|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: The Sims Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 29, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Working out in the field on investigations requires a lot of character interaction, exploration, and deductive reasoning. Agents also throws some mild platforming elements into the gameplay, particularly in the latter portion of the quest, and a handful of puzzle mini-games to mix things up. You'll use the Wii Remote to tackle sliding lock puzzles, connect DNA sequences by placing colored dots in the proper configuration, fix mechanical objects by placing gears and other pieces in the right spots, and hack into computers by guiding a dot through an electronic data maze. The controls during these tasks are tight and intuitive. However, in the main adventure gameplay, the Nunchuk and Wii Remote combo has a few awkwardly mapped buttons that take some getting used to (jumping especially) and make the platforming portions tricky. The inability to manually adjust or rotate the camera can also be frustrating at times.
MySims titles are known for their lovable personality and high customizability, and Agents doesn't skimp in either of these areas. At the start of the game you have total control over your agent's appearance, and you'll unlock scores of outfits, uniforms, and accessories to change in and out of throughout the game. Oddly, Dead Space fans will be excited to learn you can even obtain and wear Isaac Clarke's mask and suit. Like many other unusual outfit combinations you can wear, it's a bit creepy and hilarious. The other characters you interact with are extremely expressive, and jabber on in the goofy Simlish while delivering some truly funny dialogue. Elsewhere, the graphics are crisp and colorful, keeping with the style of the previous games, though there are definitely some minor visual improvements in the settings you'll explore.
Change can be a good thing, and most of the tweaks found in MySims Agents fall under that category. Some players will undoubtedly lament the loss of expansive construction mechanics and the more elaborate character relationship building found in past games, but EA set out to switch things up with a more plot-focused game. The experiment is largely a success, and anyone with even a passing interest in the MySims franchise will find Agents' adorable characters, funny story, and other endearing qualities outweigh any minor foibles that arise along the way. You have many hours of investigating ahead, so get to it!
CCC Staff Contributor