Publisher: Namco Bandai
Website: We Ski
I ski, you ski, we all ski for Wii Ski! She sells seashells by th… sorry, I got caught up in the moment. I, probably like many of you, was very skeptical of We Ski. What with every third party game for the Wii being a factory line clone of the other. Fortunately for us, I was pleasantly surprised by the delightful characters, balance board integration, and casual co-op that I’m convicted to recommend this game to other Wii owners. Besides, they had me at the name. Replacing “Wii” with “We?” Genius.
Basically, the game offers instant snowy entertainment for you and three friends. While you are able to nonchalantly ski the slopes without any form of gaming structure, there is an objective icon you should keep an eye on. Otherwise you’ll go nowhere fast. Luckily, the objectives and mindless skiing aren’t the only gameplay options for We Ski. Namco throws in multiplayer racing, running rescues, delivery runs, and other events.
The difficulty and subsequent gameplay is based on how much you want it to be. All 13 animal-themed courses are available from the start and are connected by ski lifts which you need to ski to. You might be asking, “Wouldn’t it be easier if there was a virtual teleport system?” Well there is, with a simple click of the map. We Ski, like virtually all games by now, features instant replay. However unlike all other games, it is adorably rewarding to watch. Compare it to watching your three year old niece playfully stumbling towards a carefully plotted chocolate bar and you’ll see what I mean.
Namco was able to side step a potential problem with the motion sensing controls. You’ll be happy to hear that it is very intuitive. Using your Wii-remote and nunchuk as your left and right ski respectively feels natural and the Ski School introduces you to everything you need to know. For the daring, the balance board peripheral is available to use. That is if you don’t use your knees and ankles for your day job. 20 minutes skiing on the balance board is like listening to Gilbert Godfrey sing the national anthem --- absolutely painful.
The scoring system is a major disappointment. After every run down the mountain, you’ll be given a grade. A grade that is so incredibly swayed by pessimism that you’d think Simon Cowell produced the game. Even with perfect scores in time, balance, and speed, you can still get a poor grade because of nitpickiness. Common complaints range from not pulling off big tricks to not turning enough. Yeah, go figure.
Overall, We Ski plays very nicely. The overall cutsy atmosphere of Happy Ski Resort rubs off on you. The easy controls, happy-go-lucky characters, familiar music, and beautiful experience that We Ski offers make it a fun game. I don’t know if I’d go as far as to recommend paying $29.99 for it, but definitely look for it eight months from now in the bargain bin at Wal-Mart.