MySims SkyHeroes (Wii) - Review by Chris



Having tried their hands at kart racing, party games and a detective agency, amongst other things, EA's Mysims titles have come a long way from their humble beginnings as a child friendly alternative to the main line Sims titles. Having been met with relative success at each stage, EA continues to push the brand forward into new and previously unknown genres and with the latest title in the series, Mysims SkyHeroes, you couldn't be further from those early entries as it sees the chibi-Sims taking to the skies to battle it out. Does this soar off into the sky or has the series had its wings clipped?


MySims SkyHeroes sees the Mysims take to the skies for some dogfighting and aerial races. It's certainly a distinct change of pace from the previous games, which have been pedestrian at most. Here, with a quicker gameplay style in place, getting into the action is a lot easier and won't require you to spent prolonged periods of time with the game. A standard Quick Play option helps to further this point, allowing you to jump into the action straight away, with you choosing a game type, character and aircraft and then jumping into the game in a matter of minutes.

Yet, the main chunk of the gameplay comes through the game's story mode. Here, your character, designed and named by yourself as always, awakes to find him or herself lying on a beach not far from the wreckage of a plane. How the plane went down is unknown but after two members of a flight squadron known as SkyForce find you and bring you back to their headquarters, you're quickly given the rundown on what is going on and thrust into a plane as you become the newest recruit in the group hoping to stop and take down the evil Morcubus, who now rules the skies with an iron fist to the detriment of those who used the air for trade routes.

To take down Morcubus, you'll take to the skies, aiding allies around the world, in one of two game types. Firstly, the most prominent game type is aerial dogfights, where you're tasked with shooting down the enemy aircraft in the hopes of racking up the highest score. You'll be taking on this task with an AI controlled partner but relying on them will cost you as the friendly AI in these sections are terrible, and of little help to your cause and so you'll have to pick up most of the slack just to complete the task. The second game type is racing, where you'll have to fly through a succession of checkpoints, making use of power-ups, to beat your opponents to the finish line. The AI issues from the dogfights thankfully don't cross over to here and instead, are more competent at putting up a good fight for the race win. Unfortunately, they put up too good a fight as you'll rarely be able to pull out any ground in front of your opponents due to some awful AI rubber-banding. It is definitely annoying and while you'll learn to adjust to it, you shouldn't have to.

The dogfights and racing make up the only variations of gameplay included in the game. Occasionally, the story mode will change certain things within the dogfight segments to alleviate some of the repetition but you're largely stuck to a monotonous path throughout. Yet because of how accessible everything is, even the AI issues can't dampen the gameplay too much as it does continue to be enjoyable throughout. Each mission has a set of ranks which can be achieved depending on how much you score or where you place in a race and your rank ultimately determines the unlockables you gain access to later on for the game's customisation elements, which are still as robust as ever giving you ample opportunity to customise the many aircraft to your needs.

Multiplayer options this time around extend to both offline split screen and online multiplayer. The former only supports up to 2 players in the two gameplay types which is a bit of a disappointment as it would have been nice to have double that number for the dogfights. Online is certainly a nice touch but foregoes EA's Nation setup for Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection meaning friends codes are the order of the day if you wish to play with friends. You can opt to play against anyone around the world, either joining a game already in progress or setting up a lobby and waiting for it to fill. It's adds some extension to the game's longevity but with such a shallow selection of game types available, neither the split screen or the online really helps to sustain your attention.


The Wii-mote and Nunchuk are your flight sticks through the world of Mysims SkyHeroes. Unlike other flying games, you won't be using the IR pointer for directing your craft, which will either please or disappoint gamers depending on whether they've had any experience with any of the other flying titles on the Wii which have employed this control setup. Instead, the analogue stick takes care of all of you movements while the Wii-mote's A and B buttons are used for firing your machine guns and missiles respectively and the C and Z buttons being used to perform power turns and speed boosts. It's a setup which is easy to pick up and get to grips with and sits well with the ethos of the Mysims series of providing simple and accessible controls for all types of gamers.

But they're not without issue. The analogue stick, while being fine for the races, isn't quite up to snuff for the dogfights and trying to keep track of your opponents, who seem to have many more manoeuvres at their disposal than you, can be difficult. Even employing power turns will often have you overshooting on lining up a shot on your enemy and cause them to turn off in another direction. While it's unknown whether it would truly benefit from them, IR pointer controls could have minimised this issue given how well they've been implemented in some of the other flying games. It's not to say that they don't work well at all, rather this is a slight snag for an otherwise accessible and well thought out setup.


Retaining the visual style from previous games, SkyHeroes continues the Mysims tradition of a simplistic art style, bringing with it bright, colourful and vibrant locations along with the now standard chibi-Sims which play on various everyday stereotypes to provide a laugh. Each of the locations this time around have had to grow in size significantly to accommodate the flying and as such, they've been designed to give you a large enough area to fly around in, although at times it can feel a bit too big given how small some of the objectives of the game really are. With a large scale comes a slight drop in the graphical fidelity of some of the objects, with lumps of trees and rocks in some areas showcasing one of two smaller, well designed elements with the rest being a discernable mess and some more simplistic texture work which does show a drop in attention to detail in comparison to previous games. Yet these are but very small and insignificant issues with the game as each of the locations, which boast a variety of themes, are well designed and look good.

Character models remain as they were previously, with little changes coming to the overall design. They're still aimed at children but as always, through some animations there are attempts at some adult humour which are either hit and miss. Most of the characters are from previous games as well, so if you've played any of the earlier Mysims titles, you may recognise some of your cohorts this time around. There are some cameo appearances of characters from other EA titles, with the likes of Dead Space's Isaac Clarke, Mass Effect's Commander Shepard and Dragon Age's Morrigan having all been chibi-fied for the game which is a nice touch for fans of those titles. Aircraft designs are similarly created to fit within the confines of the Mysims universe, taking realistic craft and giving them a more colourful and playful look.


As with the previous games and as you'd expect, all the characters in the game speak in Simlish and whether this sit well with you or not will be largely dependent on how you've taken to it in the previous games. It still manages to provide some humour, however, through the obscure sounds which accentuate certain parts of the conversations. The music doesn't quite hit a note high enough to compliment the on screen action but it's pleasant enough to help set and sustain the typical atmosphere you'd expect in the Mysims games but it would have been nice to have had something to sets the atmosphere better.

Final comments

Even with its simplicity, Mysims SkyHeroes offers an enjoyable experience for anyone who hasn't had a chance to experience any of the other flying titles on the Wii and acts as an excellent entry point for gamers to go on and experience those very titles. Sure, the story mode quickly becomes bogged down in repetitive tasks, and the multiplayer lacks the variety to sustain prolonged play but overall, you'll find it hard not to enjoy yourself as your Sim speeds around locations taking down Morcubus and co. in races or dogfights. It's not the best entry in the series but it's far from being the worst.

Pro: Flying is simple and enjoyable, presentation still manages to be refreshing, cameos of other EA characters are a welcome inclusion, online multiplayer
Con: Some control niggles, story mode and multiplayer restricted to 2 basic gameplay types, AI isn't great
Final score: 7.5


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Boxart of MySims SkyHeroes (Wii)
Platform: Wii
Genre: Action
Developer: The Sims Studio
Publisher: Electronic Arts