Duuuuuuuuuuuude! Yeah, Shaun White is soooooo awesome! It's, like, full of awesomeness! It's so awesome, it's super awesome! And so on and so forth. Yes, you're going to have to put up with snowboarding street speak throughout Shaun White Snowboarding: Road Trip on the Wii, but, somewhat surprisingly, it's actually worth it, because, while this is no SSX, it's good, no-nonsense fun.
And it's better than Shaun White on 360 and PS3, by quite a margin, too. Tom gave that game a 6/10 in his review, criticising the overly awkward controls and laborious open world travelling. Road Trip doesn't suffer from any of that, making it the definitive version of the game.
And it's better than EA's frustrating Wii skateboarding sim Skate It, too. The controls, while not perfect in that they still suffer from classic Wii motion sensing unresponsiveness, are much tighter. Where EA packed tons of tricks onto the Wii Remote, Ubisoft Montreal has kept things simple, requiring only flicks and shakes in combination with the A and B buttons. It all makes for a much more fun, and intuitive, control system.
The fact that the game doesn't support the Nunchuck is evidence of Ubisoft's simple control philosophy. Movement is governed by simply pointing the Wii Remote forward and twisting it left or right to turn. Holding down the A button will cause your boarder to lean forward and pick up speed. Pressing B will cause him/her to slow down. These simple rules govern everything else you do in the game.
Complexity, and fun, is added by the trick system. Say, for example, you approach an obvious ramp while flying down a mountain. Just before you hit it, flicking the Wii Remote up will cause your boarder to crouch then launch off of it, allowing for plenty of air time during which the Wii Remote can be twisted and shaken to trigger different tricks in combination with the A and B buttons.
You're able to grind, too, on appropriate parts of each course. Here, the game will automatically make your boarder jump and stick, which might be considered intrusive hand-holding by some. From there, you need to keep your balance by twisting the Wii Remote, and are able to jump from one line to another, as well as do tricks. It's not particularly realistic, and these sections are the most unresponsive in terms of actually getting your boarder to do what you want them to, but it is fun.
You also have access to special cameraman powers, triggered when you fill your respect meter by doing tricks. On any given track, you pick one boarder and one cameraman, each with their own stats and special abilities. When the meter is full, a press on the Wii Remote d-pad will trigger the cameraman's special power, most helpfully a speed boost. This adds a whiff of strategy to the game, but it's too faint to bother yourself with.
Road Trip's controls do suffer in that the Wii's motion sensing technology isn't as responsive as simply pressing a button on a control pad and watching an animation, but they're still loads better than Skate It's. You will, more often than not, trigger the trick you actually want to do it (but not always). There is still a feeling that your boarder doesn't do exactly what you want him/her to do exactly when you want them to do it, but as far as Wii games that rely on waving the Wii Remote about go, it's a solid effort, and will please more than it frustrates. The game's also quite hard, but in a good way. When you collapse in a heap because you've landed on your head, or your board is facing the wrong way relative to the direction you're travelling, it's usually because you mistimed or misjudged the trick. Practice makes perfect, and there is a genuine sense of reward as you get to grips with the controls and start to build up score multipliers as you link together tricks.