I skipped the second one, because it looked like more restrictive gameplay (with more emphasis on ageing and 'advancing', whereas the things i enjoy about Sims are building the world and having characters interact), and harder modding. And, the customization and freedom of gameplay were what made The Sims worth playing.
I've since been told that modding in Sims 2 is actually possible, and that the emphasis on 'advancing'-style gameplay was optional, which really wasn't what i'd heard initially. And when i say "modding", i mean, building your own objects and animations - i knew it was possible to modify outfits.
But looking it up now, it looks like objects in Sims 2 are actually fully three-dimensional, which would make it way, way harder to create your objects (unless you're just skinning them). (In Sims 1, objects looks three-dimensional, but because there are only four perspectives in the game, they're actually just sets of four flat images (one from each angle) at the different levels of zoom; the only tricky bit IIRC is figuring out transperancy). I said in a previous post, "You don't have to know ANYTHING in order to mod it. You could throw a cat at the screen, and once the cat has picked itself up and wandered off, you'll find a perfectly good set of customised objects and skins loaded into your game." But 3d objects would imply that you need to make a mesh if you're doing anything more than skinning an existing object. (And I am TERRIBLE at 3D modelling!)
I'm googling Sims 2 animations at the moment, and mostly i'm getting forum posts from 2005 saying it wasn't possible to create custom animations yet, though i've been assured people have been able to do it.
Anyway, i was looking up Sims 3, and i came across references to Sim Points, which are a fake currency you use to "buy" (actually, you have to buy the fake currency, so it's not "buy", it's just, buy) extras at the EA site. Kind of puts a seedy air over it, when you consider that the Sims 1 extras are all basically free downloads.
Anyways. It all seems less aimed at a community of modders, and more just, flashier graphics and WoW-esque marketing techniques... i don't like the way it looks! I don't like the perceived attitude of the people making/selling the game!
Games are expensive to someone with my finances... i'm a bit iffy about getting something that's not as good as a game that came out, what, like, almost a decade ago now? I recently got burned on Dawn of War II, which cost a $100, and is a pretty sucky game, with virtually no replay value at all. It's all just about the graphics and the marketing.