another in order to develop a healthy social life and gain popularity.
Diablo II, sequel to the game Diablo, is a dark fantasy-themed action role-playing game in a hack and slash or "Dungeon Roaming" style. It was released for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS in 2000 by Blizzard Entertainment. Diablo II was developed by Blizzard North.
By April 2001, Diablo II had become one of the most popular online games ever. Major factors that contributed to Diablo II's success include what fans found to be addictive hack and slash gameplay and free access to Battle.net. Diablo II may be played as a single player game, multi-player via a LAN, or multi-player via Battle.net, with the latter being the most popular. It has also become one of the top thirty best selling computer games ever. Including Diablo II, the Diablo series has sold 17 million copies.
The game was conceptualized and designed by Stieg Hedlund, with Blizzard North founders David Brevik, Max and Eric Shaefer acting as Project Leads for the other disciplines (Engineering, Character Art and Environment Art, respectively). The main Production roles were handled by Matthew Householder and Bill Roper.
An expansion to Diablo II, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, was released in 2001, and is now at version 1.11b.
Pokémon Gold and Silver
Console: Gameboy Color
Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver, released in Japan as Pocket Monsters Kin and Pocket Monsters Gin, are two Game Boy Color video games. Released in 2000, these games started the second generation of the vastly popular Pokémon video game series. These games feature a new region called Johto, 100 new Pokémon and many more additions. They are also backward compatible with the first generation of games (Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow).
Pokémon Gold and Silver introduces a separate region from the one in the original Pokémon titles (Kanto). This new region, named Johto, offers one hundred new Pokémon for players to capture and discover with a new version of the Pokédex; other new features include the Pokégear, Berries, a full-color world, special Pokéballs, and breeding Pokémon to produce Pokémon Eggs from which baby Pokémon hatch.
More specialized Poké Balls were introduced in this game. A Lure Ball is more effective if used against a Pokémon caught with a fishing rod, and a Friend Ball will make a Pokémon more comfortable and friendly to its trainer much more quickly. To obtain these balls, Apricorns must be picked from special plants found throughout Johto, and Kurt in Azalea Town will fashion these into the different balls based on their color. However, Kurt can only make one ball at a time, and players must wait until the next day for Kurt to finish the ball. Although these specialized Poké Balls and Apricorns were not in future generations, there were other specialized balls.
The game introduces shiny Pokémon, i.e. Pokémon which have a different coloring than normal Pokémon of their species, and which appear very rarely (estimated to be a 1/8192 chance). In this second generation of games (though not the third generation which followed on GBA), these Pokémon often have better stats than regular non-shiny Pokémon, but can never get the maximum stats for that species. There is one exception to the shiny Pokémon system: A Red Gyarados can be found at the Lake of Rage. Since it is part of the storyline, it is impossible not to encounter this Pokémon.
Pokérus (Pokémon virus) was introduced. The virus is even rarer (about a 1 in 32768 chance) to get than a “shiny” Pokémon, and doubles the Special Experience (a concept adapted to later installments of the Pokémon series as effort values) that the player’s Pokémon gain each time the infected Pokémon participates in battle (provided the battle is won and the infected Pokémon does not faint).
Diablo is a dark fantasy-themed action role-playing game developed by Blizzard North and released by Blizzard Entertainment in December 1996.
Set in the fictional Kingdom of Khanduras (located in the Diablo series fantasy world of Sanctuary), Diablo has the player take control of a lone hero as he or she battles to rid the world of the eponymous Lord of Terror. Beneath the town of Tristram, the player journeys through sixteen dungeon levels to ultimately come face to face with Diablo and his demon minions.
Diablo was a best-seller and following the first game's popularity an expansion pack, entitled Diablo: Hellfire, was released in 1997, although it was not created by Blizzard Entertainment. This was followed by a true sequel, Diablo II, in 2000.
The story of Diablo is based on the premise of a war between Heaven and Hell. The town of Tristram has come under attack by demons, and the player must save the town and, in effect, the world, by ridding it of the Lord of Terror. As the player delves into the underworld, some of the history behind the war between Heaven and Hell, as well as knowledge about Diablo himself, are revealed through large tomes that are found throughout the levels.
Diablo is the Lord of Terror and one of the Three Prime Evils of Hell, the most powerful lords of demonkind. Long before the events of the game, he was captured by a secretive order of mortal magi known as the Horadrim. The Horadrim imprisoned each of the Prime Evils in a Soulstone; Diablo's red stone was buried in caverns deep beneath the town of Tristram, and as the generations passed, was forgotten. Though his imprisonment was meant to be eternal, the power of the Soulstone weakened over centuries, eventually allowing Diablo to use limited power from within the stone. He telepathically turned an inhabitant of Tristram, the Archbishop Lazarus, into his pawn. In order for Diablo to actually leave the Soulstone, Diablo needed to possess a host. Through his minion Lazarus, he initially tried to gain control of King Leoric, the local ruler, but Diablo, in his weakened state, was unable to overpower Leoric. Abandoning the idea, he caused Lazarus to kidnap King Leoric's son, Prince Albrecht. He inspired such terror in the child that the boundaries between the realms were broken and parts of Hell appeared in the mortal world, taking root in the labyrinth beneath Tristram. Diablo then chose to bide his time and wait for the opportune moment to strike.
Soon afterwards King Leoric was driven to madness by the loss of his son. With Lazarus whispering in his ear, he ordered a foolhardy attack on a far stronger neighboring realm - a campaign to which Lazarus made sure to send all of the King's most loyal and good-hearted heroes. The campaign proved a suicide mission, and soon the King had only the lies of Lazarus for counsel. Leoric began brutally executing the subjects he once protected, suspecting everyone of the kidnapping of his son. Lazarus led groups of townsfolk into the labyrinth in supposed pursuit of the missing prince - but Lazarus's only purpose was to deliver the innocents up to death at the hands of the demons. At length, the few survivors of the army returned home, led by the noble Sir Lachdanan. Leoric immediately ordered their execution, and, seeing the King for the tortured soul he was, Lachdanan killed his King with a mercy stroke. Upon his dying breath, Leoric cursed those who were close to him that they should serve him in the underworld for all of eternity, creating the horrific undead knights of the labyrinth.
Shortly after, the time period of the game begins as the player's character arrives. He or she has to fight their way through sixteen levels to face Diablo, encountering various monsters and quests to challenge them. The labyrinth descends from a simple dungeon to dark caves and catacombs and finally the firey pits of Hell. The player finds a portal to Archbishop Lazarus' lair, slays him, and makes his way to Diablo. At the end of the game, the player character has killed Diablo's mortal form, and left Diablo once more with just a soulstone to inhabit. Now rather overcome with Diablo's influence, the hero then pierces his or her head with the soulstone, attempting to contain the Lord of Terror. This, of course, was exactly what Diablo wanted. Diablo II later confirms that Diablo indeed possessed the hero who slew him.
And my most favorite game is...
The Sims 2
The Sims 2 is a strategic life simulation computer game developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the sequel to the best-selling computer game, The Sims, which debuted on December 14, 2000. Mark Mothersbaugh composed the music for the game.
The Sims 2 essentially revolves around the same concept as its predecessor. Players are free to control their Sims (as they interact with their virtual surroundings) engaging in various mundane activities and forming relationships in a manner similar to real life. Like its predecessor, The Sims does not have a defined final goal; gameplay is open-ended. Sims 2, however, has life goals, wants and fears, the fulfillment of which can produce both positive or negative outcomes. All Sims age, and can live up to eighty-five Sim days depending on the degree of which their aspirations are fulfilled (although one item can extend a Sim's lifespan further).
The Sims 2 builds on its predecessor by allowing Sims, the simulated human characters, to age through six stages of life and incorporating a more powerful 3D graphics engine. It was first released on September 14, 2004 and became an instant success, having sold a then-record one million copies in its first ten days. In addition to its commercial success, The Sims 2 was well received by critics. As of July 26, 2007, The Sims 2 has sold more than 13 million units worldwide and is the best-selling PC game of 2004. A sequel, The Sims 3, was announced by EA in November 2006.
Sims can experience a life generally reflective of reality through activities such as working, marriage, child rearing, pursuing interests, attending school, learning new skills, engaging in relationships, ending relationships, partying etc.
Sims may also experience more fantastical events such as seeing ghosts, being abducted by aliens which may result in a male pregnancy, or being visited by the Grim Reaper, which usually appears after the death of a Sim.
Like humans, Sims operate based on certain drives: they have needs, develop dreams and goals, and exhibit personality. They can progress through six life stages: baby, toddler, child, teen, adult and elder (the expansion pack The Sims 2: University adds an additional life stage, Young Adult, for Sims who choose to attend college). Sims die naturally after a certain number of days in the elder life stage, determined by how high their Aspiration Score was when they first became Elders. The different life stages present different challenges, such as the reduced mobility of elders, children not being able to cook, and the constant care of infants.
Similarly to its predecessor, Sims are driven by their Needs. Sims have up to eight needs (or "motives") depending on their age, ranging from tangible needs such as "Bladder" (the need to urinate) and "Energy" (the need to sleep), to more ephemeral qualities such as "Social" contact and a pleasant "Environment". These needs are displayed graphically with meters that change from green (full) to red (low), and a Sim with an empty meter will either require or insist on an action which fulfills it (for instance, if the Hunger meter is low, a Sim will open the refrigerator and "stuff [his/her] face", or the user may direct them to cook an item of their choice). Some empty meters also cause actions. A Sim with an empty energy meter will pass out; a teen, adult, or elder Sim with an empty Hunger meter will die. These Needs are compiled into an overall "mood" meter, which is displayed by a diamond (called a "plumbbob") that hovers above the active Sim's head. The needs of babies (which are hunger, social, hygiene & energy) are not shown as with other Sims, but their portrait on the right hand side of the screen indicates their need levels as it does with other Sims (red (low), green (full)).
Personality is a quantified way of measuring a Sim's behavioral characteristics. There are five personality traits, which players can allocate 'points' to control that Sim's personality; for example, a Sim can be active, lazy or somewhere in between the two extremes. These traits determine how fast a Sim learns skills, the rate at which specific needs decay, the types of interactions a Sim will autonomously engage in, the likelihood of accepting certain interactions and the likelihood of bringing home a friend from school or work. All Sims communicate in a language known as "Simlish", first introduced in the original The Sims game. Simlish is a mix of fractured Ukrainian and Tagalog that communicates a Sim's emotions or reactions using tones of voice.
Children and teenagers may attend school from Monday to Friday. Homework completion and mood affect their grades (high grades generate cash or skills). Parents may enroll their children in private schools, after success in a minigame of inviting the headmaster for dinner.
An adult sim can find a job from either a newspaper or computer, and be promoted if they go to work in a good mood, and they have the required skill points and/or sufficient quantity of (non-family) friends. Each career contains ten jobs with increasing salary, each with its own uniform, hours and carpool.
The careers are Athletics, Business, Crime, Culinary, Law Enforcement, Medicine, Military, Politics, Science and Slacker. A sim reaching a critical career level receives a career reward, an exclusive household object, most of them useful for improvement of a skill that is critical to the career. When reaching old age, a sim may retire, and receive a daily pension. Teenagers and elders may also seek employment, however only three jobs are offered in each career track for the teen/elder age groups.
New to The Sims 2 is the "Aspiration" meter, roughly analogous to self-esteem or life satisfaction. As toddlers and children, Sims aspire only to "Grow Up", but upon becoming teens, the player must assign Sims one of five life aspirations: Family (befriending family members, marrying and raising a large family), Fortune (wealth and prestige), Knowledge (skill enhancement and life experience), Popularity (making friends and socializing) and Romance (frequent and varied romantic relationships and interactions); with the Nightlife expansion, a new aspiration was added: Pleasure (wanting to live an enjoyable life). Each Sim has wants and fears that correspond to his or her aspiration, stage of life and present circumstances. When a want is achieved, such as to "make a friend", aspiration points are allotted to the aspiration meter; conversely, when a fear is realized, such as the death of a spouse, aspiration points are decreased. There are six levels to the meter: the highest is platinum, then gold, two levels of green and two of red, with the meter depleting a small amount every few hours. Aspiration levels, along with "mood", determine complaisance: Sims with a platinum meter are fulfilled, docile and more willing to perform tasks they dislike, in addition to having their mood meter full ("Platinum Mood") regardless of their individual needs; Sims with red meters will often experience nervous breakdowns and require treatment from an automatically-summoned psychiatrist who is invisible to nearby sims. Aspiration levels also determine the length of time a Sim will live as an Elder before death. Finally, the Sim's lifetime total of Aspiration points are recorded by the game, and can be used to 'purchase' special objects that possess unique effects, such as providing free money or altering lifespan, but only if the aspiration meter is at "gold" or "platinum" level; if not, the chance of success decreases and negative side effects may occur.
In The Sims 2: FreeTime, a new lifetime aspiration meter was added. As you a you achieve very important lifetime event such as marriage or a birth of a child, you will gain a little lift in the meter and for every section you complete you get rewards, e.g choosing a secondary aspiration. Getting to the top of the meter will get you a chance to get a special gift, the genie lamp!
Romantic relationships can happen in a number of ways. Constantly flirting with another sim, regardless of sex (sims are effectively bisexual) will make them have a crush on one another and eventually fall in love. This allows more intimate interactions such as making out or sex (called "WooHoo"). Sims can simply remain in a de facto relationship or they can get married (called "Joined Union" for same sex sim couples). The sim who did not initiate the marriage will move into the household of, and take the surname of, the Sim who did initiate marriage. With the addition of The Sims 2: Nightlife, sims can also date each other, as well as taking part in many romantic themed interactions. Sims also have chemistry towards each other, which is affected by what they find attractive in another sim, which can be personality, aspiration, or appearance (hair color, clothing, fitness, etc.).
Sims can die in a variety of different ways. If a Sim reaches the end of the Elder life stage, he or she will die of old age. Sims can also meet premature ends by various means, such as electrocution, starvation, disease, fly swarms, fright, fire, drowning, being struck by lightning, hit by hail or death by satellite. Sims leave behind tombstones or urns, which are typically possessed by their ghosts. As long as the memoriam is left on the lot, ghosts will haunt the household. Ghosts may wake up easily frightened Sims, and may also scare a Sim to death.
After death, a Sim is no longer controllable and will be removed from the control interface. Death is carried out in The Sims 2 by the NPC Grim Reaper. Sims can be saved from any premature death if a friend begs the Grim Reaper for mercy.
With the The Sims 2: University, dead Sims can be resurrected via the Grim Reaper's phone, which is a career reward unlocked in the Paranormal career path. Players select the Sim to resurrect and then pay a price ranging from $0-$10,000. The higher the amount paid, the better quality the resurrection will be. Paying between $0-$1,000 will result in no resurrection, paying $1,000-$5,000 will result in the Sim being resurrected as a zombie. $5,000-$10,000 will result in a near perfect or perfect resurrection.
With the The Sims 2: FreeTime, the genie can resurrect as one of the wish options (It will automatically be a perfect resurrection).