On the other hand, three of the four skiing events and the snowmobile race all control extremely poorly. For both downhill and freestyle skiing, moving your torso left or right nearly always results in the character moving too much in that direction. Then in paraskiing, sometimes the skier goes up a mountain rather than down it. However, seeing the jet stream intended to push the character downward and being able to go against it is more comical than frustrating. A similar situation occurs during some snowmobile races where your vehicle changes direction without notice.
To combat some of the control issues, Winter Stars does include a family mode, which requires only the most basic of motions. For most events, performing simple hand gestures, crouching, or running in place are the only movements necessary to participate and do well. While the inclusion of this mode is nice, it takes most of the fun out of playing.
If you so choose, family controls can also be used in the career mode, and this almost always results in a first place finish. Oddly though, while the family mode control scheme is available, all challenges must be played using the standard motion controls. If family controls are meant to give casual people the opportunity to have fun, forcing a person to play a good chunk of the game with regular controls is an odd gameplay choice.
For a compilation sports title, some of sports available in Winter Stars run a lot longer than some may be accustomed to. Bobsled, short track speed skating, and figure skating generally take only a few minutes to complete, but a curling event can last around 15 minutes. Even the length of an average biathlon race can last about 10 minutes. This is a multiplayer-focused game and the activities here should be completed in a short amount of time in order to keep the attention of those playing.
Family mode makes winning a breeze!
There are a few multiplayer modes available, both offline and on. Unfortunately, the online rooms for Winter Stars were completely empty, but if you have people around your living room, setting up a cup is pretty easy. There are a few prepared cups that offer different lengths of events and sports. But if you want to create your own customized cup, that option is available as well. Again, some of these events take a while to finish, so if you plan on playing curling with others, be sure to block out 20 to 30 minutes to complete that single event.
If the inclusion of a career mode was meant to give this more longevity, then a more streamlined path, a better introduction of new sports and a more interesting story could have made it much more enjoyable. While the large number of winter events available is nice, and some work really well, they are overshadowed by the ones that don't.
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