Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip

It seems that only a few years ago, big arcade machines were around letting you snowboard down a mountain of icy white. Now, Ubisoft are bringing that feeling home.

It seems it was only a few years ago that snowboarding games were making their way into the arcades with hydraulic designs that allowed you to step on a moving snowboard in front of a giant screen. Times have changed and the massive arcades like that are mostly gone but the dream is still alive.

Ubisoft know that people must want to ride the icy peaks of mountains everywhere because it is with that idea that they’ve created Shaun White Snowboarding for the Wii, a version of the recently released Shaun White series that takes advantage of the Wii’s Wii Fit Balance Board in a way that most people will truly love.

Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip appears on most consoles in the standard 3D fare, but on the Nintendo Wii gamers are in for a treat. Designed around the idea of being a proper Wii game and not just a half-assed conversion, gamers will use either the Wiimote or Wiimote & Balance Board to balance & steer their way to snowboarding victory as they tackle mountains and tricks.

The Balance Board is ultimately the best option to use (in this reviewer’s opinion) and provides the most fun. You more or less step on and lean left to right while using a Wiimote to perform tricks. Jumping occurs by basically doing a quick bounce on your heels which might take kids a bit of time to get adjusted to.

But while the control is actually pretty good, it can be a little cumbersome. Leaning on the Balance Board is pretty easy although combining it with different hand movements on the Wiimote can be a little weird at first. It’s a lot like rubbing your tummy and patting your head, something that takes practice and will – after a few minutes of getting adjusted to it – work its way under your skin and have you snowboarding like a pro.

If you’re after an easier way to play, the Wiimote option is less fun but better for multiple people since there’s very little skill required and it’s easier to set up for more than one player.

The graphics are pretty good for the Wii. Ubisoft threw in stylised animated cutscenes which sort of blends with the games’ use of stylised blocky people, but this isn’t a game you play for high definition looks. Likewise, the sound is pretty good but lacks the depth you might crave if you’re looking for a next-gen game. If you want any of that, run to the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 versions of Shaun White.

No, this game is all about the thrill of sailing down a mountain of white with your buddy behind you filming your progress. It’s fun, quick, easy to get into and is a blast once you get going.

If you’re tired of the small bit of snowboarding Wii Fit included as part of that game and you’re looking for a bit more challenge, Shaun White Snowboarding will definitely give you your fill of the snow in any weather and is easily one of the better Wii games to have come out in a while.

Click to enlarge

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Classification: G
Formats: Nintendo Wii (Balance Board version only); Other versions released on PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, PC
URL: Shaun White Snowboarding

Reviewed by Leigh D. Stark