|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: RTL Sports||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Conspiracy Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 18, 2007||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|
Much like in real sports, two commentators babble incessantly throughout the different events. Sometimes they'll crack jokes or chitchat about seemingly random topics, but frequently they'll poke fun at you. You can usually tell how well your run is going based on the positive or negative feedback they give you. It's a toss up which is worse: the mumbling commentary or the omnipresent cheesy guitar rock background music. Still, both seem pretty fitting for a sports game, and you can always turn one or the other off completely if you develop a preference. At any rate, they'll keep you mildly entertained while you focus on the tasks at hand.
The controls vary widely between some events, and in most cases they offer a pretty decent representation of the corresponding actions playing out on the screen. Skeleton, bobsleigh, and luge requires you to wind the Wii remote around in the air quickly to gain speed before turning it on its side to use for steering as you zip down the icy course. In the different forms of ski competitions you'll push off and use the Nunchuck and Wii Remote to turn by pointing your skis.
Figure skating has players whipping either the left or right hand to match a visual indicator to keep time with the instrumental cheese metal audio. Curling controls similar to a bowling game, and speed skating will have you pumping both controls back and forth to build speed. It's easy to feel slightly overwhelmed while learning and remembering the different control schemes. Initially, helpful instructions pop up as a reminder of how to control your athlete at the start of each event. They become more of a nuisance once you've mastered the controls, but it's easy to skip through them once you get the hang of it.
Winter Sports serves up a lot of gameplay for your $30 dollars. None of the events come quite close enough to holding their own as stand-alone games, yet they succeed as a part of a substantive sports package. There are some graphical disappointments, a few audio irritants, and some of the events are a bit tough to master, but the game's strength lies in its ability to cover a lot of ground. You'll find a lot of options and a comfortable number of different ways to approach playing though the events. If you dig winter and enjoy sports, then Winter Sports should fit the bill nicely.
CCC Freelance Writer