Hey gamers, long time no talk but my absence is with good reason. Below are the games I have been enjoying since the last post…
-Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip
-Smackdown vs Raw 09′
-Madden 09′ All Play
-World of Goo
-Space Invaders Get Even
-Call of Duty: World At War
-Animal Crossing: City Folk…I know, I know. I hated the game and I get that but there’s still something addicting to this game. Maybe I’ll do a follow-up to it. I don’t believe I was too harsh on it. In fact some days I figure I wasn’t harsh enough. Anyways, maybe it needs that second chance…or…maybe it’s just a train wreck of a game that I can’t turn away from…yeah…that sounds good.
At this point I usually try to interject a humorous story about something that happened this past week, but honestly, I don’t have one that doesn’t embarrass me. I know I should be honest, but I honestly intend to keep this PG and my story wouldn’t do that. We’ll just leave it at this…I discovered that Sam Adams Winter Lager is the greatest seasonal beer ever made, and it’s a true America beer. Needless to say, I was a HUGE patriot this weekend!
Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip (Wii)
I’ll start this out by saying I haven’t played a snowboarding game in quite some time. I believe it was the first SSX on the Gamecube…or maybe PS2…I don’t remember, but that was the last snowboarding game I’ve played and that was a long time ago. They never really appealed to me. They were fun for the first hour but then it became more of the same. They are very repetitive and it’s kind of like NASCAR, how many times can you really have fun going down a hill? Well…enter Shaun White Snowboarding.
First things first, if you don’t own a balance board or don’t plan on getting one, you can pretty much skip the rest of the review. Why? Well, this game with the traditional Wii control screen is fairly boring and causes sharp pains in your forearm. I played it traditionally for about a half hour before my forearm felt like it had been Saw II’ed into a pit of hypodermic needles. That was not fun, but that was only after I had discovered how much fun it was on the balance board…ONTO THE FUN!
The genesis of getting this game started with two friends of mine because we figured how bad can it really be? They only owned WiiFit for the board, and I up to this point had avoided the board because of a lack of games. Thankfully this game came around otherwise I’d never get on that board.
The first thing I noticed about this game was how absolutely lackluster the menus are. Yeah, they’re stylized in the same manner as the game, but they didn’t jump out at me and were completely unremarkable. The same goes for the music. It’s all licensed but the ‘hot’ artists of today but I’d be damned if I could remember one of the songs. The positive of this? We burned through them and jumped directly into the multi-player mode.
The first thing you need to do is configure the board and find the absolute middle so it caters to your balance. This became a small ordeal as we screwed that up a few times. No fault of the game, we’re all just a little dumb and we don’t know how to read directions.
Finally, we were able to get the board centered and it was onto the actual game portion. You are given a map with different accessible mountains. We selected the most basic mountain and decided racing would be the safest bet for us noobs so the game wouldn’t completely pwn us (yes, I’m trying to speak gamer). Now the game really kicks off.
The game enters the race mode and the first thing you notice is wow, this game is a gorgeous game on the Wii. You really get a sense of height, distance, and how big these mountains actually are. The look of it just socked me in the stomach. It was as if Wolverine had leapt through my window, rained fists down upon my skull, and then drank my Winter Lagers in his final humiliation. In the end, it was simply phenomenal but you only have a few seconds to take in the art before you’re thrown down the hill.
Now you have to learn the controls, and you learn them quick. Since the balance board is positioned like a snowboard, you work it like a snowboard. You stand with your knees slightly bent, tilting forward moves you right, tilting back moves you left, leaning right you stop, and left makes you crouch and go faster. This control scheme, once you get used to it, is PHENOMENAL. Simply put, no other snow boarding game can now compare based on shear controls alone, but we’re not finished yet…
You still need to pull of tricks which requires the Wii remote which I hope you’re still holding. After all, I never said to put it down! Anyways, the easiest way to describe it in short terms is certain button combinations create certain moves which gets you points. These points are then used to pull of different special moves or win competitions that are point based, but how do you pull of these tricks? Well, numerous jumps are placed throughout each level and this is where the knee bending comes into play. To jump you simply extend your knees out(DON’T JUMP!) and it sends you high into the air so you can pull of some incredible tricks and in some instances pull of tricks that go directly into grinding a rail. This aspect was amazing and a complete blast. You truly get a sense of speed and height. Compound that with the added desperation to complete that last rotation, and you have one amazing experience!
My friends and I spent a good 2-3 hours playing in the different modes and each mountain offered a new and exciting challenge. On top of that, the more we got used to the controls, the more complicated the tricks got and the higher the point totals as we all competed to out do each other. That right there is the selling point. This game should be included within the definition for the Wii. The Wii was created for games like this, and Ubisoft did a masterful job in their first snowboarding outing. I truly recommend this game for any party, family function, or get together you have. If you play this with someone who doesn’t enjoy it then I suggest you not only take them out of your 5, but you may want to think about taking them out of your life all together.
Now, I know I’ve done a lot to paint this as the greatest snow boarding game, but I suppose I better add the one negative as my throw away comment. The dialog in the game is horrendous. Ok, horrendous isn’t even the correct word for it…it’s horrterreousible…that’s right it’s horrible, terrible, and horrendous all in one. There’s no doubt a sequel will be made, but before that happens, the writers who did that should be fired. Take my word for it, during the single player mode, skip all voice work…it’s just not worth losing that time forever.
In the end, I give Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip 4 black diamonds out of 5