Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge Review
Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge box art
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.

Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot

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.

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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.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.6
Graphics
Nice background environments contrast sharply with robotic looking characters.
4.3
Control
Wii controls are varied and responsive. Thoughtful control implementation translates well into the actions on the screen.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The voice over commentators are garbled until you manually adjust the volume. Their comments are mildly amusing. Over-the-top guitar rock soundtrack is cheeseball, but fun.
3.8

Play Value
A good variety of events and plenty of play options.

3.9
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • 15 playable disciplines spanning the 9 most popular winter sports.
  • Brand new campaign mode with 42 missions, including boss rivals.
  • Multiplayer party fun: hot seat (4 players), split screen (2 players).
  • 21 locations loaded with atmosphere.
  • Controls perfectly adapted to Nintendo Wii
  • Lively sports events with mascots, opening ceremony, presentation ceremony, national anthems, and much more.
  • Career mode with a skill system, including increasing skill values.
  • Magnificent sound thanks to the presenter duo and rousing soundtrack.
  • Motion capturing in cooperation with a leading European studio and an up-and-coming figure skater.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge Winter Sports: The Ultimate Challenge screenshot - click to enlarge

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