It’s possibly the most anticipated game of 2009 for the Wii, certainly from those crazy Japanese folks at Nintendo. It introduces not just a sequel to the Wii’s bestselling game (although being packaged with the console helps!), but also the brand new Wii Motion Plus, set to rival Sony and Microsoft’s new motion sensor tech. But does the game support the new technology?
Nintendo have certainly spent a lot more time on this game than it’s predecessor. Resort sports 12 different sports as opposed to the original’s 5. 10 of these are brand new, with Bowling and Golf returning with new motion plus controls. Each sport on the game is really like a separate game, so it’s only fair I review it as so. I’ll go through them in the order they appear in game.
This is my favourite new sport. Since the Wii was announced, people have wanted proper accurate sword control and with the motion plus attachment, the 1:1 control we’ve all craved is finally here! It’s great to actually feel like you a wielding a sword with the onscreen character perfectly copying your every move.
There are three modes to swordplay, the first is duel which is quite simply a duel pitting you against another Mii character. You both fight until one of you fall into the water ‘Total Wipeout’ style! The second is speed slice where players are asked to slice different objects at different angles as fast as possible. This really puts the motion plus to the test showing it’s accuracy with every movement. The final mode is my favourite: Showdown. This challenges you to defeat many opponents along a chosen path which gets more difficult as you progress.
The control in swordplay is excellent and really shows what can be done with the new add-on. It all just feels so natural!
Wakeboarding is a much simpler affair and feels much more like a mini-game than a fully fledged sport. Players simply move from left to right to gain big air over the ‘wake’ in the water. There is more skill to this, good timing allows players to perform tricks and score extra points. However, I do feel like this game could have been done without motion plus and it does get old quickly. Still a nice addition, but nothing special.
After living with a housemate whose obsessed with ‘Ultimate Frisbee’, I was looking forward to finding out what all the fuss was about. Sadly, Ultimate doesn’t appear on Resort, but you do have a choice of Frisbee Dog or Golf. Both games are fairly similar and involve you throwing the frisbee (and not the remote people!) into certain sections which are marked out on the screen.
This is easier said than done. It’s taken me quite a while to get used to the control system (which to be fair is because it is EXTREMELY accurate), but when you do and stop swearing at discs that have flown way off screen, you’ll find there is a quite fun element to this game and even a charm to that little Mii-fied dog!
This is another masterpiece as far as actual control is concerned. You hold the wii-mote up in front of you as if its the bow. Then pull back with the nunchuck to simulate pulling to arrow back. Moving the wii-mote gently you can aim for your target and then let go of the ‘Z’ button to fire. It’s a pretty impressive representation of actual archery and once again showcases the Wii’s awesome controls.
However there are problems with this mode, that being the end result. I haven’t worked out yet why sometimes when I aim, I can aim identically twice, yet one will hit the bullseye and one go far wide. It does seem to be a little random to me, which is a shame considering the very impressive control setup, it marrs an otherwise very well thought out sport.
I saw this sport get a pretty mutual knocking by the bigger games sites and so wasn’t expecting much from it. But I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this sport. You have the option of either shooting hoops or a 3-on-3 game.
Shooting hoops is fairly simple but fun to play. It is also a bit easy once you’ve perfected the flick that the motion plus demands you perform. Much more interesting is the 3 on 3 game. It’s not really a proper game of basketball, but not bad for a mini-game on a console. I fully enjoyed the tactical elements of passing, dribbling and shooting the hoops. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but I did find it quite fun!
This is another section where the game shines. In the same way that Tennis was synonymous with Wii Sports, this game is quite definitive for Resort and the motion plus device. And unlike the original, in Resort you can play backhand and forehand… what’s more, you really can aim shots where you want them.
Having said that, I did find it a bit hard to get used to. I was still very used to the control setup of Wii Sports and it’s ‘timing’ method if aiming. Although the new system is more accurate and overall better, it dies take a bit of time to understand fully.
This is a massive improvement over the original. There are now 18 holes as opposed to the original 9. When you swing, it now takes into account the tilt that you put on the swing. And most importantly, the motion pluses 1:1 technology means that you can actually putt as you would in real golf.
The main mechanics are the same as the original, but the accuracy now included really shows how the motion plus has the capability to improve all future releases for the console.
There’s not much to say about bowling. It is pretty much the same game. The controls however do have a slight difference which I’m yet to figure out. Basically I have a very good tactic for getting a strike which works on Wii Sports and not Resort, I’ll get back to you when I figure out why!
This is probably the weakest sport on the game. There’s not really a problem with the mechanics, it works, it’s just a bit boring. I’m sure if Nintendo were to resurrect the Waverace series and make a Wii version with these controls, it would be very good. But with only a few very basic slalom course to entertain, it gets dull quite quickly.
Similar to power cruising, this works, but I don’t find it really that challenging or interesting. In 1P mode you are pitted against the clock to get as far as you can, but this loses it’s appeal quickly. On the plus side I did find the control system to work fairly well.
Now this I found a bit strange and a little difficult. You start off getting momentum by doing a peddling action with the Wii-mote and nunchuk. Then you hold both controllers like holding handle bars to steer (very reminiscent of a micro-game in WarioWare Smooth Moves).
The problem this game suffers with is really keeping in control. The game seems to get confused between when you’re peddling and when you are steering. I found it quite difficult to stay on the road, let alone move up positions in the race. You’ll get there, but it isn’t really a fun experience. This is really the games only flop in my opinion.
I really like the addition of air-sports as it adds something a little bit different to the mix. Firstly there’s skydiving which allows you to move your character around and link up with other divers to score points. It’s a very basicgame, but it does demonstrate the motion pluses ability.
The second game available is island flyover. Do you remember way back at E3 ’06, we saw a tech demo of a plane flying around the skies. Well here it finally is. Once again a very basic game, but made better by the easter eggs Nintendo has hidden around the island for you to find. It’s the simplest game on the package, but is very well made and once again demonstrates the great control now available. This game is even better in multiplayer where you are able to have a dogfight with other players.
There’s all 12 sports, a bit of a mixed bag, but very fun to play overall. I should also mention that due to the lack of 2 motion plus devices (the game only comes with 1), I haven’t been able to play the game in 2 player yet. I really feel with this added on, the game will have an excellently long life, as mush as it’s predecessor.
And that sums up wii sports resort. Before I finish off I’d just like to mention the motion plus once more. It really is a brilliant piece of kit (and should have been built into the wii-mote as standard). It brings the games up to a new level of possibilities and I think will push the quality of wii games to the next level, so well done Ninty on that!
Graphics: Fair, they’re very colourful and show off the Mii’s well, but it is Mii graphics and they’re never anywhere near as detailed as the console can produce.
Sound: Fair, there’s nothing wrong with it and I think I prefer it to the original, but it’s not going to win any awards.
Presentation: Fantastic, very well presented, slick menus, Tv style presentation and it all comes together nicely.
Lifetime: Fantastic, it’s great for showing off the motion plus control and get some more attachments and the fun will never end!
Gameplay: Fantastic, just for swordplay it wins that, Nintendo have worked long and hard on this and it is pretty fun to play!
That’s also the end of my first review with my new ‘Fantastic, Fair or Flop review system, comment on what you thought below…