Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Now & Then Century Manor Store Venue Review


Credit:
- Thank you to brsy for gifting me this venue! I appreciate the generosity you have given to me and I believe many other simmers today.

Disclaimer: I had object hiding on, so not everything is 100% seen on all floors, just a heads up for those inquiring about the images of the venue.
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Hey guys!

It's the first Thursday of May, meaning it's new store release time! Released today is a brand new venue for The Sims 3 Store, and also Part II of the remake of the Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff Pack: The Now & Then Century Manor.

The Bohemian Garden released in March was Part I, which introduced more gardening objects and outdoor content, along with clothing and harvestables.  This venue, however, focuses more on the Mansion aspect and if you remembered what was in TS2: M&G, you would remember Second Empire roof pieces, Mansion staircases, etc.  Well, although this isn't entirely a 100% remake of the stuff pack, there are features that resemble the theme.

Now & Then Century Manor Venue Collection File

Hope you guys enjoy the review!
AznSensei



Information

One thing to  note about this venue is that it does not included Premium Content, much like Olympian Physique when it was first released, and is solely focused on Build/Buy mode content.  Basically, instead of seeing a combination of clothing and build/buy assets, you get just strictly content focused in Build/Buy mode, which means you can utilize the entire set to make the builds you want (of course you would need other build/buy content if you want to make your mansions extra extravagant). 

While there is no premium content, there is however a huge list of items included in this venue.  There are a total of 40 Build/Buy objects that range from doors, windows, decor, fences, etc.  Most of the content is fairly well-detailed and very adaptable to use outside of this venue.  There are two themes in this venue and the content can either be in a broken/old state or a newly refurbished state. HOWEVER, this does not mean it adds actual extra gameplay, rather you the player decide what you want to do with these build/buy objects for storytelling purposes and all.

Price Breakdown

This 40-piece build/buy object-focused venue is on the sale price of 1700/1900 Simpoints until May 5, 2014 and below are all of the prices if the items were to be sold individually.  Sadly, just a reminder that because it's a venue, you CANNOT purchase any items separately.

Hang Left Curved Colonial Stair Rail: 75 Simpoints
Hang Right Curved Colonial Stair Rail: 75 Simpoints
Manor Stairs: 100 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Straight Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Straight With Window Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Inverted Corner Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Angled Corner Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Corner Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Single Straight Roof: 50 Simpoints
Mighty Mansard Roof Tower: 50 Simpoints
Shutters of Timber: 75 Simpoints
Railing Against The Colonel: 50 Simpoints
Colonial Mansion Railing: 50 Simpoints
Forgotten Ironwork Gate: 75 Simpoints
Forgotten Ironwork Fence: 75 Simpoints
Fractured View Stained Glass Window: 100 Simpoints
Fractured View Stained Glass Door: 100 Simpoints
Colonial Mansion Window: 100 Simpoints
Simpler Times Screen Door: 100 Simpoints
Simpler Times Screen Window: 100 Simpoints
Never Alone Boardless Window: 100 Simpoints
Story Loosely Laced Curtains: 75 Simpoints
Midnight Hour Grandfather Clock: 50 Simpoints
Hanging Bowl Crystal Chandelier: 25 Simpoints
Chandelier Chain: 25 Simpoints
Stronger Wind Fan: FREE
Dead Hedge: 50 Simpoints
A Moment in Time: 50 Simpoints
Timeless Beauty Presented in Oil: 50 Simpoints
Fractured View Stained Glass Busted Door: 100 Simpoints
Broken Colonial Mansion Window: 100 Simpoints
Simpler Times Weathered Screen Door: 100 Simpoints
Simpler Times Weathered Screen Window: 100 Simpoints
Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 1: 100 Simpoints
Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 2: 100 Simpoints
Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 3: 100 Simpoints
Spider Web Work 1: 25 Simpoints
Spider Web Work 2: 25 Simpoints
Spider Web Work 3: 25 Simpoints
Broken Shutters of Timber: 75 Simpoints

Total Cost of Individual Items: 2700 Simpoints
Cost of Venue: 1700/1900 Simpoints
Savings: 1000/800 Simpoints

Discrepencies
There are a few discrepencies I would like to point out with the following items included in this venue that determined my prices above:
  1. The Stronger Wind Fan is an exact replica of the Banquett Fan that was part of an old Simpoint Bundle bonus years back.  Therefore, I will subtract 25 Simpoints from the total cost of individual items and pretty much declare it as "Free" for players who get this venue.
  2. While there are broken versions of the colonial content, they are still brand new models and texture, which would be treated the same price as the unbroken versions. Otherwise, they would have been bundled up together if it was the case.
  3. Based on the Mother Russia Set roof pieces, I have treated all of the Mansard Roof Pieces at 50 Simpoints each.  
  4. As the curved rails are not stairs themselves, they do not match the 100 simpoint price of stairs.  However, I was informed that if it was sold separately, each piece would be 75 simpoints each, due to their use on stairs.
  5. Even though 90% of all decor and paintings are 25 simpoints each, I will be treating the paintings in this venue at 50 Simpoints due to the fact they are detailed in the art themselves and we have been given detailed art for 50 simpoints or so.
  6. I will treat the Ironwork Fence and Gate at 75 Simpoints rather than 50 Simpoints as they are heavily designed and look like more work was put into those than the basic 50 Simpoint-priced fences that came with this venue and past content.
Other than that, you are getting tons of new build/buy objects that exceed well over the cost of the venue for the price of 1700/1900 Simpoints (which is common for venues).  While I treated some of the above as "freebies", you are still paying a huge discount for 40 items still, which is not bad.

Honestly, I'm quite content with the price of this venue, which is better than past venues, especially those with premium content.

Theme
For the theme of this venue, it is pretty much a remake of the Second Empire theme that was in The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff.  There are two themes under this category as you have two different lots from different "time" periods.  The nicer looking build/buy content and lot is focused on a luxurious mansion in its fine day a century back.  The not-so-nice looking one is more of what happened after a century went by and when the mansion was "abandoned".  Basically, with you being the storyteller, you can choose whether or not you want to go a fanmade historical route from the past into the present, or if you want to build your own with the objects included.  

While there is still plenty of themes within Mansion and Garden Stuff that has yet to be fully addressed *cough*Art Deco and Moroccan *cough*, this particular venue focuses mostly towards the Mansion aspect and was a much needed refreshment for The Sims 3 Store.


Venue Part 1: Then Century Manor

For the first time for The Sims 3 Store, there is not one, but two new lots that incorporates the items that you purchased in this venue.  The first of the two venues is the Then Century Manor, which is a 30x40 residential lot.  In this manor, everything is perfect and neat, and there is nothing broken or dead in this one.

As for the layout of the manor, below are the images of how the build is:

Floor One:

Floor Two:

Floor Three:

The cost of this venue is $248,457 Simoleons and is quite an expensive amount for a manor.  There are a total of 3 bedrooms (baby room included) and 2 bathrooms along with a decorated porch area in the back.  Also included is a "butterfly" fog emitter effect. Below are the images of the venue itself.



















Venue Part 2: Now Century Manor

The second lot of the two is the Now Century Manor, which oddly is a 40x30 residential lot (not 30x40 like the other lot).  While the first one had neat content, this one has more of a rustic look and contains all of the broken objects and dead ones included in this lot.

The floor layout of this particular building is shown below:

Floor One:

Floor Two:

Floor Three:

The cost of this lot is $175,714 Simoleons and is pretty much cheaper than the cost of the manor when it was brand new.  The number of bedrooms and bathrooms is the same as the Then Manor, but of course there's nothing but desolation and emptiness everywhere. Unlike the fog emitter code for butterflies, there are multiple fog emitters to give it that "haunted" look along with fog emitter codes for bugs, fog, etc.

Below are the images of the Now Manor:




















Mansard Roof Kit

Included in this venue is a 7-piece Mansard Roof Set that has tons of varietal uses in order to customize and make your own Mansions, especially if you don't want to use the lot.  All of these pieces have their own design and the corner pieces have different varieties.  They are not "height-adjustable" like you would find in the roof tool, but rather act like decor for your roofs.

Also, if you plan on having a lot of space in the center, you will have to use the wall/flooring tool in order to fill the gaps the pieces cannot fill.  These pieces are mostly recommended to be put on the edges of the house, rather than fill the entire floor.

Below is the list of all of the pieces, dimensions, and their images:

Mighty Mansard Straight Roof
Tile Dimensions: 2x2
Price: $200 Simoleons



Mighty Mansard Straight With Window Roof

Tile Dimensions: 2x2
Price: $200 Simoleons



Mighty Mansard Inverted Corner Roof

Tile Dimensions: 3x3
Price: $200 Simoleons


Mighty Mansard Angled Corner Roof
Tile Dimensions: 2x2
Price: $200 Simoleons


Mighty Mansard Corner Roof
Tile Dimensions: 2x2
Price: $200 Simoleons



Mighty Mansard Single Straight Roof

Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $200 Simoleons


Mighty Mansard Roof Tower
Tile Dimensions: 4x4
Price: $750 Simoleons


Mansard Stairs

Also included in this venue are pieces of the mansard stairs from the stuff pack.  However, there is a setback with these particular objects.  First off, they are not actual full staircase pieces, rather they are pretty much "additional" railings to add to your basic stairs.  In order to utilize these pieces, you need to actually place a normal set of stairs yourself and attach them.  Sadly, there are also not many extra animations included in these pieces as they are merely decor objects rather than actual functioning stair objects.  While they make your staircases look rather extravagant, the gameplay aspect itself is just normal.

There are three parts:

Manor Stairs + Railing
Tile Dimensions: Same as a Staircase
Price: $200 Simoleons


Hang Left Curved Colonial Stair Rail
Tile Dimensions: 2x4
Price: $100 Simoleons


Hang Right Curved Colonial Stair Rail
Tile Dimensions: 2x4
Price: $100 Simoleons


Basically, once you have all three parts, all you have to do is place the stairs first, then add the appropriate pieces to either side.  Here are examples of what you can build with the three staircase pieces:



There is one issue I found of the Mansard stairs... and that's the clipping issue. If you look at the image below, I have recolored the left and right pieces and made them "wooden" rather than carpet... the middle looks really bad with those attached to it. No clue if this is an oversight, but it's slightly a tad annoying...


In order to remove that clipping, I had to hold the Alt button and move the pieces towards the staircase, but not directly attach to it... I also had to recolor the rail thats under the staircase also... While this is a workaround, it made the clipping issue go away. Still not too happy with the final result though.


On closer inspection on one of the lots, that is exactly what the store team did. Below is a picture of the staircase in one of the lots:


Build/Buy Content

As this venue is focused on mostly Build/Buy content, below are the remaining 30 objects that you get when purchasing this venue.  There are tons of uses for these objects and most of them have two different versions,  broken and unbroken, which allows more customizability for your lots.

I do wish the Simpler Screened Door was from ceiling to floor height, rather than door height as if you place it next to the Simpler Screened Window, it isn't the same height.  This will "slightly" throw off my building ideas for a screened-in porch, but hopefully in the future we will get a "top" window piece to place on top of the screen door.  That, or I'll use a different door.

The Dead Hedge is also a fence, and not just a build mode plant based on the image on the set page.  Therefore, you can design the dead hedge in a straight line, or a diagonal, and it would look different based on the images included below.

Not included are the L-Shaped stairs that were suppose to come with this venue and matches the fences that came with this venue.  Due to unfortunate bugs of uninstalling the Prism Art Studio L-shaped stairs, it makes the ones that were supposed to come in this venue "unusable."  The store team will be working on the L-Shaped stairs for a future release.


Shutters of Timber
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $120 Simoleons
Description: Basic use is to use it on single-tiled windows.

Railing Against The Colonel
Tile Dimensions: Fence Single Tile Tool
Price: $50 Simoleons
Description: I'm all for more ceiling to floor fences, and this one has some nice detail and is better-designed than the ones that came with Supernatural.

Colonial Mansion Railing
Tile Dimensions: Fence Single Tile Tool
Price: $50 Simoleons
Description: While it's basic, it matches the Mansard Stairs that came with this venue.



Forgotten Ironwork Gate
Tile Dimensions: 2x2
Price: $200 Simoleons
Description: Beautiful gate to add onto the fence that comes with this venue set.

Forgotten Ironwork Fence
Tile Dimensions: Fence Tool Single Tile
Price: $50 Simoleons
Description: Very beautiful and detailed fence. One of my favorites in this venue set.



Fractured View Stained Glass Window
Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $300 Simoleons
Description: One of my favorite items included and the stained glass is recolorable also! I wished there was a recolorable double stained glass window and a triple stained glass window.



Fractured View Stained Glass Door
Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $150 Simoleons
Description: While it's a basic door, the stained glass is beautiful AND RECOLORABLE. Wished there was a double door that has the same features also.



Colonial Mansion Window
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $275 Simoleons
Description: While they are just plain windows, it does give that Colonial feel to your build should you use it.  Not my favorite of the entire selection of content we are given though.



Simpler Times Screen Door
Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $80 Simoleons
Description: While it matches the screen windows, I'm kind of disappointed it isn't the same height as the screened windows. Kind of wished there was a window above the door.



Simpler Times Screen Window
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $75 Simoleons
Description: I just love screened porches and it is a nice addition to add to builders who want to build an indoor porch rather than an outdoor one! 

Never Alone Boardless Window
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $75 Simoleons
Description: It is a nice window also, but much like the Colonial Mansion Window, it's not my favorite of everything.



Story Loosely Laced Curtains
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $250 Simoleons
Description: I love laced curtains! I do, however, wished these were modular where you have just the lace piece, and a left and right piece.  This would expand building and different customizations like the curtains from Midnight Hollow.



Midnight Hour Grandfather Clock
Tile Dimensions: 1x1/2
Price: $875 Simoleons
Description: Beautiful and of course works like the clocks that came with Supernatural.



Hanging Bowl Crystal Chandelier
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $95 Simoleons
Description:  While the chandelier was nicely designed, I feel like this isn't the best replacement for L-Shaped Stairs (Or they could just be lying to us and saying that it replaced it when actually it was already in the venue). *Shrugs*



Chandelier Chain
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $70 Simoleons
Description: One of the best things introduced for all ceiling light builders to utilize.  I don't know how many times I have builds that look stupid without the ceiling light hanging on something if it's using two floors, but this ceiling light helps anyone who likes to use the open space and add ceiling lights to light their first floor.  While it may be decor, it is in fact useful for anyone who likes using their different types of chandeliers.



Stronger Wind Fan
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $95 Simoleons
Description: It's an exact replica of the Banquett Fan from an old simpoint bundle and actually has no routing issues!

Dead Hedge
Tile Dimensions: Single Tile Fence Tool
Price: $5 Simoleons
Description: This is actual a fence item rather than a build mode plant. It's kind of nifty that you can just draw where you want to place this plant and it spreads out when you use it diagonally.

A Moment in Time
Tile Dimensions: 3x1
Price: $2,475 Simpoints
Description: Beautiful artwork, and I love the touch of adding tentacles to the aged version of the painting.  I wonder if she is related to Emmie from Grimm's Manor?



Timeless Beauty Presented in Oil
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $2,450 Simpoints
Description:  I love how there are two stencils in this painting. One is of a "young maiden" back then, and the other is of an old women with running make-up.  It is a nice touch to whoever designed the art of this.



Fractured View Stained Glass Busted Door
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $15 Simoleons
Description: I don't know why, but I love the visual effect of the door hanging loose like that! Not to mention the stained glass is ALSO RECOLORABLE



Broken Colonial Mansion Window
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $250 Simoleons
Description:  Nice effect of shattered windows.



Simpler Times Weathered Screen Door
Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $80 Simoleons
Description: I like the effects of the screen being "ripped" by weather supposedly.  Nice touch for those wanting to build run-down homes.



Simpler Times Weathered Screen Window
Tile Dimensions: 1x2
Price: $10 Simoleons
Description: Same review as the Weathered Screen Door



Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 1
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $20 Simoleons
Description: One of the three types of boarded windows that come with this venue.  While they all look the "same" they all have different boards on each window, which means different models and textures rather than different stencils.  This one has the entire window boarded and the window shattered heavily.



Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 2
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $20 Simoleons
Description: Slightly different from the first one as it has less boards and is a less shattered window.



Forever Alone Boarded Up Window 3
Tile Dimensions: 2x1
Price: $20 Simoleons
Description: This one has very few boards on it and has the window fully intact and unshattered.



Spider Web Work 1
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $1 Simoleon
Description: One of the three spider webs included in this set.  This one is also height adjustable so you can place it at any height on the floor it's in. This one is best fit in a corner.



Spider Web Work 2
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $1 Simoleon
Description: Also height adjustable, but is better off to be used for the ceiling.



Spider Web Work 3
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $1 Simoleon
Description: The last one that is height adjustable, and can be used in a corner or the flat wall.

Broken Shutters of Timber
Tile Dimensions: 1x1
Price: $120 Simoleons
Description: While it looks almost identical to the regular Shutters of Timber, this one actually has the shutters angled outwards rather than flat on the wall. I wished one of the shutters was "unhinged" to give it more of a broken effect.



Overall Review

Price: 9/10 - With 40 objects that cost well over the price of the venue, I would say it is worth getting it, especially when it's on sale for 1700/1900 Simpoints until May 5th, 2014.  There are tons of objects to use from this venue set, and even though you aren't paying extra for the lots, it's another bonus that two lots are created to utilize this set versus one.  I'm quite content with the price and glad it is on a sale price rather than be on sale for the full 1900 Simpoints.

Theme: 10/10 - I loved The Sims 2: Mansion & Garden Stuff, and while this isn't an exact replica, the theme of the content introduced is a nice classical addition to The Sims 3.  Even though I'm more of a fan of cultural and modern styled content, I was getting quite tired of seeing the tons of releases of fantasy and sci-fi content introduced these past few years (Expansion Packs and Stuff Packs included).  I am quite happy with this type of theme as you can find tons of content like this in real life even in random neighborhoods you come across.  Haunted abandoned home? Yes.  Victorian/Second Empire/Colonial-styled homes near a University Campus? Yes. I am in love with this theme and glad they reintroduced it in The Sims 3 Store.

Venue: 10/10 - Not only is there one lot, but there are two lots included in this venue! Plus, both venues are designed nicely and can fit under the 40x40 lot sizes for many simmers to utilize in their worlds.  If you don't like the lots, then you can definitely build your own and these lots would give "inspiration" to builders who are still new to it and want an idea of how each of the homes were built.  I'm fairly positive if one were to use other content from the store or expansion/stuff packs, it would fully flesh out these venues.

Build/Buy: 10/10 - I am in love with all of the colonial content, especially the ironworks fence and gates.  I am also quite happy there is now a hanging chandelier chain for huge lights that were released in the past.  It was an annoyance for me as a builder to build with lights and placing them on "thin air" from the floor above. Now I can place them on the floor they are suppose to light up, and attach a chain on top to give it that hanging look.  I also love the broken versions of the colonial items as it gives variety to other players who wanted to build their own haunted mansions or broken homes. Also, the stained glass door and windows are re-colorable and the porch screenings are nice to add to anyone's home! 

Overall: 9.75/10 - There is not much I dislike about this venue and I was quite overall happy that it was focused as a Build/Buy content-only venue and included tons of build/buy content rather than premium content and 5-10 items that act like decor.  There is so much use from this venue and I wouldn't pass up on this sale price. 

12 comments:

  1. I liked your review but I think for cost, you shouldn't go with what your opinions are but actual factual costs of items like what you are reviewing. It makes the price comparisons useless because it is based on how you feel things should cost and not what the value is historically. The price is still fantastic, though.

    I like that you showed the stair problem and the workaround...that would have driven nuts if I hadn't read this first! Also, the roof pieces, are they recolor-able? I don't think you say.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roof pieces are recolorable. Also, some of the prices have been put in because I have asked one of the store team members about certain pricing just to make sure if it sounded about right. They informed me that if those items were sold individually, that's how it would have been sold.

      Historically, items have fluctuated and some of the decor is either 25 or 50 simpoints depending on the amount of detail is in them. Sadly, the items are not sold individually, and even if historically they would be more "factual" the only difference would be a mere 25 simpoints or so than what I put.

      Delete
  2. first of all; i've visited this blog tons of times, but always forget to leave a comment... so now i have to lol! ´cause i absolutely ADORE your blog! it is sooo helpful! so thank you for taking your time and making these amazing reviews of the store content :) i know lots of simmers just download CC but i actually prefer stuff packs and store content, less glitches and such...

    this months store content really isn't my cup of tea :( i'm just not a builder... but glad you liked it!

    xoxo Lilly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the compliments! i appreciate it! =D

      Delete
  3. Why is it in a package file? Would you please make those into a Sims 3 file?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a collection file for those who own the set.... All collection files are package files...

      I don't tolerate pirating, if that's what you are looking for. -_-

      Delete
  4. So the store team knew there was a clipping issue with the stairs, ignored it and 'cheated' to work around it when they were building the house? :/ Why am I suddenly reminded of the moveobjects incident with the Gift of Speech baby monitor?

    Anyway, thanks for the review! It's always useful that you give a breakdown of the cost versus value. I like the items included but I'm hoping they'll cut the price at some point - 1,900 is not a bad price for all the content you get, but if only some of the items included are going to be useful to you it works out super expensive.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had been trying to figure out how this venue worked exactly--it almost looked as if it were one house that was half new and half old! Your review makes it all so clear and I can see that this will be a must-save-up-for for me. The roof pieces, staircase (even with bugs), spiderwebs, wrought iron, and pictures seal the deal. I still hope I can get it on sale though!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Where in the game are the "Hang Left Curved Colonial Stair Rail", and the "Hang Right Curved Colonial Stair Rail" pieces of the included staircase set found?

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really like you post good blog,Thanks for your sharing.

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    ReplyDelete