|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Data Design Int.||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 28, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Advertising in games has been becoming a large issue for gamers in recent years. Rising development costs have forced companies to find new ways to reduce the price of bringing their titles to the market. While most of us may not like the situation, in-game advertising doesn't look to be going away anytime soon. I have somewhat come to terms with this seemingly necessary aspect of modern video games, but I still have my limits. When an entire game is made as an advertisement for a certain company or product it comes off feeling like you are paying for a piece of shameless marketing. A perfect example of this is the Kawasaki series of titles that continue to bombard the Wii.
Kawasaki Snowmobiles is the most recent entry into the pay-for-an-ad series of Wii shovelware. It follows the concept of the previously released Kawasaki Quad Bikes, making a cheap and somewhat playable advertisement for perhaps the only system on the market that would allow these games to be released. However, instead of focusing on off-road driving and bunny hopping, Snowmobiles has you racing on powder and doing tricks. Unfortunately, if you aren't looking closely at the television, which I would seriously discourage anyway, you could honestly have difficulties telling the two apart.
Snowmobiles is as equally visually underwhelming as its predecessor. Instead of drab, poorly detailed, dirt tracks, we are now treated to drab, poorly detailed, snow-covered tracks. There are four characters/snowmobiles to choose from, with no discernible differences between them except for their color. This leaves the game feeling even more generic than expected, since the snowmobiles aren't even clearly differentiated. You would think they would have at least made the player more aware of what they were trying to sell to them, although I'm not really complaining about this choice.
Fortunately, this game does play slightly better than Quad Bikes, since players will no longer need to rely on bunny hops. Big-air jumps and obstacles that need to be hopped are, thankfully, nowhere to be found. Instead, Snowmobiles is more of a straightforward racing title, with a few ramps here and there to allow the player to perform a small selection of bland stunts. Once airborne, players can hold either the A or B button and tilt the Wii-mote in any direction to cause their character to attempt a somewhat stylish maneuver. There are absolutely no benefits to performing these stunts other than a slight boost in score, so they can be completely ignored.