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When games designers first pitched the idea of The Sims to Electronic Arts, the publishing mega-monster famously doubted that the idea was viable. The go ahead was eventually given though, and the svengalis in Redwood Towers have been bathing in the resulting lucre ever since, as the game and its many spin-offs became the biggest selling videogame of all time. With the market for the title proven, EA had no doubt about whether making the sequel was a good idea. The natural progression was to take the game online, which it did with much success, though the stick-in-the-muds with low powered PCs that enjoyed the first games complained they couldn't run the more demanding sequel. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and just like its predecessor, the game is now expanding to the console market, with The Sims 2 rolling out across every current console. Good news for control freaks - you have the power to change every aspect of the world your little dolls live in, from building their houses, to determining the courses their lives run. Choose what food they eat, what styles of clothes they wear. Help them make friends, and shelter them from their enemies. You can plan your Sims' social lives and careers, or simply sit back and see what happens, though the results may not always be good! As for new features, you don't just get to concoct the recipes for the food your Sims eat and choose the objects that fill their house. This is a console game, so you have console-style control too, giving you the ability to control every move the hapless creatures make. They're cleverer this time around, and a `memory' feature means that Sims won't forget favours that others have done for them. On the other hand, they won't easily leave a slight in the past either. There's also a two player split screen mode, so when you've got a friend around there's no longer any reason for them to feel left out. Though it shares a name with the PC game, The Sims 2 has been taken in a fresh new direction on consoles, thereby offering a fresh experience to players.