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7.5

PM: We Ski & Snowboard Review

PM:

"For the more seasoned Wii-wobbler (that being the balance board version of waggling) Namco Bandai has packed the game with ample "Tricking" (stereotypical boarder-culture terminology not included) should you choose to ski or snowboard over to the instructor and ask for a lesson. The best thing about We Ski is choice. The entire resort is open to explore. Playing a single player game, once you've designed your character (don't use a Mii; the in-game characters are for superior and open to vast accessorizing) you can design a buddy (guy or girl) to chum around with. Jump on a gondola or chair lift and ski or snowboard the day away; help people in need by completing various mini-games, begin a mogul, half-pipe, slope, trick or race challenge, get a photographer to snap your picture, a tour guide to take you sightseeing or just cruise around making friends. There's a ton to do and surprisingly robust environments to do it in. There's a real sense of scale to We Ski and its got character reminiscent of Namco's strong staple arcade and console lineage. The feel of the snow, be it powder or packed is extraordinary, easily besting most 7th-gen snowboarding games, and although it's simple in design it's anything but in execution. The real-time ski/snowboard tracks vary in thickness and depth, and ice and powder come to life via normal mapped surface textures and reflections. There's gobs of gear to unlock, which is half the fun (there are hundreds of ways to bedeck your character and gear) a portable audio device lets you put your outing to music, and there's even a full function replay feature that plays back your recent gameplay, allowing you to freeze, advance snap and save photos. We Ski and Snowboard isn't what you'd call extreme-everything comes off in a very charming way-but neither is a controller fashioned out of a plastic deck. If you're looking for family fun or a way to keep the kids busy while you have a life I see a Wii-Fit in your future."

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