Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pushing Buttons, for Saturday- Nov. 3

‘MySims’ — When cute won’t cut it

“MySims” is a game for Nintendo’s Wii. And that’s about all I can say for it, really. My friend called it “frustration in a box.” I’d say “MySims” is a monumental pile.

For those not familiar with the Sims series, there’s not much to it. You create characters, build homes and decorate them according to your tastes. “MySims” is just a cuter, dolled-up version of the same concept. But unlike the others, “MySims” feels like it rode to the Wii on the short bus.

Another thing I wanted to say about the game is … wait, loading, this may take a few moments …

The load times. Are you kidding me? The way this game drags it’s like the developers at Electronic Arts didn’t play it before they shipped it. Inane conversations require two-minute waits to complete. The story — such as it is — lurches forward like a junk car.

Who wrote this stuff anyway? “MySims” billed itself the way a lot of Wii games bill themselves — it’s a cuddly, family friendly bowl of syrup. But sometimes cute doesn’t cut it. I appreciate games that appeal to a wider-audience of traditional non-gamers. But I don’t know if people who have lobotomies are a good market for Nintendo.

The tasks in this game are tedious and pointless. There was also no obvious way for me to save the game. Every time I picked up the game it was a waste of my time.

If there is one redeeming quality, it (may) be the character-creation system. It’s fun to use, though I wish you could use your player-created Mii avatars in the game. The characters look like they could be Miis from a distance.

But being able to upload Mii avatars would’ve made the game fun and interesting. And that’s obviously the opposite of what EA was going for.

I give this “MySims” one-half button out of five, which basically means the game exists. It will make a fine addition to the bottom of Circuit City’s bargain basement bin, someday.

‘Brawl’ delayed

I fully expected to play “Super Smash Brothers Brawl” this Christmas while unwrapping all of my other fun gizmos and gadgets. But Nintendo has pushed back the release date again. This time, it’s February 2008.

This game is one of the major reasons I bought the Wii. For reasons I don’t understand, game developers do this sort of thing a lot. They tease us with beautiful previews and get our hopes up, only to pull the rug out from under us.

Developers should just pick a date and stick to it; these moving targets suck.

Satellite for sure

I recently bought an XM radio and I have to say, satellite is the best deal out there. As mainstream commercial radio deteriorates into a vapid wasteland of car commercials, derivative disc jockeys and annoying sound effects, satellite radio provides a tantalizing oasis.

Sure it’ll cost ya — about $13 a month for one receiver. But there are very few commercials, a plethora of options. There is a larger world out there, musically speaking.

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