MySims Wii Review
With its chunky and colourful visuals, this Nintendo exclusive version of The Sims is obviously aimed at a younger audience. The game sends a message that life is cheerful and colourful, well that’s all a lie, as it’s not. We believe it’s possible to sue for false advertising, as this is certainly a fake advertisement for life.
But games are all about escapism and avoiding those black clouds rolling past your windows, so we won’t be taking EA through the legal system just yet. Indeed, if dark and depressing games are getting you down, this is certainly the one to lighten up your mood.
A basic and rather downbeat plot sees a once bustling town (insert name here, as that’s exactly what you do on the game) become rather rundown. Whilst it’s not exactly a chav town, it’s certainly one that needs a hand with restoring it to its former glory. It’s really quite obvious who’s to be responsible for this and as you have already roleplayed as so many heroes and heroines, sports teams, pilots, race drivers and more, well how about a change and try your hand at being an amazing builder (insert name here, as again that’s exactly what you do on the game) instead.
As soon as you begin the game you’ll be hit with a major difference of the series straightaway, the visuals. A rather good creation tool allows you to edit your Sim until everything is set to your liking, and it’s on this screen that you’ll see the influence of the Japanese with a chunky super deformed character model staring right back at you in the face. This obviously is to increase the appeal of the game to those who live in the land of the rising sun, as such visuals are as Japanese as a pair of big eyes and a spiky hairdo (as sported by almost every Japanese created game character). The visuals on the whole are super cute, super bright, and will also appeal to the younger gamer as well as those who can stomach the juvenile look. We can put up with the overall style, in fact we love it, as everything just looks so bright and cheerful, and a bit of colour is always nice when the summer begins to diminish and the leaves begin to fall.
MySims isn’t exactly consistent with other entries in the series, and we’re not just talking about the eastern inspired visuals either. As most of us know, The Sims normally has a social side to it, wherein making new buddies and striking up some romance is one of its trademarks, well we should probably warn you now that the social elements in MySims are barely existent, as are many other series mainstays, indeed there‘s no toilet breaks or anything like that here, it‘s work and more work. It’s fortunate then that the game has other things to keep you occupied, such as the not very small task of restoring the area, and as you go at it like a high on sugar beaver, always edging closer towards a five star rating as more work is fulfilled in the town, you would have to be the most miserable person in the world to not be sharing a smile with the local Sims.
The first Sim you’ll be chatting to is Mayor Rosalyn, and from then on you’ll build yourself a house followed by the all important workshop. Your house can be decorated to your tastes inside and out, but you’ll most probably be spending more time in the workshop where, being the good Samaritan that you are, you’ll knock up all sorts of objects for the demanding but cheerful townsfolk.
In the workshop you can create any item that you possess the blueprint of, including everyday household objects such as chairs, fridges, TV’s, toilets, couches, etc etc, and stranger objects including pizza ovens, podiums, sculptures, training dummies, turntables, and many many more. You may be wondering how all this building works, well basically you fill in a ghost image with the correct materials, and if you are feeling in a creative mood you can add your own flair to each object. You’ll be assigned tasks from Sims, and it’s then up to you to harvest all the materials (or essences) to build the objects of your non paying (well to be fair, they do give you object blueprints as well as decoratives for your house) customers desires.
Perhaps Master Aran needs a sculpture decorated with 15 octopis and 15 crabs (we‘re convinced that this game was really developed in Japan, as it‘s certainly odd enough), and if you don’t already have the materials you’ll have to go out and find them yourself, whether it was stated in the job description or not (the townsfolk are a demanding and lazy bunch you see). As an example lets return to the octopis and crabs for a moment, to get hold of these you’ll have to venture into the forest with your fishing rod, find the river and do some rod dipping with the Wii remote. You can then head home and busy yourself in the workshop with the creation of Master Aran’s sculpture, filling in the ghost image and then decorating it or painting it with octopis and crabs. Master Aran will be very happy when you take it and personally place it in his home for him.
Essences are gathered in a number of other ways besides the fishing, if some essences are out of reach in the trees you could always use the remote to give them a good shake, you can also prospect for various essences in certain areas (with the vibration of the remote getting more intense as you approach your buried treasures), chop trees down, and even interact with the environment or socialise with other sims to earn you happy, scary, angry and sad emotion essences by being mean or nice to them (we felt really bad and disgusted with the game when we had to be nasty towards our worshippers). There’s also some secret essences, which can be found in caves or past objects that can’t be accessed until you have the correct tool, perhaps you need a saw to pass a fallen tree for example or a pickaxe to turn boulders into rubble, well luckily you’ll be rewarded with these as your rebuilding of the town wears on, and as your work expands these tools are your tickets into new areas such as the forest and the dessert.
As the town grows in stature as does the community with more Sims flocking to the hotel, you can then ask any of the hotel guests to move into the town, and as you are also offering to build a house or business for them, it’s with little surprise that they never say no. Well, would you? To move in sims you first need to find a building plot to build their house or business on, you are then given a blank canvas to work with and it‘s then up to you to begin your famed construction work. Your imagination can then run riot inside and out, turning and flipping base blocks and furnishings, adding windows, doors, decoratives, paints and more, although to truly make a sim happy is to pander to his or her tastes, so don’t be too selfish.
To see the town once again flourishing and sims socialising and doing their own thing gave this writer a warm feeling in the pit of his stomach. It may not be a typical save the world storyline, although the game certainly makes you feel like a hero that is deserving of a statue and for hundreds of years to come it should also be mandatory for sims to swap stories about this legendary figure who single handily regenerated a town. They should be eternally grateful after all.
It’s an oddly addictive game, although the one note gameplay does begin to wear a little thing. With that said the game does have much longer legs than we expected, perhaps it was the compulsion to move in more Sims, decorate some buildings, grow various essence trees a little closer to home, or just the overall inviting charm, but whatever the pull may be for us, MySims, as different as it is, is another love it or hate it addition to the series. Admittedly, we’re rather torn, as we had our fun, but in all reality it’s still a rather limited and repetitive experience, but fans of casual laid back games as well as the young target audience should find something to like here, as a happy and trouble-free existence awaits them.