|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: March 10, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The Wii has too many party games. I am not the first person to say this, and I am quite certain I won't be the last. However, despite the over-saturation of party-style games, some titles in this genre are actually pretty good. Titles like WarioWare and the Rayman Raving Rabbids series are great examples of how this genre can be done correctly. When I started up MySims Party I was actually quite hopeful this game would be another one of these well-done party titles. I thoroughly enjoyed the series' previous iteration, MySims Kingdom, and even as a seasoned gamer, I could appreciate its RPG elements and thoughtful puzzles. However, both of these elements are gone in MySims Party, and this title definitely doesn't live up to expectations.
The game is formatted rather awkwardly; you play by going through a series of linear "festivals," each with their own set of 3-7 mini-games. You are only able to unlock one festival at a time, and the only way to do this is by getting first place in the previous festival. This seems like a very poor formula for a party game, as the idea is generally to jump right into the gameplay and not have to worry about unlocking content.
Even though the initial structure of the game was enough to put me off of this party title, I was still willing to give it a legitimate chance. However, as I started going through all the different festivals, I noticed everything felt very familiar. From the Diner Dash-like food challenges to the "waggle with the beat" mini-games, almost all of the mini-games felt like titles lifted directly from Mario Party or the Rayman series. I was very dismayed that some of the puzzle content from MySims Kingdom was not incorporated, and even though there are brain teaser levels (normally involving pushing a few blocks around), these are extremely simplistic compared with even Mario Party puzzlers, which is quite a stretch indeed.
The only real difference between MySims and any other party game is the implementation of a stat system. Each Sim character you can choose to play as has various strong points and weaknesses in areas like luck and strength, which will help your character gain an advantage in challenges that utilize these strengths. And if your character does well, they can even improve their stats. Although this is a good idea in theory, the different festival rounds are too short for the various stats to make any kind of difference, and I found that in most strength-based challenges, a +1 strength character will work just as well as a +3 strength character.
But as anyone will tell you, putting familiar-feeling mini-games in a collection such as this is not exactly unique, and some might find the repeated gameplay elements actually good for young children. However, what is not excusable here is the hit or miss control. Like other mini-game collections, MySims Party uses a lot of waggle-based control for mini-games, and when it does, it fails miserably. For instance, one mini-game requires you to turn the Wii-mote around a horizontal axis in order to scoop ice cream. However, this scooping motion does not really ever work, unless you turn the Wii-mote very slowly. And of course, when you move slowly, your A.I. competitors will get the best of you and you will lose anyway.
However, not all the news on the control front is bad. Some of the mini-games, particularly those that do not use waggle, were actually quite fun. For instance, there is one mini-game that involves jumping on lily pads like a frog and uses the Wii-mote on its side to facilitate the action. The controls in this particular mini-game only involved the D-pad and the 2 button, and as such were quite satisfying. Still, despite the presence of games like this one, I would say that bad waggle control ruins about 30% of the mini-games in MySims Party, which is a shame because the motion-based controls in other MySims games worked so well.