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Nintendo Wii Review: MySims Racing

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This engaging experience, set in Speedville, adds some nice elements to the racing game genre. The pleasant storyline and strong customization options put a nice spin on the standard kart-racing formula.

As the story goes, an evil property mogul called Morcubus threatens ruin upon the town, so a customizable driver must become a hero and save the community. Racing coach, Ol' Gabby, has some helpers named Tobor and Makoto in the garage, a common stop throughout the game. The accessible town map has a great layout, so players can find points of interest (often marked by character heads) quickly and easily. Players can complete missions with open ended exploration as well with the option to end current missions.

The controls are smooth, responsive, and the game can be played in five different control combinations: the remote, remote and nunchuk, classic controller, GameCube controller, or the steering wheel peripheral. Players can export/import custom cars using the remote, so keep that in mind when starting your profile character.

After getting the starting traffic lights right for a “lightning start,” one has to collect the crystals on the road for power-ups involving bunnies, bubble droppers, and beehives. The developers even provide a stress-free advancing power-up from a UFO among the high speed hijinx. The tracks include huge roller coaster loops; pinball physics; and weather effects including wind, ice, and water.

The MySims character themes (a.k.a. essences) can match personality preferences while adding some special visual touches. Players can collect essences for having completed tasks, usually ones involving picking up townsfolk taxi-style. Blueprints are also wanted rewards because they enhance engines, frames, handling, and special items like fuel injection and transmissions. Players can also mix and match car parts for some open ended and creative combinations.

People new to the game ought to start with the story mode first, which has challenges including rival races, item collection, obstacle courses, and the occasional championship series races. Up to four players can enjoy the multiplayer mode, but on-line capabilities are absent here. The high challenge level can become frustrating especially when one little bump can sometimes ruin your chance at a first place finish. This situation usually prompts players to increase their intensity with drifting and boosts giving them a chance to catch up, but players also get bombarded with stopping weapons and stalled by track traverses.

A convenient automatic save feature prevents players from losing any progress, including those all important reward challenges. A detailed tutorial presents a formidable challenge while constant assistance from visual cues and hint screens keep cutting away at one's learning curve. Good music and sound effects make the ride more pleasant, which helps when adjusting to the speed, physics, and track turns.

MySims Racing is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief. This game can also be found on Nintendo DS.


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