Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Pilotwings Resort

Review: Pilotwings Resort

12:00 PM on 03.23.2011 // Nick Chester

Minnesota-based developer Monster Games is no stranger to resurrecting long-dormant franchises for Nintendo.

In 2006 it released the spiritual successor to the NES classic Excitebike, Excite Truck for the Wii. Then, just three years later it veered wildly from the formula with the off-the-wall racer, Excitebots: Trick Racing. Then, in 2009, Excitebike: World Rally -- an updated version of the original that started it all -- landed on WiiWare.

Now, it’s taking on Pilotwings, 15 years after the release of the Nintendo 64’s Pilotwings 64. Pilotwings Resort isn’t just a return to a sleeping franchise, it’s kicking off an entirely new platform on the Nintendo 3DS.

Pilotwings Resort (3DS)
Developer: Monster Games
Publisher: Nintendo
Release date: March 27, 2011
Price: $39.99

At its most basic, Resort doesn’t deviate much from the Pilotwings formula you’ll remember. It offers up only three flight options: hopping into a cockpit of a plane, strapping on a jet pack, or gliding through the air. This time around, though, you’re taking your Mii for a whirl around Wuhu Island, Nintendo’s fictional isle gamers also visited in Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort. Basically, if it’s a Nintendo game with a Nintendo Mii, bring your passport, because you’re probably visiting Wuhu Island. In the case of Resort, this actually works to the game’s benefit.

Fortunately, Wuhu Island is a bit more interesting to look at than most Miis. It’s a beautiful, sprawling mass of a rock that features more variation than any real life locale has any right to have. We’re talking everything from a massive bridge to a functional town, a rumbling volcano to an abundance of plant and wild life. Spending most of your time observing the island from a bird’s-eye view, you’ll be surprised at not only how diverse it actually is, but now pleasant it gaze down upon.

The game is broken up into two distinct modes, the meat being the game’s “Mission” mode, a series of aircraft-specific challenges. While you’re thrown a few curveballs from time to time -- tossing on a squirrel suit or shooting balloons, for example -- for the most part the challenges are simply guiding you through rings or towards objects. Earning enough points to unlock all of the challenges the game has to offer shouldn’t take more than four hours for most players. Perfecting some of those challenges is another story; the soul-crushing difficulty on some of the later events rears its head with little warning.

“Free Flight” mode will let you explore Wuhu Island, collecting bits of island information, Mii trophies to unlock in-game dioramas, and more. If you’re into that kind of thing -- collecting every little scrap a game has to offer -- you’re looking at another few hours of game time here. Be warned that it’s a bit of a frustrating affair. “Free Flight” really means “you’re under a time limit, and different items can be found depending on the time of day, and all of the times of day aren’t unlocked from the start, so have fun with that, buddy.” If you’re looking to take a relaxing, aimless wander around the island, soaking in the sights, you’re out of luck.

Of the small handful of available launch titles, Resort manages to make the best use of the handheld’s glasses-free 3D in terms of actual gameplay. While I personally had to keep the slider on a lower setting to avoid a cross, blurry image, that extra sense of depth did seem to make some activities more enjoyable. In many cases it even made them easier; judging distances for landing on small, floating platforms, was eased with the 3D effects turned on, for instance.

What Monster Games has delivered with Pilotwings Resort is good fun, with satisfying flight controls across all of the game’s vehicles. Even still, it feels a bit empty. Most of the game content can be unlocked in a measly few hours, and the extras are not only trivial, but can get extremely aggravating to unlock.

There’s no doubt that Pilotwings Resort offers a smooth, pleasurable ride and a long overdue return to a beloved series. But when you land, you'll just wish there was a little more fuel in its tank. 



Pilotwings Resort - Reviewed by Nick Chester
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
Editor-in-Chief @ nick at  more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Pilotwings Resort

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

Things I'm Thankful For

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
My cousin found out I slept with his girlfriend and is pissed. Understandable. I am totally sick of the angry phone calls though. It reminds me so much of playing Call of Duty online. The screaming 11 year olds suck on there too.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Huh. Apparently even Japan has a Black Friday sale going on on PSN right now.
Lawman avatarLawman
Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I know that somebody has 2,625 more medallions than me. No, Resident Evil: Revelations 2, I don't really care.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
This fucking Bloodborne DLC, jesus. I'm on new game+, about level 90, and shit just tears my dick off. I don't know if I want to start another guy just to avoid NG+ and level him up, etc. sigh....
Shinta avatarShinta
Wii U, top selling black friday item on Take that you anti-Wii U people.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I am pretty hyped for when I get a laptop because I'll be able to have a good enough connection to stream XbOne/soon PS4 games to it along with natively rendered Steam games. Hype!
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Got a PS4 that came with SW Battlefront this week, and planning on picking up the FFX/X-2 remake. Hype is through the roof, especially for FFX. If I were to get one other game, what should it be?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Did a google maps search around my parents house for bars and there isn't one in like 25 miles, so I picked up an Intel compute stick and South Park: Stick of Truth on Steam. That's more or less the drunken screaming I'm in the mood for at about the cost.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Do you ever have that moment of clarity when talking to someone and suddenly realising: You're just a skull, and they're just a skull, with fucking eyeballs and a sac of skin being the only comparative difference between you visually? ..just me then?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
After quitting for two days out of frustration, I beat Ludwig on my first try of the night. I'm on cloud fucking nine right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
When I did my retail shift today, we were moving more Smash/Splat Wii U bundles and the Gears/Rare Replay/Ori XB1 bundles than Uncharted and Battlefront PS4s. I think Nintendo and MS have better value on their side this holiday. Sony got lazy.
Confuseddalek avatarConfuseddalek
I found this weird game called Samurai Heroes for 8 dollars today. Its not bad.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Got Deadpool, Arkham Asylum and BioShock 1 and 2 all for 30$. Not to bad for going Black Friday shopping late.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
If you haven't played Tales from the Borderlands yet, GO BUY IT! By far the funniest game I have ever played, and the characters and narrative are incredibly well written. Very few memes unlike BL2 by the way.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
Played all of Life is Strange today in one sitting. Bloody hell. You should all play it. Only game this year to make me cry. Bravo developers. Possibly the most valuable thing I've ever bought for £10.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Last night, got farther than ever in Wasteland 2. This is my third playthrough-once thru beta, once through the orig version, now on Directors cut. Worth the restart, and it speaks highly of the game that I like it enough to do this. DAMONTA HERE I COME!
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
GUYS HELP I KEEP BUYING MORE AMIIBO. Today it was Little Mac, since he went back up on Gamestop's website. I probably would have gotten Captain Falcon as well if I wasn't already running a little short on cash.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -