Friday, February 20, 2009

Animal Crossing Journal - My Neighbors Are Getting Weird

I'm approaching the end of my second week here in Central, and already I've made a lot of new friends. Of course, like in any reality, not all is well. Some of my neighbors are just... I don't know how to say it... off-kilter of sorts? One day they're fit as a fiddle whereas another they're completely insane!

Yeah... it's still snowin', champ.

That's just the tamest example I have to share! Blaire's a nice squirrel, but my bro and I are bored having four squirrels hanging out in our town. Filbert is my BFF, so he will definitely be staying. Then you have the always peppy, perky and pink Peanut, the always kind Blaire, and finally Mint. Mint seldom comes off as anything but snooty to the two of us. Something must be done we said!

This is no pitfall. We got an axe, and well...
Mint got ahead of herself!

The day after Mint was holed up inside her house. Apparently she needed medicine. She was obviously needing morphine from having her head severed and later reattached to her body. My brother and I overlooked the tiny detail of getting rid of the body.

Then there's Iggly who is quite athletic... well, as athletic as a penguin can be. He's disturbing me personally, however...


What does that even mean?

Next up is Angus who a lot of people won't stand up to! Now don't get me wrong. Angus is a very cool bull (can't be a cow, can he? I thought cows were female only), but when you keep insulting my friends like this:




I'm going to have to teach you a lesson in humility!

What's wrong, Angus?
Don't want to be a snowbull?

Regardless of our antics, the people of Central are quite friendly and enjoyable to be around. I didn't mention Stitches, Maple, or Pierce, but they're great folks, too. Perhaps they're too normal to be hanging around our town? Nahhhhhhhhhh....

I would love to have some visitors to meet my cast of glorious new friends! If you would like to come join us, feel free to leave your friend code, name, and town inside the comments!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection Review (PS3, 360)

For thirty dollars, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is available for both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. It's a great deal, so a purchase should be guaranteed! Need some more details? Check it out in my review below!
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Who knew that Sonic had so many Genesis games?


Perhaps Sonic the Hedgehog is a fellow buyer on eBay, and buys up classic Genesis (or Mega Drive depending where you are) games to be a part of his comprehensive collection. Then again, maybe Sonic's just a damned pirate. Who knows? Regardless, developer Backbone Entertainment known for their less than stellar arcade titles on PSN and Xbox Live alongside SEGA have opted to bring over forty Genesis games to both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 for the first time in HD and on one retail disc. The end result? A compendium of classic SEGA content known as Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. Is the use of the word just hyperbole, or is "ultimate" the perfect way of describing this collection of games of SEGA past?

So what if you already have three other compilations
with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on it!? Here's another!

Growing up as an elementary school student in the first half of the nineties, if you were into games at all, you either owned a Super Nintendo or a SEGA Genesis-- seldom both. Thus, playground arguments over which console was superior were commonplace. For those that didn't grow up playing the Genesis, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is a perfect chance to catch up to what the rest of us were foaming at the mouth over-- save for my old friend who drank Drain-O. He had his own reason. Ultimate Genesis Collection offers a fairly large amount of vintage games from the Genesis era, and pretty much every major genre aside from sports and racing are heavily represented. There's definitely something for everyone in this collection. The addition of a quick screen displaying what each button does before starting up a game is extremely helpful. The most popular titles, too, are present and accounted for-- Sonic the Hedgehog 1-3, Sonic & Knuckles, Golden Axe 1-3, Streets of Rage 1-3, Ecco, and so on. Role-playing fans will need to cut off contact with their loved ones just to get through the bounty of great RPGs included like the Phantasy Star and Shining Force series, Beyond Oasis, and the amateur-angering rogue-like fun of Fatal Labyrinth. Interestingly enough though are some titles that are mysteriously absent from this package such as Sonic 3 & Knuckles, After Burner, Landstalker, Gunstar Heroes, Pulseman, and Toe Jam & Earl.

Unfortunately, even though there are forty some-odd titles to play, many of the bunch are just incredibly poor by today's standards-- heck, even way back then I hated Altered Beast. Golden Axe feels way too clunky, Flicky controls like a car without traction, and other games just have an unyielding difficult though I will admit the last fault has to do with my skill and patience. Another thing that annoyed me in most of the games was the poor or grating music quality. The second level in Streets of Rage 3 was the worst offender of this. Meanwhile you have games like the mainline Sonic games that sound terrific for the most part.

Comix Zone is a terrific premise,
but it's darned difficult!

Regardless of the omissions and the games I wish were omitted in their place, there's still a large range of quality games that I never got to play as a kid, and the games still hold up very well and are enjoyable to this day. Ristar is beyond fantastic, and I never got around to unlocking it in one of the Gamecube Sonic compilations. Decap Attack is a charming side-scrolling platformer where your character can throw his head at enemies to take them out. Then you have the games that were created to directly compete with the graphically-impressive Donkey Kong Country series in the wonderful run-and-gun fun of Vectorman 1 and 2.

As certain in-game objectives are achieved, new arcade games are unlocked ranging from the adrenaline-pumping Alien Syndrome and Space Harrier to the quirky Congo Bongo and Fantasy Zone games. Additionally, several interviews from various staff members who worked on numerous Genesis games are featured as well. These, however, were taken directly from the PS2 Genesis collection, so don't expect anything new in this regard. Each game has its original box art and cartridge to view in the museum section. Unfortunately, the original instruction manuals of each game were not included which would have been even more of a blast-from-the-past to view. Furthermore, the Mega Drive Collection version of the game (for PAL regions among others) do not use the original Mega Drive box arts. Instead, the Mega Drive Collection still use the Genesis box arts which just comes off as lazy.

Looks nice, but plays great-- it's Vectorman!

Despite the minor messes of this medley of Mega Drive harmony or this Genesis gathering of goodness (again, depending on where you are), for thirty bucks, Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection is one of magnificent value. Purchasing these games individually online either through eBay or through Nintendo's Virtual Console service would run a person hundreds of dollars. Instead, one can pick up this assortment of classic games in one nice and tidy package that includes full HD support. For every game that a given person dislikes, there's another game waiting for them to fall in love with.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dead Space: Extraction (Wii) - Debut Trailer

It was announced within the month that the phenomenal Dead Space would be coming to the Wii. Just how the game would be presented whether as a new entity or a downgraded port was unknown. Now that the first trailer for the game is out, we now know it's an on-rails shoother akin to the recently released House of the Dead: Overkill. Cool beans indeed! Looks very pleasing to the eye! That is all I can surmise from such a short teaser! Check out the haunting trailer below. Meanwhile, stay tuned for my Dead Space review later this month!



Terms in the Industry That Are Overused (AKA SP Rants)

Me doth think you use that term... TOO MUCH! There's plenty of words and terms used in professional reviews, sites, and message boards that just get obnoxious and/or boring after a while. Most of the time because they're just used improperly by the happily ignorant. Let me preface this by saying that I'm not saying that these words need to die. I'm just hinting at it heavily. Some of this is meant to be heavy-handed in a joking fashion, so don't get angered over text from little old me for whatever reason. Let's get to the list!

waggle

It seems some of us are just getting lazy. Why bother trying to categorizing the big differences between pointer control, gesture motions, and just plain shaking the Wii remote like an idiot when we can just classify it all as the off-putting term "waggle"? I find it very easy to discern who takes the Wii seriously and who thinks it's a joke by how many times they use the word waggle. Waggle means to shake back and forth. I am not shaking back and forth when I taking a swing in Tiger Woods 09. I am not shaking back and forth when I flick the Wii remote upwards to catch a fish in MySims Kingdom. However, I am shaking back and forth when one of those charging zomb-- er-- mutants grab me in House of the Dead: Overkill. Now that is waggle. If motion-control is too big of a term to type, why not just use "motion"? Same amount of letters, less sounding like a douche bag when using it.

AAA

AAA. My, are we getting greedy! In schools, an A was something that 90 and above or something close to that were designated as. Then what is AAA? For that matter what is AA even? Is that an A+? The point I'm trying to make is that AAA is just a rubbish term to begin with. It's as if a person is saying that the game or mechanic of a game is exceedingly greater than an A+. I view this as hyperbole, something that the industry loves using for every high-profile blockbuster-- especially when they have an exclusive review of a top-notch game. It's bad enough that professionals use this, but it rubs off on the readers. How many message boards have you visited where an argument boils down to "my system has more AAA games than yours!" What does that even mean? Stop drinking the yellow Kool-aid because while you call it "AAA bodily fluid", I call it piss.

shovelware

A lot of people just seem to just get off on misusing this term. It basically now boils down to "this doesn't appeal to me or my group of gamer so it's shovelware" more than a genuinely shoddy game. I've read and heard this term for everything from MySims to Manhunt 2 to Beautiful Katamari to Wii Fit to Animal Crossing: City Folk to Dynasty Warriors Gundam to so on and so on. There's a difference between a bad game and shovelware just like there's a difference between accidental death and murder. That difference is intent. Hey, I watch enough Law and Order!

Regardless, the thing that really killed me is when an editor at IGN called Wii Music "Nintendo shovelware". So great. Now a "professional" is raping the meaning of the word because he didn't bother to try to like a game? Goodness, this industry is not going to be taken seriously anytime soon. No, I view shovelware as your Ninjabread Mans and your M&M Racing. Not as games like Wii Fit that I just don't care for and have no interest in.

kiddie/mature

It's sort of like anything with a color palette deviating from black, brown, or gray is considered kiddie nowadays. Wait. You got a gun, sex, naughty words, and lots of violence? Why the hell didn't you say so! I really dislike the ESRB rating "Mature". It's a total misnomer. Most games rated Mature are anything but. This game is too mature. It's used the F bomb fifty times in ten different ways! I can blow off someone's $@#$ off with my sawn-off shotgun! I can see someone's ding-dong because the developer decided they want to continue pushing the envelope and getting attention just like some professional video game-making 4chan! Awesome! Case in point, they're stupid terms, and you're a moron if you put down a game by saying it's too kiddie and juvenile while going to play Grand Theft Auto afterward.

casual/hardcore

No. Not doing it again.
To elitists, stop using them to make yourselves feel superior for playing games more than people with lives.
To everyone else, games are games. Enjoy 'em!
Next.

Wii

Not the console, mind you, but all the "Wii really want a new F-Zero, Nintendo!"

...Wait. Did you just use "Wii" as a substitute for "we"?

...Holy crap! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, no you did-int! How did you even come up with that? I have never heard of that gem of a joke ever! Puns are hilarious! You, my good man, are a comedic genius. Why do you not do stand-up? I know the U.S. commercials originally were "Wii would like to play", so why not expand that into saying "Wii" instead of "We" for everything! Man, that is fantastic! Are my eyes red from all the tears brought forth by my raucous laughter? I swear to God, take me to the hospital because I just split my $%@$ing sides with hilarity! It's sort of like equating playing with your Xbox 360 controller's joystick to masturbating except not as tasteless! You need a show on SpikeTV/ Pronto. You're gonna get one, too, by God. Phew! I'll just be laughing some more, okay?

emo

The way I understand it, and I'm not hip on these types of things, but an "emo" is someone who stereotypically wears tight jeans, wears bangs to one side of their face, dyed black, belt buckles, skate shoes, tight shirts, and is very shy, angst-filled, and listens to effimenate guys who people like you and me "don't understand" but they say it in a whiny girl-type voice. If nothing else, I have a whiny girl-type voice. True story. At least on the phone, for Goodness sake. Now answer me this: when did the term "emo" replace the word "%##"?

Regardless, lots of people throw the word around when describing Final Fantasy protagonists. Cloud? Okay. Squall? Sure. Zidane? Aw, hell, naw. Tidus? Now he's not emo unless we ARE replacing that word with %##. Now I don't know about you, but I prefer the word %## to emo, and I don't even use 4chan!

Feedback Appreciated!

What did you think of this article? Did it make you smile or make you angry at any parts (not my intention on the angry side of things)? Your comments are very much appreciated!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

MySims Kingdom (Wii) Review

Welcome to the 300th post on SuperPhillip Central! Let's take a look at the sequel to the successful MySims, MySims Kingdom. Released in North America around the end of October, we'll see if this game's improved on the minor problems of the original. Additionally, do you folks like the new way I've presented the score of a game?

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My Kingdom for A Sim


While a lot of the world is in love with the ever-expanding traditional Sims franchise, Electronic Arts opted to create a new take on an old favorite for Nintendo audiences. No, no! Don't leave! I'm not insinuating the "kiddie" or childish stereotype, I'm referring to the abundantly charming one which the original MySims possessed. The sales and success obviously were well enough for EA to decide to green-light another MySims for Wii. This time we have MySims Kingdom, and while the original MySims was all about helping to build your own mini metropolis, Kingdom involves much more loftier goals such as saving a kingdom. Is MySims Kingdom one that you'll want to crusade for?

Once upon a time there was beautiful kingdom-- a flurry of differently themed islands-- all ruled by the cupcake-chomping King Roland. For years his majesty's kingdom flourished, and all of his subjects lived in pure bliss. Recently, however, most of the kingdom has fallen into disrepair, and a savior is needed to make right all that is currently wrong. Thus, King Roland announces a contest to crown a brand new Wandolier, a Sim who is bestowed a magical wand able to build and create-- and all without those nasty zoning laws, too! Depending on the character the player chooses, a young boy or girl (I'll be going by boy for my own case), a farmhand for an overly bossy middle-aged woman, gets persuaded by his friends, Lyndsay and Buddy, to enter the contest. Besting a seafaring captain and a selfish and conceited princess, Roland's daughter, the player's Sim gets the honor of being the kingdom's Wandolier! Charged with the responsibility to fix the problems of the numerous isles of the kingdom, the three friends head out on a tiny boat, setting sail for adventure.

The kingdom needs a new Wandolier.
Are you up to the challenge?

While the aesthetic of MySims Kingdom is decidedly geared towards the younger mindset, the dialogue and cast of characters are endearing, charming, and humorous enough for the older crowd as well. The writing in the game is top-notch. Seldom was there a scene or conversation that I didn't chuckle or at the very least crack a smile. Lyndsay and Buddy are your helpers and close friends throughout the game. Lyndsay is an adventurous explorer type, a more serious character-- at least compared to Buddy who is pure comic relief. His childlike naivete is beyond hilarious. Then you have an entire cast of clever and comical characters such as my personal favorite, Dr. "The F stands for ROCKETS!" F, a trigger happy scientist ready to blow up whoever and whatever... FOR SCIENCE!!!

Those who played the original MySims will be happy to know that the technical problems that plagued the first MySims have been fixed in Kingdom. No longer is there framerate issues, graphical slow-down, or long and numerous load times to contend with. The character models have a wide range of animations and facial expressions giving them even more variety than ever before. The game is a delight to look at. There's really nothing that comes off as an eye-sore or repulsive to the eyes. Now, of course, if you're one of the few who can't go back to playing PS2-quality presentation after playing your big-budget blockbuster on your HD consoles, then you probably won't like the look of the game unfortunately.

While one island might be bright and cheery,
another like Spookane might be dark and foreboding.

Once the player arrives on a given island, certain NPCs will have problems that only the Wandolier can solve. These include renovating the interior or exterior of their house, leading a pack of animals to a specified point, or connecting electrical or water pipes and gears in a puzzle-like challenge to open a mechanism like a gate or turn on a control system of some type. Of course, it's not as simple as that. Usually the player's given a magical scroll which states how many of a given essence they need to unlock the items the scroll has sealed. Essences are found in a variety of ways such as shaking trees, pulling weeds, prospecting, mining, fishing, and interacting with various household objects like sinks, bookshelves, and couches. Once all of the necessary essences are acquired, Lyndsay, who was entrusted by King Roland with the magic pouch, will turn scrolls into usable pieces of furniture. This is much more streamlined and less tedious than how things worked in MySims where essences were used to build furniture piece by piece. As each task is completed, the player is awarded a special gift whether it be a new scroll, outfit, or furniture. Each task also gives the player King Points. Once enough points are earned, new islands are unlocked for even more exploration and Sim assistance.

Most tasks will involve construction. Thankfully, the controls for these heavy-duty jobs are full of ease. Early on, the game will show the suggested locations to place various objects. It's just a matter of placing them, and off we go! As the game progresses, this luxury is removed, but by that time a person could start their own Sim home construction business. Building and furnishing homes isn't without its limitations though. Each task has a set amount of types of objects needed. Each construction piece, whether it be building material or furniture, has at least one interest value attached to it. Different Sims have different interests. For instance, Goth Boy wouldn't be caught dead in a coffin full of cute things, so he wants his house full of spooky items-- as if sleeping in a coffin wasn't spooky enough. Placing enough items in his house that satisfy the prerequisite will pass the lover of the night's task. Of course, most Sims have multiple interests which makes things more complicated. As for the overworld controls, things are adequate on this front, too. MySims KIngdom uses motion control to shake trees-- an honest use of the term "waggle" right here-- as well as to mine essences from rock and to fish.

Unfortunately your available attire at the
beginning of the game is severely limited.

There's plenty to do in MySims Kingdom and secrets to reap in the rewards from. Hidden goodies such as costumes, figurines, and treasure chests abound for the player to discover. After King Roland commends the player on saving his kingdom, he awards an entire island dedicated to whatever the player wishes. Most players will reach this point at around 10-15 hours in. My ending playtime clocked in close to 24 hours when all was said and done, and that was even with phoning several construction tasks in by just building fifteen cabinets on top of each other and painting them as desired...

While MySims Kingdom is a wonderful experience, I'd very much love to see the idea expanded. As it stands, all that is needed to be buddy-buddy (not to be confused with the lovable character Buddy) with a given Sim is to spam the "Be Nice" option. I'd love something closer to the actual The Sims line of games. Obviously not to that complicated of a level, but certainly not as basic a level as we are left with now. I'd love a return to building and taking care of my own town as in the original MySims whereas in another mode it's an adventure premise like the bulk of MySims Kingdom. Perhaps EA could utilize and refine that jump mechanic to add some simple platforming to the mix. Two unique experiences in one unique package.

Meet characters Sim and Sim-like!

MySims Kingdom is an incredibly charming, full of character, comical, and entertaining game for all ages. Kids will appreciate the cute characters, exploration, and building while adults will appreciate the clever dialogue and ability to build without the hassle of cleaning up afterward. For anyone with a passing interest in entering the friendly kingdom, there's really no harm in trying the game out for yourself. Those who played and enjoyed the original MySims will very much appreciate the effort and fun put into this year's installment-- especially if they want something other than an Animal Crossing-lite from the series.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]

Monday, February 16, 2009

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Super Mario Edition

We finished off Mega Man for now, so let's move onto a new video game franchise. What better franchise to examine than Super Mario Bros.? This week we'll begin listening to the 2D console games starting with the one that started it all!

V251. Super Mario Bros. Main Theme

If you've been with me for awhile, then you know when I list a song that has been heard over and over again countless times that I usually try to mix it up. It's no different with this installment kicking off a ten track listen to the various tracks of mainline Mario games. This is the theme that even someone who hasn't picked up a controller in years could probably hum flawlessly. It's the main theme of Super Mario Bros, but not the original version. It's the smooth jazz rendition as heard on the Super Mario World Live concert CD. Enjoy.



V252. Super Mario Bros. 2 Main Theme

Hey, gang. We just finished off Super Mario Bros. (well, we did if you listen to these in order, and if not, SHAME ON YOU! *shakes fists uncontrollably*), so the next logical step is to head to Super Mario Bros. 2. By now the history of the American version and Doki Doki Panic has been brought up so many times that this is no longer an interesting story of how it came to be. We know the story already. Stop telling it to us! Here's the essential main theme of the game-- Super Mario All-Stars style!

P.S. I'd love to see Wart in a game again.




V253. Super Mario Bros. 3 - Waterfront

This is a special dance arrangement CD, officially licensed and published by Nintendo of Japan, arranged and performed by the Akihabara Electric Circus. The CD celebrated its 20th anniversary on December 15th of last year. The track we'll be listening to features two well-known Super Mario Bros. 3 themes, the underwater and land levels songs.



V254. Super Mario World - Staff Roll

We move onto Super Mario World which is one of my favorite games of all time as you know if you've been following my blog for awhile. No fancy arranged versions or anything like that. This is the bona fide original SNES staff roll theme. It was catchy to me as a kid, and it's catchy to me as an adult... who still acts like a kid.



V255. Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island - Athletic (Game Music Concert Version)

This will be our final look on the 2D side of mainline Mario games with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island-- or just Yoshi's Island if you prefer the JPN title. This song is an orchestral version of the Athletic theme from Yoshi's Island performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic back in the mid 90s.

For those wanting the original and Smash Bros. versions, check this volume out.



Next week we'll enter three-dimensions as we explore the myriad of music in Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and many more! You won't want to miss this!

MySims (Wii) Review

On Tuesday I will be posting a new review for MySims Kingdom. Does it improve on the original MySims' formula? You'll find out tomorrow. Until then let's take a look at the original with a fairly old review of MySims!
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YourSims, MySims, and OurSims

user posted image

The Sims is a beast of a franchise selling millions of copies worldwide through its various sequels, expansions, and spin-offs. MySims is the latter of the three. Stylized heavily to pique the interest of the Japanese crowd, MySims sports a very cute, endearing, as well as charming look to it with deformed anime-styled characters and bright, colorful visuals, but how does the gameplay hold up?

user posted image
Begin by concocting your own Sim.

After creating your Sim from the multitude of facial expressions, eyes, hairstyles, makeup, and clothing options, you're assigned to construct a house to live in and a workshop to build furniture and other items in. After this, you're placed into your town-- which you're given the task to name. The mayor will explain that the town was once a bustling little community until slowly and steadily most of the inhabitants moved away. It's your duty to help this stumbling township regain its former glory and bring the town's status back up to five stars. What you can do at the beginning to the game is a little limiting as you need to follow the mayor's tutorial mission as well as check out the neighbors who remained in your town.

user posted image
Perform tasks for your fellow Sims.

Missions-- or tasks as the game calls them-- all revolve around the same trend-- construction. Commercial Sims-- those who own a business-- will often ask of you to make them an item or group of items after they've settled into their new digs. These items range from couches and chairs to arcade machines and giant-screened T.V.s. However, all items have a required number of Essences that need to be used when crafting the task. Essences are the bread and butter of constructing furniture. Certain Essences are found in distinct locations through a number of methods. You'll be prospecting and digging up various Essences, casting a line and reeling in other Essences, planting, growing, and shaking numerous trees for Essences, and retrieving other Essences by participating in events such as book club meetings and seances with other Sims.

Building furniture, or anything for that matter, is quite easy, but there's a lot of depth underneath that aura of simplicity. It's as quick as selecting from the multitude of blocks available and grabbing and dropping. There's square blocks, circle blocks, sphere blocks, triangle blocks, and a whole assortment of other blocks available for the creative type. The aim of constructing anything is to make sure you cover the glowing stars of the blueprint model. You needn't build everything exactly to blueprint. There's a lot of wiggle-room to maneuver here to give artists as much creativity as they'd like and those just wanting to build something fast the ability to do so. Once the task is completed you exit your workshop and give the item to the neighbor who gave you the task. It's your duty to place the object inside their domicile wherever you see fit.

user posted image
Mingle around town...

Once you reach a new level by fulfilling the needs and desires of your townspeople, you'll be able to check by the hotel to welcome new citizens to your town. The beauty of MySims is that you have full creative control of your town. If you didn't like that you didn't really have the power to say what citizen could live in your town in Animal Crossing, you'll definitely enjoy this aspect of MySims. It really is YOUR town to mold and craft. You go up to the Sim you'd like to move in, talk with them, ask them to move in, pick out any of the myriad of lots for them to live on, and then construct their home for them. Constructing homes is simple as well, and again there's a wide array of blocks to fool around with. A wide variety of windows, doors, roofs, furnishings, and colors are available to the player so no two homes will ever look the same if the player is creative enough.

There's three main areas to MySims-- the main town, the forest, and the desert. As you acquire new items from the mayor after your town reaches new levels, you'll be explore these areas more in-depth discovering new places to dig, caves to explore, lots for new Sims to move in on, and Essences to acquire. Besides the types of Essences you can gather and the aesthetics of the areas, there's really nothing that changes the main core of what you'll be doing-- shaking trees, digging up Essences, and moving in new Sims. This repetition might put off some players.

user posted image
Mingle indoors....

The Sims in your town each have their own personalities, and with those different personalities come different tastes. A goth-like character will probably be none too pleased with a pretty pink house, and a cute schoolgirl will most likely detest living in a brooding fortress of doom and despair. Sims will react to one another, but it's overly simplistic. Lasting relationships don't really occur to the level of what you'd find in the normal Sims titles. There aren't many options for what you can do with other Sims. It's either be nice, be mean, or just read the repeated dialogue over and over again. There's really no gender definitions either. Though it is amusing to see two male Sims blowing kisses at each other. There are special things you can do with Sims besides the generic options, however, such as dance with them, join in on lunch, juggle, and more. Sims can also interact with the various objects the game has, so a Sim can start grooving to a jukebox or take a snack out of the fridge and start chomping.

From the cute chibi characters to the colorful palette the game offers, the presentation is simple and endearing to the eyes. The sound design is quite good also. Sims speak their patented gibberish, and the music is bouncy, happy, and varied. Aesthetically, there's an extensive amount of options to furniture you can create, colors and patterns you can add, and structures that can be built. However, even doing the simplest of tasks in MySims can cause the game to chug to abysmal framerates and laggy gameplay, and this occurs more times than should be necessary for a game this simple in scope and design. There's also way too many load times. Load times when you enter buildings, two second load times when you talk to someone, load times when you wish to place furniture, design furniture, and load times when moving from one area to another. If a game as dynamic graphically as Metroid Prime 3 can pull it off, why can't a more tame game like MySims do it? It seems that with more development time these issues could have been rectified.

user posted image
RIBBIT!

If you're the type of gamer who vastly enjoys customization-- from the characters, the insides and outsides of homes, who you put in your town, and where you put them-- you'll greatly enjoy MySims if you can ignore the technical downsides. However, if the thought of repetition and even more repetition turns you off, then these Sims might not be the ones for you. With a construction interface that's intuitive and and easy to pick up for beginners and enjoyable to master for those with an artistic flair, a wide variety of personalities and townspeople to chatter with, and a very cute disposition, MySims is certainly an endearing experiment. It's not perfect, but damn, is it ever addicting.

[SuperPhillip Says]

Story: The town you've moved into is in need of revitalization. Are you a bad enough dude to help out?

Graphics: Simple which is no excuse for the load times and framerate kinks.

Gameplay: Repetitive, but is it right for you? Depends on how much you like the idea of customizing your own town and the Sims that live in it.

Sound: Yotoki ruffle, bizado! That means in Sim-speak: "quite good, homeboy!"

Replay Value: The creative type will have hours upon hours clocked into MySims. Others? Maybe not so much. Your time into the game reflects how creative you are.

Overall: 7.0/10 - Good, but framerate issues and abundant loading screens make for a bumpy ride.

Super Mario Galaxy - "Don't Stop Me Now" Fan Tribute

Before I head off to bed, check out this amazing fan-made video tribute to Super Mario Galaxy. In my eyes, it's a game that hyperbole doesn't do justice. The video is masterfully and professionally edited, and I can't even imagine how long it take to construct all of those gameplay shots. If it doesn't make you want to crank out Super Mario Galaxy, then you have no soul... or the soul you have is a boring one at the very least!

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