Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 02.07.2009 2

Review for Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) on Wii

Nintendo needed something special to highlight its new-fangled control system for its successor to the GameCube, Wii. So what did it pull out of the bag? Wii Sports; mixing Boxing, Tennis, Golf, Bowling and Baseball into one fantastic package that is still played by millions around the world today. Now the company needs something to show off its MotionPlus add-on for the Wii Remote, which supposedly adds 1:1 motion response. But will Wii Sports approach prove to be the catalyst Nintendo is hoping it will be?

Adam Riley, Senior Editor:

Whilst playing Archery it became quickly apparent that paying close attention to the control instructions was actually necessary, unlike in most other modes, since it is actually possible to make things work even if the Wii Remote and Nunchuk are held the wrong way round. The MotionPlus controller needs to be held vertically ahead of the player and the Nunchuk is drawn backwards whilst holding the 'Z' button. If the tension button is held long enough, the Mii character tries to concentrate more on the target in the distance. Yet if held too long, vision becomes blurry, thus causing the accuracy to decrease considerably. Further into this particular game there are targets further into the distance and the effects of wind speed, meaning that positioning of the bow before letting the arrow fly must be tweaked to compensate as required.

Some may complain that there are games within Wii Sports Resort that do not make full use of the MotionPlus add-on, but Table Tennis is a perfect example of how the increased definition in movement benefits the gameplay considerably. The screen is split down the middle so each player can see their Mii clearly and judge their angles for slamming the ping-pong ball back to their opponent. The server launches the ball in the air with a smooth upwards flick and then proceeds to stroke the MotionPlus controller around as if it was indeed a paddle in real life. The added 1:1 motion control means that each movement, each roll of the wrist, each change in stroke direction is accurately portrayed on-screen for the most accurate experience possible. Considering how impressive this has turned out it makes you wonder if Rockstar will consider updating its own Table Tennis game to take advantage of the new technology.

Another brilliant example of the MotionPlus addition was the Sword Fighting where two players go head-to-head, attempting to knock the other off a large, circular platform. Swinging the Wii Remote around in front of you sees the game mimic every subtle movement perfectly. Tilt the controller left and right as necessary to block as many blows as possible and then lunge forwards to strike the killer blow, with two particular techniques working nicely - swiping to take a Mii character's legs out, or clanging them over the head repeatedly until they topple from the platform. Getting into the heat of battle sometimes becomes like a frantic Wii Sports Boxing session, with people slashing around like crazy, but the beauty here is that if you wish to play tactically then it is indeed possible now.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) on Wii

Mike Mason, Reviews Editor:

Power Cruising is a Wave Race-esque jetski event wherein you must swerve through gates as you speed to the finish line of a course. You've got to attach a nunchuk and hold the two controller parts up sideways with the tops facing each other, buttons in your direction, much like the handlebars on your watercraft. With small movements you adjust your path, accelerating with either A or B (whichever you find the most comfortable), and as you build up a power meter you can use a turbo boost by 'revving' your Wii Motion Plus-ified remote with a quick, sharp twist away from you. The whole thing works really well with the subtlest movements, and there were never any problems doing what you wanted - as you would have hoped, given that the only new feature over Nintendo's other Wii racing games is the revving motion.

Canoeing was the weakest part of the package, mainly because it just seemed utterly boring. Grasping the remote in both hands vertically, you have to row as you would if you were in said vehicle - and Motion Plus doesn't allow you to cheat, it's got to be full motions. It's impressive that it can read if you're not doing it properly, but essentially all you're doing is rowing on alternate sides of your body repeatedly to keep up a steady forward movement, or paddling frantically on one side if you want to turn. Some others seemed to be having a blast in multiplayer races, so perhaps it's just not a decent single player experience.

Moving away from the water, Basketball was a massive highlight of Resort and probably my favourite part as somebody who used to play the sport. In the three-point contest mode shown at the E3 press conference, you have to physically reach down, press B to pick up a ball and then bring up your arms into a proper shot while releasing the trigger. You can't just do a lame flap in the hope that it works - it won't. I found myself bringing both arms up and acting exactly as I would shoot in basketball, and became the C3 king of basketball in the process. The other mode is a three-on-three game where you take turns playing offensively and defensively. When attacking, you start off by passing the ball to your teammates with button presses (you can do this as much as you want) and ultimately have to try to score baskets by either straight shooting or dribbling in to have a whack at a humiliating slam dunk. You only get one shot, though - score or not, your positions switch. As a defender you've got to swipe the ball out of opponents' hands or block their shots, usually getting hit in the face as you do so. Fantastic.

I personally enjoyed it more than its Wii Fit Plus counterpart, but Cycling does not make a whole lot of sense in Resort. Your hands basically act as your feet and you move them up and down alternately as if pedalling while steering about a bit by tilting. It's made all the more interesting by the settings; you end up going all around the multi-environmental island (the same one as used in Wii Fit, which now looks to be the home of Miis), and it's in the form of a race. It doesn't really use Motion Plus too much, but it's a decent support sport.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) on Wii

Karn Bianco, Previews Editor:

Quite unlike its real life counterpart, Wakeboarding is a fairly simplistic endeavor in Wii Sports Resort. As the fun begins you'll find yourself attached to the rear of a speed boat, able to move from side to side by shifting the Wii Remote (held in a horizontal position) as well as leap into the air with quick upward flicks. Best results are achieved by moving as far as possible to either side of the boat before immediately turning back, picking up speed, and leaping from the boat's wake to gain impressive air and perform some tricks in the process. Points are only awarded if you manage to land properly, so you'll need to keep the Wiimote as horizontal as possible for landings.

Frisbee is arguably Resort's cutest mini-game; entailing the throwing of a Frisbee for an adorable canine companion to go and fetch for you. Thanks to the Wii MotionPlus, throwing Frisbees is as intuitive (or not, depending on your experience) as it is in real life. Simply tuck your arm into your side, move it out in front of your body and release! Additional points are awarded if your dog catches the Frisbee in certain locations (a bulls eye is drawn on the floor), and floating balloons can be pierced for even more points. This one can take a bit of practice to get right, though, especially if your real world Frisbee throwing skills aren't exactly up to scratch.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) on Wii

James Temperton, Features Editor:

The original Golf game in Wii Sports was great, but it didn't have enough courses which was a bit of a shame. Golf in Sports Resort solves this issue by chucking in a whole shed-load of new courses. What it fails to do however, is improve on the original. In fact, it could even be a step backwards. The use of Wii MotionPlus makes swinging straight incredible awkward and difficult. You litterally can't turn your wrists at all or the ball will swing off wildly; this all just seems a bit too sensitive. If you can get the hang of it, which is ruddy hard, then it still offers the same sort of golfing fun, but it just always feels a bit too twitchy. Either that or I'm just really bad at using MotionPlus...

Unlike golf which manages to muck up what was a good game, Bowling manages to pretty much do nothing new. We're not quite sure how well MotionPlus lends itself to bowling as the range of motion in the actual 'sport' is pretty limited. In the original you could put on spin and pretty much get the ball to do exactly what you wanted...and the same is true here. It doesn't really feel any more responsive and rather unsurprisingly it offers nothing new.

Flying on the Wii is certainly good fun. Quite some time ago Nintendo showed off a technical demo on the Wii that involved flying around in a little plane, a but like Pilotwings. That game never materialised, but it seems likely Air Sports is what it became. You control the plane by holding the Wii-mote like you would a pen and manoeuvring it around. MotionPlus leads to a very sensitive and accurate range of controls, with your plane tilting and banking with every tiny movement you make. Pulling off tricks is really satisfying too. You can barrel-roll and loop-the-loop and spin and twist with remarkable ease. Dog-fighting and flying in general is certainly great fun.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Whilst Wii Sports Resort has a few games included that either do not quite hit the sweet spot or make extensive use of the MotionPlus add-on, the overall experience actually far improves upon the first game and has more than enough on offer to wow many millions of gamers all over again. Let the games begin...

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Sport

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (7 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Looks like a nice, well rounded package, although, canoeing, and cycling sound a little too simplistic.

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Excellent write-up guys.

It's sounding as good as it looked at E3, for me. It's good to hear that the Basketball has more technique to it than it looked. Before, I was wondering whether it used the Motion-Plus or not, as I thought it looked a bit simple.

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