MySims Review

There’s no questioning that the Sims franchise is one of the most successful in the history of video games; only Mario and Pikachu have moved more copies. Despite its success, it’s never really taken off on consoles. For a myriad of reasons, the Sims formula just doesn’t seem to work.

So what do you do if you’re EA and really want the Sims to work with a controller? Well, you borrow from a similar franchise which has had success: Animal Crossing.

MySims on the Wii is basically just that: Sims meets Animal Crossing. Unlike the Sims game you’re (probably) used to, you don’t control a family and live out their lives, find a job, or even command your Sims to poop. Instead, you create one character, and go around your unsuccessful town completing tasks to better the town to get more people to move in, which leads to getting items and building things, which leads to more people coming… Sound familiar?

You start off with a house and workshop, and are given the ability to construct them largely to your own desires, although the game seems to always try to hint at using matching items and plans together. The fact that building is done so freely and in an entertaining way is a huge plus for the game, especially when all of the social and micromanaging aspects that made the Sims games so fun are completely absent in MySims.

The core gameplay of MySims revolves around completing tasks or building things for the townspeople, which leads to earning more furniture blueprints and essence. Essence is one of the unique features in MySims’s construction; you gather them in a variety of ways, ranging from growing them on a tree to hugging fellow townspeople. As new townspeople ask you to build them furniture, you’ll have to tack on certain essences in order to please them. The downside? Most of the time, collecting essences just isn’t fun. As one friend who saw me playing noted, a lot of the time it’s a lot like resource gathering in any number of online games.

The level of control you have over the town itself is easily my favorite part of MySims. In Animal Crossing, it was frustrating when an animal I disliked would move into town (especially from towns run by a certain Chris Pereira…). In this game, no one will move into your town unless you ask them to. Once you ask them to live in your town, you pick a lot of land for them to live on, construct their house, and hope they like it.

MySims ice cream parties! Nah, not really.

Unfortunately, that’s really all there is to the social interactions, save a few tacked-on attempts at emulating Animal Crossing. Despite having more say over your neighbors, the characters in MySims just aren’t as unique and entertaining as those in the Animal Crossing games, though, and having the Sims name tagged on just makes the lack of real social interaction all the more apparent.

If you’re one of those gamers who loves to build and customize things, you’ll absolutely love MySims. You have a huge variety of furniture blueprints to choose from, and can always vary from the plans in your own way, although the degree to which you can do so and still end up with a nice-looking piece depends on what you’re building. There’s a lot of options for buildings, you design your entire town, and it’s all a blast in that regard. Unfortunately, outside designing items there’s very little to do in this game.

Not only are you limited in what you’re able to do, but the game is just plagued with a lot of annoying little technical aspects. As you’re crossing the town, you’ll frequently encounter slowdown, and there’s a ton of loading. From the long loading when you start up the game to the loading you have to wait through when entering a house or crafting an item, it’s almost as bad as some of the more frustrating long-loading games on the PSP.

It will be interesting to see how MySims works out. The game certainly fits the stereotypical Wii gamer, but will they bite? When compared to the Sims titles we’re used to, MySims contains only a fraction of what made the franchise great. Then again, the Sims formula obviously hasn’t been doing so hot on consoles… Maybe more emphasis on creating items and less emphasis on social micromanagement is just what the casual console gamers needed to join the multitude of Simians. Time will tell.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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