Just bought Wii Fit Plus? Already tired of swapping your daily Crunch bars for stomach crunches? Then what you need is something that still makes good use of your fun new peripheral but will keep the wolf from the disc drive, so to speak. What you need is Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage. Well, maybe.
Like last year’s SWS: Road Trip, there’s really only one way to get the most out of SWS: World Stage, and that’s to plug in the balance board and get gnarly! Or do you have to get radical? We can’t remember, mostly because no one has used either of those words since 1991, but it’s whichever one that involves turning the board sideways and steering with the front foot and tucking and tricking with the back. Granted, it couldn’t make you look more stupid if it came with a levitating speech bubble that hovered over you reading ‘I <3 Rayman’, but it’s responsive, relatively authentic and, above all else, really good fun to play the game this way.
The purpose of all these downhill shenanigans is to become the number one ranked snowboarder in the galaxy, achieved by taking part in events such as overtaking challenges, bordercross races and trick-based score battles. There’s a terrific sense of speed, and the game world and the people who inhabit it are surprisingly likeable.
It’s flawed, however, in the sense that it’s optimised for the balance board which, as we know, is about as accurate a control method as a sprinkler system would be as a means of administering eye drops. As such, it’s incredibly generous in dishing out rewards. And it only gets easier if you play with a remote, where entire challenges can be completed by holding down A and making cursory steering attempts. What’s more, the course designs are terribly bland, simply because the balance board isn’t slick enough to handle anything more intricate.
If you’re not bothered about the board you should dig out any of the SSXs, or even 1080 Snowboarding, as they offer far superior racing thrills. But then again, an analogue stick just isn’t gnarly, is it?
Nov 18, 2009