Shaun White Skateboarding (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Calum Peak 19.07.2010

Review for Shaun White Skateboarding (Hands-On) on Wii

Shaun White first became prominent in the gaming world with the release of 2008’s Shaun White Snowboarding, which featured him and a load of cronies hitting the powdered slopes in style, tricking it up and racing at break-neck speeds to victory. Now Ubisoft have decided to lift White away from his Tomahawking half pipe antics and slam him down on four wheels. Whilst he is a worldwide snowboard champion, many don’t know that he is also talented on a skateboard, too. Enter Shaun White Skateboarding, set to launch later this year.

Introduced into a dull and bland skate world, it is Shaun’s job to skate lines to bolster the world into something more interesting. As you nail tricks in specific areas the world will morph and introduce brighter colours and paths for the player to skate. Predictably, the Wii version differs significantly from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 iterations. The core gameplay mechanic is slightly different; in the HD versions, you can continue grinds even once you venture off rails, magically skating in mid-air to create some impressive new lines and explore the world more easily. Also, where the Wii version is presented rather cleanly initially, looking like a plain skate park, its counterparts feature a plain black and white world. The city in both versions is made more exciting and vibrant the more tricks you perform, becoming a skater’s paradise the more time goes on. Boring business men on phones become youths as life-injecting tricks are landed next to them, for example. Both versions have their areas unlocked in full from the get-go, but the 360/PS3 versions’ world-moulding appears to be more dynamic, the Wii’s seeming more pre-set.

Screenshot for Shaun White Skateboarding (Hands-On) on Wii

That’s not to say that the Wii version is with charm. One of the expected differences is in the visuals, which come in the form of funky cel-shading in the Wii title, much like its predecessor, Shaun White Snowboarding. Another look to the past is its control method; once again, players will be able to either use the Wii Remote and Nunchuck or the Balance Board. On the Wii Remote, tricks are performed with presses of either A or B and a flick in the appropriate direction, with turning mapped to the analogue stick. Control on the Balance Board is much like the past title, with players leaning to turn, jumping and putting pressure on the correct parts of the Board to pull off tricks. If players are familiar with this type of control scheme, they will have no problem playing the game.

Gameplay and controls aside, there are a few niggling problems with Shaun White Skateboarding, the first being the levels themselves. With only a single level open to play around on, one issue became very apparent - it felt very empty and solitary. Whereas its bigger HD brothers had a certain amount of ‘busyness’ to them with pedestrians, cars and busy scenery, the Wii outing felt like something that could of been made in a Tony Hawk level editor, with surrounding scenery but little much else other than the skateable objects. Of course, this is far from the finished product, and Ubisoft will be adding more up until release, but it’s not hard to see where all the resources went when viewing the PlayStation 3 and Wii versions side-by-side.

Screenshot for Shaun White Skateboarding (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Ubisoft have made a quaint little title out of Shaun White Skateboarding for the Wii. Even though it isn’t the finished product, it is still fun to play and bust out some ridiculous, even bordering on impossible tricks. However, there is that niggling feeling that all of this has been done before on other titles, and with the main bulk of its gimmicks leaning towards its HD counterparts, the Wii version feels just like a standard skater. That’s not to say it’s bad exactly, but it will be interesting to see what else Ubisoft do with the title before it is available to purchase sometime later this year. Here’s hoping they pull some tricks out of the bag.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Sport

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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