In what can only be seen as an act of Nintendo trying to be nice to us Europeans, Wii Sports Resort was released yesterday, with you Americanos getting it tomorrow. As most will know, it comes with 12 sports, two of those having been in the original Wii Sports (bowling and tennis). Here Iíll outline each game and give my thoughts on each.
NOTE: I havenít spent that long on certain sports so the information here may not be a full representation of all the game has to offer. Swordplay
The swordplay was the first sport I tried. This mode gave me the first real experience of using the WiiMote with 1:1 controls since you donít get to see such a wide range of movement mapped with other MotionPlus games such as Grand Slam Tennis, Tiger Woods 2010 and Virtua Tennis. The first mode unlocked is Duel. This sees you fighting against another character on a platform high above the water, with the loser meeting a watery end. Obviously you move the WiiMote about to control the sword but hold B to take a defensive stance which allows you to block attacks. It really works well and itís funny watching the opponent get knocked back when they try to attack but you block it successfully, leaving them open for a split second (sort of reminiscent of Fencing in Mario & Sonic and the Olympic Games).
After this you unlock speed slice which pits you against an opponent. A person in front of you throws items infront of you both and a direction is shown, representing the way you should slice the item. The person to slice the item quickest gets the point, and the first to 10 wins.
Showdown appears to be the final unlocked mode, which has you run along a level fighting people as you go. Itís a lot of fun, and fighting multiple enemies at one time reminded me of No More Heroes, after getting near the end of the level, you fight against a ďbossĒ who has 3 hearts, (representing how many hits he can take) which is also how many hits you can take too. The first level had me running along a bridge, but from the level select menu it appears there are quite a few to take on.
Wakeboarding is pretty good, though the fun is limited I suppose.You move left and right by tilting the Wiimote and using the waves from the boat that is pulling you along, you flick the wiiMote upwards to do jump and then flick up again to do a trick. If you land flat you score the points but if you donít you lose them and possibly bail. In the game youíre given a time-limit and the idea is to score as many points as possible. That seems to be it but hopefully theres more to it.
Frisbee is a lot of fun, the first game available (since most of the sports contain more than one game, with some having to be unlocked) is Frisbee Dog. In training you throw the frisbee around a bit and it then provides balloons in different areas for you to hit. After training youíre placed into a ďcompetitionĒ where you and your cute dog have to try and come first. With each throw youíre told the best position to aim for, and after you throw a target around that area shows up. If the frisbee enters the area within one of the three different parts of the target, the dog will catch the frisbee and you are awarded points. After a few throws balloons appear on the sandy beach. If you hit these balloons and the frisbee heads towards the right area you recieve bonus points.
Scoring well in this game opens up Frisbee Golf, I havenít tried this mode out but I imagine it is similar to the Golf included in the game, probably mixed with the Frisbee Golf feature of Tiger Woods 2010.
Archery works well with the controls too. You lift the Wiimote up to a vertical position and pull the Nunchuk towards yourself, providing an aiming reticule that gets smaller as you take time to release Z (which releases the arrow). Wind can blow your arrow off course so you have to adjust your aiming for that and later on objects can block your way on the harder courses.
Being a basketball player back in the hay-day I hoped my skills would translate to this game. Unfortunately they did not. You lower the Wiimote to pick up a basketball and the raise it to make your character jump, flicking it when you want to shoot. The first game available is 3-Point Contest, which is pretty explanatory with you picking up and shooting three balls from each location around the court within a time limit.
Partaking in this game unlocks 3-on-3 Game.As always the characters run automatically. Here you use the A button to pass and the rest is nothing new. Itís quite annoying though because if you miss a shot, if you take too long to shoot or if your shot is blocked then it the ball is turned over to the other team. Shots can be blocked by swinging the Wiimote up and you can steal the ball by making a swiping motion. The shooting didnít seem accurate to me, it felt like it was based more on random luck than anything else, though shooting at the top of the jump seemed to give better results (but maybe thatís just my Nba Street memories breaking in).
Ok, now weíre talking, table tennis is most definitely one of my favourite sports in Wii Sports Resort. The fluidness of the controls works so much better than the crappy version in Mario & Sonic. The first mode is Match, which typically pits you against an opponent. Thereís really nothing to explain about the controls, itís self explanatory, but you need to play the game to see why itís that great.
Playing Match unlocks Return Challenge, which sees someone in the place of your opponent firing balls at you for you to return. The game ends as soon as you miss a ball or itís returned and doesnít land on the table. After landing 10 successful returns, items appear on the table and if you return the ball into them, you get bonus points. I canít explain it but table tennis just rocks.
Golf is pretty much the same as the original so thereís not much to say, except youíre on an exotic island so itís a different location. Wii MotionPlus does cause a noticable difference (for the better of course) but itís all the same otherwise.
Again bowling is pretty much the same as the original except the music is an island rendition of the original, the arena has a slightly different look and you now sport a Hawaiian shirt. Nice! Oh wait thereís one more difference. ITíS HARDER. Having been an avid ďWii bowlerĒ (yes I did just say that), since I played the original against my uni mates a lot, I expected to be able to get strike after strike like I had managed in the original. This was not the case. Strikes are more difficult to claim, but not impossible, spares are easy to pull off.
Three modes are included, 10-Pin Game, 100-Pin Game, and Spin Control. I recall the first two being in the original and I think the third was in there in a different form. The first two again explain themselves, and Spin Control sees you trying to avoid objects on the lane while trying to get the highest score as possible.
Bowling is fun as ever, but losing the ability to pull strike after strike as often as I did before kinda sucks though skills comes with experience which comes with time.
Power cruising works really well, imagine Wave Race, but with Miis. The Wiimote and Nunchuk are used as the two handlebars, with the B button (or A if B doesnít feel good for you) used for gas. Pressing Z gives you a boost which recharges after usage. The first mode unlocked is slalom course. This sees you rushing though gates in the water course, with even smaller gates appearing inside the larger ones that reward you with bonus points if you manage to cross through them. The other unlockable mode is VS which again I havenít played but I assume is a one-on-one race.
Canoeing is fun, and has you using the Wiimote as a paddle, paddling on your left to turn right and so forth. The controls work well with me going straight when I actually wanted to surprisingly (caused by paddling on alternating sides of course). The first mode is Speed Challenge, which has you paddling as fast as possible to traverse a distance, with higher distances being unlocked as you pass through courses sucessfully.
The second mode is VS which again I havenít tried out, but I presume is a race between you and an opponent.
Cycling works really well with the controls with you moving the Wiimote and Nunchuk up and down alternatively (like the 100m in Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games). Tilting both to one side makes you turn in that direction. If you pedal fast enough you hit a peak and get a speed boost, however you have three hearts that represent your stamina and pedalling fast causes your number of hearts to decrease. They can be regained by not pedalling. If you run out of hearts you have to stop and pull out a water bottle which is pretty cute but doesnít quite redefine adorable.
The first mode is Road Race in which you race against 29 others to see who can take first place. There appear to be a few courses and you get to see a preview of your course on the island before racing. The preview is really nice, allowing you to rotate the island and zoom in and out to get a better view. The level I tried has crosswinds and downhill parts in which you donít really need to pedal. You can also catch slip stream from your opponents giving you speed while not pedalling.
The other mode is VS which again I assume is a race between you and some opponents.
Last but by no means least, Air Sports has to be my favourite sport in this game. The first mode is Skydiving which you do in the beginning of the game anyway hence I havenít tried it again so I donít know if there are any differences. NOTE: When starting the game for the first time, if you have more than one Mii that has "favourite" status (identified by red legs) then the Wii will randomly choose one of the favourites as the character you skydive with.
I didnít realise this and the Wii chose another Mii so I restarted.
The second mode is Island Flyover. This has to be my favourite mode. You control a sea plane and fly over the island (and other islands) showing where each sport in the game takes place. The amount of area in the game is much larger than I though. You are given five minutes to fly wherever you want but thatís not all. Thereís much more. On the island are 80 hotspots, and flying near these gives you information about the area the hotspot is on. Flying in these registers in the game and you collect a stamp for each hotspot you fly into. When you have flown into a multiple of 10 new hotspots in total (as in 10, 20, 30 etc) you unlock something, for example the ability to shoot balloons, the ability to fly at a different time of day, and the ability to have double shots. Itís so relaxing to just fly around and shoot balloons while doing barrel rolls (by twisting the Wiimote quickly). Iíve easily spent more than half an hour on this mode even though they only let you fly for 5 minutes at a time so that you can see how many hotspots you can fly through within the time limit if you so choose to. The island is populated, and features people , cars, boats and other planes giving more life to the location in which Wii Sports Resort takes place.There are ancient tombs to fly through as well as tunnels so itís just not a cakewalk. I have to say, the island (and the sky) look beautiful at night.
The last mode is Dogfight in which you fight against an opponent shooting at their balloons. WiiFolder have a good explanation of it so you can watch that below.
Wii Sports Resort is truly a great game. Iíve only played the single player modes, but even just from that I think itís worth it, and I can already tell that itís going to be a blast in multiplayer. The potential of the Wii MotionPlus is shown off in full view and with the amount of games included itís a must have. If I had to rate it it would definitely get at least 9 out of 10.
BONUS THOUGHTS: Oddly enough, while flying on the island I flew through a hotspot near some tennis courts and the game told me that Tennis isnít played because the balls have been lost. The tennis courts look EXACTLY like the alternate court in Wii Sports Tennis (the blue one). I get the feeling this might be hinting as tennis being DLC since it was quite possibly the best game in Wii Sports so I really see no good reason so to why they havenít included it here. Unless they thought including it would cause Virtua Tennis and Grand Slam Tennis to get less sales.