Well this is my first review in sometime and I’m going to start off with My Sims Kingdom for the Nintendo Wii. Now I have played other Sims games in the past such as The Sims, The Sims 2 and some of the expansion packs but nothing like this. Hopefully this review can help a few people out there make up their mind if they want to buy it for themselves or some kids that need a gift.
Now for the story. Once upon a time there was a great kingdom, with many different lands and many different Sims. All the Sims and the lands were ruled by the kind and wise ruler, King Roland. To help protect his subjects King Roland ordered his wizard to make special scepters with magical powers. Those who wielded the scepter were called Wandoliers, and they kept the kingdom working well and the Sims happy.
Since all of the Wandoliers have retired or moved away, the kingdom falls into disrepair, and the Sims are not as happy as they use to be. But today is a very special day. King Roland is going to pick a new Wandolier. Who will be next?
My Sims Kingdom is a great improvement over the previous games that I played before. There weren’t long pauses between actions, and it was very nice to see and move seamlessly in and out of build mode. You are limited in your actions with just a few choices in My Sims Kingdom until you have completed about two hours of playtime. The storyline in the game is pretty linear at first. Once you level up, new islands and options open up for you. At the next level up, new tasks are available at islands you visited previously. In My Sims Kingdom the islands you rebuild are visually appealing, populated by some funny characters, and hold progressively more difficult puzzle challenges. There is quite a bit of reading involved in My Sims Kingdom, which would make me warn parents away from buying this for very young children. My Sims Kingdom had a lot of humor throughout, which I think will appeal to many adults and teens alike.
Game modes for My Sims Kingdom include regular mode which is the default mode where you can walk around and explore and speak with the Sims. Prospecting mode is the mode where you can do Treasure Finding to search for Essences, Mana and assorted treasure. Construction mode allows you to use your wand to create and move just about everything - outdoor blocks to build houses, bridges, towers and so on, mechanical like gears, axles and items to fix broken machines, interest blocks for flowers, and fences and island blocks that are specific to the theme island you are visiting. Last but not least is custom construction mode. In this mode you can make any items at the request of the Sims of the kingdom but also use your wand to make anything you can think of.
When the game starts you get to pick if you would like to be a male or female. You get to choose basic features of your Sim’s hair color, glasses, tattoos, skin tone or random. You also get to choose a voice for your Sim from high pitch to very low pitch. This is kind of nice because you can personalize your Sim instead of just taking the standard voice like everyone else.
The game has a points reward system and level ups. It also provides additional costumes and clothing as rewards. You can trade in unneeded extra items for “mana,” the form of currency required to build objects; the mama system in the story works even better than in some of the other big name games.
When you first start the game you can’t do much like plant a tree full of rockets or fish for mythical creatures. There are rare hidden objects that assist you with long-term mini-quests. You can pick up a pick axe and go mining and you can also use a metal detector. The storyline is very linear until you get deeper into the game about 2 or 3 hours. Once you get past that point, My Sims Kingdom story line becomes very rewarding and addictive, with lots of free choices to wander all over the map and do whatever you want the character to do. You can built a good house from nothing, decorate your house and in paint mode you can paint the interior and exterior of your house.
That controls worked very well. You used both a standard Nintendo Wii remote and a nunchuk. The standard controls were very accurate for where you wanted to go and place stuff. I did have a few problems navigating the menu. A few times different menus would pop up that I didn’t want to but you get the handle of it after playing with it. Overall the controls worked very well without hang ups. The controllers were a little touchier than I thought (walking around was very fast when I first started the game) it would be but that is a very small problem. If you are one of those people who do not like using both the Nintendo Wii remote and a nunchuk controller then you may want to think twice because there are controls on both of the controllers. The nunchuk is used for walking around and a few other functions and the Wii remote is used for talking, shaking trees, going to journal and so on.
Sound effects and background music in My Sims Kingdom were very upbeat and melted into the background as if they were not even there. Sometimes with this kind of game the music can get a little annoying and get stuck in your head for days on end. With this game once I played it and turned it off it was not running though my head for the next couple of hours or even days. Sound effects were nothing to write home about but did seem to fit what they were trying to do. Information bubbles pop up when you go to talk to someone and they used a type of Charlie Brown school teacher kind of talk when they were talking but it served the purpose of them interacting with you. Sound effects for the pigs and other random farm animals sounded lifelike or as lifelike as they could. The game does have Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound which was nice but I don’t think it was really needed. I didn’t need to hear pigs oinking all around me.
I know the Nintendo Wii only does 480P resolution so that is what I will be basing my opinion on regarding the visuals. The Nintendo Wii that My Sims Kingdom was reviewed on did have a Nintendo Wii Component HD cable on a 1080P LCD TV so it gets the highest picture quality possible. Overall the picture was very good with a few rough edges. The outline of The Sims had some rough edges all round them but this did not take away from the overall playing of the game. After awhile I didn’t even notice the rough edges. The Sims that talk to you in the game looked good with their mouths moving in the same time that they should be. The running, jumping, walking and other fast moving movements were very smooth with no burling.
My Sims Kingdom was a fun and great game to play and well worth the money ($39.99 @ Amazon). It’s an excellent, nonviolent, creative adventure game for the whole family. The one drawback of the game is if you are not use to playing with both the Nintendo Wii remote and Nunchuk, but I don’t think this is a big deal because if you try the game you will catch on very fast with the controls. The game did remind me a lot of Animal Crossing but not quite up to that standard. I recommend My Sims Kingdom but like I said before you have to play the game for a few hours before you get to the meat of the game.
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