Game Reviews
Wii Sports Resort Review

When the Wii was first announced with motion control, people totally went nuts thinking of the gaming possibilites.  Fast forward a few years, and the “waggle-fest” has grown a bit tired, and it seems to be losing the attention of the consumers.  Low and behold, Nintendo comes up with a solution…let’s improve the Wii Remote with some new hardware that will give the player more control.  Wii Motion Plus (WM+) has finally come out as a pack-in with the new title, Wii Sports Resort.  The people over at Nintendo promised true 1:1 movements with this new hardware, and I am sorry to say that it isn’t quite there…but it’s close.

Before I picked up a copy of Resort, I was very skeptical about the whole idea, and must say that people have been a bit harsh on it.  The main problem I was seeing with WM+ is that from time to time, you have to recalibrate it (hitting Down on the D-Pad), which wasn’t a huge hassle, but somewhat of an annoyance.  Each time you want to play a WM+ game, you must take your Wii Remote out of its normal jacket and then insert it into the WM+ jacket…which again…sort of annoying.  However, when you look past the few hang ups, the new peripheral gets the job done…let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into the next Wii Speak (with very little support.)  So now that the new peripheral is out of the way, lets get on to my thoughts on the game.  The way I wanted to review Resort, was to talk about each mini-game individually, since there are 12 in all, and while some are great, there are a few stinkers in the bundle.

Defense is your best offense when it comes to Swordplay.

Swordplay –  This falls under one of my top favorites in the entire game, because I think I speak for everybody when I like to pretend i’m using a lightsaber in this mode.  It consists of three modes: Duel, Speed Slice, and Showdown.  In Duel, you fighter either the computer or a friend to a one-on-one fight atop a giant platform.  This is essentially just a fun, pick-up and play, fencing match.  While some people may choose to just waggle their way to victory, I feel it is much more fun to actually block (holding the B button allows you to take a defensive stance), and then parry.  Speed Slice is just a test of reflexes as a ref throws objects to you, and you must slice them in the direction that they want.  This one is fun with another person, but it felt like the weakest addition out of the three.  Last but not least, Showdown is a lot of fun, as the character automatically walks, you swing and take out a bunch of enemies that come your way.  You are allowed to be hit only three times, so in the later stages you must get better with blocking and counterattacks, otherwise you will fail.  Also, while some of the enemies just sit there and let you slice them up, there are always one or two more powerful in each stage, so be ready for a bit of a challenge.  Overall, this is the reason people want WM+, and it really doesn’t dissapoint.

FrisbeeFrisbee Dog is the first game, in which you must throw the frisbee as close to a target as possible and then your trusty, little dog catches it…it’s simple and in my opinion, grows old quickly.  Frisbee Golf on the other hand is a freaking blast.  Much like regular golf, you just fling the firsbee (you choose one of three, that each go different distances), and have to get it around the green.  The great thing is that the game is forgiving, you don’t have to pinpoint a putt, you just throw it in the general direction of the “hole” and you win.  Let’s put it this way…I got a Hole-In-One on my second try.

Reggie "Power-Crusin" Fils-Aime

Wakeboarding – Not much to this game…you just hold the Wii Remote sideways and turn quickly into the wake; you make more points the higher your jump goes.  This will give your arms a good workout, and thats about it…not very fun, I say pass.

Archery – This was one of the better one’s as well, but I had a few problems.  It seemed like the WM+ was having a hard time tracking where I was, and at times I would have to be facing in a completely different direction to get my Mii to point straight.  When it worked, it was a lot of fun, but when the tracking began to drift, it really pulls you out of it.  This is by far one of the most skillful games in the package, so it is fun to come back to and practice.

Air Sports – In this mode, you hold the Wii Remote like a paper plane, and you just fly around the island.  I loved Island Flyover mode the most, because of how relaxing it was.  The key objective is to collect landmark info, by exploring the island; it may not sound exciting, but you’ll enjoy the down time.  Not looking to relax, eh?  Well then that’s what the Dogfight mode is for, where you and a few friends can duke it out in your planes…it was fun but quite passable.  Other than that, you have the Skydive mode, which is what they use to introduce you to the island at the start of the game…it’s boring, I promise you.

Cycling – The worst sport in the bundle BY FAR.  It has you flailing your arms around like an idiot, and if you do it to fast you overheat; it’s annoying and tedious.  This is the one throw-away title that you should just avoid at all costs, unless you hate fun…then by all means, knock yourself out!

Golf & Bowling – Each of the original Wii Sports favorites are back, and they have improved sensitivity.  Both sports are much better in this game, but I must say they are also much tougher this time around.  We get a couple new modes, like in Bowling we see a 100 Pin Modem, which had me bowling in the low 1,000’s, and a mode where you have to curve the ball around obstacles.  All in all, the inclusion of these improved sports made me sell my original, and quite obsolete copy of Wii Sports.

It's no Pilotwings, but dammit, it's something!

Table Tennis – This is actually a blast and was a lot better than regular Wii Sports Tennis, in my opinion.  With WM+, you can actually add some spins to your hit to make it curve or smash it and take your opponent by surprise.  While a normal match with friends is fun, I enjoyed Return Challenge mode a lot as it was a test of how many balls you can return without missing one.

Basketball – I was very skeptical about this sport the most, because I didn’t think a throwing mechanic would work well, but I was pleasantly surprised.  In 3-Point Contest mode, I found that the slightest flick of the wrist would make or break the shot, and if you ask me…thats cool as hell.  Much like archery, this took quite a bit of skill and some luck to really start pooling off big points.  In Pickup Game, it is a 3-on-3 match, in which you can dribble the ball, pass it, and also dunk it…it was simple and grew old pretty quickly.

Power Crusing –  This one was interesting, even though it felt a bit awkward at first, I got used to holding the Wii Remote and Nunchuck like handlebars.  You hold B or A to accelerate and then twist the Wii Remote like a throttle to get an extra boost of speed, it is actually pretty fun when you get the hang of it.  Not much to do though, after you run through the slalom course you pretty  much saw everything.

Canoeing – To some it up in one word….”meh”.  It isn’t very fun, not as bad as Cycling, but nothing you will come back to after your first playthrough.  Using the Wii Remote like an oar just felt awkward and my friends and I could barely keep the canoe going straight…which led to plenty of laughs.  I guess its something to try first for kicks, but nothing to really write home about.

This is an island you won't mind being stranded on.

Overall –  I was extremely skeptical about the whole thing when I first heard about this game.  It seemed like a stupid cash-in, with some dumb peripheral, but I must say I was dead wrong.  While some people may see this as just another “tech demo”, I felt it had enough polish to make it stand-out as a good game.  The inclusion of Stamps (Wii Sports version of Achievements) were a nice addition, because they extend the life of the game, and give you something to work at long after you grow tired of each sport.  When all is said in done, it doesn’t matter if you are 5 years-old or 85 years-old…this game is fun as hell.  Say goodbye to that crappy pack-in that came with your Wii, and say hello to the next evolution of the console.

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corde tennis
corde tennis

With the wind roaring in your ears, your parachute opens with the name of the game emblazoned on the canvas. As you float towards Wuhu Island, a smile spreads as wide as the glistening blue ocean on the screen. It’s a look that, unless you are a rather stony-hearted individual, will stay plastered on your face for the majority of your time with Wii Sports Resort.

ergonomic mats
ergonomic mats

Wii Sports Resort video game begins high in the sky, with you hurtling through the clouds after leaping from the belly of a biplane. You control your Mii character with a twist of your remote, linking hands with other earthward-bound Miis, grinning for the camera. Below, an expanse of land appears; a glorious formation of lush green hills, trimmed with gorgeous golden beaches.


The best Wii game of 2009.


It's people like you are the reason why you don't own a Wii....THINK ABOUT IT.

The Czar
The Czar

If I still had my Wii, I'd get this, but Nintendo lost my interest a long time ago. I'll wait to see how Microsoft and Sony's solution handle motion.