Less than a year after We Ski shipped for the Nintendo Wii, boom, we get a quickie follow-up. Around the Sports Gamer offices, we're suspicious of quickie follow-ups, which can take advantage of unsuspecting gamers (and their wallets).
So is the sequel worth your time and money?
The big addition, of course, is snowboarding. Not unlike Shaun White's Road Trip, We Ski & Snowboard turns the Wii Fit balance board into a virtual snowboard.
You stand on it like a real snowboard; and your movements reflect real-world snowboarding movements. Lean left, and your onscreen boarder will go left; crouch down and pop up, and you'll catch some air. It's all very responsive and surprisingly intuitive.
You'll also need the Wii remote and nunchuck attachment if you want to pull off the game's more complex moves. Truthfully, pulling off those complex moves isn't really complex at all. Shake both the remote and nunchuck to push for speed. And while in the air, making pretty much any sort of gesture with the remote and nunchuck results in some kind of trick.
The first game confined you to one interesting—but somewhat simple—mountain at the Happy Ski Resort. You could explore around the mountain, but there really wasn't much to find. Gamers interested in finding shortcuts or secrets were no doubt disappointed.
The sequel features two mountains, doubling your skiing/snowboarding opportunities. There's the Jamboree Snow Resort and Mt. Angrio. The JSR is, as it sounds, very friendly. But Mt. Angrio? That's what separates the true gamers from the fakers.
Mt. Angrio is a beast, filled with unexplored terrain, steep cliffs, and stomach-turning drops. In other words, it's incredibly fun to board or ski down. The opportunities for big air on Mt. Angrio come early and often; the Sports Gamer caught so much air on one jump that he was able to pull off four tricks before touching the virtual powder again. That's a terrific feeling.
But don't be intimidated by the game. It's still a Wii game, meaning it's more cutesy than it is challenging. Big heads and tiny bodies; candy-colored ski lodges; and a very sweet, very endearing family-friendly atmosphere ultimately are at the core of the game. There's also some solid splitscreen multiplayer, and the opportunity to snap virtual photos of your boarder/skiier for posterity. Overall, this is a solid Wii title. If you like Shaun White's Road Trip, or if you're an SSX fan, or if you played the original We Ski and you're hungry for more, you've come to the right place.
PROS: Two mountains to explore; Snowboarding is included this time; Mt. Angrio is truly challenging.
CONS: Suspicously quick sequel; Might be too cutesy for hardcore gamers; Gesturing to pull off tricks feels random at times.