The follow-up to Wii Sports is here: Wii Sports Resort. Is the package worth the $50 price of admission?
|WII SPORTS RESORT
Nintendo for Wii
Replay Value: 9.0
Overall Score: 8.5
Pros: Island looks like fun; 12 challenging games; Wii MotionPlus can be cool
Cons: No online play; two games repeated from Wii Sports; Wii MotionPlus can act weird
Wii Sports Resort takes you to a magical island where the sun shines, the ocean is always blue and people are forever friendly. Oh, and they love to play games.
There are a dozen different games, many with their own specific challenges and modes. In fact, a game like Archery is very different when you compare the easy mode to the expert mode. If you count all of the extra modes, you have about two dozen games.
The game includes the Wii MotionPlus snap-on, which is supposed to make you more accurate as you play. The package also sports a rubber sleeve to keep the two controllers tightly together and from breaking when they fall.
The cool thing about the game’s introduction is that you arrive via plane. Plus, you’re a skydiver who must leap out of the aircraft. As you fall to Earth, you can hold hands with other parachuters to form a cool, many-person ring high above the ocean. Then, open your chute and softly glide down. It’s a surprising, exciting way to land on WuHu Island. (Hey, even the name sounds like fun!)
My first game was Island Flyover in a seaplane. I felt the best way to check out the place was to give the complete landscape a good look from a bird’s-eye view. First, I held the Wii remote as if it were a model airplane. Flying high above, the sights are many: whales, other islands, a waterfall, even solar windmills that power WuHu Island. Fly close and check out the points of interest (those with an “I” over them) to collect points.
IN WITH THE NEW
Next, I took up Table Tennis. I had the pleasure of meeting a variety of Mii characters, each a little more powerful than the last. If the character ends up lobbing a ball, you can snap the remote and hit a super fastball that it’ll dive for and probably miss.
There are wacky environments and three modes of difficulty included with Archery. At one point, you shoot arrows over molten lava to hit a moving bull’s-eye. Use your remote’s “A” button to aim. As you use the nunchuk as your bow, pull back, aim, then release the “Z” button to shoot. In any mode, it’s quite challenging: You almost never hit the bull’s-eye for 10 points.
In Swordplay, you’re on a giant pedestal high above the ocean. The goal is simple: Hit your opponent with your non-sharp sword and knock him off the platform. It’s really fun to watch as he flails and flips on his way down to making a great big splash. You can also unlock Showdown mode, in which you fight tons of enemy fighters. Use “B” to block because if you’re hit three times, the game ends.
Two of the tougher boat games with obstacles include Power Cruising, in which you pilot a kind of JetSki, and Canoeing, in which you use the remote as a paddle. Other games include Wakeboarding, Frisbee and Basketball.
NOT QUITE OUT WITH THE OLD
Both Golf and Bowling are reprised from the original game. Even though the 100-pin mode on Bowling is a ton of fun, you have to figure that the minds at Nintendo could have come up with two new games for you to enjoy. They probably did: You have to wonder what was cut from the package.
While Cycling adds the ability to drift behind other players to catch some speed, it feels a lot like the running and jogging game in WiiFit, except you use your arms to pedal, not your legs. In fact, the course looks too much like the WiiFit course, almost as if some of it has been repurposed.
Unfortunately, there’s no online play. It would be enjoyable to play against competitors worldwide, in a Wii Sports Resort Olympics of sorts. Also, it would be cool if they had added some Balance Board functionality to one or two of the games.
As for Wii MotionPlus, this add-on not only makes games more precise, it also makes them harder. MotionPlus can be quirky, especially when you try a subtle tap of a Table Tennis paddle: Sometimes it will hit a ball, and sometimes it won’t. And without warning in the middle of a game, MotionPlus will sometimes start recalibrating. You almost always lose a point in Table Tennis when this happens. (The way to prevent this, I think, is to lay the remote down for a minute every 10 minutes between points. Then it recalibrates itself.)
BOTTOM LINE: IT’S A BARGAIN
Overall, though, Wii Sports Resort has to be considered a bargain. Wii MotionPlus can be played with dozens of other games (but only those that say “Wii MotionPlus” on the box). Plus, the games within Wii Sports Resort will make you laugh. It’s some of the happiest, most joyous family gameplay that you can find today.
People will be buying this one in droves through the holidays. That’s why you’ll find some helpful tips for the game in the November issue of BL.