The urban minigame collection Pimp My Ride vied for "worst game of the year" in 2006, so what has publisher Activision done? They've ported it to the Wii without making any improvements or adding new content.
Your favorite host, X to the Z, better known as Xzibit, is here. So are the sob story interviews where people ramble on about their hobbies while showing us their wrecked rides. Missing are the guys from West Coast Customs, the true heart and soul of the TV show. Most of the fun of watching the show comes from seeing those wizards of sheet metal find new ways to cram refrigerators and hot tubs into everyday cars that weren't meant to hold such things. During the game, you never get to see the magic happen.
Very little car pimping actually happens in the videogame rendition of Pimp My Ride. For each of the 16 customers you'll meet, you'll spend 10 minutes or so driving around the large, lifeless city: smashing into street signs, rear-ending other cars, and looking for urban-themed minigames (all for the purpose of earning money to buy the parts you need). Once you've collected enough cash, a timer appears and the game becomes a mad dash to visit the different vendors located around the city, where you simply pick the parts you want from a list and complete a quick minigame to negotiate the price. After that, it's back to the garage to see the customer's reaction.
About those minigames: they suck. Inside the shops, you tap the buttons or shake the controller for a couple seconds to get a discount. Outside of the shops, one ghetto inspired minigame has you pressing the indicated buttons to honk your horn at onlookers. The other two have you pressing buttons to make your character dance alongside his slowly-moving ride. That's called "ghost riding the whip" and it's cute, once or twice. Doing it over and over again for roughly five hours to the same canned hiphop beats is just plain torture.
Sadly, the Wii version of Pimp My Ride didn't reap much benefit from the extra year it spent in the cooker. You can tilt the Wii remote to steer your car now, and some minigames have you shake the controller instead of wiggling the analog sticks. However, the developer didn't include any new missions or minigames.
They also didn't bother to fix the things that make the game feel so... cheap. The action is smooth, but Pimp City looks like a cardboard ghost town. Pedestrians and traffic are sparse, and the only other cars on the road are boxy black sedans. During the interview scenes, the characters speak but their lips don't move. And that gosh darned GPS arrow still points the wrong way half the time!
Basically, they're hoping Wii owners will pay full price for the same poorly contrived mash-up of driving and minigames that's been collecting dust in the PS2, PSP, and Xbox 360 bargain bins for a while now.