High Velocity Bowling
According to the principles of Miyamoto's Law, you can't have motion sensing controls without a bowling game and so here comes one for the SIXAXIS. Everything is much as you'd expect, although the zappy name rather contradicts the lackadaisical middle-American atmosphere the game tries to evoke, with its small town setting and hayseed characters.
High Velocity Bowling breaks the sport down into three little chunks. First you tip the joypad left and right to position your bowler. Then you tip it left or right to aim, using a rather stubby little arrow as your guide, and add spin using the shoulder buttons. Only then do you get to swing back and forward to send the ball on its way, where the game is actually very good at gauging the speed you were after.
For those who were frustrated in Wii Sports when an unconscious mid-swing wrist rotation sent the ball inexorably gutter-bound, this means that you can concentrate on getting your aim right and then swing without worrying about hand-wobble affecting your aim. But it also makes you wonder why the game uses motion sensing at all, since all you're really doing during the swing itself is setting the power of your shot. If you can live with that then it's a decent bowling game with plenty to unlock, as well as trick shots and other fun frills.
Despite a title that sounds like something unspeakable involving yoghurt, Feel Ski is actually the first game I've played where the SIXAXIS (oh so tired of capitalising that) works in total harmony with the game concept. Skiing is, after all, all about slow graceful sweeping motions, and the motion sensor reacts to these extremely well. What it doesn't react to very well are the upwards twitches required to launch yourself off the sporadic jumps (indeed, detecting vertical motion seems to be a distinct weakness of the controller in general) while pulling off stunts simply means waggling in different directions in mid-air. You get a short speed boost when you land a jump, but no real incentive to master this clunky mechanic.
There's a distinct whiff of Cool Boarders about the whole thing, a sensation which is sadly carried across to some of the graphical effects which don't quite glow with next generation sheen. There are only two courses initially (more will doubtlessly be made available to download) and the emphasis is on racing online, with only a rather dull single player mode for the friendless, in which you can save your best runs and race against your own ghost. There's probably a Japanese horror movie about that.
While the side-to-side swooshy skiing action is very nice, the jumping and stunts do the hardware no favours and there's no getting away from the fact that Feel Ski seems more like a shortlived demo than a complete experience in its own right.