This game is amazing in that it is as close as you can get to really skiing. I go skiing 2-3 times a year and this is close. If you want to learn the basics before you hit the slopes this game combined with the Wii Board will do it for you.
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There are mixed reviews of this game on various websites, so I wasn't sure what to expect when I rented this game. Within 15mins of playing the game though, I was hooked!
First I went through a few training classes which helped me learn how to use the controls. It only took about 5mins to learn some basics. The controls felt quite natural and it really felt like I was skiing on a slope.
Next I went out onto the Happy Mountain Ski Slopes. I really wasn't sure what to do at this point, so I did what I usually do when I go skiing... go on a ski lift! After getting off the ski lift, I found people with bubbles on their heads. The first person wanted to race me, so I had to politely decline. Next I went to one with an information bubble over there head. Here is where they describe the trails. I soon discovered there are a lot of different trails - some trails have moguls, some have jumps, some have really steep slopes for speed, and others have slaloms. Other people talk to you as well - sometimes a bit too much :). As I mentioned some will want to race you, or some will give you challenges. I thought the orienteering challenge was rather unique. Basically you are given a clue to find the next person in the challenge.
It's been a couple weeks since I first got the game, so I've gone through the advanced training courses to learn moguls and some tricks. Theres a lot of tricks you can accomplish, so this can get really fun. Doing tricks involves using the wiimote and the controls together. It's all still pretty natural, such as spreading your arms wide to do a spread eagle.
All in all, my wife and I have a lot fun playing the game. We are both casual skiers who used to go several times a year to mountains in the Northeast, so it was nice to play a game like this. As I said, I was skeptical; but I liked it so much I bought the game!