EA Games: MySims Racing and the New Sims 3 Patch!

Here’s some news for Sims fans! First we’ve got a look at a brand new spin-off, and then a long-awaited update (okay, not VERY long…) for the Sims 3!

Bill O’Keefe reviews MySims Racing for KansasCity.com. . .

MySims Racing
Reviewed for: Nintendo Wii
Alternate version available for: Nintendo DS
From: EA
ESRB Rating: Everyone (comic mischief)

When EA started spinning off “The Sims” beyond its original intentions, jokes invariably were made about when, not if, the brand would succumb to its inevitable kart racer incarnation.

All joking aside, now we know.

But while “MySims Racing” most assuredly owes no small thanks to “Mario Kart” for its existence, it sidesteps most of the pratfalls that sank so many “Kart” rip-offs over the years. More importantly, it adds a few things to the experience that not only justify the franchise’s move into this arena, but also give the game some legs even “Mario Kart Wii” lacks.

“Racing” leaves little to chance in terms of its basic racing component, which looks like “Kart,” moves like “Kart” and follows the same blueprint in terms of controls, drifting techniques and the implementation of power-ups on the track. Like “Kart’s” Wii incarnation, “Racing” lets you choose between multiple control schemes, supporting motion steering with the Wii remote and more traditional play via the Gamecube controller and Classic or nunchuck attachments.

Generally, it does a sufficient job of mimicry. The handling is a touch more unwieldy than in “Kart,” but “Racing’s” drift mechanic compensates adequately with a little practice. The power-ups are similarly mixed: Some are clever and funny, while others feel either like useless throwaways or less effective imitations of “Kart’s” more iconic offerings.

“Racing’s” lone tweak to the formula – collectable on-track gems that build up your cart’s turbo capability – isn’t particularly ingenious in the realm of racing games. But those gems’ secondary purpose – as off-track currency – is a bit more interesting, and it opens the door for those aforementioned new ideas.

As any “Sims”-branded game should, “Racing” allows you to design your character, which goes a long way toward mitigating the game’s lack of identity when compared to kart racers that are stocked with familiar mascot characters. But “Racing” also lets you design and modify three carts – normal, large and toy-sized – with upgrades, accessories and paint/decal jobs. The customization tools can’t hold a candle to the likes of “Need For Speed” or “Forza,” but they fulfill their purpose in giving “Racing” enough tools to keep the experience reasonably fresh and tailor it to individual player tastes. They also, along with the surprising presence of a nonsensical but rather entertaining storyline, give the game a steady stream of rewards to achieve beyond the usual cup trophies “Kart” trots out game after game.

“Racing” falls back to earth with its multiplayer (four players, offline only), which doesn’t even attempt to match “Kart’s” exquisite online component. The four-player splitscreen works fine, though, and it serves as a nice alternative to (though not necessarily a replacement for) “Kart” when a change of tracks and power-ups is in order.

And then, in even better knews, Sims 3 players will be pleased to know that the new patch has arrived to fix some of the game’s pesky little issues. From GamersHell.com. . .

Electronic Arts has issued a new patch for The Sims 3, updating to v1.2.7 the latest installment in The Sims series developed by Electronic Arts Redwood Shores. Thanks: The Patches Scrolls. The Sims 3 allows you to immerse your unique Sims in an open living neighborhood right outside their door. The initial feature-set unveiled includes the new seamless, open neighborhood, new Create A Sim, new realistic personalities and new unlimited customization. The new seamless neighborhood architecture allows your Sims to roam freely around the neighborhood and visit their loved one and friends or foes.

Download the Sims 3 patch here

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