The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
There isn't a lot of mystique to video game snowboarding, given how easy it is to translate the mechanics of the sport onto a controller. This is even more evident with the Wii remote in your hand. Shaun White does just enough to capture the attention of a gamer looking to carve and pull off tricks with a minimal amount of fuss. Beyond that, however, the game misses an opportunity to expand our experience with the sport.
Simple trick point challenges, timed races, and collect-a-thons are scattered among mountains across the globe, and these events quickly become repetitive. Being able to free-roam these locales would improve that situation, but only marginally. Shaun White doesn't have its sights set that high. Instead, you must be content getting around with smooth carving by twisting and moving the remote from side to side or through the game's simple set of tricks.
Shaun White on the Wii has fewer gameplay hiccups than the versions on the other consoles, but this is because it's so eager to help you out. You'll magnetically pop and stick onto rails and morph into tricks you didn't know you were performing. This is in contrast to the times when turning – on the ground or in the air – becomes uncharacteristically difficult. During these moments of discord the game vacillates between being too user-friendly and then not friendly enough.
Perhaps sensing the fact that it has limited its scope in pursuit of relatively easy gameplay execution, Ubisoft added both co-op and competitive split-screen multiplayer play. These options, along with a simplistic ability boost system, however, don't broaden Shaun White's horizons enough. In a sport searching for the next big crazy trick, this game's insistence on the basics only takes players so far.
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
Road Trip is the arcade-leaning bunny hill to the Xbox 360 version's simulation-flavored black diamond. The game ditches the open world snowboarding in favor of closed events challenging your racing, big air, half-pipe, and trick skills. I missed the option to just shred down a mountain, but the game's cartoonish approach feels more genuine than the oddball, marketing-heavy tone of the other versions. The Wii remote controls make turning and jumping easy, but rotating your boarder while in the air is an inexact science. Road Trip also makes use of the Wii Balance Board, which works well for turning but makes it much harder to generate velocity than with the remote. This is by no means an X Games favorite, but if you're a Wii balance board owner looking for a casual experience, you could do much worse.