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on May 22, 2008
As an avid skier, I was excited for a long time knowing that this game and Wii fit were coming out.

Perhaps my mistake was that I first tried out Wii Fit, which includes an excellent slalom race mode which not only looks at your left-right balance, but also at your forward aft (especially for speed control).

I then hurried to open my new copy of Wii Ski, expecting to get the same, but with more challenges, more depth, and a whole mountain to explore.

Boy, I can't hide my disappointment: instead of adapting the same control scheme from Wii Fit, the balance board support seems like an afterthought. Your movements on the balance board roughly translate into left and right, not as fluently as on Wii fit, but THERE IS NO FORE/AFT SUPPORT ! In other words, it doesn't matter if you lean forward or back, crouch, wedel, carve, etc. (things that the balance board can actually track), you only get left or right.

You use a button for plowing (board could have easily detected that), a button for wedling.

Worse of all, you have no speed control from the balance board. In fact, the game is excruciatingly slow even when you're barreling down the mountain. To get any speed at all, you have to use both nunchuck and wiimote as poles, but it feels like cross-country skiing. I got a ton of exercise just swinging them to get to a crawling speed going straight down a black diamond. What gives?

I don't expect a real ski simulator, but I expected much better use of the balance board.
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on May 16, 2008
After watching a video on the new Nintendo channel, I decided to purchase We Ski when it came out, and it's a great addition to my library of Wii games.

The graphics are great and pretty lifelike; my boyfriend said some of the slopes in the game reminded him of real slopes he used to ski in Colorado. It looks authentic and even feels like you're skiing down hill at a fast pace. I've never been skiing in my life, but the game makes me feel like I'm really there.

When I loaded the game, I immediately created a character. I chose to use my Mii, but you can create a character using the choices in the game. However, using your Mii means you can't wear a hat or goggles, but I had so much fun customizing everything else, I didn't care. I have a pretty fancy ski outfit (there are TONS to choose from, I was surprised by the variety) with matching boots, gloves, skis, and poles.

Then I went to the tutorial (Ski School) so I could avoid reading the instruction manual. This is a great, albeit long, way to learn how to play. You are shown how to do everything, from wedelns, to braking, to air tricks, to how to get up when you crash into another skiier on the slopes. Your Mii interacts with the ski instructor by nodding when she wants to move on to the next lesson, which I thought was a nice addition to the game. It took me about half an hour to go through the complete tutorial, and I was rewarded with a new ski outfit for my efforts.

The great thing about this game is no matter what you chose to do, you can do it with friends or solo. The real "gameplay" is in Freestyle mode, where you are taken to a ski resort for your vacation (although there are plenty of "lessons" in slalom or downhill or moguls for you to work through as well). In Freestyle, you are given star points, which is a way to show how far you've advanced through the game. You gain points by interacting with other skiiers on the slope and doing what they ask (they are marked by bubbles over their heads, and the design on the bubble indicates what task they want you to do). I did some head-to-head races, showed off my mean snow plowing skills, and performed Perfect Stops (stopping within a designated area). More star points open more outfits and options for your character.

You are also rated, from S+ to D, on each of the ski slopes that you travel down. Each slope is rated so you know not to hit the Camel slope until you're pretty good on the Rabbit slope. My favorite was Bear Claw, where you can reach top speed and just whiz past other skiiers on the slope (or crash into them -- oops).

Playing Freestyle with friends is quite innovative in that if you want to ski down the Elephant slope but your buddy wants to stick to the Dolphin, that's perfectly okay! You can hop on one of the ski lifts and head up while he stays on his slope. That was great for when I was trying to master moguls but my boyfriend wanted to start at the top and work his way down the mountain. However, if one of you interacts with another skiier to start a task, you get pulled along with them. And you can bypass the whole ski lift thing and just "teleport" everyone directly to a point through the menu, which is also handy.

The most challenging aspect of the game that we've discovered thus far is Orienteering. One of the other skiiers is the CEO of the resort, and he and 9 other employees are hidden on the mountain. Your job is to find them, in order, by using the clues that you are given. For instance, one clue was something like "I'm at the path that connects the largest animal and the smallest animal", so we had to look at the slopes' animal designations to determine what was the largest and what was the smallest, then ski over there and search for our contact point. It was a really fun task to try to hunt them down, but we're still exploring the slopes so it was also challenging. We're stuck on the fourth contact point, but we'll investigate further tonight and hopefully move on.

Another cute feature (although it's not necessary or even important, just fun to do) is a photo album. There is a photographer on the slopes marked with a camera bubble who will take your picture "in action" and put it in your album for you. Then you can go to the photo album and look at your pictures, or you can pose your Miis (up to 4 skiiers) in their outfits at various points on the mountain; there were something like 40 or 50 poses each, and you can cycle through and have everyone looking fabulous for their picture. Apparently, you can connect to WiFi and post your pictures online, which is a nice feature.

This may not be the best game to ever grace the Wii, but I am having a blast with it. There's a lot to do and explore, and it really uses the remote and nunchuck so you feel like you're in the game (and it's compatible with the Wii Fit board, so you can REALLY get into it). I love how your Mii will smile or get big-eyed in shock or throw a tantrum when she loses; little things like that make the game more realistic and fun for me. It's not as hardcore as SSX but more family-oriented, so everyone can hit the slopes together.
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on May 19, 2008
If you ski this program might help get you through the summer. However clearly it was written by europeon or Japanese skiers since some of the terminology is not what we (PSIA instructors) use here in the States. I agree with a previous reviewer that the ski school is the best way to learn the game, but some of what is taught is neither essential to real skiing or to playing the game. Most of the controller moves are intuitive though some of them (balance recovery and skating) are not moves you would actually do when skiing. The steering is very realistic, though you do it with your hands and generally control of the skier is proportional to slope speed and conditions (groomed, ice and powder all exist on different hills) I am looking forward to trying this when I get the balance board to see how real that is. It works fine with the controllers though you can play sitting down so that part may be more real with the balance board.
My only complaints are similar to other Wii games there are times when you move the controller the way they tell you and you just don't get the result they say you should (Like putting on Wii golf)
My kids (9 and 11) also love it. It is fun to play multiplayer and sit on the chair on the way up together (push A at the same time when you are in the purple zone around the lift) Your mii or character can look around and see the sights on the slopes. Try nightskiing to see various light effects. Though the fireworks are cool at first they never stop so they can be hard to ignore at times but night skiin is definitely an interesting varient.
Some of the games are a bit dorky (it is a kids game after all) but they can be fun. The orienteering is not that bad though we can't find the last guy we did find all the others.
Racing head to head with your kids is a blast. Particularly when on a rare occaision you might actually beat them. The instant replays are hilarious. Try skiing full speed through the finish line and not stopping the replay of the crash into the wall is great. It would be nice to have a way to save the video's of some of the replays, I suppose I could connect something to the output and record I will have toplay with that. If I figure it out I will post a race and nice crash finish here as a video review for everyone to see.....
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on May 23, 2008
We Ski is not for the "hardcore gamer" who cares only about advancing to the next level, unlocking more skills, and doing insane tricks on the slopes at crazy speeds. However, it is still a very fun game for those who would rather spend $30 on a good skiing simulator than $70 for a day out on a real mountain.

The game does a lot of things right in the control department, and I think other companies will use We Ski as a template to make even better skiing games in the future. I have used the game with the Balance Board and I was impressed, if not awed. The board is incredibly sensitive, and perhaps a little too sensitive: a shift in weight just a little too extreme, and you'll swerve into the nearest fence or snowbank. What I really like about the balance board setup, though, is that the game allows you to reverse the controls so that leaning on the left foot makes you go to the right, and vice versa. For those who ski, this is a nice feature because it mimics more closely the way you shift your weight in real life when skiing. To go right, you actually put your weight on the inside of your left foot. The fact that We Ski thought of this and allowed that option impressed me.

The game is relatively bare-bones. You can compete in races or use the freestyle mode to ski on your own. There are many challenges to take part in, but the nice thing is that the game doesn't punish you if you decide to just enjoy the slopes. It really is like having an all-day lift ticket: you can get on any lift, ski any trail, and go back up as many times as you like. I wish there were more than 14 trails, though. Also, I would have liked the inclusion of some glade runs.

For $30, especially if you already have the balance board, you can't really go wrong. We Ski is an enjoyable game, not a revolution. Have fun with it for what it is.
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on May 18, 2008
We Ski is a game anyone can play, yet is challenging enough so you can hone you skiing skills and still be challenged. I use We Ski without the balance board and it is still an impressive, fun game (can't wait to get the balance board, looks to be a very promising combo with this game). Graphics are excellent...reminds me of SSX on tour but with better control, as the movements of the Wiimote and the nunchuck are more natural. Yes, you can also perform aerial stunts, jumps, moguls, and lean forward for downhill racing (as the wind rushes by as you get faster). My wife who is a beginner skier picked this up quickly and allows us to race together or to free ski together, even let us ride the lift up togther! Many small intricacies are thought out in this game. Either you can go directly to the top of the mountain via the menu, or you can choose to ride the lift up to the top. When you are riding the chairlift, the Wiimote vibrates as you pass over the chair lift tower (very clever!). Also, you can ski at night with fireworks at the base of the mountain and stars in the sky; very cool. The only thing that I would inprove upon with this game is I wish there was more than one mountain to ski at! Bottom line, I would definitely recommend Wii Ski to anyone.
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on September 5, 2008
This game left a lot to be desired. I have skied for 25 years and this board is nothing like skiing. Yet, the skiing games that ship with the Wii board are wonderful and account for every way your body may move. This one only seems to account for side-to-side movement.

This was a real disappointment. Stick with the ski games that come with the Wii Fit. They are a lot of fun.
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on May 23, 2008
I bought We Ski about a week ago and I played it a few times and I liked it. I got Wii Fit on Wednesday and finally had a chance last night to hook it up and play We Ski with the board. What a difference the board makes. I feel it makes the game alot more challanging. For "others" looking for a simulation type game your not going to get it here. This game is arcade-ish and lots of fun. only played with the board an hour or so but I do like it better than playing with just the controller. Dont get me wrong it's fun with the controller and the chuck but the board makes it BETTER! If you have Wii Fit go and buy We Ski you wont be dissapointed. If you dont have Wii Fit buy it anyways so when you do get one it will make the game alot more enjoyable than it already is. With freestyle, racing and a lot of mini types games the games delivers. Go give it a shot today.
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on August 15, 2008
This game is awesome, especially with Wii Fit balance board. And even though as one of the reviewers mentioned that it does not support acceleration and decceleration by allowing player to shift body weight forward and back - you can get going pretty fast. Fast enough that it gets pretty challenging to stay on course. It is important that you go through ski school first to learn all the controls though. I suspect that the reviewer who was commenting on slow speed of the game did not learn how to tuck in the ski poles and assume the racing position that quickly accelerates you a very fast pace.

I can't wait to hook this thing up to my projector and ski on the big movie screen. That should feel a lot more real than on a regular TV screen.
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on September 6, 2008
My son and I get very different things out of this game. My son is a 11 year-old competitive gamer and he enjoys "beating the game" by doing all the activities and winning all the races. I am getting something different from the game. I am enjoying taking my time, seeing all the sights (the scenery in the game is actually quite beautiful), and relaxing. I have a very stressful job, and after a frustrating day, I can get on my balance board "ski" around and I can feel my blood pressure go down immediately.
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on February 3, 2009
I held off buying We Ski because of the reviews that said that it didn't make as good a use of the balance board as the skiing on Wii Fit did. Now that I've tried it, I like it a lot and I think it gives a better feel of skiing than Wii Fit does. When actually skiing downhill, you increase speed by crouching and by staying off the edges of your skis, not by leaning forward. Similarly, you reduce speed by standing up to increase wind resistance and by turning, not by leaning backwards. Holding the Wii remote and nunchuk gives the feel of ski poles.

It's a fun game. You ski around the resort, trying different trails and taking on challenges from people you meet. You get to choose whether it is day or night.

I found talking to people to be annoying. They jabber on inanely while you keep hitting "A" to get through it.

You get a letter grade every time you go down a trail. Sometimes I didn't understand why I received a particular grade. Then I realized that you have to hit "A" as soon as the grade appears and before you get too far ahead. Then you find out what aspects you were graded on and how you did in each one.

I look forward to We Ski and Snowboard which is coming soon from the same publisher.
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