Few would call the MySims brand a bastion of originality. It launched as a dumbed-down version of The Sims for the Wii, and most assumed the caricatures were in direct response to the Wii's Miis. Since the original, which was not much more than an Animal Crossing clone, a few others have been released, each mimicking a different popular genre with Sims diamonds and references interspersed throughout. Despite not yet attaining a foothold, it's obvious that EA isn't ready to give up on the mascots, and really wants this brand to stick, releasing MySims Racing for the Wii and DS.
Some might say that it's unfair to draw comparisons between a game like MySims Racing and Mario Kart, but that's entirely untrue. The kart racing genre was born with Mario Kart on the Super Nintendo and has been kept alive with Nintendo's continued additions to the series. Crash Team Racing, Diddy Kong Racing, and NASCAR Kart Racing are all responses to Mario Kart, and as of yet none have really reached the heights that Nintendo's versions have. MySims Racing comes packaged with several aspects that places it higher than Mario Kart has ever been. In terms of content, the game has a cutesy story mode and an insane amount of customization, allowing for players to design their character and vehicle with a number of unlockable parts. These parts are mostly cosmetic, but can also change the way the vehicle handles.
Sadly, once on the road, the game is easily overtaken by other titles in the genre. A major part of kart racing has become picking up and using items, and that has made its way into MySims Racing. The problem is the items in the game are garbage, and are either far too powerful or completely useless. There's an object that creates a tree in the middle of the road, which is easily avoided, and one that shoots a bubble towards opponents, which is slow moving and pathetic. On the other end of the spectrum there's a UFO that transports any racer from last to first place, and another that flips the board upside down, crashing just about everyone. It's dizzying, and it's hard to tell when an item has been used, or when it's just part of the level. The first few times I was hit with the level flipping attack I assumed it was something like a tornado, and it wasn't for some time that I realized it was actually a power up. In other words, they're unbalanced and unentertaining.
Also a bit unrefined are the controls, which pale in comparison to Mario Kart's. They're not bad by any means, and should be easily accessible to anyone grabbing a controller, but they lack the sensitivity needed for any sense of competitive play. At first they feel just as solid, but as time goes on it becomes more of a hassle than it's worth to use the motion controls for the game. In the time it takes to change the Wiimote for a Gamecube controller you could have also taken the game out and replaced it with a better kart racer.
Playing with three friends can provide a good bit of fun, but the lack of online multiplayer comes as a final, deadly blow to the game. Without it, its unique features seem much less more important, and the customization doesn't mean as much when the game is grounded offline. Lacking that feature means that it can't be as good as Mario Kart for the Wii. The fact that it actually isn't as good doesn't help its case much, either.
It's cute, but it's just not the best kart racer on the console. Hell, it might not even be the second best one. For die-hard fans of the MySims series, if any exsist, the game is likely worth checking out, but for everyone else it doesn't have enough replayability to justify a purchase.