AznSensei here reviewing the recent addition to The Sims 3 Store: Monte Vista.
As a gift for reading this review, please enjoy the collection folder I also created found here.
This is a world that utilizes loads of content, including a brand new Premium Content item: The Pizza Oven. This world is inspired by places in Italy mostly, and finally adds something new and foreign compared to other worlds. This review is pretty in-depth and will probably consist of four sections, all in one review:
Part 1: The World and Lots
Part 2: Premium Content
Part 3: The Public Pizzeria
Part 4: Return of the Montys and other Sims
Part 5: CAS and Build/Buy
Part 6: Overall Review
Before I begin, please take note that the world is ONLY exclusive as a Simpoint Bundle and in Retailer Stores on January 8th, 2013. Reasons are due to law restrictions, but as EA cannot disclose them, it's whatever...
Anyways, the price of this world is $20 USD for Monte Vista + 100 Simpoints or $35 USD for Monte Vista + 1900 Simpoints. Honestly, it's a pretty good deal in both bundles, especially the $35 bundle when you consider that normally worlds cost 2450 Simpoints, approximately $25 USD. Even though the extra simpoints are there, by treating it as a $1:100 Simpoint ratio, you're paying pretty much approximately 1900 Simpoints with the $20 bundle and 1600 Simpoints with the $35 Bundle, not a bad deal to be honest.
I hope you guys enjoy this review, I'm sure you guys will definitely enjoy the information and critique of this brand new world!
Part One: The World
Monte Vista has brought in new elements to The Sims 3 Store by basing it on an actual country, Italy. While it may have some influences of France or Spain, it is mostly centered around places like Rome. This world has been designed beautifully, especially in cooperation with the weather in Seasons and brand new rabbithole designs for some of the rabbitholes. Unfortunately, a couple of the others are just recolors.
One of my personal favorite parts of the world is this little area by the Hospital/Science Facility. While it may be small, it for some odd reason attracted my attention and I seem to always want to send my sims there for pictures.
One thing to note is that most of the world is focused on a giant hill, which has walls encompassing the town area. Straying away from the city, you see homes space out and see a beautiful countryside, fit for the vineyards and nectaries introduced in World Adventures. While it may be beautifully designed as a world, there are definite pros and cons to it.
- The World has brand new terrain textures and architecture
- Brand new rabbitholes that make this world unique
- Includes a Police HQ/Military Rabbithole never before introduced in The Sims 3 franchise
- Gorgeous world in the winter and fall
- Many of the lots are perfect to adjust with Seasons and other Expansion Packs
- Comes with 20 empty lots!
- Homes are well designed
- Lots of creative concept for players with the Pizzeria "hangout" (not new venue)
- 4 designated lots for the 30x20 Community lots of Ambitions. (The Salon and Fire Station fit in well where the Spa and Hospital are. See picture later on in the blog).
- Horses actually have capabilities of roaming around this world, even though there are places too small for them.
- The world is on a hill, which has potential for lags or routing errors to occur. (I have yet to figure out why I have lagged in the world so far)
- The sidewalks in the downtown area do not match up, which do look weird
- Some of the lots do not align to the roads, especially near the school area.
- NONE of the parks are good to hold festival lots as they do seem pretty small.
- The beaches are very lackluster and some of the homes are too spacious and should probably be adjusted.
- Store content is never really taken into consideration in terms of Expansion Pack compatibility, but so far I have enjoyed it with all the EP's I have.
- Not an Adventure World
With those in mind, it's really up to you guys to decide for yourself if this world is good for you or not. Personally, I enjoyed this world as much as I could these past few weeks and enjoyed making as many adjustments to it. While it may have its own flaws, there is much more to explore in this world and enjoy regardless of those flows (which hopefully isn't computer-breaking *crosses fingers*).
While I am very excited for this world, it is a shame that it isn't a designated Adventure World like China, Egypt, and France, but that's what you get when it comes to the Store: Watered-down goods. Anyways, I am thankful for mods that allow you to travel to other places so this will make a wonderful destination in my future gameplay.
The two 30x20 empty community lots are very good for the Ambitions lots: The salon and fire station. Below I added both of them and redesigned them to function and fit well in Monte Vista, and I'm pretty impressed.
Unfortunately, the amount of furniture in this world does restrict my building capabilities of an Italian-inspired home. However, with the store sets like the Mediterranean Style and Provence Sets, I'm sure it would be feasible. Anyways, below are some wonderful screenshots of Monte Vista in different environments and I hope you guys enjoy!
Part Two: Premium Content: The Wood Fire Pizza Oven
Introduced for the first time in The Sims 3 is the new premium content known as the Wood Fire Pizza Oven. This lovely new cooking appliance introduces brand new gameplay, along with 12 new recipes for any culinary sim. Unfortunately, in order to get this premium content, one must purchase the Monte Vista world itself as this is tied to the world. However, players who invested into Monte Vista will enjoy this new premium content that is a sure must-have if your a simmer who loves sims who can cook.
The Wood Fire Oven has a total of 12 recipes, they include the following:
- Cheesy Bread (Level 1 Cooking)
- Country Bread (Level 1 Cooking)
- Forever Alone Calzone (Level 1 Cooking)
- Breakfast Calzone (Level 1 Cooking)
- Wood Fired Lasagna (Level 1 Cooking)
- Extra Cheesy Pizza (Level 1 Cooking)
- Pepperoni Pizza (Level 1 Cooking)
- Garlic Bread (Level 2 Cooking)
- Herbivore Delight Lasagna (Level 3 Cooking)
- Lasagna Sopressa (Level 3 Cooking)
- Meat Mania Calzone (Level 5 Cooking)
- Combination Pizza Margherita (Level 7 Cooking)
Also, there are multiple moodlets with the WoodFire Oven:
- Calzone Carnivore
- Freshly Baked
- Garlic Allergy
- Mamma Mia
- Ummm Meaty
While it includes many new recipes, the animations are just cooking and I have yet to experience any failures yet. Once I find a fail animation, I will definitely post it! The Pizza Oven can be used in both Residential AND Community lots along with being used by teens to elders. It is a nice new item to have for "staged" restaurants (kind of hope we get an Open Restaurant EP or something) and good for local hangouts. Like all other cooking items (which is severely lacking) this is a must have to add to your collection!
Part Three: The Public Pizzeria
Introduced, utilizing the Wood Fire Oven, is a "staged" venue (Note: not an actual venue) called the Public Pizzeria.
This three floor community lot is found in the middle of town and is used to incorporate the Pizza Oven for community lots for simmers to go and hang out. When sims visit this lot, most of the time they may autonomously cook pizza and other foods for other visiting sims. Sadly, as it is store content, there is NO NPC designated to this lot, so I hope players do not expect a fully functional pizza restaurant.
Anyways, with the three floors along with the use of the multiple build/buy objects offered with this world, this Pizzeria is a wonderful spot to experiment to any builder's content. One could designate the upper floors as living quarters, or a private club, or even a romantic getaway (*cringes*) but the ideas could extend to whatever. I am surely happy that the Store Team has created such a lot for players to get their creative juices flowing!
While there isn't much to explore, I hope players will get to customize this lot and I would love to see some creations shared in The Sims 3 forums.
Part Four: Return of the Montys and other sims
What's brand new and exciting to this world for all of you story-telling simmers out there is that included in this world is the returning family of Veronaville: The Montys.
While split into two households, the Montys lived here way before they moved to Veronaville and meeting the Capps, way before their quarrels and into their peaceful times. The timeline goes way back to the ghost of Valentine Monty, to baby Antonio (and hopefully a newborn Claudio Monty). This family was one of my personal favorites in Veronaville and I am glad to see them in this world. Below are some screenshots of their homes:
Silvia and Valentino:
Both of their homes have been pretty decently architecturally designed and a bit of spruce up is definitely needed! These homes fit so well and perfectly describe the traits and personalities of each of the Montys and I think the Store Team might have put a little effort into it, but not too much of course.
Another returning is the GilsCarbo family! Another favorite of many simmers. The GilsCarbo story starts off with the married Eduardo and Carlotta Gilscarbo, along with baby Goopy GilsCarbo. As I've seen many posts of simmers who love Goopy, I decided to add this part of the review.
Their home is also pictured below. I do love how they have an outdoor garden and everything. For such a small house, it is well designed and pretty beautiful given the amount of content provided by the base game.
Part Five: CAS and Build/Buy Objects
Included with Monte Vista is a whole bunch of new CAS, Build/Buy Mode Objects! Here is the list and screenshots of the content that comes with Monte Vista.
- 2 Hairstyles
a) Female: La Dolce Vita Updo
b) Male: Tuscan Sunhat
- 3 Outfits
a) Female #1: Simply Summer Dress
b) Female #2: Buona Sera Dress
c) Male: Buongiorno Attire
While I do love the female outfits that come with this world, I do find the first one very beautiful, yet still risque at the same time. No clue whether or not I approve or not, but at least it's not a short skirt! *laughs*
- 31 Wallpapers
- 3 Floor Tiles
- 4 Trees
a) Stone Pine Tree
b) Olive Tree
c) Juniper Tree
d) Chestnut Tree
- Red Poppies (Flower)
- Elessandro's Double Doors
- 4 Windows
a) Summer Window
b) Summer Window with Flowers
c) Summer Window with Shutters
d) Shuttered Summer Windows
- Lucia's Arch (Door Arch)
- The Bravo Bistro Table
- The Bravo Bistro Dining Chair
- Happily Ever Frosted (Wedding Cake)
- Bella Luce Streetlight
- The Bravo Bistro Umbrella
- Bello Fiore Flower Box (Adjustable Wall Decor)
- Old World Barrels (Decor)
- Peasant's Potted Plants (Plant Decor)
- The Forgery Elite (Wall Painting
Community Lot/World Objects:
- 9 Street Signs
a) Turn Arrow Sign
b) Warning Sign
c) Pizza Ahead Sign
d) How Far? Road Sign
e) No Garlic Sign
f) No Cart Tipping Sign
g) Llamas Ahead Sign
h) Freezer Bunny Crossing Sign
i) Curvy Roads Sign
- 4 Ruined Objects
a) Tops for Ruins
b) Ruin Rubble
c) Ruin Wall
d) Ruin Column
- 2 City Hall Rabbitholes
a) Stone City Hall
b) City Hall
- 11 Other Rabbitholes:
a) Simcatti Industries (Business)
b) Tasty Treats and Tomes (Bistro + Bookstore)
c) Coliseum (Stadium)
d) Scuola Simatica (School)
e) Teatro Fantastico (Theatre)
f) Civic Center (Police Station + Military Base)
h) Doctor Simano's Sanatorium (Hospital + Science Facility)
i) Graciella's Groceries and Delfina's Diner (Grocery + Diner)
j) Slanciato Spa
k) Good Guys Inc. (Criminal)
- Striped Lighthouse (Buydebug)
- Benvenuto! Mailbox (Buydebug)
- The Bridge that Love Built
My goodness, the build buy section is a pretty lengthy one (well to me at least). While there is definitely a smaller # of plants like Sunlit Tides, I still am slightly impressed by some of the content that comes with it. Even though I do wish there was more furniture, I am intrigued that they added 31 wallpaper content and 3 floor tiles through the store (which never happened before). Wondering if the trend of the worlds will change in the future.
Part 6: Overall Review
In conclusion, I have evaluated whether or not Monte Vista is clearly worth your money or not. Below are the scores I personally give, but scores will vary between simmers! This will summarize for those who don't want to read all of the parts and want to go straight to the final review.
Price: 8/10- While worlds are pretty expensive normally, along with a whole bunch of other store content, this one is a pretty well-defined price for a world being initially released. With the Simpoint Bundles pricing at $20 and $35 for the world and extra simpoints, it can be a pretty nice deal. Plus, players will not have to buy multiple bundles to get this world. If the price doesn't suit you, then you can definitely wait for a future sale, especially when it will go to retailers soon. While the simpoint bundle fiasco can be a huge headache, hopefully this isn't the trend for future Store Worlds. You are also getting a brand new premium content object, 20+ lots, multiple new rabbitholes, and also awesome CAS and Build/Buy objects. I'd say its pretty much worth your money with all the content this has to offer.
Theme: 9/10- Monte Vista is a brand new world that introduces a theme based on French-Italian culture. This world is one that hasn't been created in a long time since World Adventures and I am glad this world was created by the store. I do hope this is a new trend of future worlds that are inspired by other countries also, so hopefully this will be just the beginning.
Design and Architecture: 8/10- The overall design of the world is beautiful, with a giant hill in the middle, a town center with brand new rabbitholes, along with the amazing Coliseum (Stadium) in this world. Also brand new is the Police Station/Military Base combo rabbithole, which normally isn't found in any other expansion pack. The Store Team also introduced a 2nd City Hall design for players who want to live a fantasy style and it's a definite plus! Most of the homes are built with lots of open spaces, complex architecture, and some of the placement of the lots are definitely off. Sidewalks are not matched up in the town area, but hopefully it will be considered to be fixed (not counting on it). Anyways, this world brought out some new building ideas for me, and I do enjoy the creative concepts the store team has done. I also love the brand new formal dress introduced along with the build/buy objects. I do wish more could be done with the design, but most of it is probably held off with the supposed "Monte Vista-Themed Venue" that came out today also.
Routing and Lags: 7/10- There is a definite small amount of lag existing in this world. Unfortunately I am still figuring out why there is lag and whether or not some sims are stuck, especially the horses. So far I haven't been able to track and locate them, but the lag is pretty small that I can still enjoy exploring the world as much as I'd like to. Hopefully I can figure it out and after having this world for about a week, along with school, it's kind of difficult figuring out where it's coming from, especially spending endless nights. Most likely it might be just because it is one giant hill, but who knows. I'm sure very intelligent simmers in the forums will be able to find it quicker than I can since I don't have the time. *shrugs*
Premium Content: 7/10- Earlier I said that this Pizza Oven is a definite must-have for simmers who enjoy cooking new recipes and food. As I'm normally a builder, this does make a nice decoration and potential new builds in the future. However, I do wish there was just more to this Pizza Oven than just making 12 new recipes, and animations. I feel like more exciting fail actions should exist. I do enjoy the failure animations and events like the ones in Lucky Palms and the Wishing Well. On the plus side, it's not an expensive item and not "themed" as a world object, rather utilized in both homes and community lots.
Sims: 8/10- Some of the sims added to this world are pretty fun to play with, along with the returning families of the Montys and the GilsCarbo. While it does provide some interesting gameplay scenarios, I do hope to explore more with the story of these sims and hopefully I can find some more in-depth gameplay from this world.
Utilization: 10/10- This world is a definite plus to utilize with ANY expansion pack (well except Showtime, Late Night and "maybe" Supernatural).
With Seasons, this world is BEAUTIFUL during the fall and winter, along with utilizing may of the objects. Even though the lots are too small to host festival lots, I feel like this world doesn't need one (to be quite honest).
With World Adventures, one can definitely add nectaries out in the countryside and I hope to find new creations in the forums.
Ambitions also works well in this world, especially near the spa and hospital lots. Those two 30x20 community lots work well with the Salon and the Fire Station.
With the Pets Expansion Pack, players can definitely enjoy and take advantage of the terrain for the horses and with so many lots, who wouldn't plop down a ranch and equestrian center?
Generations is just good overall to have for children and gameplay. Especially weddings here. Not much I can say really.
Showtime and Late Night are more for the city-life and everything, and Monte Vista is no city, so I would pass on using "some" of the content introduced in this expansion pack.
If you are a fan of the supernatural, well Supernatural is definitely a plus for those who want to add them to this world. While I don't like the idea of fairies, witches, etc. in this type of scene, there are definite ideas with Supernatural, especially with the other City Hall added. Also, the Weather Stone (installed with Seasons + Supernatural) actually fits well in this particular community lot below:
Overall Ranking: 8/10- This world is a pretty good world and a good purchase to get. I was given this world for free, as to who gave it to me is confidential, so I am kind of content with it! Even if I wasn't given it for free, I would have instantly bought this world as it will clearly be one of my favorites (behind Lucky Palms of course). While this world provides new rabbitholes, new architecture, gameplay, and new cas and build/buy objects, there is so much to do with the stuff you're given and if you plan on getting it, it's pretty decent. Even though there are cons, there is a definite amount of positives in it and I hope you guys won't be disappointed. I hope to find new things in this world that I have yet to experience.
I hope you guys enjoyed this review!