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Mountain Sports

Score: 84%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Sproing
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Sports (Winter Games)/ Family

Graphics & Sound:

The Wii seems to be the king of consoles for sport games, given all the different ways you can use the balance board. The newest one, Mountain Sports, definitely follows this trend, using the balance board for so many different sports!

The graphics are about par for a Wii game. Nothing is spectacular, but they're not bad either. Actually, they look pretty much exactly like the graphics did in We Ski & Snowboard that I reviewed about this time last year. In Mountain Sports, you have a choice of eight characters at the beginning, four male and four female, with four more characters that you can unlock as you play the game. Each of these characters also has the choice of different outfits, so you can somewhat find an athlete to represent you.

I really liked the way the scenery looked. I realize that the backgrounds and such are not ultra-realistic, but they are very clean and crisp. The spectators are pretty much faceless characters (at least I was too busy trying to stay on course to notice them), but they do cheer for you. The commentators will discuss your performance. Usually you can tell if you're going to make the time or not based on what they say. I do wish they had a few more lines though, as I felt like they were saying the same things over and over.


When you boot up Mountain Sports, you'll be given a few choices to play. The first place I like to start, at least when playing alone, is Career Mode. In Career Mode, you'll have to go through stages one at a time. Each stage has three events for you to beat. These stages are made up of quite a few different events. Luckily they will tell you the controls for each event before you play them. Anyway, there are six stages total. To move on from one to the next you will have to get at least a bronze medal on every event. You win a trophy for every stage that you complete as well. You can go back and replay any past stage whenever you want. One thing to note is that the medals and trophies are stored on the characters. So if you start out with Penny and you decide you want to use a different character, you'll have to start over the career. Penny's trophies and medals will stay with her. This does make it so each person in the family can have their own career character.

If you don't want to deal with having to play the specific events that you have opened in Career Mode, you can just launch Quick Play. Here you'll find twenty-two events available from thirteen different sports: Downhill Snowboard, Sledding, Tube Racing, Bobsledding, Curling, Biathlon, Slalom Skiing, Super G Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Downhill Skiing, Slalom Snowboarding, Super S Snowboarding, and Freestyle Snowboard. You don't have to do anything to unlock anything here. It's all just there from the beginning, which is a really nice thing I think.

The final option you have requires you to find a friend to play with. You can try playing against yourself, but I did find it quite difficult to manage two Wii-motes at the same time. When you find a friend or two (or even three), you can choose Multiplayer. Here, you can set up your own tournaments to compete and see who is the best. Please remember not to make it into a contact sport though!


There is no concept of choosing to start at a higher difficulty in Mountain Sports. In Career Mode, you have to pass the "Beginner" stages to unlock the harder ones. In Quickplay, the difficulty is simply based on which board that you choose to play. It's not always obvious how hard the boards are their either. Some of them you can tell because they say Beginner. But some are titled Ground-breaking or Pro. While you know these are harder than beginner, it's really difficult to tell how hard until you play them. Once you've played enough though, you'll be able to tell just by looking at the course.

There are thirteen different sports to master in Mountain Sports, so some of them are just going to be harder for some people than others. Personally, the hardest one for me was the tubes. Every time you hit an obstacle in the course, the tube faced the other direction and your controls were reversed. It took me 10 times just to get the bronze in it. Basically, I had to learn to think reversed when I hit one of these things. Anyway, I'm sure you'll find some of the events a piece of cake and others not so much so.

Game Mechanics:

Mountain Sports is very easy to get the hang of playing. The controls are quite intuitive using both the Wii-mote or the Wii-mote and the balance board. Before you play each of the sports, it will remind you how to play that sport. If you choose just the Wii-mote, you will hold the Wii-mote sideways for all the games. If the game has the option (some games you can really only steer), then the (2) will cause you to accelerate, and the (B) will cause you to boost if you have acquired any boost. The D-pad is used for braking and steering is done by tilting the Wii-mote in the direction you want to go.

If you're using the balance board, you will need to turn it sideways for snowboarding and forwards for everything else. The Wii-mote is still used for boosting and such, but all directional movement will be controlled by using the board. On some sports, I found it easier to use the board and some I found I really just liked with the Wii-mote only.

Overall, Mountain Sports is a decent game to play. I'm not sure it's going to keep you entertained for days on end, but you'll definitely be entertained for hours for sure. Just make sure you take a few breaks or you might find yourself with some sore muscles from the balance board workout!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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