Like the previous games, Bustin' Out features clever social interactions and the expressive "simlish" gibberish language that sims use to communicate with each other. Some of the new social interactions seem a bit juvenile, but they're a welcome change of pace, and a few, like the "sign language" social (in which your sim gives a rude gesture, then curses angrily--and the angry gibberish is punctuated with a high-pitched "censored" beep) are genuinely funny. The same can be said of Bustin' Out's sound in general, since it features a great deal of all-new simlish voice-over, as well as a fantastic, all-new soundtrack consisting of popular modern music types like hip-hop, pop, and rock music, and the PlayStation 2 version of the game supports Dolby Digital sound. While some of the game's menu and interface music tracks aren't all that interesting, your sims can turn on radios and stereos to hear hilariously dead-on parodies of popular music.
Bustin' Out looks pretty good, but it sounds terrific.
Bustin' Out has the same sort of colorful, simple look that The Sims for consoles did, though many of its objects and characters are slightly more complex and use more colors. The GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions of the game look about the same--each features simple-looking, pastel-colored furniture and fairly detailed character models for sims, though each version suffers from "jaggies"--aliased 3D graphics that have pointed, blocky edges. The Xbox version is clearly the best-looking one, since it doesn't suffer from jaggies, and while it has the same character and environment textures as the other versions, the textures are brighter and cleaner on the Xbox--it even supports 720p high-resolution displays. All three versions of the game feature enhanced options for customizing your sims' appearance, including loads of different hairstyles, shirts, pants, shoes, and accessories--and you're free to change your sims' appearance at any time within the game, as well as each time you reload a saved game.
Otherwise, the PS2 version of Bustin' Out supports online play in the "online weekend" mode, which lets you use your PS2 network adapter to visit with other players' sims to chat and swap items--an interesting way to get a bit more out of the game if you're done with the single-player modes. Also, the GameCube version of the game supports Game Boy Advance connectivity, though this feature doesn't seem like much of a big deal. It lets you transfer your sim to and from the GBA version of Bustin' Out, which essentially boils down to playing that version's mini-games for extra cash to import back into your GameCube game (you can also increase your sims' skills by using skill objects in the GBA game, which is a slightly faster process, but it's not a significant improvement). The three versions of the game are more or less identical in most other respects. All three versions feature the goal-based bust out mode, the free-form free play mode, and two-player cooperative multiplayer that lets you play through either of the other modes with a friend--a great improvement over the throwaway multiplayer modes in the previous game. All things considered, The Sims Bustin' Out makes good, solid improvements over its predecessor and stands on its own as a great version of The Sims for consoles.