Ambitions: Don’t Cross the Streams!

Not quite as epic as the movies made it look, but still pretty cool!

Ambitions gives sims with an interest in the paranormal a chance to make their hobby a profession.  You can choose to become a Ghost Hunter by using the phone, computer, or the newspaper.  Once you’re “on the take” to hunt down ghosts, you’ll be spending your nights trolling the town, eliminating the pesky ghosts that plague homes, rabbit holes, and even the cemetery.

Unwelcome family spirits… beware!

Much like the Private Investigator and other professions, your sim gets a filled out job tab.  Ghost Hunters gain job experience by investigating possible haunts, capturing spirits, and practicing their logic.  You’ve got to be pretty clever to outsmart old ghosts!

Unlike PIs, Ghost Hunters actually have scheduled work days and days off.  You’ll almost always be working nights, so prepare to have a nocturnal sim.

When your work hours start, you’ll be alerted of available jobs.  As a low-level ghost hunter, you’ll only be trusted to rid of spirits infesting nearby homes.  It’s neat to watch, but it can also be completely automated, which I like.  You click on the jobs in the town menu and then your sim hurries over and starts dispatching spooks on their own!  You’re not forced to hold their hands through the entire process, which is nice, especially when it becomes pretty repetitive.

This also makes this career doable even if you have a full house waiting at home.  Very nice!

As you move through the career, new disturbances and spirits will emerge.  You’ll be asked to dispatch poltergeists insistent on rumbling dishwashers and levitating chairs.  It’s the same process as before, just a different mix added to it.  When it becomes monotonous, you can just send your sim over and go about your business.

You’ll also get Investigative cases that lead you to rabbit hole buildings (like the spa) where your sim will do battle inside and you’ll get pop-ups as an update.  I haven’t had CloneChristian fail any of these, so I’m not sure if you can or not.

What's a TS3 overview without a little TS3 horse face? Sorry, CloneChristian, but it happens to every TS3 sim.

The spirits you capture won’t just disappear into thin air, they’ll appear in your inventory.  You have several options for them, you can release them, donate them to science, collect them, or even sell them.  The spirits themselves have different names, types, and values.  It’s like adding a new collectible to the game–fishing with a ghost rod!

CloneChristian wanted to release one, so I released one the young, kind spirits.  Nothing bad happened.  I’ll have to experiment and see if something bad can happen if you release the wrong spirit…

You won’t just get new ‘types’ of haunts to bust, you’ll get new tools of the trade, as well.  Some ‘jobs’ will require you to arrive at a location and “sniff out” the ghosts using your ghost scanner.  The task can be pretty simple… but I’ve encountered a bug where, sometimes, I can’t find the other ghost because it didn’t pop up with the original.  Very annoying.  The entire job gets scrapped!

Scanning for Ghosts doesn’t make spirits appear, but actual ghosts.

When the ghosts reveal themselves, you’ll get additional pie menu options for them.  Your job is essentially to convince them to move on and stop haunting their former loved one’s home!

You can do this one of two ways…

All this ghost really wants a nice, long nap.

The ‘nice’ way, which essentially involves you befriending the ghost and then asking them politely to move on.  You can talk about what a full life they led and then comfort them about the current condition of their loved ones.  Basically, they don’t need you, get stepping.  Once you’ve befriended them, just ask them to move on and poof! they’re gone.

I find it amusing that a living person is "booing" a ghost!

If you’re not a very nice sim or you don’t have the time to hold any spectral hands through the process, you can simply banish them with your banshee banisher.  All this requires is for you to locate the ghosts and then banish them away.  They put up a fight, but there isn’t a whole lot they can do to stop the process!

The whole process itself is very “hands off” until you get later on in the profession.  Even then, you still get a lot of cases that allow you to simply direct things from the home lot instead of having to follow your sim around.  As I mentioned earlier, this makes having a family and other sims a lot more feasible.

Controlling things is also made heaps easier by the changed up “town” menu.  Now, when you select to zoom out and see the entire town, you can still see your sims panels.  You can click on the job, opportunity, or highlighted tag and they will go there no problems.  It’s pretty effortless sending your sims around now, making it easier to focus on the home lot or even if you have several sims at once.

This is one of my favorite changes and when I saw it, I was quite thrilled.  It’ll definitely keep me from pulling my hair out with sims that like to do off-lot activities when the house is full!

There are other things to explore with the Ghost Hunter career, but I’ll let you find those out for yourself.  There’s something to be said for self-discovery.  I’m not here to ruin the surprise or anything, just to try and give you an idea of what to expect if you’re looking into this expansion.

As a naysayer of The Sims 3, I have to say… I am impressed by this expansion.  I actually… like it.  This isn’t a case of World Adventures where it “grew” on me and was “kind of okay” after the first try or two, I actually like it.  That’s saying a lot when it comes to me.  I haven’t even gotten into the fact that Painting and other skill trades can now be actual professions and that they’ve expanded the depth and re-playability of the skills… but that’s for another time.

In the end, this expansion seems to actually be worth it.  I know, I know, that’s crazy coming from me, right?  Well, it changes some actual, core gameplay nitpicks I had, spruces up the UI a bit in places it was sketchy, and even manages to breathe new life in pre-existing things (like skills, careers, etc.)  I also haven’t noticed any slow down.  The only issue I have is Twinbrook is almost too populated and it’s all by crazy ugly people that look like they stepped out of Deliverance… but again, that’s for another time.

8 comments to Ambitions: Don’t Cross the Streams!

  • You’re making me want to play a Vanilla game. Maybe I should just do that in the new hood that comes with the game. I thought the ghost hunger career looked pretty awesome. I like the different options that the new patch has given too. Like you said with the panels.

    And I can’t believe you actually like this EP! I had to reread that sentence twice! LOL!! That’s awesome since I was in the same boat. I was like meh and am still fiddling around with WA.

    And yeah, I couldn’t wait! You know this!:P

    • Mao

      Haha! You should try Twinbrook, it’s a pretty cool hood… once you get rid of all the horrible pre-mades. Gah, my eyes! The bleach… it does NOTHING!

      PSH, I KNOW! I am still kind of in shock. My husband just gave me a O_O face.

  • LOL, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the population of Twinbrook was crazy ugly! ;)

    The ghost hunting actually looks kind of cool and I’m happy to hear that it can be automated. I also like that you can still see your Sim’s panels in the town view. I just remembered something I forgot to mention on my blog: I am so glad they gave us the ability to put new empty lots in the neighborhood again! That one missing feature that we’d had all along in Sims 2 was driving me crazy in Sims 3. I had some new community lots I’d downloaded that I wanted to put in Sunset Valley, but no empty lots available that were big enough.

    I really like this expansion pack too. I’m fine with not all careers being interactive because I wouldn’t want to have to follow every Sim in my household to work each day and make sure they do their job (I have a hard enough time making sure I do my own job at work, lol!), but I am enjoying the interactive careers they did give us. And I love that they made the trade skills like painting into professions now.

    • Mao

      Oh, man! My eyes, Shana, MY EYES! I’m already pretty blind without my glasses, but it seems they’re intent on the full thing!

      The ghost hunting is definitely pretty nifty and a change from the norm. I’m glad they’re bringing some paranormal back into the game, too. OMG, empty lots? YAY! I will have to check that out! I HATED that they took that out.

  • I considered going out and buying this pack today but uh…it’s raining. If it stops, I still might go.

    Hmmm, that’s kind of cool that you can collect the spirits. If you collect them, can you display them like with the insects?

    So awesome that painting is a profession now. Can you select it like you do with the other professions? I guess that means you don’t have to worry about your painter Sim going to get a job as a stupid journalist while you’re playing another family!

    LOL, I want to see the Deliverance extras! I’m going to go and see if anyone’s put pics up of the families.

    • Mao

      I think you can display them, but you don’t see a whole lot.

      Yup, you have to have a certain level of skill with painting, sculpting, inventing, etc and then it shows up as a selectable profession! No more unemployment for hobbyists!

      I was planning on posting some pictures. I’ll bump that up to tonight. It’s pretty epic. ;)

  • Jen

    Awesome, Mao! I’ve really enjoyed reading your write-ups on Ambitions. I like it so far, too, though I haven’t played all that much. The ghost hunter and PI professions look fun and interesting, and I especially like to hear that it’s not impossible to do them while maintaining a family. Your pics are beautiful as always, and I LOL’ed at the “horse face” — that expression along with the “old crone/drippy nose” expression are some of my least favorite things about TS3!

    • Mao

      Hey there, Jen! Thanks! I was also happy to see that things are maintainable with a family, as playing a single sim is rarely ever even 20% of the game for most people. Some careers might be more daunting than others, but that just makes it more interesting!

      Oh man, the weird facial ticks drive me bananas!

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