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My Sims For Wii

Reviewing: Electronic Arts My Sims  |  Rating:
By donna on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Gaming Expertise:
Image for MySims for Wii

The Sims franchise doesn't exactly have the best reputation for quality when it comes to console games, so it was a good sign that MySims took things in a different direction from the typical "computer people that take a half hour to pee" formula.

The most noticeable change is the cutesy new look of the Sims, inspired by a style of Japanese character design. These Sims look a lot like Miis with slightly more detail and better clothing options. Character creation is a little too simplistic, but this isn't a huge deal since most players will probably only be making one or maybe two characters.

Gameplay is also very different, it's a lot more like Animal Crossing than The Sims. Each Sim you make gets their own run-down town to refurbish. Your job in MySims is to make the town nice and attract new residents, and you aren't distracted from this goal by managing the needs of your character. Your Sims can eat, sleep, and bathe by interacting with objects, but there seems to be no real reason to do so other than seeing the animation.

The first step to improving your town is to build homes and businesses for new residents. To create a house, all you need to do is choose blocks to stack on each other, and then the basic blocks are embellished with windows, doors, and decorations. You can make the buildings as strange as you'd like, the layout of each house or business will be the same no matter how you make the exterior look. Don't worry about perfecting your designs on the first try, you can easily change a house later.

Once your residents have buildings, they'll want your help with decorating. Many Sims will ask you to build them certain types of items, and accomplishing these tasks will get your town a better rating. Creating items is a lot like building houses, you mix and match pieces to fit the blueprints of different types of furniture. But item creation has an extra element - you use various resources, called essences, that you can get around town.

The building tools are simple to learn but are tricky to master. Getting a piece exactly where you want it the first time in item creation is sometimes difficult, especially if you're trying to be creative and add pieces beyond the blueprint. It's fun to use the Wii remote to move pieces into place, but using the same shape more than once can be frustratingly awkward. The menus are clear and simple, but the lack of a back button that takes you to the previous menu makes it annoying when there are multiple things you want to look at.

Other than the interface issues, there are several other problems with MySims. Essences are an interesting idea, but collecting specific types (especially in the fishing mini game) can seem like a grind. There isn't a lot of variety when talking with the characters, so it's easy to get bored with your town's long-term residents. There are also loading screens every time you enter a building, leave one, or go to a different area of your town. These loading times don't seem bad at first, but it takes longer to load as your town improves. So the further you get into MySims, the more waiting you have to do. Even within the same area of a town, the world isn't always seamless. Running around the main part of my town started to get occasionally laggy when my rating hit three stars.

So far it sounds like I don't like MySims much, but there are plenty of positive aspects of the game. The main one is that you can make a unique and interesting-looking town. The character interactions are cute, and it can sometimes be fun to just watch your townspeople hang out with each other. You can build almost any style item you can imagine, which is a great idea. As your town advances, you open up new areas, essences, and building blocks that help keep the game fresh.

MySims had potential, but it could have used more polish before being released and is just too limited to have long-term playability. It's really just about collecting resources and building things. If you'd find that fun and can have patience with the interface, then you'll enjoy playing MySims for a month or two. If you expect a lot of different things to do, then just wait for the upcoming Animal Crossing sequel.