Another entry in the Shaun White boarding franchise, Shaun White Skateboarding is one of the few skateboarding titles on the Wii. While it echews a pleasant art style and a cool premise, however, problems arise through gameplay and overall design.
The hook is fairly simple: Shaun White and friends, like the Scooby Gang, happen upon a town beset by a grumpy old politician who has turned everything drab and blue. So Shaun and company decide to help the good folks out by changing the town from an efficient machine of the economy into a grafitti-filled village of slackers and hippies. Yeah I'm not so hooked on the premise, but it gives you an excuse to go through a number of levels while you pull of some moves and transformations, turning the environment into one of style and color.
Unfortunately, things fall pretty flat (or 'bail pretty hard', if you catch my lingo. First, levels, instead of the sandbox-y style you'd expect from skateboarding games, are much more restrictive, and seperated into districts that you must complete in order to proceed to the next one. They also feel very lifeless, and not in the way the designers intended. Things are flat, plain, and dull.
Completing districts them means completing the challenges scattered around, which typically amount to very simple objectives, such as collecting a number of diamonds scattered around the area, grinding or manualling for a certain distance, pulling of high scores, that kind of thing. You can unlock a wide variety of rewards from these, however, such as skater customizations or songs, so at least there's that.
Tricks are done via the Wiimote, by flicking it in certain directions while pressing the A and B buttons. As you might expect, this isn't the most precise form of control, and leads to a multitude of problems when trying to execute the better moves. Sometimes it's easy to mess up even the basic moves, too, or even just ollieing when you don't want to. Luckily, the game isn't exactly built upon precise gameplay. There's also the option of using the Balance Board for control, but with the controls imprecise as they are, the board doesn't really add anything to the mix.
There just isn't a whole lot to say about Shaun White Skateboarding for the Wii. Some poor level design, imprecise tricking system, a competitive multiplayer mode that feels tacked on, and just really no real redeeming factors. It's a skating title that is mediocre aat best, which is a shame, because the system could really use more.