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Nate’s Nostalgia: The Sims 2 Aspiration Failures

With Sims 4 we saw the return of aspirations, which, back in Sims 2, were one of the most important aspects in determining how a sim would live. Unlike in Sims 2, however, Sims 4 aspirations don’t have any negative effects on a sim. In The Sims 2, our sims didn’t have traits, so all of their wants and fears were decided based on their aspiration.

The most interesting part of aspirations were the fears, something that has yet to return to any Sims game since. They’ve continued with the wants (renamed wishes in Sims 3 and whims in Sims 4) but they’ve forgone the inclusion of anything negative. Sure, our sims can get embarrassed now and want to hide in a closet, but they’re over it quickly and it doesn’t affect them long-term. In Sims 2, if a sim’s fear came true, such as receiving a failing grade in college, then their aspiration meter would drop and they’d feel it for quite some time. If it dropped too low, then they experienced something called aspiration desperation, which looked like this:

Grow Up

This aspiration was for children only until they aged up to a teenager and choose an adult aspiration. Their aspiration failure is also the mildest of the bunch with them simply throwing temper tantrums. Once the cameras were off, this sim immediately ran outside and stomped some flowerbeds.

tantrum

Family

These sims aspired not only to have a large family full of children and grandchildren, but they wanted to see the later generations excel on top of it. If they felt they weren’t producing a proper legacy, they brushed up on their child-rearing abilities like this:

family

Fortune

There was only ever one thing on these sims minds, money. Lots and lots of it. It didn’t matter how they were making it, just as long as they were. They spent their whole lives keeping up with the Landgraab’s. If their wallet was feeling a little light, they turned to whatever means necessary for some cash.

fortune

Knowledge

They had to consistently prove they were the smartest in the room. If they weren’t you can bet they ran home and shoved their nose in a new book until they were. Even in the dullest of times, they’re known for reaching out to even the most eccentric of teachers.

knowledge

Popularity

Some people believe it’s better to have a few really strong friendships than it is a bunch of decent friends. Not these sims. They wanted as many sims as possible. Always looking for someone new to chat up. Even if there wasn’t anyone around to talk to, they knew they could always rely on one friend in particular.

popularity

Romance

No, not hopeless romantics. These sims aren’t looking to settle down any time soon. They actually fear it. Don’t even think about talking to these sims about marriage or children. If one of these sims does end up settling down, they tend to get a little stir crazy being with the same person.

romance

Grilled Cheese

*Sims 2 Nightlife
Grilled cheese. Grilled cheese. Grilled cheese. That’s all they want. All the time. Make grilled cheese. Eat grilled cheese. PAINT a grilled cheese. As if that doesn’t sound like madness in itself, here’s what one looks like after going two seconds without thinking of a grilled cheese. Just let them taste the gooey, cheesy goodness already!

cheese

Pleasure

Free-spirited and ready to party it up. If they aren’t having fun, they’re not living properly. Jobs are for the squares, just take them out dancing and they’ll be happy. They can totally raise their family from DJing tips. And if not, who cares, they’re having fun. What’s that? The kids are hungry? You expect them to get a “real” job. Sure, as long as you’re ready for this when they get bored.

pleasure

If their aspiration wasn’t kept in check, and it continued to drop, then they went so far as to experience something called aspiration failure. He seems pretty happy down there to me…

mega

At this point a sim has hit rock bottom. And as they say, there’s no where to go but up. Thankfully for them, the shrink will make a very personal house call to put them on the path to happiness with the power of hypnotherapy. Let’s hear it for the joys of alternative medicine.

fail

The fears and subsequent aspiration failure were my favorite parts of Sims 2, and I’ve always wondered why they’ve never added anything like it in future Sims games. What do you think their reasoning is for this? Do you feel Sims 4 needs a proper way to feel like a sim is blundering through life? Or do you prefer how it is where every sim seems truly successful from birth to death?

About the author

Nate Alexander

I'm an aspiring indie screenwriter that can't stop simming long enough to be productive. Aside from sims, my hobbies include writing, eating, sleeping, not exercising, and loving turtles.

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