The Sims 3 Midnight Hollow Review

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Disclaimer: I am trying an idea I had for how to structure these reviews. I am a professional. Please do not try this at home without professional guidance. SimsVIP, WhipperWhirl, and any associates thereof are not responsible for side-effects of attempting this at home without professional guidance. Attempting this at home without professional guidance may result in death, dismemberment, rememberment, undeath, redeath, unmemberment, anti-death, anti-memberment, demonic possession, normal possession, Cthulhu rising from the sea to consume the world, zombification, vampirism, spontaneous human combustion, spontaneous human implosion, spontaneous human sublimation, spontaneous human deposition, and making up random side-effects.

 

 

First Impressions

This town is dark.

In actual lighting, the town is brighter than Aurora Skies, and appears to be close to par with Moonlight Falls in terms of actual lighting darkness. However, the town achieves a feeling of being much darker through its color palette; the town is greys and blacks and dark browns and dark reds and a myriad of other colors that contribute to a gloomy, gothic theme. The overall color scheme lends itself to being a problem for those who have trouble telling the difference between shades, but at the same time contributes wonderfully to the theme of the town.

Notably, the town also has a very mountainous setup, which contributes both to the gothic theme and adds lovely scenery while at the same time being fully capable of playing merry havoc with the camera when you’re trying to edit a house. If you’re editing a house and your camera is bouncing like Flubber in a trampoline factory, it means your camera is reacting to the mountainous terrain and you need to zoom in to get it to settle.

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Town Layout

Midnight Hollow is, primarily, surrounded by mountains. There is a town center, where most of the major business resides, that acts as the primary go-to place for business and even some homes. The rest of the town branches off from there, with a total of five branches from the central area. It is primarily within these branches that the most room exists for adding lots to the world, as the town center is quite full. I made it a point to add the toy store lot to the town in the empty business lot near the town center; you can see it in the town center picture.

Overall, this town appears to have been primarily constructed within the valley between the mountains, with the mountains themselves serving as unroutable barriers. So, you can’t pull a repeat of Sunlit Tides and go into a volcano. So, alas, no making an Italian plumber with a hatred of turtles for this town. Instead, make his brother and put that sim in the ghost hunter profession 😉

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Decor

For the most part, the decor follows a dark, gothic, washed-out theme. In fact, you can pretty much just copy and paste “dark, gothic, washed-out” for the description of most lots, including the houses. Even the plants follow that color scheme, though I did find the Haunted Pansies to be an improvement over the normal version. There’s not exactly a lot of variation within the town for the most part. Some of the houses use internal layouts that can be seen in just about every Sims 3 town, which in turn help show off just how much customization is available with this town and the amount of work the developers put into making the decor look unique for Midnight Hollow.

That is not to say Midnight Hollow is completely without its own places of light. There are a couple homes that are lit up much more than the rest, and one of the clubs is extremely colorful and well-lit. The decor itself also changes a bit, becoming less dark, when moved from Midnight Hollow to another town (as can be seen with the toy store). A lot of the new decor options that came with the game are also quite colorful and cheery, which you can easily see if you revert some of them back to their original color scheme from the darker color scheme.

Of the lots I absolutely loved, there are the library and the pool. The pool I would have to add in public showers, as it has spots that are perfect places for using certain pieces of premium content, but otherwise I would not edit. The library… Normally, I add a spellbook or change a few shelves in a library. This one, I can’t. It’s just… perfect. I want to copy that library and place it in every town I have. It is truly a work of art.

Note that, in the following pictures, I have changed none of the decor; in ones where it suddenly got brighter compared to another shot or one wall is brighter than another, I have simply changed the color scheme back to default.

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CAS

I had a bit of fun with CAS, though I did not do a full examination of it. I checked out the menswear briefly, decided against remaking the genie as a male and regretting the five seconds I used in CAS to make her, and moved on to my other sim. I found the male CAS items nice, but not to my taste. The female items I looked over, played around with a bit, and ultimately made a final decision on.

Overall, the CAS stuff was nice and fit the world. I definitely have to applaud the effort that went into making and adding them.

Sadly, I did not make the Italian plumber’s brother. I promise, I will do that for a future article, just so I can get a pic of them as a ghost hunter 😉

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TOYS!!!

As you probably just guessed, I’m someone who was looking forward to toy making coming back to Sims 3. I am hoping to see it as a full-scale skill in Sims 4, too!

The first two things I did: I bought the toy store and hired a clerk. I didn’t care about anything else in Midnight Hollow for activities; I wanted to check out the toy store immediately. So, you can see for yourself both the clerk and a shot of the toys for sale:

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I have no idea why she’s in a bikini either. But a friend of mine has had six employees in swimsuits, so apparently swimwear is common business attire in Midnight Hollow.

So, while my clerk was busy with selling the toys, I decided to play around with the toy making machine and actually produce one:

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I noticed how it was that the toy produced was unique, and decided to play around and see if all of the others were as well, just to see if I had plenty of new unique items for putting up for sale.

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It’s not a toy-making skill, but I’m not going to complain. The sheer variety is more than enough to satisfy, and the fact they coupled it with the ability to immediately sell the toys is a big plus in my book. So, I guess I don’t need to send the Italian plumber’s brother there to “remodel” the place with his ghost-busting tool. Knowing him, he’d probably find a way to cross the streams while being by himself anyway…

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Open For Business

I admit it: I danced for joy when they announced they were adding this. I also celebrated so hard I spent the past week sick. And I’m still celebrating, in between coughs and wheezes.

The first thing I did after playing around at the toy store? Bought the For Rent property and went to work renovating it. Once I was done with the renovations and stocking it, I decided to see what all I could actually sell. I hired three employees to man the other registers while my sim took the fourth. Why I had my sim take the fourth should be obvious from the following picture.

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Yes, that is a cowplant for sale. Strangely enough, my customers kept feeding it, so I never even saw a cake pop out of its mouth. I had my sim as the clerk there to feed it and keep customers safe, but that turned out to be unnecessary.

Putting all of those sunflowers on the same rug also turned out to be a mistake; they still generate sunlight, and nine of them can fill up an entire store and part of the surrounding area outside pretty rapidly. I eventually reduced the sunflowers to a single one on the rug, and then waited the half a day it took for all of the sunlight fade. Lesson learned!

Amusingly enough, the biggest seller I had were the Futureshock plants. I sold several of those, while the other items in the store either did not sell or barely sold. The future shock plants were also one of the most expensive items in the store, being even more expensive than the nearby cowplant (which was not a popular item to buy).

And then closing time, at which the following happened:

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It turns out that, one hour before the door closing hour hits, the store will kick everyone out of the building automatically. Even the employees. It was quite a shock to me when this happened, but then I chuckled and moved on. It was time to try my hand at my sims managing the night shift of the toy store anyway, and for that I could have my regular sim on the register while my genie made toys.

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But, I was not done. I began to wonder about the idea of building my own. And I wanted to see the Midnight Hollow plants in a different environment, just to see how they change. So, eventually, I decided to build the following store for Moonlight Falls:

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Final Thoughts

Would I recommend this world? Even at full price… yes. The world is beautiful, the scenery is amazing, the decor is wonderfully dark and gothic, and the premium content is worth the money just due to what it adds. And the gold edition items add on content for babies, toddlers, and children… three life stages in massive, massive need of content. So, yes, I would recommend it… I would recommend it faster than the brother of an Italian plumber would end up with a haunted mansion.