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Good idea, but hard to follow

June 03, 2008|By BRAD SMITH/Pulse Correspondent

With the release of "Wii Fit" and the balance board packed in with it, there were bound to be other games to utilize its unique controls. The first game to do that - "We Ski" by Bandai-Namco - was released simultaneously along with the "Wii Fit" package.

The main gimmick of "We Ski" is to experience the thrill of skiing right in your very own living room. You can play as some anime-looking characters or you can import your Miis (cartoon avatars created with the Nintendo Wii platform) and play with them as well.

I'm not going to say much about the game because there really isn't anything to say. You can play free ride, where you go up and down a slope and talk to other skiers who might challenge you to complete a certain task or just give you a tip on skiing. There is a race mode, a slalom mode and a mogul mode. That's about it.

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The two main advantages to this game are: you can go skiing with three other people; and you can use the balance board to control your movements. The problem is you can't do both together. You can only use the balance board if you're playing one-player mode. As soon as you sign in more players, the balance-board mode is turned off.

Another gripe I have with "We Ski" is that there are virtually no instructions at all. You can play the same mode over and over, trying not to fail. But no matter how many times you try, you lose every time. That's because there are no instructions about what you're supposed to be doing and what you're doing wrong.

There is a Ski School tutorial mode included. But this just teaches techniques that are superfluous. You will never use them in any game mode. Also, a major selling point of the game is the fact that the Wii balance board is compatible, but none of the tutorials say anything at all about the balance board. So you're just left to figure it all out on your own.

"We Ski" is set out to let people ski in their living rooms and that's exactly what it does. The balance board seems like it was squeezed in last minute as a way to sell the game. To be honest, the skiing minigames included with "Wii Fit" are more fun than this whole game.

All in all, this game is frustrating. It's boring after 10 minutes, and it's annoying to the point that you can't pass the modes. I give "We Ski" 3 broken skis out of 10.

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