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Shaun White Snowboarding Road Trip Review

Where we're going, we don't need roads...

Sometimes it's the simpler things that end up better off. Take Shaun White Snowboarding as an example. The bigger, brasher PS3 and 360 versions promise to be huge, online-integrated, free-roaming simulations. The Wii version, conversely, doesn't try to be any of that.

Usually, that would give Wii haters another reason to mock our streamlined console, but this time its Wii owners that get the last laugh. That's because Shaun White Snowboarding on Wii takes a more straightforward, light-hearted approach, and ends up being much more fun than the other versions.

Check out the art style of the characters and you'll get an idea of Road Trip's more arcadey approach. While the other versions get all bogged down in being realistic, this game lets you throw yourself off huge jumps, perform suicidal tricks with a stunt system that really works, and use boost energy and other powers to enhance your performance.

Click to view larger image

Let It Snow

The set up of the game's challenges is nice and straightforward. Missions are laid out on simple menu screens - one for each of the game's locales, which takes you from Canada to Chile and all the way over to the French Alps.

This means you're never more than a few clicks away from a challenge, which can range from a straight up race or a stunt trial, to a timed challenge or having to grab a certain number of items scattered around the course. Most of the challenges combine two of these objectives, so you have two possible chances of completing a challenge.

Gameplay is just as simple, but at the same time, very satisfying. You don't need a Nunchuk as the entire game can be controlled with just a Remote. Tilting it left or right handles steering, and although you'll slide down the slope automatically, holding A speeds you up at the expense of your turning agility.

Run up to a ramp and an upwards flick of the Remote performs a jump. In the air, tilt the Remote left or right and you'll do rotations. Combine this with holding A or B to perform grabs, and if you're really brave you can flick the Remote left or right, along with a button press, to perform more advanced tricks.

The best thing is that it's all so very responsive and playable. It took us all of 20 minutes to get used to this trick system, and start pulling off crazy stunts at every jump. It's accessible and fun - the essence of Wii gaming. Of course that does mean a lack of real challenge if you're a hardcore player looking for a meaty trick system to perplex over for a long time. You won't find that here.

Click to view larger image
If you're lucky enough (and rich enough) to have a Balance Board, you can connect that up and control your boarder with your feet. You turn the board side-on to the telly, and then lean your weight forwards and backwards to steer.

Keep Your Balance

Lean towards the TV and you'll speed up and a little hop (without actually jumping) keys the on-screen man to leap through the air. With the Remote still in hand, you use A and B to tweak spins and tricks that you otherwise perform by leaning on the board.

Some say a game like Road Trip is a reason to buy the Balance Board but to be honest we think it's just another example of a game that the Balance Board just makes hard work. It's just not as playable, or accurate a control system.

It's confusing at times, and you'll find yourself failing miserably at challenges you'd breeze through with the Wii Remote. So that's what we ended up using.

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Comments

15 comments so far...
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  1. ILoveWii Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 12:11

    It's silly if the Balance Board doesn't work well because that was the main factor about this game.

    Oh well.

  2. mandlecreed Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 14:28

    NGamer championed the balance board use in this one. Hmmm...

    It also said something about challenges not being as difficult if you selected the board over the remote.

    Oh well.

  3. mgkoeln Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 14:35

    It's silly if the Balance Board doesn't work well because that was the main factor about this game.

    Oh well.

    Well, no, actually it's silly to say the game is too easy with the remote, but being too much of a couch potato to give the Balance Board a real try (as it seems was the case in writing this review). Don't be afraid, IloveWii, the Board works just fine! It takes some time to get used to, but that's how it's supposed to be. You call that a challenge and a learning curve.

    So, the Balance Board controls are far from awkward! Steering is much more precise than Snowboarding in Wii Fit and the stunts work as well with a little practice!

    The 80-rating is fine with me, though! It's a shame that the game has no WFC-support as this would have been the only way for one-on-one-Balance-Board-races. (The Wii only accepts one Board at a time - which is Nintendo's fault, though, not Ubisoft's.)

    NGamer championed the balance board use in this one. Hmmm...

    It also said something about challenges not being as difficult if you selected the board over the remote.

    Oh well.

    What this means is, that e.g. in a race you get a few extra seconds if you play with the Balance Board. That's intentional, because steering with the Board is less precise, no matter how good it works. I think the difficulty with the Balance Board is fine. They could have made it a little harder for remote players, though.

  4. Super_Sonic96 Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 15:27

    Good review, I wasn't expecting it to get any more than 84% anyway, although it looks quite good for a snowboarding game, and the graphics look nice.

  5. Piplup Friday 14th Nov 2008 at 17:47

    I don't get it. One negative and it gets 80%? Pah :roll:

  6. Jman_Vere Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 15:40

    is this the snowboarding that was showcased at e3? cos it has a different name.
    and what do they mean by ps3 and 360 versions? is it the same just without the balance board?

  7. Anonymous Saturday 15th Nov 2008 at 18:28

    what a rubbish review, it really didn't say why it only got 80%, all i can find is the fact that 1 control system isn't as good as another...

  8. fisher2007 Sunday 16th Nov 2008 at 21:22

    is this game worth buying. :(

  9. fadecy Monday 17th Nov 2008 at 15:27

    NGamer championed the balance board use in this one. Hmmm...

    It also said something about challenges not being as difficult if you selected the board over the remote.

    Oh well.


    So did Invisible Walls on gametrailers.com.
    In fact, they said the Wii controls were awkward to use.

    Methinks ONM needs better balance.
    Also, if anybody buys this game over SSX Blur then you must be at least a little bit crazy. Or a Shaun White fanboy.

  10. fisher2007 Tuesday 18th Nov 2008 at 00:39

    NGamer championed the balance board use in this one. Hmmm...

    It also said something about challenges not being as difficult if you selected the board over the remote.

    Oh well.


    So did Invisible Walls on gametrailers.com.
    In fact, they said the Wii controls were awkward to use.

    Methinks ONM needs better balance.
    Also, if anybody buys this game over SSX Blur then you must be at least a little bit crazy. Or a Shaun White fanboy.

    http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u32/fisher1000/ss_preview_eg_rev_phoenix_004.jpg

    look here.

    http://uk.gamespot.com/wii/sports/shaun ... user-score

  11. My name is Earl Tuesday 18th Nov 2008 at 20:58

    This game looks so good. It was on the gaget show.

  12. mgkoeln Thursday 20th Nov 2008 at 17:51

    Also, if anybody buys this game over SSX Blur then you must be at least a little bit crazy. Or a Shaun White fanboy.

    I own both games and actually prefer Shaun White. The balance board controls work great and it's much more fun to board on a board than on your couch.

    If you already own a balance board and like snowboard games this one's really a no brainer. Don't believe the ONM review! The balance board controls are fine.

  13. gils Tuesday 2nd Dec 2008 at 10:19

    so is this worth getting? iam confused as so many conflicting reviews...

    Shaun white or ssx blur..... :roll:

  14. Teawads Monday 22nd Dec 2008 at 15:39

    i got this game for my birthday and it is FANTASTIC! i don't own a balance board tho, so i only get half of the experience, but the remote works fine for me

  15. original_pmf Tuesday 6th Jan 2009 at 22:30

    This game is truly very good... The balance board controls are tricky to get to grips with to begin with but after an hours play it starts to feel more natural and free flowing... Get off your backsides and give it a real go and you will reap the rewards... visually very good with a great soundtrack!

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