Wii

  News 
  Reviews
  Previews
  Hardware
  Interviews
  All Features

Areas

  3DS
  Android
  iPad
  iPhone
  Mac
  PC
  PlayStation 3
  Vita
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Media
  Archives
  Search
  Contests

 

We Ski

Score: 78%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Developer: NAMCO BANDAI Games America
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Sports/ Racing

Graphics & Sound:

I actually started skiing this past winter. I was scared to death, but - like any well-trained female - I was trying to impress a guy. So, I donned my ski attire, hopped in his car, and went to a completely different state in order to hurl myself down a mountain while strapped to two tiny pieces of wood-like material. It was incredibly fun, and I became almost immediately addicted. I'm sure I will go again when I can figure out how to get up the mountain without using the ski lift. Ski lifts are evil. Luckily with We Ski, I can bound down the mountain without freezing to death, losing my poles, or causing the ski lift to stop because I tripped getting off for the nineteenth time.

The graphics for We Ski are your typical, deformed, chubby, rounded bit that seems to be all the rage. The head of Blizzard said once that the reason for graphics of this genre is to keep the game from being dated. It is one thing for World of Warcraft to want to keep from looking dated, but who is going to play We Ski in five years? The snow is fairly nifty, but the entire game is missing the "clean" graphics that one would expect of a newer Wii game.

Most of the sounds are of your every day beep/boop variety. The music is perfect for families, I believe, but if you are over the age of nine, and playing sans parents... hook up your mp3 player and mute the game. It is more fun to woosh down slopes to your own style of music then listen to Namco/Bandai's pick.


Gameplay:

Skiing gives you this huge rush. It is completely exhilarating to feel subzero air rushing past you while torpedoing down a snow and ice-covered mountain. We Ski doesn't exactly offer that feeling per se (unless you installed an air conditioning unit beside your head), but it is a suitable alternative during the warmer months of summer. The game is "balance board compatible" so, there is an extra perk to We Ski. I, being a lowly reviewer, was too lazy to run out and get a balance board. I am guessing it would have added a new dimension to the gameplay. From everything I have been hearing, I would go buy the board if I intended to put a lot of hours into the game.

We Ski starts out by letting you chose from literally tons of equipment and gear for your little, super deformed Miis. It actually hurt my head with all the options. You can import your Mii, which is awesome. I have a Clark Kent Mii. Do you have any idea how cool it is to see Clark Kent zooming down a white, fluffy hill (while not wearing a cape)? The only downside to importing your Mii is that you don't get goggles or hats like the characters you can build in-game.

The first mountain is completely unlocked and ready to play upon. You basically ski up to a person and press (A) to get things going. You can go down any run, compete in any race or slalom, or just cruise around the mountain. The downside to this vast expanse of play area is how small it actually is. Your character doesn't move as fast as it seems it should, but if you went any faster, you would get to the bottom even faster... which would be sad.

We Ski is all about the free-style mode. You can take your character around the mountains, which you must unlock after playing about on the first one, and look for quests or piddle around at your own leisure. Piddling about soon gets a tad boring if you are a goal-oriented gamer, however, so there are mogul, regular, and slalom races to take the edge off the roaming. Younger kids and older types might greatly enjoy milling around until someone challenges them to a race, but all the white nothingness was making my brain erode. The mountains are broken down into colors that represent difficulty (much like actual skiing), and a color for tricks (fun!). As you compete in events (challenged from other players in the game or just from your own wanderings), you earn points. The points eventually unlock over 200 items worth of clothing and gear. Too bad your Mii can't wear a lot of it!


Difficulty:

The most difficult thing in We Ski is all the pumping you have to do to get anywhere! I love the interactive controls, but there comes a point where you just want to lean back and relax while you are jetting down the hill. You can only fwap your hands up and down so much before really wanting to chuck the controllers down in a fit of breathless annoyance. This game could have easily been thrown into Wii Fit as part of an exercise regimen. What cracks me up is that after all that exercise, the tricks you do in the game are named after food items ("the pizza"). I think they are really taunting people.

You have to avoid the myriad of random (stopped) characters on the slopes to keep them from getting angry (why the hell are they stopped on the slopes!), and to keep from crashing. The runs start out ridiculously easy and don't improve much from that. This would be a great game for older players who are unfamiliar with the controls of a Wii, but it might give them a heart attack after all the pumping! If you are looking for much a challenge, then playing single player is a waste of time. Going online and challenging others might have given you the desired rush, but there is no online play for this game. Le suck. If you have friends willing to play, I would suggest it as playing against your parents would be slaughter and not overly much fun. Unless you enjoy humiliating your family, that is... and who wants that, honestly?


Game Mechanics:

Like I said before, We Ski involves a lot of pumping of the Wii-mote and Nunchuck. (A) is your action button if you want to yell at the idiot stopped in the middle of a black diamond trail. To turn - if you are without the balance board - you tilt your controllers left and right. This has the hilarious effect of making you shift left and right as if you were actually skiing. Watching people play Wii games should be its own sport. You can shift the analog stick back to make yourself stop, and tilt the controllers in and out to reduce and quicken your speed.

The tricks are fun and can be performed by hitting buttons in mid-air or while charging down the slopes. Nothing is overly complicated, and most of it is very straightforward and fairly mimics the real life activity. I really wish I had the balance board to test, but from all accounts it handles wonderfully. The downside is that you cannot use the board in multiplayer.

We Ski is a fun game, and would be great for families with younger kids... or even older kids looking for a way to entertain their parents. The game gets old a little too quickly, but at $30, it isn't a bad deal. I think the balance board would have made it heaps more entertaining, but a lot of the gameplay is eaten away with annoying "help" pop-ups and having to stop skiing to talk to idiots stopped on the slopes. Rent it for parties.


-Phate Kills, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Field

Nintendo Wii Wild Earth: African Safari Nintendo Wii Deca Sports

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated