Wii Balance Board Games Roundup

For the latest news on Nintendo Wii Board Games

Skate It Wii Controls PAX Review

clock September 3, 2008 09:55 by author WiiBBG

I just read an interesting post by ars technica's Ben Kuchera. He was fortunate enough to get some balance board game time with Skate It at this year’s PAX (Penny Arcade Expo). The bottom line from his point of view – "I'd rather be playing with a standard controller".

Up until now we've seen a lot of positive feedback for Skate It's balance board controls, but as more people get hands-on with this game the more we'll start to see opposing opinions. While I don't see Ben's comments as a major blow for this game, he does make some interesting comments firstly with regards to the steep learning curve. According to the EA rep, "it takes about fifteen minutes to learn to do it okay, and a few hours to really nail the tricks".

This is understandable considering the innovative way in which the balance board is zoned for different tricks but for gamers hoping to just jump on and skate and do tricks without too much effort, this is obviously going to be a negative factor. For balance board fans however, I think it's a small price to pay for the kind of realism that this game promises.

Another interesting comment was this – "The game did feel like an oddly effective workout, however, as the muscles on my lower legs started to burn during my fifteen minute demo". Now there's a real bonus or for some, or a real turn-off for others depending on what you want out of the game.

One comment he made that I don't entirely agree with was "Skate It seems to use the Wiimote and balance board because it can" which seems to imply that balance board support was kind of an afterthought. I really do feel that EA developed this game specifically for the balance board and that they have really gone out of their way to be innovative in its use. Of course time will tell, but despite some negative impressions I think EA Skate It is still set to be one of the top balance board games of 2008.

You can read Ben's full post here.

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Best Of GC 2008: EA Skate It

clock August 26, 2008 09:55 by author WiiBBG

This year's winner at GC 2008 in the category Best Wii Game was none other that EA's Skate It. no real surprise really - it was always going to be a two horse race in my opinion between Skate It and Shaun White Snowboarding and I would have been happy with either one taking first spot. Here's what GC had to say:

"The Wii Fit Balance Board can do much more than just aerobics and yoga: by shifting weight and skilful use of the Nunchuk, the player carries out the most amazing tricks in (four) virtual roles. A genuine skater feel is created on the run through half-pipes and over ramps. 'Skate it' gives an authentic and original recreation of the trend sport and benefits from the special features of the Nintendo console."

 

Skate It

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SWSB Vs Skate It Trick Controls

clock July 19, 2008 12:20 by author WiiBBG

ars technica's Frank Caron was lucky enough to get some game time on both Shaun White Snowboarding and Skate It at E3 last week. As you would expect, both games use the Wii Balance Board in the same way to steer but there is a marked difference in one crucial aspect - performing tricks.

While EA has chosen to use both the balance board and Wiimote to control body motion and tricks in Skate It, Ubisoft uses only the balance board to control body motion (no flicks of the Wiimote) and according to Frank, it just feels more natural. Read Frank's hands-on comparison of SWSB and Skate It, the lucky devil.

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E3: EA Skate It Balance Board Demo

clock July 18, 2008 12:21 by author WiiBBG

Here's a great interview and some live gameplay of EA Skate It using the balance board. The clip really does give a feel for how intuitive the game is when using the balance board and also shows how you'll use the Wiimote together with the Wiiboard to perform different tricks using the various zones on the board.

PS - the sound is a bit dodgy to begin with but does come right and you will need the movenetworks media player.

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Danny Way Endorses EA Skate It

clock July 8, 2008 08:19 by author WiiBBG

The buzz surrounding EA Skate It is really building and the latest pro skateboarder to endorse the game is three times X Games gold medalist Danny Way. Danny has been closely involved with the project from the beginning and is clearly impressed with the mechanics of the balance board and the way in which it translates real-world skateboarding to the game saying that it's "as close as it's going to get to creating the reality of skateboarding in a video game".

You can view the Skate It interview with Danny at GameTrailers.com.

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EA Skate It Balance Board Trick Controls

clock July 4, 2008 08:33 by author WiiBBG

EA Skate It Balance Board Zones EA Games has released some more screenshots for Skate It with artwork showing how the Wii Balance Board will be used to perform tricks. Up until now, we've only seen demos of using the Wii Remote for tricks and there's been some doubt over whether the Wii Board will be used for more than just steering and manuals.

Well according to these screenshots on IGN it's good news. In addition to manuals, ollies and nollies, the balance board has been divided up into 6 zones which allow you to perform kickflips, heelflips and nollie kickflips/heelflips. I have to say I'm well impressed and kudos to EA for really thinking this through and fully using the balance board in an intuitive way. Bandai may have been the first third-party to use the balance board with We Ski, but this definitely sets the standard. Now I can't wait to see some in-game demos of the balance board but I guess we may have to wait until E3.

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Possible Wii Board Add-on For EA Skate It

clock June 24, 2008 18:55 by author WiiBBG

Deck Here's an interesting idea for skateboarders looking forward to EA Skate It. According to a post on kotaku, EA developers are considering the possibility of shipping Skate It with some kind of add-on form that will snap onto the balance board and give it more of a skateboard look and feel.

Some of you may think it's taking things a bit far but I can see where they're coming from. After some vigorous play, I often find that my feet have moved off the board's sweet spot, making the controls a little erratic. The idea is that having something which more closely resembles an actual skateboard will help users to realise when they're no longer centered on the board without having to look down at their feet.

Bear in mind that the developers are only 'considering the possibility' so it's far from being a done deal, but now that the idea is out there I'm sure that Wii accessories manufacturers are already seeing dollar signs. I'd actually like to see this taken one step further. Instead of a form that's shaped like a skateboard, rather make an attachment that let's you use your own skateboard deck or even a snowboard. Now that would be pretty cool - most probably totally impractical, but cool.

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EA Games Skate It Teaser Video

clock June 1, 2008 19:31 by author WiiBBG

show youtube It's got to be every skater's dream. Imagine having a whole city to yourself - no cars, no people and no sweaty security guards telling you to get the hell outta here.

Well that dream's now a reality, at least in EA Skate It, after the city of San Vanelona is hit by a series of freak disasters (alien attack, Godzilla, tidal wave, tornada - got to love the artist's renderings) forcing 99% of the population to be evacuated, leaving behind a skaters paradise.

I particularly like the use of Ghost Town by The Specials who, along with The London Beat, were two of my favourite ska bands - remember Mirror in the Bathroom?

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EA Skate It For Wii Expected in 2008

clock May 11, 2008 15:38 by author WiiBBG

After an initial false start a few weeks back when IGN announced EA Skate It for Wii and then removed the article, it seems that it is now official - a spinoff of EA Skate called Skate It IS coming to Wii some time in 2008 and it will include Wii Balance Board support.

Use of the Wii Board will of course be optional but in an interview with IGN, Skate It's executive producer Scott Blackwood said "the game plays super fun with or without the Balance Board, but if you want to really feel your carves and control your manuals, I'd advise you to skate a Balance Board version of the game. People that try it really seem to be digging it, and we're still discovering new and cool ways to integrate it daily".

Looks like it's EA Games 1, Tony Hawk 0 - for now.

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Wii Balance Board Game Rumours

clock April 5, 2008 15:00 by author WiiBBG

As with any hot new game or technology release, it’s usually preceded by loads of rumours and conjecture. The Wii Balance Board is no exception and Nintendo has kept everyone guessing since it first revealed the Wii board back in July 2007.

Reggie Fils-Aime, COO of Nintendo US did go so far as to say that over 10 games were already in development but whether he was referring to Nintendo or third-party games is anyone’s guess. Some clever PR which no doubt helped to fuel the rumour mill and so far here’s what’s been tipped for future release:

  • Nintendo 1080° Snowboarding sequel
  • EA Boogie II
  • EA Skate for Wii
  • Namco We Cheer
  • THQ All Star Cheer Squad
  • Rocket Company Wii Exercise (Japanese release)
  • Future Mario titles?

WiiBBG will of course be keeping a close eye on things and will report any future development on these and other games.

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