|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Gameloft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jan.15, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Because the base of the game is focused on talking to people, you would think that there would be lots of topics is your repertoire to talk about, but it seems all you care about is fashion, vitamins, and politics (a strange combination, I'll be honest). And on top of that, you can't even decide what you say. Once you choose a topic, you character will make various hand and face gestures, and you know whether the person you're talking to likes it or not. If they like it, you'll get some star points. If not, then your relationship will stay the same.
As I mentioned before, however, it is not hard to get people to be your best friend forever. All it really takes is a few commands to either drink or dance, and some compliments, and you've got the world at your feet. This really makes the social networking feature of the game very predictable, and as a result, very boring. Talking to people is a lifeless chore that has to be done if you want to advance. It's sort of ironic that going to work in this game (which requires you to play a mini-game) is more interesting then going out with friends and meeting people. And unfortunately, the game doesn't get much deeper then that. Once you talk to the right people, it seems that your success in your chosen career is assured, and you've completed the game.
Visually, this game looks pretty bad. The graphics remind me some of the earliest DS titles that honestly looked worse than Game Boy Advance titles. The people are all made of oddly-shaped polygons, and limbs frequently disappear or go through objects. The environments don't look as bad as the people and feature some nice texturing, but they really aren't enough to save this game from having an overall poor look to it.
The sound in this game isn't so bad and features a number of highly generic tunes that accompany different situations and locations. The tunes are definitely not anything you would want to hear again, but I'm just happy that there's no 10-second looping going on. There are absolutely no sound effects or voiceovers in this game, and I can't really tell you whether that is good or bad. The sound may not be the best thing you've ever heard, but it doesn't get on your nerves right away either, so that is at least something.
Overall, this game makes a poor attempt to put a different spin on a franchise that is already pretty much perfect. The various Sims games have developed a formula that really works. It is engaging, realistic, and never boring. And all of the things that The Sims is, Miami Nights: Singles in the City just isn't. It is repetitive and boring, and just can't deliver in the way that fans of sim-style gameplay could appreciate. Plus the characters are a little too creepy for my tastes. Miami Nights: Singles in the City seems like a title that is best left on the shelf or swapped out in favor of one of the many Sims itineration that are available now.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer