The Sims Bustin' Out is a sequel to the console version of The Sims, released in late 2003 for Xbox, Gamecube, and PS2. It was eventually followed by a direct sequel, The Urbz, and eventually the console versions of The Sims 2 and The Sims 3.
The "Bust Out" storyline in the game takes place after the events of "Get a Life" from the first game, although your Sim is suddenly down on their luck and has lost everything, being forced to move back in with your Mom after she gets a divorce from the dastardly senator Malcolm Landgraab. Your Sim has to make their way back to the top of their chosen career path and get revenge on Malcolm, as well as helping the various other Sims you encounter along the way.
What sets it apart from the first game is the titular ability to "bust out" with a vehicle and visit a number of locations in the game in order to fulfill goals, build your skills, and interact with the inhabitants. No longer was your Sim limited to staying in a single lot for a level.
Bustin' Out improved on a number of things from the first console version, including dozens of new social interactions, improved graphics and gameplay, and overall more depth and character. It also spawned a mobile versions for the GBA and N-Gage, which was more in the Adventure Game genre, but still had standard Sims elements such as fulfilling needs and building relationships with other characters.
The Sims: Bustin' Out provides examples Of:
- Age Lift: Mortimer Goth is noticeably quite older looking in this game since he has a head of grey hair.
- Bag of Spilling: The game reduces the player back to being poor and jobless — only this time, you're freeloading in your mom's house.
- Big Boo's Haunt: Goth Manor. Your objective is to exorcise the ghosts with organ music.
- Big Fancy House: The eventual goal of the main storyline is to move into one of these — this time being Malcolm's Mansion. Tinsel Bluffs also qualifies as well, since it's incredibly lavish and is decked out with fancy furniture, a pool, and a scenic view from the hills.
- Burglar Wear: In The Sims Bustin' Out, the robber is Gender Flipped from the original game and wears a rubber catsuit and goggles.
- Cool Car: The Sims Bustin' Out actually grants the player a car. Completing each level unlocks a new vehicle.
- Cool Old Guy: In contrast to the sequel, Daddy Bigbucks is a kind, harmless, rich old man in the handheld version.
- Coolest Club Ever: Club Rubb, which becomes available to Sims following the Fashion Victim, Jock, and Movie Star career tracks. However, when you first move in, Malcolm steals some of the equipment there. One of the goals of the level is to throw the ultimate party at the club.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Malcom Landgraab is the richest man in the neighborhood, and serves as the Big Bad as he snatches away the items of its residents.
- Darker and Edgier: Should the player choose the criminal career as a Gangster. See Villain Protagonist below for more information.
- Disk One Nuke: The player Sim's energy and social needs never dip below half while staying at Mom's house, making it easy for the player to max out all of their skills before starting the campaign.
- Drill Sergeant Nasty: General Payne from the Octagon level, who hits just about every top military officer trope in the book and whose everyday outfit at home is his uniform, complete with a helmet.
- Dump Stat: Players often leave "neat" personality trait empty, since the disadvantages of a messy Sim can be easily remedied by assigning them or their roommates cleaning actions. Players may even hire a maid, and leave their controllable Sims more time to build their skills, relationships; etc.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Much like the first console version of Sims, the story mode begins with a dream sequence, this time taking place in Club Rubb. Some of the NPC Sims the player can interact with later in the game appear in the dream.
- Easy Level Trick: The main objective in Dudley's Trailer - cleaning up the mess he made - can easily be solved by hiring a maid, which many players will do anyway. Unfortunately, this doesn't work for the even bigger mess Mimi makes in her home, as the player is living at Studio 8: because the player's Sim is visiting the former place, rather than living in it, they have to clean it up themselves.
- Evil Laugh: Each level starts with Malcolm cackling maniacally while pointing the Repo Gun at objects.
- Funny Afro: Randy Hart from the Casa Caliente level, a male Sim with a rainbow colored 'fro who looks like he stepped right out of a '70s comedy.
- Hazmat Suit: Sims following the Mad Scientist career track will wear this as their work uniform after a few promotions.
- Humiliation Conga: Malcolm Landgraab gets hit with this once they player becomes successful. Each penultimate house has a main objective of screwing over Malcolm in some way (i.e. having him sign a deal to produce a Box Office Bomb with Fanny Adoré and Humphrey Hawks). Then, when the player moves into his mansion, the player character's mom will arrive and chase Malcom off his own property, letting the player have it all to themselves. Afterward, completing each career path will show a cutscene of him clumsily climbing onto the yacht the player is on, attempting to schmooze with the player, then being violently rejected by the other characters. In the final cutscene, he snatches the gnome statue intended for the player, which then rockets into the sky before exploding, sending him plummeting into the sea.
- Infinity +1 Sword:
- For houses, Malcolm's Mansion is the ultimate goal of the game, which the player character can achieve by reaching the top of their career ladder. However...
- ... while the furniture in Malcolm's Mansion is certainly nice, it's not the best available in the game. The item equivalents to this trope have to be unlocked across various houses and careers:
- The Information Overlord television set is the best electronics item in the game: it not only possesses the inherent qualities of TV watching (allowing multiple Sims to watch at once, boosting the social meter in addition to fun meter), it also has the maximum fun rating of 9, plays multiple channels at once,note and can even dispense snacks. It requires the player character to advance in the Sports career.
- The Miss Memo Sleep Chamber bed can refresh Sims faster than any other furniture, with a sleep rating of 11, and its comfort rating is decent enough as well. This requires the player character to advance in the Paramilitary career.
- Light Is Not Good: Malcolm Landgraab is dressed in an all-white suit, and serves as the Big Bad.
- Naked People Are Funny: The idea behind the Pixel Acres level, a nudist colony. If a Sim showers outside at this lot, they will stay nude until they have to change their clothes for bed or work.
- New-Age Retro Hippie: The Counter Culture career path.
- No Antagonist: The handheld version lacks a true villain. The closest thing is Giuseppi Mezzoalto, who admittedly tries to murder your Uncle Hayseed while robbing his house, but he doesn't do much during most of the game besides being a questionably legal character.
- Pink Means Feminine: Almost everything at Mimi's place is some shade of pink and/or very girly. It is possible for male Sims to move into Mimi's Place right after moving out of Mom's depending on the chosen career track.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Bing Bling, a white rapper who is featured quite prominently in the game.
- Punny Names: Just about everyone in the story mode has a pun-based name, such as Max Toane, one of the owners of the gym, or Artie Fischl, an artist who works at Studio 8, an art studio.
- Race Lift: Mom originally had a medium skin tone in the first game, but became light-skinned in Bustin' Out. Many characters from the first games also got complete makeovers, such as Debbie Frutti, who went from being a white blonde to a black woman with cornrows.
- Railroading: Not to the same extent as its console predecessor, as players are free to ignore non-career scenarios, but the rails are still visible. Players cannot make their Sims marry those that live outside the "Free Play" households. They also have a narrower range of career paths than their Free Play counterparts, and can only promote when at the correct households.
- The Rich Have White Stuff:
- Not only does Malcolm Landgraab have his all-white suit, but his mansion is decked out in white furnishings.
- Averted with the residents of Tinsel Bluffs, whom work as big-name actors, but live in a house that's plastered in wood, red velvet, and stainless steel.
- Rich Idiot With No Day Job: When you eventually move into Malcolm's Mansion, Malcolm himself will occasionally show up as an uncontrollable NPC who mostly loafs about without contributing.
- Took a Level in Kindness:
- Mom isn't a nag like in the previous game, and will more gently prod the player into sustaining themselves.
- While Dudley is still a slacker and a slob, he's much friendlier than he was in the previous game, coming across as a "fratbro" rather than a "douchebro". This can also be seen in his sister, Mimi Landgraab, whose more of a benign Spoiled Brat than the irredeemable Alpha Bitch. However, both still have their moments: Dudley may insult the player, while Mimi will occasionally flip the player off (and encourage them to do the same to her brother).
- True Art Is Incomprehensible: Mentioned in Charity Grant's background, as she is the creators of the so-called Anti-Meaning Movement of art.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The player character, should they pursue a life of crime through the Gangster career track.
- Villain Protagonist: The player can pursue a life of crime through the Gangster career track. They start off as a petty vandal and work their way to the top through increasingly severe forms of theft, guarding their boss, arson, extortion, and even contract killing.
- White-Dwarf Starlet: Fanny Adoré was once an A-list movie star, but has since been reduced to a mere sitcom actor by the time the player meets her. She's still convinced she has her former status, as can be seen in her prideful remarks, and wants the player to encourage Malcom Landgrab to sign a movie deal with her and her husband (which the game tells the player is doomed to be a Box Office Bomb). Given her prominence in the ending cutscenes, it seems she has earned her happy ending with the player's help.