Wii Sports is the best selling Wii title to date, due to its bundling with the console since its launch in 2006. It served as an excellent example of the Wii’s capabilities both in motion control, and as a family friendly platform.
It would appear as though Nintendo is riding a familiar wave with the launch of its new Wii Motion-Plus peripheral by packaging in a similar product both in name and purpose – Wii Sports: Resort serves to exemplify the abilities of the new accessory via a series of activities that are enjoyable for the whole family.
Resort takes the concept and style of the original Wii Sports and expands upon them, while also making spectacular use of the Wii Motion Plus – a peripheral that attaches to the bottom of the Wiimote and provides a one to one level of control. This accessory makes a significant improvement upon the controller’s existing motion-control, which can often degrade to suggestive waggling.
It’s apparent that nearly all of the included activities have been designed from the ground up with the peripheral in mind; even the returning golf and bowling games have been fine tuned. For example, the player can now more accurately add spin to their throw while bowling, which adds a whole new level of strategy to the already popular concept.
The title offers twelve mini-games in total, and while some are more worthwhile than others, they’re all family friendly and should at least result in some laughs. Most activities include multiple modes and difficulties, which provides a wide variety of options to choose from.
For example, swordplay has three modes available: duel, speed-slice, and showdown. Duel consists of a head to head sword fight against another player, speed slice tests your accuracy as you cut various objects at the directed angle, while showdown pits you against dozens of enemies at a time.
The most successful activities are those that manage to accurately emulate their sport without sacrificing their fun factor – such as archery, basketball and table tennis. The former has the player look down their Wiimote at eye level while drawing the nunchuck back as though it were a bowstring – a mechanic that both resembled the actual activity, and was surprisingly accurate.
Basketball generated a similar effect – the movement of one’s wrist during the shot and follow through can make all the difference. Likewise, one can legitimately control the spin of the ball in table tennis, resulting in a much more rewarding experience than the original Wii Sport’s tennis.
On the other end of the spectrum, cycling is more tiring than it is entertaining, as it has the player jerk the Wii-Mote and nun chuck up and down to pedal while monitoring the mii’s fatigue on the screen.
In addition, sports like frisbee, canoeing and golf can make the Motion Plus accessory feel a bit too sensitive. Perhaps it’s simply highlighting the player’s inability to perform the actual sports, but much of the target audience will have trouble with some of these more difficult mini-games.
Players familiar with the original Wii Sports or Wii Fit won’t be surprised by Resort’s visuals. It’s a bit sharper than its predecessor, and it really shines during outdoor activities that remove the claustrophobic feeling of the original. In addition, the colorful island helps maintain a lighthearted mood – which is helpful after slicing a ball into the ocean during a heated match of golf against your grandmother.
All in all, Wii Sports: Resort is the perfect game to bring out when friends and family are around for the same reasons as its predecessor – it’s both entertaining and accessible. Despite the mediocrity of some of its mini-games, the more enjoyable ones will keep you coming back for more. If you own a Wii, you’d do yourself a favor to pick it up. The Motion Plus add on is worth the investment, and Resort is an excellent showcase for its abilities.
Wii Sports: Resort maintains the visual style of the original Wii Sports while removing the claustrophobic feel. Each minigame is presented in an easy to understand fashion to ensure accessibility to a wide audience.
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Some mini games succeed at accurately representing the sport they emulate, while other fail miserably. Likewise, some are enjoyable, while others are not. Fortunately there are twelve options to choose from, and the successful activities make up for the lackluster ones.
Similar to original Wii Sports, the music and effects are upbeat and energetic. Nothing stands out, however.
The wide variety of mini games and modes should keep the disk spinning for quite a while. Furthermore, Resort is the perfect example of a Wii party game done right, and it’s the kind of title that gets dusted off months later when the relatives come to visit.
Wii Sports Resort expands upon the enjoyment and accessibility of it’s predecessor in nearly every aspect. The included Wii Motion Plus makes for an added value, and this title serves as the perfect showcase for its abilities.