Two Out of Three

Lovely in practice just a great marketing tool

Another round of wrestling with the Sims 3 launcher had me spitting venom recently; just the sheer number of hours that I have spent just trying to patch the game and trawling the internet to see if anyone shares my woes is ridiculous.  Given the time that has elapsed since I last tried to patch the game and get the launcher to do its job, or else install the patches manually, I figured that something may have magically changed.  It hadn’t.  The launcher steadfastly maintained that my PC was full and would have none of my livid screams to the contrary.

Several frustrated and grudgingly polite messages to EA customer support later left me equally furious and no closer to an adequate solotion (I don’t honestly know what I expected).  “Re-install to the default location” was their globule of advice.  Thanks.  So I can’t put the game neatly in my ‘D’ drive with the other ‘common games’ then?  This game has to have what it wants and will turn its nose up at all but the prestigious ‘Program Files’ address.  Ridiculous.

Challenge everything...especially patience

After muttering darkly for several days and spending another weekend trawling for advice, I was no further forward.  Not even the forum threads (now full of people with the same problem) were any comfort.  And the worst thing?  Despite my initial reactions to the game, I actually, finally wanted to play it.  A character was stamping his feet in the back of my mind, ready to spring to life in the form of the Evil Sim Diaries, so I needed the damn thing to work, otherwise he would be bursting forth like Athena to wage war upon Sunset Valley by himself.

So I gave in and grudgingly re-installed, allowing the game it’s own stroppy way, primping and huffing into the ‘C’ Drive, stamping up the stairs into ‘Program Files’, and petulantly slamming the door.  “Fine”, I shout, “…but you will work.”  Except that it didn’t.  Same problem.  ‘PC drive full’.  Bollocks.  You’re joking, you utter shit?  Uninstall, re-install, and try again.  Nope.  The game sits there with it’s headphones on while I shout up the stairs, puce with rage.  Nothing.  By this time I felt like Wile E. Coyote weeping tears of frustration as the Road Runner ‘peep peeps’ from across another bottomless chasm.

After all that and he probably just tastes like chicken.

To the internet I trudged once more.  Patches, patches…and suddenly, the clouds parted and a chorus of flabby arsed angels creaked into life to declare success.  With the discovery of, I could have wept.  Clear, concise, well presented, and best of all, a neat repository of every released Sims 3 patch in every version – versions being something I was unaware of up until now.  The game isn’t just the game…it has a string of numbers which denote the version/ region…1, 2, etc (e.g and the versions of the patches are specific to these regions which is why the ones I was randomly pulling off the net refused to install.

Shakily I downloaded the first one and it installed fine.  A flutter of excitement stirred in my soul, but I have reached this stage before and been crushed.  Patch two –…installed, and so on and on.  For the first time in relation to this game, I actually smiled.  Finally, I’m done.  My character stretches and yawns, close to being freed, my sanity returns, looking slightly haggard and minus it’s underwear, and I can breathe out.  I’ve caught the Road Runner, beaten his brains out with an ACME hammer, and done obscene things to the corpse.  Unfortunately the hour is late and my Sim-to-be will have to wait another day to come out and start his evil machinations, but until then, I am finally happy.  To, thank you.  Without you, my forty odd pounds would have met a very unpleasant end on the BBQ.

With a French Fancy cake-case from Greggs, you too can...ok, I'm lying

You would think that with each incarnation of a game  such as this one, the faff involved in getting it to run or update would be lessened.  While the launcher was clearly designed to make life easier for folks who had never manually downloaded a patch in their lives, it has just made life so much harder for others…because when the shiny, shiny things break or don’t work, you are, for want of a better word, screwed.

I fear that I have been far too spoiled by the Xbox and the ease of its updates.  After all, everything is done for me and I can just lounge back, scrabbling for the last morsels of Monster Munch and making interesting origami out of cake-cases while it locates, downloads, installs, and reinitialises…I never have to worry and I never have to get my mitts dirty.

Not so with the PC, which is perhaps one of the reasons that I upped and left it one hot summer night, because while issues like this still disrupt my ability to just jump in and game or download and install crucial updates without hassle, my PC will always be the more difficult relationship.  For that reason…I want it, I need it, but there ain’t no way I’m ever gonna love it, but don’t be sad, because as a wise man once said…two out of three ain’t bad.

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Last five articles by Lorna



  1. Pete says:

    My god what a palava! You have my simpathy ;) and my admiration for sticking with it so long! I’d have given up in tears a long time ago lol

  2. Samuel The Preacher says:

    It’s extremely difficult not to get your mitts dirty, when eating Monster Munch. I know, I love Flaming Hot Monster Munch, and I hate my hands being sticky. Bits just stick to your flesh, and to the bottom of the bag… It’s an endless dilemma…

    Oh wait, the article was about the Sims, you say? So sorry.

    Well, you know all about my problems with The Sims 2 installing in Chinese irrespective of the language I chose at installation, so you have my informed sympathies. Considering how much of a pain in the hole it was, and considering that they’ve gutted out most of the game to make more money reselling you the add-on packs, why not just go back to playing the previous game? I still play the first Sims whenever I get to feeling nostalgic for it, all the content is there, graphically it isn’t too horrendous, it all works very simply, and apart from one or two small differences it’s basically the same game as the sequels.

    Time was I used to spend weeks patching games for the PC to get them to run the way I wanted on whatever hardware and OS I wanted, but life is too short, and these days I find the path of least resistance to be the most tempting. Please ignore the fact that 3 weeks ago I was ranting for three and a half days in our late chat box about my struggles to get Supreme Commander up and running, heh.

  3. Ste says:

    To be fair, that will teach you for playing the Sims! God awful game!

  4. Lorna Lorna says:

    I’m not. I’m playing Sims 3. ;) Sims 2 was a great game…this will live and die by the expansions.

  5. Rook says:

    Consoles for gaming, PCs for por…… searching the net. and getting tv stuff.

  6. Adam says:

    EA really did fall behind with the auto-update. I remember that titles such as Command and Conquer Red Alert 2 never had any problems conducting an auto-update and this happily spread out to other EA titles like Spore without any great difficulty. But then they noticed just how well Steam was doing it and that they could tag on a store along with it too in order to bring in some extra pennies. The problem with the EA DLM (Download Manager) is that it’s too bus trying to authenticate you and certify your purchase that it forgets what game you were trying to play and what version it needs to update too.

    That they tried to bulk that all into the Game Launcher is kind of them to get another program out of the background, but it would have been good for the platform if they could of at least done it right! I feel your pain L -EA have always led the charge for over complicating a basic task.

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