Published Jan 14, 2009Snowboarding has never quite captured gamer imaginations like its landlocked cousin, and certainly Shaun White doesn't boast the name recognition of a Tony Hawk. But his new game, Road Trip, lands a pretty sweet trick. Though the PS3 and 360 versions have been criticized for having too much mountain and not enough fun, the Wii edition uses the Wii Fit balance board to provide a visceral thrill ride.
Unlike many Wii-makes, this is not an uglier port with waggle but an entirely different game that features a cartoon-ish, but still quite striking, look. And while the other versions offer an open-ended "snow box" structure, Road Trip has a series of international slopes that you and your posse will carve up while chasing the elusive White across Canada, Europe, Peru and Japan, before catching up with him in Utah's Park City. You will eventually have a roster of nine riders but it will take several hours before you get to play as the titular Olympic gold medallist.
What gives this game its gold medal is the balance board, which lets you shift your weight on the popular (but way under-utilized) peripheral to carve down hills, get air in half-pipes and grind over icy rails while pulling the 25 or so tricks and grabs with the Wii-mote. Sure, you could play with just the hand controllers but the board adds an unprecedented level of immersion to this game, even if it is slightly less accurate.
Road Trip is fun, easy to pick-up and makes brilliant use of the Wii's unique capabilities. Other developers take note: this is exactly the kind of third-party title Nintendo could use more of. (Ubisoft)