Wii Sports Resort Wii Review
I still remember a Christmas morning a few years ago. The Wii had been released in the UK only 3 weeks earlier. My own personal console had been sat waiting for me since then. By 8am I had excitedly set up the Wii console, by 9am I’d fallen in love with it through Wii Sports. It was, for most Wii owners, their first taste of the Wii. A perfect example of what the Wii could do, and a great tease of what it might do in future. Now, with a new piece of hardware in the form of WiiMotionPlus, comes a new Wii Sports.
Whereas the original Wii Sports came with five different sports, Resort offers twelve, including updated versions of Golf, Bowling and Tennis. Each one of the twelve activites has a selection of modes, with every one being a mini-game in their own right. Do the math and you could presume that Resort has up to 36 mini-games, but that’s not exactly right. Every mode is more meaty and playable than a simple mini-game. There’s a lot more to Wii Sports Resort than a quick five-minute spurt of a random sport. It’s deeper and more gratifying.
Within the selection of games, there’s bound to be some that are better than others. For example, my personal favourites are Swordplay and 100 Pin Bowling. In Swordplay, you grasp the Wiimote in both hands like a sword and swing away, or hold B to go into a defensive stance. While defending, you must angle your sword to properly block your opponents, or they could just slash right through and knock you back. I was instantly impressed at how responsive it was. Any arc you care to swing is interpreted and re-enacted by your sword carrying Mii on-screen. The sword fights feel fluid and intense.
One particular highlight of the swordplay is the showdown mode, where you must slash your way through a horde of enemies who come in various shapes and sizes. I cannot put into words how satisfying it is to knock down four foes in one great horizontal swing of your sword, and then to bring it crashing down on the head of another, breaking their parry attempt, in one smooth move.
As well as 10 pin bowling, Resort ups the ante with 100 pin bowling, an update to the classic bowling included in Wii sports, but with a whopping 100 pins to knock down. Achieving a strike has never been as impressive. The sheer range of possibilities when bowling at 100 pins is well recreated on Resort. A minor change in the angle of your wrist could turn your 95 pins into a 99 or 100 pin shot, or leave you an awfully spontaneous split of 2 pins on opposite sides of the alley.
On the other side of this coin comes the worse games. Cycling was the only sport which I found to be truly bad. Twirling your arms around to ride a bike is both unintuitive and tiring. There are those that, while still being fun, will wear you out pretty quickly, such as the labour-heavy rowing sports. Play these for too long, and you’ll probably feel the burn in your arms the next day. Likewise with the powersailing. There isn’t much to it beyond holding the Wiimote and Nunchuk like handlebars, but keeping your arms steady for extended periods of time can really start to ache.
Table Tennis and Golf are very similar to their Wii Sports counterparts (Table Tennis being very similar to Tennis), only now with the addition of WiiMotionPlus, they play more as the real life versions do. Golf has also had it’s number of holes bumped up, as well as bringing back the ones from Wii Sports. Comparing the Golf and Bowling modes between Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort shows the massive difference the WiiMotionPlus makes. You as the player feel more in-control of the outcome. Every move you make will be accounted for in perfect detail.
As some readers will remember, there were developers who said that WiiMotionPlus is too responsive, making it difficult for example in an FPS, and I am inclined to agree on that end. There are clearly some game types that WiiMotionPlus is too accurate for. Whilst playing the archery game, I could see just how shaky my supposedly steady hand was. Getting a bulls-eye was a true accomplishment on some of the more challenging targets. To be fair, this is something that makes the archery better, it introduces a greater element of skill. However, imagine trying to get a thread through the eye of a needle whilst sprinting towards the sandpit for a long jump, and you’ll understand why WiiMotionPlus may not work in fast action games.
One of the best examples of the MotionPlus being shown off is in the Frisbee game. a simple concept in real life is copied precisely into the game. The device knows at exactly what angle you’re holding the ‘frisbee’ at, how fast you spin it and at exactly what point you release it into the sky. This is probably the best way to play frisbee at home without causing serious damage to some windows.
Wuhu Island, where the game is set, is well imagined. It provides a more solid base for the games. Rather than just being an indiscriminate selection of locations, the environments where you play are all part of one big island, which you are given a chance to explore in the Island Flyover mode, another favourite of mine. Take to the skies in a plane, and go sightseeing to find as many of the tourist points around the island. Flying around the island can be an undemanding break from the physical work, a real R&R activity. The visuals are colourful and bright, but nothing special in terms of graphical detail.
Wii Sports Resort serves as more than just a tech demo for WiiMotionPlus, and more than just a collection of minigames. It does well as a proper sequel to Wii Sports, being easy to pick up and fun to play alone or with friends. There is far more below the surface than meets the eye in this title that is far more hit than miss.