Over the past few years, the Nintendo Wii has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the gaming world. With its family-friendly games, it has become the go-to console for the casual gamer – or an alternative to dinner and a movie. However, Wii’s latest game from its sports franchise, “Wii Sports Resort,” is not solely for the family oriented. Although this game can be used by someone who doesn’t know the difference between a joystick and a remote, it can be just as challenging for the serious gamer.
The fun begins when you insert the disc the first time – your Mii has to jump out of a plane to begin the game. Doing this makes you realize that this is no ordinary multi-sports game. As you find other Miis to holds hands and safely land on the island of Wuhu, you start to get a sense of everything there. The graphics are top notch, the color is rich and the motion control gives you a better range of motion, which is especially helpful with sports like table tennis and basketball.
Speaking of which, there are 12 activities that will give you hours of fun gameplay. Besides the aforementioned games, there’s swordplay, wakeboarding, Frisbee, archery, golf, bowling, power cruising, canoeing, cycling and air sports. Each game has a series of levels and challenges that will keep both the average and experienced gamer going at it for hours.
The swordplay game alone has three levels (beginner to intermediate). With each level, there are also new challenges to face. The levels of difficulties will have you feeling like swordsman or a Jedi Knight while playing. At one point in the beginner level (once “swordplay showdown” opens up as a fighting option), you have to fight a rush of oncoming swordsmen before your hearts run out. It’s fast and furious and takes some game planning, since the Miis you are face get tougher to beat at each level. Once you get over the miis running toward you en masse, though, you’re able to fully enjoy yourself.
Don’t get too cocky – there are 10 stages you must go through on the beginner level alone, so strategize wisely. If you happen to be defeated during one and you decide to play again, the time of day also changes, which adds another element to the game. It could be morning, dusk or night, and you still have to get through the level before another area opens up for you.
As instructions go, Wii Resort is top notch. You don’t need to crack open the instruction booklet to know how to assemble the motion control that comes with the game. There is a short tutorial that instructs you on how to calibrate and handle your motion remote. There are also instructions on how to connect the Wii Nunchuk.
In between gameplay, there will be popups before your sport starts, reminding you how to recalibrate and handle your remote. These tips are helpful reminders, particularly for sword fighting and golfing. There are also tutorials when you play each game for the first time, and whenever you want to remind yourself about the finer points of each activity, you can always press the minus sign (-) on your remote.
What makes this game eerily prolific is the popup that suggests you take a break. You should heed this advice, as you may soon suddenly find yourself completely missing the target in the third stage of the archery challenge – twice.
Although there might be one or two duds (air sports has a tricky learning curve that might leave you frustrated), take heart – they’re pretty minor and can be easily overlooked. All in all, “Wii Sports Resort” is a solid game that has activities that you can enjoy alone or with a group. So practice your three-point shot, work on your golf swing or perfect your power cruising skills with your friends in your living room – any activity you choose is bound to be fun.
Wii Sports Resort continues the ever-growing legacy of the Wii Sports franchise by offering more games than ever before, trumping all other mini-game offerings on the system in the process. New games like basketball and fencing are responsive and fun, in spite of not offering much as far as a deep gameplay experience. Nonetheless, they are great at parties and play even better with friends.
This essentially is what the original Wii Sports was all about and it’s great that Nintendo managed to stick to its roots here, while still going out on a ledge with some of the new sports.
Wakeboarding for example is an enjoyable little romp, especially when you get used to the controls. The same thing goes for some of the air sports, which require a bit more patience. Of all the new sports though, Archery is by far the best, as it uses both the nunchuck and Wii-mote in a way that mirrors the real thing. The difficulty level is tough, but the satisfaction gained from it is worth it.
By all estimations, this is what “Link’s Cross-Bow Training” could have been.
However, the best reason to play are the improvements made to the old games, particularly bowling and ping pong. Bowling was easily the best game on Wii Sports and thanks to Nintendo’s Wii-Motion Plus accessory, balls with hook with more realism and make for a much better overall game. Ping Pong, which was a disaster on Wii-Play, has also been fine-tuned and feels as close to the real thing as possible.
Because of this, the mini-game nature of “Wii Sports Resort” is a resounding success and makes it a must own title for the system.
-Patrick Hickey Jr.