Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage is one of those big name games I'd expect to come out on all consoles, resulting in 1 version on the Xbox 360 & PS3 and another version that doesn't look as good, frequently doesn't play as good and is generally just a bit crap on the Wii. Thankfully Ubisoft had the sense to not bother with the two big boys and focus on the Wii.
Graphics are good, the designers didn't bother making the game ultra-sharp or realistic and gave it a cartoony look that the Wii could handle better. They're not incredibly detailed, but they don't get in the way or slow down the game. The controls are a little twitchy, the slightest tilt of the wii-mote will sometimes send you spinning in mid-air, more often than not meaning you land flat on your face and as the difficulty goes up that means you'll be replaying that level as a result of the controller.
The game-play is leaps and bounds ahead of any other snowboarding game I've played. The shortest way to explain it is the game actually wants you to have fun. You don't crash into rails, you just automatically jump up onto them which was such a step forward from the games I'd played previously. The sweet spot on jumps is obvious and a decent size. This game was definitely made
for kids & casual players. The goals are easy enough to get through it on the first attempt most of the time (as long as the controller doesn't decide to spin you around for the laugh). The power ups create Mario Kart style hilarity, nothing really beats sending your opponents into the walls or gaining a sudden burst of speed just before the finish line.
There's plenty of different type of competition to prevent you doing the same thing over & over. Every couple of races the campaign stops and won't let you continue until you take a break and race with your friends and these pointless levels really just lengthen the campaign out for no reason. The top 5 is a more intense and enjoyable 5 event competition which I enjoyed every season but when you actually get to #1 the first time it goes into next season and Shaun White joins your team, he's just flat out better than every other character so all the challenge gets left behind.
Designing your own tricks is a new feature in the game, and it certainly works, plug in the Wii Motion Plus, wave the wii-mote around and you've got a new trick you can replace one of the standard tricks with. As a piece of customization it works well and I was grateful I wasn't forced into doing it, but it does feel like they threw it in to have something that used the latest add-on.
Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage is ok, but it's nothing special. Good game-play decisions are let down by a controller that hates you. Varied levels are let down by stages that just get in the way along with a difficulty curve that drops to nothing once you've completed one season. It's good fun for kids though, and in the short term you won't notice the cracks.
Rent or Buy: Rent
Game Play: 3/5
Replay Value: 2/5
Reviewed By: Tony O'Hare