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While Mario Kart Wii has seen huge (and warranted) success there haven't been many similar games. EA bring their MySims franchise into the kart racing fray with MySims Racing. Here it takes the genre in a more person centred customisable direction.
Racing games, although sometimes seen as a sporting sub category, are a well established video game genre in their own right.
As its base, MySims Racing offer a classic Kart Racing experience. Here, players choose a character, vehicle and track and race up to four people in a split screen multiplayer mode. As they race there are some racing techniques - cornering, racing line, power sliding etc - but the focus is on simplicity rather than simulation. Players can choose to control the kart with just the motions of the Wii-mote, more direct Nun-chuck stick or even the classic controller.
As in Mario Kart Wii, players can collect power ups and weapons as they race. These range from attacks on other racers, to speed boosts to reversing people's controls. The game that results is a combination of this combat and the more pure racing action.
Although MySims Racing looks quite similar to Mario Kart there are some unique features. It is more focused on MySims concept of developing a character with personal attributes. Coming from the main Sims game, this idea means that players can choose how to customise both their character and kart. Different drivers have different driving abilities, rather than just the karts in Mario Kart Wii.
Players will be drawn to the Mario Kart style action here. But as they play it is the customisation of both character and vehicle that lock them in for the long term. Watching as your son charges past in the kart they just put big wheels and a paint job on is both annoying and entertaining.
Being a race based game, play can conclude after a single release. However the ongoing development of characters does make it easy to play for longer than other more straight forward kart racers.
Young and novice racers will enjoy the simple and direct controls. Being able to steer the kart by just tilting the Wii-mote is ideal for new players.
Intermediates are more likely to get into the customisation and character development aspects.
Experts will find that there is more racing available here than meets the eye. Power slides and racing corners make a real difference to speed and lap times.
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