Author Topic: StrangerVille - First Impressions  (Read 1299 times)

Offline MrsFlynn

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StrangerVille - First Impressions
« on: February 26, 2019, 10:48:29 PM »
Did you get Strangerville? What did you think of it? Post your thoughts in this thread. If you're still considering purchasing the pack. Read what others have posted to help you decide.

Also to help decide, you can read Carl's guide to the game pack.

Carl's Guide to Strangerville -
http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/gamepacks/strangerville/

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Offline reggikko

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2019, 01:06:52 AM »
I got the pack tonight and played for a couple of hours. I did a bit of experimenting and some exiting without saving as my “investigation” is very much trial and error at this point.

Pros:

A lot of time and effort was obviously put into the mystery/story. It’s quirky and fun.
The town and map is interesting and different from any other TS4 landscape.
There are a lot of interesting townies and interactions with them feel fresh.
There are quite a few cool grungier looking items.
There were some really funny things that I won’t give the details on because it would be too much of a spoiler.

Some cons:
It seems that the vast majority of the townies (scientists, military, and others) are adult rather than YA.

While there are some interesting builds, a lot of the buildings seem like afterthoughts. Exteriors range from nice to okay to substandard, especially when compared to the detail in the builds in other packs. Interiors are kind of sad, to be honest. Room proportion is crazy in the larger houses-things like a huge room with 3 or 4 pieces of furniture.

Some parts of the investigation can get repetitive fairly quickly.

I started playing in a newer save where I wasn’t quite sure of the direction I was going to take. I quickly decided to delete almost all of the premade Sims in the game. It broke my immersion having Those Sims hanging out in lots in Strangerville. I was very glad afterwards because after that, the community lots were populated with locals and that just felt right to me.

Those are just a few very quick impressions. I think this is a pack I will enjoy once I do something with those horrible lots!








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Offline scoed

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2019, 11:05:19 AM »
OK my thoughts on Strangerville, I give it an over all grade of C+. Here is a list of the pros and cons in my mind.

Pros

The story is entertaining and well done. It isn't your typical sims play but it is fun.

I love some of the items that came with the pack. I really love the colander hat, and the lab stuff. My home labs are going to be seriously upgraded is decorative lab equipment for a serous mad scientist feel. The hazmat suit is a plus for my future mad scientists. They needed one.

The new town is pretty and quirky. Reminds me of northern Arizona southern Utah. I love the crashed plain lot. It is just fun.

Being infected is sorta, not really a new life state. That is kinda cool. It isn't really one but at times it changes how you play and that is cool. I wish there was a true life state but I am desperate and will take what I can get.

There is a new death. I collect sim ghosts so that is a huge plus.

Cons

The insides of the houses are poorly laid out. Empty room, sparse furniture, reused from base game rooms are what is on the insides of the houses. The crashed plane lot kitchen is not useable as built. These issues should not happen. I also wish there were larger lots.  They run from medium to small.

I faced a few bugs or glitches, one made me go back to a previous save. Annoying but not unexpected. I will post details in a new thread of the biggest one.

I doubt the story has much replayability. It can be reset, but the mystery is gone and would likely feel repetitive after the first go.

It doesn't have much interaction with other game packs. Like my sim I moved over was a paparazzi darling yet no paparazzi followed me anywhere in Strangerville.


Overall I am happy with it. I like the theme. I am glad I have it. But it has some flaws that keep me from being ecstatic about it. Still I like the new world, even if I am disappointed with the houses. I could always build new ones in their place. Space to build is always nice. I would buy it again if I had to do it over. A solid C+.

Offline Playalot

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2019, 02:54:10 PM »
I am very pleased with this pack. There are multiple ways to play through the story as the devs have actually left it wide open.  Now, I know that sounds strange since the Mystery of the pack is driven by the narrative but let me give you a few examples. (WARNING SPOILERS - sort of! I'm going to be a little vague but I really don't want to be more specific in the fear of ruining the surprises along the ways for others. If you want more details just PM me :) )

Depending on what skills your sim has and what levels those skills are there are various ways to gather what you need. (This is so difficult to explain without spoiling it for others!) I decided to not take the short cuts, the easy and obvious ways to gather certain items, and was pleased to find that the devs had thought of this. So when an opportunity to gather 'something' using a skill that my sim did not have was presented to my sim, I took it. I stepped out of the Mystery Narrative for a while and upskilled my sim. Then going back into the Mystery Narrative my sim was rewarded with an object that when used with a Max Level skill (that my sim didn't have) provided my sim instantly with the desired object. This was fun! An alternative route to the minor goal. Maxing out that particular skill was not something I had played through in a long time.  As I started thinking about how I wanted to play out this narrative I realized there were a lot of different ways the devs had thought of for this to happen.

Your sim has to collect a certain number of items along the Mystery Narrative for the story to progress. There are many ways to do this which allows you to really role play quite a few different sim-characters. Now role playing and making the journey harder for your sim might not be your thing. But then again I don't see the point of directing your parent sim to ask their teen sim to clean the plates up when you can just live-drag them yourself in a split second! But I know this type of family play really rocks some simmers boats!

The 'grand reveal' is great. When you find what is causing the weirdness take a moment to appreciate it, I think it is superbly done. Again, you do not have to play that out in a certain way. I think the most obvious way is actually quite fun and challenging but the alternative is lovely and has it's own unique rewards.

Now this style of play may not be to everyone's taste and I think if you are a linear player or a completionist you may simply not enjoy the many wandering game-play paths your sim can take. I've seen many social media comments where it is obvious that person has missed these alternative ways to play the narrative and that's due to play style. I like taking a story in my head, setting up barriers to the desired end goal and making my sim work for something. This pack nails it. I genuinely enjoyed playing The Sims 4 yesterday which is something that hasn't happened for a while. I was immersed, having fun and enjoying it.

I think the world is gorgeous. It's lovely even if you do not progress the Mystery but becomes very atmospheric in places if you do.  I like the more 'affluent area' lots and while yes, the starter house is a basic copy from a Base Game starter and the largest mansion is quite light on interiors...meh, people have low end computers and the devs have to make sure the game will run for the set basic requirements. That's not really an issue with this pack, that's an issue about The Sims 4 engine in general and yes, it's making an impact and especially as the number of packs we have increase but that's another discussion for another thread. Many simmers jumped up and down in the early days of The Sims 4 and were called many unsavory names for their words of wisdom, lets just say 'they were right'.

Despite this, I like this pack a lot. I like the build mode items, the new windows and doors and the new swatches are really lovely. The new dreads hair is killer! I really wish the devs had been this good at making hair when TS4 launched. And despite other simmers thinking that the game doesn't have much replayability I'm going to disagree. I think this pack actually has more replayability than many of the others. This could be due to my play style but for me I can't stand replaying through the temples of the Jungle Adventure pack whereas replaying through this Mystery Narrative is something I can see myself doing easily. I'm playing as a teen sim right now, I still have to play through as a Young Adult in the Military Career and then again as perhaps a paranoid conspiracist and so on. Not all back to back, but definitely over the months ahead.

One criticism is that my game spawned a lot of female NPC's into my new world which really annoyed me. Every Scientist and Military sim was a female. A quick trip into Manage Worlds with cas.fulleditmode on sorted this but as you know, making over a handful of sims can take an hour or so. I'm glad I took the time to set up the NPC's to exactly as I wanted them as having your world 'right' is important for immersion. The immersion for the Mystery was quite high probably due to the fact my sim stayed in StrangerVille the entire play through and didn't go through any major loading screens. Such a nice change. The loading screens break my immersion every time and I still haven't got used to them even after over 6000 hours and over 4 yrs of TS4 and somehow going through a loading screen to another part of the same world isn't as jarring as going through one to a new world. (Don't ask..*shrug*)

So overall a win for me. This one, in my opinion, is worth a look.
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Online MarianT

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 11:15:12 AM »
I think the best part of the pack is the infected townspeople. Trying to talk to one is always good for a laugh. If you enjoyed the rollout of Strangerville, then you will probably enjoy the pack.

The military career is good so far, possibly rather easy if your Sim has any fitness skill. I like it because it gives me an opportunity to throw several of my YA Sims into a household together.

I think the mystery might be replayable. After all, I've maxed most of the careers and aspirations and I still replay those all the time. I look at it as another aspiration.

The town is lovely. The library does have that small-town feel, and the curio shop, with the cow plant skeleton, is great. It reminds me of a shop in the middle of Nevada, on the Loneliest Highway in America, that advertised stones and bones for sale.

I'm not upset about the empty houses because I prefer them unfurnished anyway. But I do wish they'd included the prickly pear and Joshua trees in the build catalog. I'm wondering if they couldn't allow any of the plants from Strangerville to grow elsewhere because of the bizarre fruits?

In short, I'm looking forward to more.
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Offline Nindigo

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 04:13:58 PM »
Warning: Negativity ahead!

I'm not impressed so far. The first thing I encounter after having my Sim join the new military career is a bug. The game won't register that my Sim has done their home task. More than once when I try to have my Sim talk to a towns-person (military personnel specifically) said person cancels the conversation and leaves before it even begins. The exaggerated animations of the infected people is just too much. I smiled a couple of times at first, then it got old. The martial arts animations are identical to those of Sims 3 and lack any background story whatsoever as to why it is a thing within the StrangerVille military. At least in Sims 3, it's a deeply rooted cultural thing like in real life. The things in buy mode and CAS are just more of the same of what there already is. At least that is how I see it. I'm very sorry, but I find that this pack has nothing for me. I don't even feel like continuing the story or exploring, which I can't remember has ever happened to me before with Sims 4.
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Offline MystiKitty

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 04:23:47 PM »
Oh my gosh, I can't believe they went this way with The Sims 4! Here I was, getting bored with the Sims 4, thinking I was just going to have a male Sim impregnate 100 women for fun (yes, I have a Family Man challenge going on, I've already Tried for Baby with 27 women so far and he's also become an actor so I could try out the Get Famous content, but that makeup guy is the worst, he always messes up the hair and makeup), and holycow, they bring THIS out. I think this might be one of my favorite expansions (it must be an expansion as it has a new town) ever, since I am a big fan of mysterious conspiracies and I have a secret shameful love for alien conspiracies.  ;D 8)

Might have to start a new game with a female Sim to do this content, since I love reading stories about female characters (and their cats) solving murder mysteries. ;)



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Offline Playalot

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2019, 05:11:39 PM »
@MystiKitty  just for clarity StrangerVille is a Game Pack.  :)
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Offline Ynde

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2019, 09:52:16 AM »
I'm enjoying Strangerville so far. There will definitely be a limit to the replayability of the story, but I've only been through once so far and still need to explore the new trait and career. I like the build/buy items, love the fact there's *finally* a laptop, and think the town looks great. I rarely do much with the pre-made townies or their houses, so I can't speak to how well those things are done.

I do think, from my playthrough, that the story is a little too easy and nowhere near dangerous enough, but that fits the way the entire game works. I see potential for multiple "endings" to the story, but haven't seen anything so far to confirm that this is actually the case.

My biggest complaint is that, having "finished" the story, I immediately lost all interest in playing that save, taking the trait for completing the new aspiration from lackluster to useless. I'm sure not everyone would feel that way, but that was me.

Not letting the weirdness spread outside Strangerville was a good decision. Even better, I think, would have been letting the player set a toggle for whether or not the effects would begin to spread to other areas. That would have made for some very interesting and entertaining games.

Anyway, I like it, I'm looking forward to playing with it some more, and at the price of a Game Pack, I'm pretty sure I'll get my money's worth even if I rarely or never use the world again after the first couple weeks.

Offline Jase~

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2019, 09:13:45 AM »
I've enjoyed the StrangerVille GP way more than I originally thought I would.  I've missed some of the humor and general weirdness from TS2 and in my opinion I feel that this GP certainly brings some of that back. I just solved the mystery for the first time and found it pretty fun. So, now I've got my mystery solver starting a family and running a restaurant there.  :)

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Offline Dreamweaver

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 11:22:32 AM »
I also would have to give it a C.

Pros:
I love the town.
Military Career is fun.
The clothes match up well with things from other packs (Laundry Day)
Story was quirky and fun the first time.

Cons:
I don't see myself playing the story again.
Town feels empty. Lots of unused space.
No disguised aliens in a conspiracy based town?

Offline reggikko

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2019, 05:50:56 PM »
I had a disguised alien show up at the bar. It wasn’t alien night, so there was just the one.

Offline Playalot

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 05:15:01 PM »
Re: the alien comments. I can see why you might expect aliens in a pack like this, however aliens came with Get To Work and certainly could not and should not have been recycled and then sold to us as 'new' content in a new Game Pack. (Goodness knows there is enough of that going on in TS4 as it is!) Instead the antagonist is a different species of being. In my view conspiracies like this do circle around an alien-being, which this pack does.

Also to clarify a question I keep getting, the weirdness will not spread to other towns and once you have completed the story you can revive the antagonist and then set the weirdness levels again or leave them off and play in StrangerVille just as you do in other worlds.

Carl has placed links to all 4 'Acts' of the Mystery but be warned, if you are reading this and have not completed the story then the guides do contain massive spoilers: http://www.carls-sims-4-guide.com/  However the final Act, Act 4 is useful for those of you who are finding the ending difficult. (No spoilers on that link, it merely takes you to the page with the direct StrangerVille links).
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Offline Rainbow Dash

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2019, 08:42:36 AM »
WARNING: This is kinda ranty and spoilery (But really, why are you here if you don't want spoilers?  :P )


Finally got around to playing this pack, you'd think with me being a fan of weird, kooky and creepy things that I'd love this pack, I don't, I hate it. I tried to like it but there are just so many things wrong with it.  :-\

First the storyline is so badly written and horribly cliche, as soon as I saw those strange plants I knew exactly where the plot was going, it's hardly original, there was nothing intriguing or mysterious about it at all. The tasks you have to do are boring and repetitive,' talk to Sims, go to the lab, talk to more Sims, make vaccines, talk to Sims again, go back to the lab' .... arrgghhh! !! Sims are awfully forthcoming with information which is weird for the big cover up that is supposedly going on and those Sims in Black that are meant to get in your way if you get too nosy? They did absolutely nothing! It would have been cool if my Sim had infiltrate their secret headquarters or fight them or something but no .... they just stand around looking mysterious. *Sigh*  ::)

The world is just .... boring, only two community lots, not even interesting ones, just a bar and library, something like a creepy abandoned quarantined house to explore would have been exciting but that's just my thoughts.

I'm not a builder but I dislike the ugly, empty base game houses, one was actually a carbon copy of a starter house in Willow Creek, just copied and pasted into Strangerville. The plane wreck house has a kitchen that doesn't even work properly, I feel sorry for the poor guy who lives there.

My main issue is that if you choose the Strangerville aspiration it forces you down a mundane and linear storyline with only ONE outcome which makes ever replaying it again utterly pointless. Having a different ending depending on what choices you made would have made it at least a little more replayable and having the Sims you chose to fight with you have different abilities would have been nice too, to have a different team and experience every fight. But nope, it's the same old song and dance every time.

Anyway, I went off on a bit of a tanget/rant there, my apologies, I just wanted to give my thoughts on how this could have been so much better. My point is, this game pack should have been more sandbox with rpg elements sprinkled throughout it instead of shoved down our throats. Sims 4 is ultimately and should be a sandbox game not an rpg. This would have been much better better executed as a stand alone spin off game.

I will go as far to say that I did like the Military career, the medals and display case are a nice touch, I do love the sparring machine, I just wish we had a sparring or martial arts skills to go with it. So there were a few things I did like about this game pack but not enough to make me want to go back to it.

Offline Deklitch

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2019, 12:06:10 AM »
I did buy it because I like Stranger Things and I'm all ready to watch Stranger Things Season 3 when it comes out next Thursday here.

I put a sim down in it and when the sims came in with their heads at weird angles I freaked out majorly and quit the world ... lol

Offline deedee_828

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Re: StrangerVille - First Impressions
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 07:06:53 PM »
I waited a bit to actually get the pack and finally gave in when it was part of the recent Black Friday sale. I can't resist a mystery! I have been waiting for years for the new ND mystery to come out and wanted to see how a Sims 4 mystery would compare. It was way easier than the ND games I've played in the past, especially with the aspiration showing you exactly what to do, but it was cute and funny, and I didn't get so stuck I needed to find a walkthrough. I've always liked the quirkier side of Sims games, so I'm glad they brought some of that back in Strangerville. I didn't have my sim join the new military career as I used an existing one that was at level 5 in medical. I did move her to Strangerville though to get the actual creepy/silly vibe of the town. I moved her into the tiny 'trailer' lot, but enlarged it just a bit. Even with just playing the mystery after work and on her days off, I was able to complete it in a short time. And she got a promotion at work and kept up with her best friend enough to ask him to become her boyfriend! So it was fun, doable, and not frustrating, even with all the emotions (the thing I dislike the most in Sims 4). Since the sale was going on, I also got Seasons and the Magic game pack, but had purchased the Vampire game pack during a previous sale for my daughter. Imagine my surprise the second night in Strangerville when a vampire shows up, walks into her house, wakes her up and drinks from her! Luckily, he didn't transform her, but I was shocked to say the least. The very next time I loaded my game, one of the tips was to lock your doors to keep out unwanted guests. A little late for my drained Sim, but I found that funny too. Overall, I really enjoyed the mystery, and I'll probably check it out again with a Sim in the military career just to check out the difference. Probably a male that may find a love interest in one of the poor possessed town's people. He'll have to save the town to save his love! I like corny. :)