Lauryl tries life in the Fast Lane

Published 10th September 2010

An Overview Of What To Expect

The Fast Lane stuff pack is now officially out for most of us now, and here’s our brief tour of what we discovered.

One Thing Seems Faster Already – The Game!

The first thing all three of us have noticed (for once, we all got it the same time) is that the game loads up noticeably faster – not by a huge amount, but let’s just say enough for you to notice the difference.

The same phenomena has also been noted over at Crazy Town.

We don’t know how Trif and the Simmerqueen put the new pack into their game, but all three of us had taken heed of Vidkid20’s warning and avoided the patch until we got the new stuff pack (which it seems is what most of the patch was really about fixing – ho hum, so EA with every new product!).

All of us expected to have to go through the carry on of removing CC until patched and stuff pack added, then booting up, finding it was buggered despite following the instructions and having to reinstall the base game all over again

(Yes, you can remove the base game but leave all your other expansions and stuff packs inside – don’t ask us why, but we’ve found that if you do this and reinstall it, the game ‘takes’ to the patches better and seems to have less blonde moments. This of course makes no sense whatsoever, but so what else is new as far as Sims 3 is concerned?)

Here’s the punchline – one of us did it on a machine still running on Windows XP, one of us on a machine running Vista, and the last of us on one with horrible Windows 7. With the going rate on past patches, you’d have expected it to destroy at least one of our PC’s Sims 3 gaming experience.

Whatdayaknow – damn thing’s purring like a basket of kittens having their first bag of Kookamunga in all three cases.

Expanding Out Of The Expansion Packs

Something that raised an eyebrow with this stuff pack is that those that have not bought either World Adventures or Ambitions can now get one of the major draws from each from Fast Lane – a scooter (WA) and a motorbike (Ambitions).

Scoot Mobile
§3 500
Speed 2

Anyone with World Adventures will have baulked at the pricetag when the Kenspa in France and Egypt is available for a mere £650 by comparison.

The question is of course is the Scoot Mobile’s performance any better than that of the Kenspa – since of course no data’s available for its speed in any of the gaming literature available.

There’s only one way to find out.

‘Oh Lauryl – we’ve got a job for yooooooooooooou!’

‘You called?’

Yes, we need you to test the two scooters as no one seems to have a Scooby whether there’s any difference in their performance.

‘So that’s why you’ve planked me up here at Stoney Falls in Sunset Valley in what appears to be glorious Stretch-O-Vision.’

‘Suppose I ought to get changed for this.’

Changed? What do you mean?

‘If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this properly or not at all.’

Er, sure, but what do you mean by…

‘Behold! I am the Stig!’

The Bumnugget more like it.

‘Shaddup! Saddle my 2-stroke steeds and let’s see what they’re made of!’

First up, your trusty Kenspa.

‘Too damn right – let’s find my inner Mod, Brighton here I come!’

Er, not Brighton, just down to Old Pier Beach will do.

‘Oh I need to stop for some fresh Tuna for the Nectar Maker…’

Lauryl, don’t you dare! This is a time trial we’re doing!

‘Okay, made it, so what was the time?’

9.03 you left, 9.35 you arrived, so that makes it 32 minutes.

‘Now what?’

Now you go back to Stoney Falls and do it all over again with the Scoot Mobile so we’re comparing exactly like with like.

‘SackenfrackenrackenMares!’

Thank you, Muttley!

‘Okay, here goes – I make it 10.30!’

Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

‘Time flies like an arrow – but fruit flies like a banana.’

It’ll be tomatoes that fly if you recycle any more Groucho Marx jokes.

‘Temper, temper!’

‘And the time of arrival is…’

11.03 – making it 33 minutes, a minute slower than the Kenspa.

‘Aha! So the Scoot Mobile’s a bit of a rip off if you’ve got World Adventures.’

Not half. Use the money you save to go to Egypt or France to buy one and have a lovely holiday at the same time.

Notice that the Scoot Mobile is slightly longer. Is this to accomodate a pillon passenger? None of us have bothered yet to find out.

‘Yeah, and don’t ask me! The Stig doesn’t take passengers!’

We’d never had dared ask.

‘I hope you realise that I expect at least §10 000 for that 2 hours of work, and of course an advance of §250 000 for the exclusive rights to the serialisation of my forthcoming autobiography.’

Really getting into the role, aren’t you?

Motorbiking

There’s also the Jambouree motorbike on offer. Costing §4500 to take you to speed 6, that’s only §300 more than The Beast from Ambitions for the same performance, so at least the motorbike enthusiasts will be happy.

Driving In My Car

There’s no point pretending that this stuff pack is anything more than the punting of a lot of extra cars. The other stuff on offer is pretty derisory (we’ll come to that later), so let’s get to see what’s on offer.

The Good


Rock Town 3000
§14 500
Speed 6

One that actually lives up to the fancy livery paint job. A classic sleek design, and offering in terms of performance exactly what the base game Kompensator does for less than half the asking price, this will be the first car or first trade-up car for many a Simmie. Brilliant!

The Fitzgerald
§22 000
Speed 6

Bit of division on this one. Yes, it’s a racing car, but you can probably just about get away with having this one in your game due to its 1950s design. More expensive than the Rock Town, but if you want an open top this is excellent value for money for a car that leave most base game vehicles of the same range a clean pair of heels.

La Matea
§41 000
Speed 7

Pay §5000 over the cost of a Kompensator, and you can get yourself an extra notch of speed – which considering it costs §22 000 per notch between the base game speed 6 Kompensator and the speed 8 Bwan Speedster XL is fabulous value for money if you are happy to spend a little extra for something that performs as flash as it looks and aren’t that fussed about not having an open top.

Requiscence
§90 000
Speed 9

Spot on §10k per speed notch, it’s also a beautiful looking car that if you want to shell out the extra to claw back some valuable extra time in your Simmie’s lives for other things isn’t going to disappoint.

Empire Eidolon
§110 000
Speed 10

The §4 000 extra over the base game Vaguester for the same performance is hardly worth the quibble if you’ve got that sort of money to burn anyway, and it may look a little more fun to some, so what the plumbob!

The Bad

Classic Convertible
§43 000
Speed 6

Is it really worth an extra §7 000 over the Kompensator just to have a car that looks like it’s escaped from some Agetha Christie novel? Fine if you want a vintage car with good speed, but couldn’t they have put in a really old fashioned 1920s style open top sports car instead and shown some more imagination? Ah well, there’s always the Fresh Prince for that hopefully!

The Velocity
§175 000
Speed 10

This is just silly – something Simmers would make for a laugh like the Raptor/Lightning II jet or the flying saucer, but not for an EA stuff pack. Unless they’ve any intentions of adding a Formula 1 car racing element into the game, this is a good way to throw away Simoleons on something the novelty of which will soon wear off.

The Ugly

Heartbreak Hotrod
§8100
Speed 4

Forget the name, it’s one of those ugly old fashioned flatback trucks that looks like a sawn off Artic. Suitable for the Billy-Bobs in Riverview or for any Simmie versions of The Grapes Of Wrath, but that’s it.

Anarchonous Automobile
§27 000
Speed 5

Painfully immediate post-WW2 (ie. all those hideous 1939-41 prototypes subsequently rushed out to take advantage of the US post war consumer boom). It looks like the sort for someone that smokes menthol cigarettes from a quellazaire or some cartoonesque moustache twirling villain. Certainly not worth that price for that speed.

Summertime Souped-Up Ride
§47 000
Speed 4

Seldom does a Simmie vehicle match the name. Another of the same mould as the above, this is the real pig in lipstick of the Fast Lane forecourt. It costs §9 000 more than the base game VFN Kompensator and is a third slower.

The Objects Of Your Desire?

Apart from the vehicles and CAS stuff, this is it. Hardly awe inspiring, and to be blunt a lot of this sort of clutter has been made already by various people around the community available for download for free.

The whole Racing, Intrigue and Rockabilly concepts have been done so half-heartedly as to be hardly worth the bother – and since when were scooters part of the rockabilly scene anyway?

(Yes, in the UK there’s a heavy crossover between Mod and Psychobilly culture thanks to skinheads into King Kurt, etc – but that was the exception that tested the world rule)

About the only good thing amongst all of it is the new Left At The Turnpike Bar. At §1000, if proffers the same level of  fun and one environment point above the base game Family Time bar for §500 less.

Wearing Thin?

As for the clothes, it’s take it or leave it.

Much of the stuff is familiar themes to that to be found within the other EPs and stuff pack. Indeed more imaginative items have appears in the store, so you wonder whether the three ‘themes’ were little more than three failed at the drawing board ideas thrown together and tossed in with some extra vehicles to justify the creation of a new stuff pack concept?

As for the hairdos:

If Peggy or any of the usual suspects turned out these they’d get Gas Mark 10000ed for their pains – for professional full-time mashers doing it as a salaried career to come out with this and ask people to pay for it is a disgrace.

Still, there was at least one that we thought was nice – come on Lauryl!

Let everyone see what we gave you as a thank you gift for helping us with this (tee-hee-hee!)

‘Do I have to say it?’

You do!

‘It’s an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polkadot babydollie that I’ve worn for the first time today.’

‘SackenfrankenBumnuggetingMares!’