|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Namco Bandai||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 13, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Essentially, the better you ski the more points you will earn and the higher ranks you will achieve. Ski Ranking is tied to each individual profile and is made up of both letter grades for specific course sections and Pin Rank. Players will only get the coveted rank of S+ on a course by going fast, maintaining good balance, and pulling off sweet tricks. Ideally, players will get an S+ rank on every course and accumulate enough Star Points to obtain the tenth Pin Rank, which is a long and challenging process indeed.
Unfortunately, these challenges and missions get tiresome after a while, and I longed for additional mountains to open up. Alas, players are stuck skiing the same 13 runs over and over. Furthermore, pulling off tricks such as 360s, flips, Daffies, Spread Eagles, Rodeos, and the like are all really fun, but you can only execute them on specific jumps sparsely scattered throughout the mountain. I wanted to be able to pull off grabs and tricks all over the place, and sadly, that's not an option.
The sounds and graphics are very good. The musical theme is a little bit grating, but the occasional classic Namco beats and the PA announcer make up for it. As previously mentioned, the mountain and its vistas are beautifully rendered and the character art is humorous and interesting. The little skiers with whom you'll interact look like a cross between Shin Chan and Fraggles. I also enjoyed the equipment and outfit selection. In fact, I even had the very effeminate, in-game photographer snap a picture of my Mii for your viewing pleasure. I'm not exactly sure why he kept calling me "sweetie," but it could have been due to my tight-fitting 80s unisuit, or maybe it was my clashing leopard-skin mittens. In any case, I struck a pose I'm sure he'll want to keep in his wallet!
I would be remiss if I didn't discuss just how good the controls are. Whether using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk or combining them with the Wii Balance Board, We Ski feels great! I cruised around the mountain for about an hour with just hand-controlled components and was surprised at just how good the controls were. After that, I decided to break out the Wii Balance Board and was thrilled to find out that the experience became exponentially better!
Doubtless, if you pick up this title without picking up a Wii Balance Board you'll definitely be missing out. However, the game is still fun and easily controlled even if you can't shell out the cash for the entire rig. Interestingly enough, the game is only compatible with one Balance Board at a time. This thwarts a lot of the fun that otherwise could have been had with multiple players. I don't think this is the developer's fault though. I'm pretty sure that this is a problem with the peripheral itself. Hopefully, this issue will be solved in the future because the Wii Balance Board is a quality product that could revolutionize several alternative sports titles.
Along that line of thought, I can't wait for the next edition of 1080° to come out! Simply by flipping the Balance Board parallel rather than perpendicular to the player will completely revitalize that franchise. The fact that I'm dreaming of the possibilities of a great 1080° title says a lot about some of We Ski's downfalls. Even though We Ski is pretty fun, it will not speak to the majority of core gamers. Things like not being able to pull tricks wherever you want, hitting powder-laden tree runs, cruising back country bowls, or having a substantial career mode to lavish over make this title feel shallow. Even still, I think this is a great game for families and players that don't mind some lighthearted fun.
CCC Lead Contributor / News Director