Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wii Sports Resort (Wii) Review

Hope your summer is going well. Now for a game perfect for summertime, Wii Sports Resort. How does it shape up with MotionPlus? Let's find out.

Life's A Beach at This Resort


The original Wii Sports was a phenomena, a financial juggernaut, and the best-selling game of all time. It's easy to think that the Wii would not be as successful as it is now without it. Regardless, now Nintendo is putting out a new installment to the mega-seller. The original Wii Sports hinted at some of the capabilities of the Wii remote. Now Wii Sports Resort is here to show of the capabilities of Wii MotionPlus. Is Wii Sports Resort a place you'll want to book a trip for?

There are twelve sports in the total Wii Sports Resort package. Some sports features two or more modes such as basketball. Each mode has a set of stamps, achievement-like goals that reward the player with stamps. Some are easy to obtain, but some are just devilish in difficulty needing the player to bowl a perfect game in bowling, complete the last level of swordplay's showdown unscathed. In this aspect, the single-player longevity is quite high. Of course, the real fun comes when playing with two or more people in the room, laughing, taunting, and having a blast, something online play can't support. Though that isn't to say that online play or even online leaderboards for that matter wouldn't have hurt.

Nintendo's Wii MotionPlus peripheral was introduced early last month to a trio of sports titles: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, Grand Slam Tennis, and Virtua Tennis 2009. Rather than just focus on one sport, Nintendo is basically sending out a tech demo to all developers of ideas to use MotionPlus with a dozen sports to play.

Swordplay

Swordplay has three modes: duel, speed slice, and showdown. Duel pits two players against one another on an elevated platform surrounded by water. The aim of the game is to knock your opponent off the platform before time runs out. You do this by holding the Wii remote in two hands and making slicing motions. If a character's sword is horizontal, you'll want to make a horizontal slash and vice versa for vertical slashes. Speed slice drops items in front of your Mii to slice. However, you can't just slice it randomly. You have to slice the dropped object in the direction indicated. The first player to ten points wins. It feels very rewarding slicing through each item no matter if it's eggs, logs, timers, or whatever the game throws your way. Finally, showdown places you against an army of Miis with three hearts as your health bar. Get hit three times, and it's game over. There's ten different levels to plow through, and each one gets more challenging than the next. With swordplay, a player can slice and slash madly as if they were having a seizure, but players won't get far against a skilled opponent with that strategy.


Wakeboarding

The goal of wakeboarding is to hold the Wii remote in a sideways fashion while carving through waves, performing tricks. The more tricks you pull off in succession without bailing, the more points your tricks are worth. I had a hard time consistently landing straight even when holding the Wii remote correctly. With more practice, I was able to carve like a Jack-O-Lantern with ease. For many sports like wakeboarding, there's a very helpful practice mode introducing you to the controls and techniques to use.


Frisbee

There are two modes of frisbee. The first introduces you to a cute Mii dog. The angle of the Wii remote when you "throw" the frisbee affects the way the disc flies. The idea of frisbee is to toss the frisbee towards a target on the ground. Your dog will catch the frisbee if it's in range, and where the dog catches the disc will be where your points are rewarded. Get the closest inside the target for 100 points and 50 for the second ring. Throwing the frisbee feels just like it does in real life-- hence why I suck at frisbee in virtual form. The other mode is frisbee golf. Those who have played Tiger Woods will be familiar with this mode. The holes used are the same as those in golf.


Golf

Speaking of which, golf has nine new holes accompanied by nine new holes made exclusively for Wii Sports Resort. MotionPlus makes a world of difference here. You hold the Wii remote just like a golf club and swing while hoping to keep your wrists straight, otherwise you'll draw or fade your shot. I found Wii Sports Resort golf much harder than Tiger Woods because there's no numbers telling you how strong you've hit the ball unlike PGA Tour 10. This makes golf like the real thing and not for people accustomed to assistance. Putting is all about touch. Hit the ball too hard, and it'll go flying past the hole. This mode probably took the longest for me to get the hang of.


Bowling

Another returning sport from the original Wii Sports is bowling. The big difference is the ability to more easily put spin on the ball unlike Wii Sports. You can play a ten round game without those damned blisters on your fingers afterward! Plus there's no need to rent shoes. A new mode added to bowling this time around is 100 pin bowling where the top score one can reach is 3,000. The game is the same as traditional bowling, there's just a whole heck of a lot more pins to knock down plus bumpers on the side of the lane. This remains one of my favorites in Wii Sports Resort.


Table Tennis

Another favorite of mine is table tennis which is a one-on-one duel with either an AI opponent or human character. It's all about the timing of your swing here which affects where the ball goes. Movement is automatic, so the only thing you need to worry about is either performing a backhand or forehand shot. Twisting the Wii remote will allow the ball to spin to easily throw off your opponent (or yourself). The second mode is the return challenge where the goal is return the ball as many times as possible. This high score challenge is goof for 1-4 players.


Archery

Archery is quite cool, and like swordplay, it offers almost a sneak preview of how an upcoming Zelda game could control. Despite that, archery has you playing 12 shots on four different targets. Once you shoot three times on one target, you move to the next, more challenging target. To play, you hold the Wii remote vertically, hold A, pull back the nunchuk as if it were the line, and release Z to fire. There's three different difficulties to play where the wind conditions are more hazardous, and the targets are much further out.


Basketball

Shut up and jam with basketball. You press the B button to grab a ball, and you essentially flick your wrist up into the air to take a shot. It works just like in real life. That is, you can almost feel if you're going to make the shot which is a very cool feeling. There's your 3-point contest where your Mii runs around the court shooting off five balls at each station. The last ball at each station is worth double the points. The other mode is riminiscent of Mario Hoops 3-on-3 except your teammates actual do something. It's a 3-on-3 match where each team takes turns on offense and defense. You can pass the ball to another teammate as well as steal the ball from offense. Both modes are fantastic when you're in a rhythm.


Power Cruising

In power cruising, you hold the Wii remote and nunchuk like handlebars on a jet ski. Twisting the Wii remote gives you a short-sized boost for an extra burst of speed. Tilting both controllers causes you to turn. The point of this sport is to speed through slaloms. The faster you go through a gate, the more points you get. Some gates have bonus rings inside them which give double points. There's six courses in all, and my desire for a new Wave Race only gets stronger. Additionally, you can also cruise around Wuhu Island on your jet ski without any restraints.


Cycling

Some sports work really well, while others just do not. Cycling is one of those. The idea is intriguing: race against 29 other cyclists, trying to make it to number one. Unfortunately, the controls absolutely kill any enjoyment. You have to shake the Wii remote and nunchuk up and down to pedal while tilting both to steer. This is about as easy as juggling on a unicycle. It's very difficult and not much fun to do. I really don't see how MotionPlus is being utilized.


Canoeing

Paddle to the left and to the right to move your canoe downstream. This is an absolute blast to play with four players in the same canoe. You're having to work together to reach the goal in time. There's three licenses to earn, and each time to play the race the distance you need to travel gets farther. Even in single player the game is enjoyable, and you'll definitely get a workout on this one.


Air Sports

Skydiving is the very first game you play once you start up Wii Sports Resort for the first time. You tilt the Wii remote to move your on-screen Mii character through the clouds. You can form up with characters to score big points. One of my favorite modes in the game is the Island Flyover of Air Sports. You're given five minutes to fly around Wuhu Island, soaring past landmarks, as if you were playing a Wii version of Pilotwings. Speaking of planes, there's also a dogfight mode for two players where you try to shoot down the other opponent's balloon to win. The plane is controlled by holding the Wii remote and guiding it around like a paper airplane.


All in all, Wii Sports Resort is a perfect match for anyone who enjoyed the original best-seller. There's enough sports that there will be something for everyone. Those who are going it solo will have less longevity with the game, however, which may make the fifty dollar price point unappealing. As for everyone else, it's time to graduate from Wii Sports and take an extended vacation at Wii Sports Resort.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

1 comment:

SpinachPuffs said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who actually enjoys basketball - the majority of the reviews I've read list it as the weakest sport but I reckon that 3-on-3 is the best event in the game! Well, maybe second-place after Frisbee Golf.

Each to their own, I suppose...

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