|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: March 3, 2009||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|
Once again, I was thoroughly impressed by just how easily and soundly the controls, especially the trick system, was implemented. A vast improvement over We Ski concerns the ability to pull of tricks all over the mountain. Players will find a lot more interesting hits scattered throughout the mountain this time around - one of my major complaints from the last go. It seems the focus of the game has shifted away from tedious missions and has skewed more toward finding your own rhythm and enjoying the actual play experience - a good move by Namco players should enjoy.
The sounds are acceptable but the graphics are great. The musical themes are scant and uninspired, and the fake talking sounds while conversing are grating and therefore superfluous. As previously mentioned, the mountains and their vistas are beautifully rendered - a rarity in a casual Wii title.
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. As with We Ski, the game is still only compatible with one Balance Board at a time. This makes the multiplayer experience less interesting than what it could have been, but cruising around the slopes with friends in the living room is still a pleasant experience. However, single-player action still trumps the basic multiplayer offering.
Unfortunately, other than the ability to snowboard and the addition of a second, more open and wilder mountain, this title is essentially identical to what its predecessor brought to the table. As such, owners of the original game won't find a truly compelling reason to pick up the second attempt. That being said, We Ski & Snowboard is the definitive edition if you haven't already plunked down cash on the first. Also, the developers have once again done an excellent job of organizing the loads of options and additional content in the game. This is a casual Wii exclusive that has gotten loads of polish and has been lavished with time and care; purchasers won't feel as if they've been swindled by a slapped together mess. Consequently, I recommend We Ski & Snowboard for those who have not played the original, can't get enough of the original, or are in need of a uncomplicated snowboarding fix - just don't expect a barnburner.
CCC Editor / News Director