With my Nintendo Wii library looking a little sparse I decided to try and stir up some hidden gems. Google wasn't much help as any results for Wii hidden gems either yielded lists of very well known titles, or mostly the same batch of little known titles that aren't quite up my alley. My goal was to unearth hidden racing titles for the Wii, which should be quite easy as it seems the Wii motion controls were quite popular with racing game developers.
Sadly I found out the Nintendo Wii was rife with abysmal, and downright shitty racing titles. After digging a little deeper I ran across a title I was partially familiar with, MySims Racing. I own, and do enjoy, MySims Kingdom, despite it being a very dumbed-down version of The Sims. So what could I expect from MySims Racing? Well for only $2 I was more than willing to try it out and see for myself.
MySims Racing starts you off with the options of Quick Race or Story Mode, you can also play up to 4 players in the multiplayer mode. One thing I need to say right now is that MySims Racing supports the Gamecube controller. Suck on that Ubisoft! Anyway, the meat and potatoes of this game is obviously in it's story mode, where you create your chibi-Sim and set off on an adventure that is quite remanescente of the story line from Disney's Cars. I mean it's practically a complete ripoff of it!
You are set in a small, forlorn town called Racetown, which was once a great hub of all things racing. After getting to know the local mechanic he reveals that you are the only hope to restore this town to it's former racing glory and bring back the hordes of racing fans. I told you it's Disney's Cars!
After you get over the shock of the, obviously, stolen story line, MySims Racing sets you off doing various racing related tasks for people in the town to collect things they've lost, test new parts, earn blue prints, collect gems among various other things. As you progress through the story you can upgrade your cars, of which you are given three types; small, medium and large. Each car can be upgraded using the same parts you've earned through blue prints as well as customized through the same blue prints you've earned for style parts. Although shallow, MySims Racing's customization and upgrades do add a nice little dynamic to the game.
Once a certain round of tasks have been completely you will meet the mayor of Racetown. The mayor will then organize a small championship for you to win and help bring pride back to Racetown. Once you've completed the fairly easy to win championship, an adjacent town is unlocked, repeating the cycle. Help new acquaintances with tasks, which builds their business around Racetown, earn yourself blue prints for better parts, everybody wins, etc.
Although the story line is stolen, the gameplay is cheesy and the competition doesn't usually pose any real threat, MySims Racing was fun and I feel that it was a really good game. Obviously aimed at the Disney Cars crowd of ages 5 to 12, MySims Racing isn't going to be as tough as Mario Kart, but adds a few elements that Mario Kart doesn't.
So can I honestly say that MySims Racing is a budget Mario Kart? Well, not whole-heartedly, no. I feel MySims Racing is fun to play, it's engaging and it offers the player the chance to customize their cars in a few different ways. For $2 (compared to Mario Kart currently being $30) I feel it was a solid purchase. MySims racing may not win over the hardcore Mario Kart fans, but I feel it's a very solid investment for the crowd who enjoys a relaxing, quirky and fun little kart racing game for a super cheap price.