Author Topic: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu  (Read 827 times)

Online scoed

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First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« on: September 08, 2020, 02:45:28 PM »
OK, normally a game pack would have an official thread started by a mod. This time there isn't one so I will start one.

My first impression isn't a good one. I would skip this pack if one of these things are not true:

- You are a rabid Star Wars, The Sims, or Disney theme park game and must have everything you can get your hands on.

- You see a build/buy or CAS item(s) you must have and are willing to throw $20 at.

Why?

Well the world is well build but not livable. So outside of a Star Wars vacation, it isn't usable. On top of that game play is limited to well Star Wars.

Items in regular play aren't transferrable. In fact caster, alien, and vamp powers DO NOT WORK. In fact VAMPIRES CAN NOT FEED! I am not sure about Merfolk but I imagine they are needed too.  This means no cross pack play at all. As far as I can tell the only thing that goes home with you is the light sabers and droids. The light sabers are only good to raise fitness as far as I can tell, and the droids as much like the earbuds that you can talk to. Nothing besides these things are skill gains are useful when you go home. Nothing.

The only real game play is missions. They are very repetitive. Most things are just a shell. You have to often go threw a ton of loading screens to complete many of them. Yes they load fast but there are tons of them. Other then dancing/gambling/drinking at the cantena there is nothing else to do outside of missions.

So here is the positives of the pack

-tons of CAS and build/buy assets.

-gorgeous world.

Now for the negative

- Absolutely no cross pack and minimal base game play.

- Game play mostly limited to repetitive missions that have next to no impact on anything off of Batuu.

-CAS and build/buy is well out of place in most builds.

-Game play is not of much use off of Batuu but also repetitive.

Overall I regret buying it. In my opinion worse pack ever. Letter grade I give it is a "D-". Way to self contained and repetitive. Sorry to be so negative, but my opinion is my opinion. I would not buy if I could get a do over.

Mods please move my post to the Batuu board when started. Thanks.

Offline Brian_Z

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2020, 03:30:11 PM »
For my part, I like the missions.  And I like that it would take a lot of play to get all the way to the top of any one faction, there will be something to do when I come back next time.
What I don't like:  Sooooo much use of rabbit hole mechanics.  Even your living quarters!  They couldn't give you a normal room to use?  There was just a handful of spells I could use, the only actually useful one being Delicioso.  I'm not used to waiting for my caster to walk everywhere. 
And finally, I can't see how I would use any of this anywhere else in the game, it's all much too stylized. 



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Offline Spiderkeys

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2020, 02:03:41 AM »
This wasn't near as bad as I expected.

I was surprised it's free to go, you may stay as long as you like and it won't cost you a single simoleon.

This should of been Based on Star Wars not actually Stars Wars because it feels much more like TS4 than Star Wars, and everytime I hear the tune play during loading screen it's quite embarrassing.

And Yes you cannot take your inventory with you, but it doesn't stop you completing your Aspiration goals.

Very Surprised, Storm Troopers carry guns. I mean EA/Maxis gave us guns on a family oriented pack?

Anyway it might be a stupid pack idea, but it is embarrassing entertaining, and I like it because it makes an interesting alternative to the Forest or Jungle, and good choice if you low on cash and just want a free vacation.

Offline MarianT

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2020, 12:10:23 PM »
I would recommend this pack only if you have a great desire to visit Disney's Galaxy's Edge and can't. I'm a fan of Star Wars but haven't seen the last 5 movies, so someone who loves the most recent Star Wars might like this, too.

The scenery is nice, but more evocative of a theme park than of a different planet. This is not the fault of the developers -- they were undoubtedly told to copy the park.

I like the clothing and hair. I am actually glad that only Batuu clothing is allowed, as I don't think tourist clothing would add anything. There is a mod available, though, if you want your Sim to go dressed as Darth Vader.

I've discovered that teens can go there without adults; I don't know yet whether it's okay for them to miss school, or whether they'll have to take vacation days. Teens can choose the Star Wars missions. Children (and possibly toddlers) can go with teens and above. Children will be dressed in Batuu clothing when they arrive.

One good thing about the gameplay -- your Sim can get caught. I had my Sim survey a supply crate right under the nose of a First Order officer. She had to stop and had a tense moodlet because she'd been given a warning. I don't know whether the warning is the worst that can happen. On the other hand, she was able to take pictures in the rebel camp without any objections, so security there is lax. It's possible that only mission activities trigger a reaction.

I'm not much of a builder, so won't go into Build/Buy mode. It might be possible to turn Strangerville or Oasis Springs into something resembling Tattooine if you to integrate this pack into your game.

I still haven't checked to see whether there are different skin colors for the alien heads so that they can be used on aliens currently in the game; my guess is not.

The Sabacc game is a disappointment -- money changes hands while your Sim plays, but otherwise it's like the plain card game.

The music in the cantina is okay.

There is only one bathroom in the entire world, so either give your Sim the Steel Bladder reward or use the build cheat before going there.

On the whole, I think much of the anger is justified. I don't blame the devs -- what they were told to do they did beautifully. But the higher-ups at EA should not have agreed to Disney's iron-fisted control of the pack.

Offline Aelirenn

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2020, 03:54:17 PM »
Using the free build cheat, I made myself an apartment in the resistance underground base.  You can pay your bills from there so there is no reason to ever return to the "real" world unless you just want to.  I do have plans to make one entire save be star wars related with the various sims worlds standing in for star wars planets.  I probably won't do Star Wars in any other save, except for costumes and the hair of course.  I'm enjoying it so far, but I wish the missions were more involved for us as the player.  As it is the sims, I shouldn't expect that though.  At least there is more to do than Strangerville's single quest line that lasts a few hours at most.  I love the hair, the outfits, and some of the build/buy stuff.  My Zabrak sim hasn't returned home to Naboo (Willow Creek) since going to Batuu.  I also have a Chiss sim who is currently stationed on Korriban (Strangerville) getting some training in using her lightsaber.  Since the game doesn't recognize Chiss as an alien, she's having no problems working with the First Order.  My Chiss can use the apartment as well because she can just teleport into it.  Nobody else ever goes in there so they don't seem to know they have a spy in their base.  The lot for the First Order isn't as big so I don't know if I can fit an apartment there, maybe underground.  Oh and my scoundrel/resistance zabrak has a little purple BB droid named Bob.  Right now I'm trying to figure out how to cheat at sabacc because the option isn't coming up.  Nevermind, the option finally came up. lol

Likes: 
It's Star Wars
Hair - not many styles, but the few we got are really nice
Outfits - Beautiful Star Wars outfits
Lightsabers and animations
Being able to play various Star Wars species by hats.
Batuu is beautiful.
I get to fly X-wings, Ties, and the Millenium Falcon
Lots of missions instead of a single quest line like Strangerville

Dislikes:
I don't feel very involved in the missions my sim is working on.
The only bathroom appears to be in the scoundrel district (dwelling) unless you cheat like I did and make an apartment.
Not enough hairs.
Not enough different outfits because I want them all. 
No double bladed lightsabers. :(
Not being able to officially live in the outpost without using a cheat.
Flying the ships is great, but it's a choose your adventure game so you don't see anything other than take off and landing, with adventure cards in between.
No pazaak
No swoop races, which I didn't actually expect anyway.
Star Wars species are hats that don't come with you to Batuu, and I couldn't fix that once at Batuu, the options weren't there.
There doesn't seem to be any real consequences other than being "escorted out" of an area if you make them mad.

I seem to have more negatives than positives, but the negatives are all things that I can live with while enjoying the positives.  As far as the species hats go, I just put head wraps on my zabrak so the horns aren't obviously missing. 

Offline Sindocat

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2020, 03:30:58 AM »
I didn't expect to get a lot out of this pack, to be honest, even though I have been a Star Wars fan since the original film hit theaters in 1977.  I was looking forward to planting a few moisture vaporators around Oasis Springs just for funsies, maybe. That's about it. 

Ordinarily, I give new packs a good six weeks for hype to settle and patches to be released before I jump in. In this case, it was the vocal negativity, bordering on hostility, of alleged Sims "fans" that drove me to purchase it - that, and seeing things that did interest me, in the gameplay trailer.

Personally, I can't imagine ever wanting to play the game from the First Order perspective. I have villainous Sims, but their brand of antisocial behavior is more than adequately met by including Scoundrels as a neutral third faction. Truth be told, I usually play from the standpoint of the underworld, in Star Wars settings - I love that aspect of the franchise, and will generally go all in for smuggling, gambling, heists, highjinks and, you know, "Hutt stuff". ;)

So when I took Lane Benton, my skilled, wealthy, established but non-occult singleton Sim to Batuu, I headed straight to the Cantina... or actually, not. Following a tip on the load screen, I searched out "The Dwelling" to customise his Batuu costume, from among the limited selection of clothing not gated by reputation, already eyeing headgear that called for a high rank in the Resistance - I knew then (though, my sympathies lying where they do, I had already suspected) that I'd be following up on my Scoundrel exploration by supporting the Good Guys.

Lane has a kind of Kanan Jarrus hairdo going on, that translates fine to Black Spire Outpost, and I actually like the clothes fairly well. For other outfits, I embraced both the historic camp of Star Wars hair styles and The Sims 4's freedom to bend gender to give him a couple of "space buns" on top of his head, but this is his basic look, along with his R5-series astromech droid (no one is suspicious when an R5 malfunctions - that bad motivator problem is well known).




The mix or match droid building options while limited do offer a fair range of choice, whether one wants to faithfully reproduce R2-D2, R5-D4, or BB-8, or make an anonymous beater like Lane's helper, here.  What is a tad disappointing is the absence of C-series astromechs - I'd have really preferred to pay tribute to the crusty but loyal old bucket of bolts, C1-10P, aka Chopper, from Star Wars: Rebels. As an aside, I'd have preferred the Devoronian pirate, Vizago, as my Scoundrel contact to Hondo Ohnaka, whom I don't especially like.

Nor is he particularly easy to speak with. He is easy to find, in Oga's Cantina, the central hub for the Black Spire Outpost and the Scoundrel faction. But as atmospheric as the cantina undoubtedly is, the faithfulness of its design to the cantina in Disney's "Galaxy's Edge" theme park neighborhood is an uneasy mix for Sims 4 routing. Lane was frequently behind the bar, his faithful R5 droid trundling behind him, whenever he had occasion to speak to anyone seated to enjoy a drink.

Also, one lot per neighborhood aside, Batuu is awfully "rabbit-hole"-y. Oga's Cantina is Black Spire Outpost's sole interior. Most of Batuu is elaborate but non-interactive set-pieces, and the major structure of the cantina is itself a shell building, with limited amenities. The absence of beds, bathroom fixtures, counters, kitchen appliances and other Sims mainstays on Batuu means that the pack's Build/Buy menu has some unfortunate gaps in its offerings.

One's dining selections are limited to food vendors (three, in Black Spire Outpost) and the cantina bar. The upside is that once having eaten these Outer Rim delicacies, your Sim will be able to prepare them at home. The food and drink selection faithfully follows the comestibles offered to visitors to Galaxy's Edge, which frankly feels a bit gimmicky.  This pack has a bad case of split identity, and cannot seem to decide whether it is a Star Wars adventure pack, or an advertisement for Disney's theme park attractions.

Hygiene, Bladder and Energy motives are all addressed by visiting the (rabbit-hole) "Dwelling", which is away in a corner and nearly cost Lane a bladder accident  the first time I had to find it again after his initial visit. This location is sufficiently inconvenient that I resorted to routinely cheating needs, so as not to spend the moeity of my vacation time simply walking to where I could get food, or sleep, or get cleaned up, between undertaking missions and having the kind of adventures that Lane was, presumably, there to have.

And here we come to the real heart of the pack, as far as gameplay goes, and where in my opinion all the small disappointments are forgiven.  Because I actually really, really enjoy the missions supporting the various factions. These are reminiscent of quests and daily responsibilities in The Sims Medieval, save that they are entirely elective. The number of missions available from each faction increases, as one earns a reputation within that faction, and many are repeatable although they can be played out along different choice paths. 

The heart of the game, however, seems to be a chain of missions, one per faction, that string together to tell a coherent story arc. These are the most rigorously gated by reputation, sensibly enough - these folks aren't just going to let a stranger be privy to their schemes. I am only just part  way through the Resistance story, and refuse to touch the First Order other than as antagonists. But the Scoundrel story goes where I want it to, 
Spoiler (click to show/hide)
in a way that was perhaps a bit superficial, but hit enough of the right notes for me to be satisfied.

I may have a leg up on satisfaction, however, insofar as Scoundrel is in fact my preferred role. While naturally, one can acquire and customize a lightsaber, and practice against a remote, and even spar with other Sims, otherwise there is no real path to exploring Force-powers. In fact, inventory limitations mean that one cannot even bring along one's own yoga mat or meditation stool so that one cannot (short of build/buy cheats) even use Wellness skill to feign Force development. Three separate starships - one per faction, naturally - do offer some rabbit-hole away missions, delivered by illustrated pop-up cards with some prompt to choose one's path. But if you were hoping to free fly in space, or master the mysteries of the Force, this pack will disappoint.

All in all, I'd grade Journey to Batuu a solid 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was worth the $20 price tag, to me. But do know what you are and are not getting before you decide to buy, and decide if it sounds worth it to you.
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Online Nindigo

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2020, 04:25:59 AM »
That is a really nice review, @Sindocat :) The "Hutt stuff" part made me smile. I think you could be fun to play with in an actual Star Wars game, as I share your view on many things.
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Offline Spiderkeys

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2020, 01:13:07 PM »
The more I've played it the more liked it, my only complaint is the amount of rabbit holes, other than Pub, where the DJ robot is done very well, your practically outdoors the entire time. Also my friends I invite along don't take care of their needs.

Online scoed

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2020, 02:21:51 PM »
I am glad people are enjoying this pack. I am very happy to see that the pack has its fans even if it turned out not for me. Reading others first impressions is making me want to give it a second go. I just wish it was better integrated into the rest of the game without over running it. Better isolated than everywhere on this case.

Offline Franki

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Re: First impressions of The Sims 4: Star Wars Journey to Batuu
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2020, 02:27:57 AM »
So I caved and bought this pack and another pack the other day...

I don't mind the star wars pack but can't see myself using it long term, at least not doing the missions side of things long term, they just annoy me too much. like others I like the world environment etc, but I also feel like there is a good mix of outfits etc with room for more

To drill it down to the basics..

Likes:
Outfits
World
Hair
wall art etc

Dislikes:
The Missions - feels like eco life all over again but without messing things up so much
The lack of feeling like you are apart of the world - being talked at rather than talked too..
More that I can't currently think of... will add to in a bit..

I went in expecting something a little more like Jungle Adventure mixed with Brindleton Bay, but found that is was a bit more like Eco Life mashed with Jungle Adventure and didn't quite work as intended.. for what I paid ($30AUD), I guess this is one of those games that someone high up the ranks thought was an exceptional idea but in reality was half baked. It's an okay pack just expected more.
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