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I've looked and looked, and I've seen no threads about this game, which I find surprising as it's been out a few days now and might be enjoyed by people who like, well... The Sims, and something like Crusader Kings. I will edit this OP tomorrow when a) I am not falling asleep, and b) the forum can hopefully be relied upon to function as it should do. But for now, I will paste this post by someone over on the EA forums about everything that is wrong with this game. They've also posted an interesting thread you can read here, if you want to have a look.
There's a saying - "Jack of all trades, Master of none." Basically, in trying to be everything, the Sims Medieval has become nothing.
You say it has the opennes of the sims - but where? You say the openness comes in the lack of a set story - except that within each quest, there IS a set story to complete. That's whole point of the quest-driven structure. It's not open, it's limited choice. There is a big difference here. You have a choice what buildings to build, but you can't choose where they are placed, who lives with whom, and so forth. You can choose what quests your Heroes attempt, but you can't choose every step of that quest - and you certainly can't ignore it - without failing the quest. Thus, it's not open, it's limited choice. This like the difference between a question such as "Do you believe the Sims Medieval sucks?" and "Why does the Sims Medieval Suck?" The former has two answers - yes or no (three if you allow maybe, and four if you accept I don't know) - limited choice. The latter is an open question, since you can put any answer you pretty much like there.
The "RPG" claim is always going to be contentious with me. The term "RPG" within the computer game and the term "RPG" in the larger gaming industry are completely different. The latter means anything with a story where you are playing a role - but since this would put the likes of doom and mario with everything else, it's not really useful in that sense - after all genre in video games is about gameplay, not narrative or linguistic tropes, and in the most part, videogames have stories. It's very hard to think of games that don't - these are normally puzzle games. Whether the stories are complex or not are irrelevent - Doom is as much of an RPG as Diablo as Mario as Oblivion.
Therefore, the term "RPG" is going to get the benefit of it's more specific videogame definition, and the Sims fails here. The heroes gain levels through XP - but how is this any different from the way professions worked in Ambitions? In turn, these were based on the careers in the previous game. Add in the equipment-based concepts, and you've got a very limited RPG system, which is essentially character advancement. That what the videogame definition of RPG means - the characters get better. I find this very simplistic anyway, but still.
Yet, when you look at how the characters improve - the simplicity of it leads to a lack of depth which will leave most people who want to play RPGs unsatisifed. I hope they aren't playing RPGs for the quests - a common, but not mandatory, factor in RPGs, because quests are the biggest flaw in the game.
The strategy elements are debatable - because you need to ask yourself, what is the point, what is the strategy? What is the game itself trying to get you to do? This is where the strategy definition fails - it is not a strategy game just because a game requires you to think and make decisions. There is justification of the strategy game on the kingdom level - but once you get into the simulation level, it falls down.
It all comes down, once again, to Quests, and how badly implemented they are. It's like having two different games sandwiched together - seperately, they would have worked really well. But they have been poorly integrated - and this is what is causing all the disappointment.
The startegy enthusiasts are seeing the Sims 3 elements getting in the way of the game, while the Sims 3 fans are seeing the strategy elements getting in the way of the game. The two aren't meshing well - even though they should. Instead, the game tries to be both, and has become neither.
BTW, I do have every past incarnation of the Sims. I have seen the trends that have been happening with the series, and as a fan of both simulation and stragy games, this should be ideal for me. It isn't - and what makes it worse, I can see where it isn't. WHich makes me wonder why they couldn't.
As a franchise, the Sims has become more and more prone to step towards godhood and strategy, away from simulation, making a serious fatal flaw - the computer should NEVER have more fun than the player. Yet we get ten Heroes, and the computer gets the rest of the kingdom. Add in a pre-disposition towards "mini-games" - I mean, it's hard enough managing multiple sims at once, but when they all require micro-managing through features like crafting? Believe it or not, this is when it is useful for those longer actions to be automated, since you can go and check on another Sim. Big fail for the Sims Medieval when you get multiple responsibilities involving crafting...
Edit - Apologies again for the rushed, horrible OP. I'll fix it tomorrow, make it all pretty and nice-like. Promise.
...and I thought of how all those people died, and what a good death that is. That nobody can blame you for it, because everyone else died along with you, and it is the fault of none, save those who did the killing.