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MySims Agents (Wii) Review

Review for MySims Agents on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Top gadgets, shiny automobiles, and hot women: life as a secret agent has its perks of, when avoided the odd unwanted laser groin surgery or Fembots with machine gun jubblies, of course. Nowhere would this be more apt to experience than within the confines of a video game universe, but for the most part Mr. Bond has been leading the pack, beating off pretenders such as Sam Fisher and Solid Snake. Can a spin-off to a Sims game hope to steal his throne?

Short answer: no. Long answer: afraid not, because despite the title and the cover, you won't be doing any super-sleuthing in this game. Not to say that the name is false advertising, but Bond fans had best be leaving their AK47s and sniper rifles at the door. What you do get, however, more than makes up for the lack of guns and cars.

MySims Agents takes place in a world populated by chibi-style Sim characters, and features you, by whichever name, gender, and look you desire, as a Sherlock Holmes-type detective, investigating crimes and general mishaps around the neighbourhood. At least that's how things start. You begin at the bottom of the barrel, figuring out who a dog belongs to - a cute friendly flower girl, or a mad evil guy that laughs every five seconds? - before meeting with an agent who gives you your own headquarters. From here you can investigate a dangerous tool that the mad evil guy - Morcubus - wants to get his hands on. The plot isn't action packed or full of twists and turns, but it involves enough variety and setting exploration to keep things chugging along at a very steady pace.

Screenshot for MySims Agents on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Tools at your disposal are the wrench, used for repairs and nicking parts off electrical items, and the crowbar, which jimmies open crates and manhole covers, and unfortunately cannot be used to hit anybody. The magnifying glass allows you to see footprints and other remnants unnoticeable to the naked eye, and all three are assigned to the d-pad directions for easy and instant access. All of these tools also get an eventual upgrade as you progress through the game.

You might think that with these tools to hand, there is a lot of opportunity for motion and pointer control. EA have wisely taken into account the frequency of their use and restricted said control features. Many of the cases you'll take on involve repairing cog mechanisms by way of the pointer, sliding block puzzles to pick a lock, or guiding a small light lot through a perplexing maze. None of these puzzles will test you to a mind-breaking degree, but they are spaced out and varied enough never to be taxing, or annoying. Motion control is relegated to breaking things open with the crowbar, and even that is completely optional. The controls in general, from the jump button on the nunchuk to the main action trigger on the underside of the Wii remote, are easy to grasp, and together with the game's imagery, makes it an ideal title for young and old alike.

Screenshot for MySims Agents on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

A typical case will involve you interrogating people, and unearthing confessions from them. There isn't any voice acting in the traditional sense; instead what you have here is The Sims' specialised gibberish language, Simlish. As such, the game depends on the text for furthering the plot and character development. Thanks to some clever writing, spots of witty use of archetypes and popular expressions, it accomplishes this feat.

When not out sleuthing, you and your goofy Winston-type sidekick Buddy rest at your agency headquarters, where by completing missions you can recruit other MySims you have met. Each employed agent has their own traits and statistics in one of five main categories: paranormal, nature, charisma, smarts, and sports. By grouping up to three of them on one of the four floors of your base, you can create teams that specialise in certain areas. One of the MySims franchise's trademark mechanics - obtaining and placing interactive items - comes into play on these floors; find these items and place them on the floors to raise one or more of the statistics. This adds a vast amount of possible customisation, and is an essential task for some of the side-story missions you'll be sending your groups on.

Screenshot for MySims Agents on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Your main mode of transportation is the ever-reliable train, which you can use to go between the main street, the beach, the industrial district, and agency headquarters. Perched on top of your base is another method of getting about: the Harrier Jet. It's a pity that you don't get to fly the plane manually, but it opens up more places to visit, including a spooky house with an undead butler, a snowy mountain peak that is home to a Yeti, and an ancient temple that contains many secrets.

Each of these places takes awhile to explore fully, given that there are numerous mysteries to solve in each. The tutorial bar that pops up along the top of the screen and the progress-tracking notebook couple together to ensure that you very rarely get stuck on any particular part of the game, aside from the occasional light-bending puzzle. As such, MySims Agents will last around a dozen enjoyable hours, with even more replay value with side-missions after the credits. There's no multiplayer, but this is a game that doesn't need it. One to seriously consider for purchase if you're after something different with lots of charm and flair - it's quite possibly the best MySims game yet.

Screenshot for MySims Agents on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Simple and intuitive controls, together with a streamlined but entertaining investigation premise and building blocks of customisation, ensures a smooth play experience, even if things do get a tad too easy.

Graphics

Almost Animal Crossing-like in essence, but with enough variation and expression on the characters to differentiate them from the inhabitants of the former. Comic book-style cutscenes keep the pace going.

Sound

Background music is quaint, if not particularly memorable. Voice work takes on a life of its own with quirkiness and character.

Value

You'll get around 10 - 12 hours of play from a first play of MySims Agents, with enough potential play time afterwards with the finding of secret items and finishing of side-missions.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

MySims Agents presents a unique take on the secret agent theme with something more akin to a detective agency, but none of the fun is lost. The series' hallmark of customisation is still present and as strong as ever, but together with a new perspective of exploration and adventure, it's one of the most unique Wii games yet.

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13.10.2009

4

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Developer

EA Games

Publisher

EA

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

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Staff Member

No comments? Shame on you people! Smilie

I quite liked this game, and it\'s quite well recieved going by the other reviews going about.


( Edited 17.10.2009 19:02 by Phoenixus )


I actually thought this looked like an interesting game. But the most I ever heard about it came when GameTrailers did a video review of it and the backlash of Wii haters flooded the comment section. GoNintendo reported on it and then a bunch of other places picked it up. It's too bad, but that's the primary impression I got of the title: fanboy hatred.

I am so sick of these games. Generic Mii rip-offs seem to be the new thing in gaming these days.


Mario, Mega Man and Rayman FTW!!!
Staff Member

Well let's be fair, it's not like Nintendo are properly exploiting the Mii concept's full potential (I want my Mii RPG! Smilie ). So if it takes third parties to make a good game out of cute customizable characters like this, then so be it.


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