Wii Sports Resort (Wii) Review

By Adam Riley 04.08.2009

Review for Wii Sports Resort on Wii

Many attribute the success of the Wii console to the fact that in Western territories it was bundled with Wii Sports, which impressively showed off how motion control could be used for five different sporting activities. Now, though, Nintendo is attempting to try a similar thing with Wii Sports Resort, enticing gamers to pick up the title with a free MotionPlus attachment for their Wii remotes in order to play with true 1:1 movement. But have these new activities been expanded sufficiently to warrant Resort being a retail release rather than another pack-in title?

Whilst the free pack-in version of Wii Sports (well, free if you do not live in Japan or South Korea) included an impressive five games - Tennis, Bowling, Golf, Boxing and Baseball - none of them were particularly in-depth experiences and ultimately the package quickly became one of those regular shelf sitters that was only dusted down and booted up once more when a group of friends came round for a bit of a laugh and a few drinks. Nintendo did its job perfectly, though, in grabbing people's interest in the Wii and its motion control system, as well as bringing groups together in a way not as common in the days of the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. For Wii Sports Resort, Nintendo has taken its cute Mii characters and transplanted them onto the tropical island of Wuhu to partake in twelve different activities across the lovely, bright, colourful and extremely well-polished (graphically speaking) resort. Throw in a whole host of relaxing tunes and, despite the cartoon-like nature of the game in general, a serene atmosphere is set up…

However, brace yourself for several fast-paced, energy-sapping games to play through. Whilst the likes of golf and bowling may keep the mood sufficiently sedate, other choices such as sword-fighting and table tennis will most certainly get the adrenaline pumping like crazy, keeping players constantly on their toes and eager to come back for more. So what exactly is on offer? Definitely a little something for everyone's tastes: Archery, Frisbee, Basketball, Cycling, Canoeing, Power Cruising, Table Tennis, Air Sports, Swordplay, Bowling, Golf and Wakeboarding.

Following the introductory video to show how the Wii MotionPlus attachment should be placed on the Wii remote, the game kicks things off with a parachute jump, with your designated Mii leaping out of a plane totally under the player's control, immediately illustrating exactly how sensitive the new control system is, with every gentle movement being replicated on-screen, sending your Mii twirling around and around, the aim being to move towards other Mii characters, join hands with them and then pose for a camera shot. Upon eventually landing, it is time to delve into the fun on offer. In an effort to remain as succinct as possible, here is a brief overview of each 'sport' included in the package:

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort on Wii

Archery: Hold the Wii remote in a vertical position in your out-stretched left hand and slowly move it up or down to aim accurately at the target in the distance. Once happy with the general direction, pull back the nunchuk towards your ear while holding its Z-button and then let the arrow fly by releasing Z. Factors such as targets being further away from the starting point or strong side winds must be taken into account as you aim for the target centre.

Frisbee: This is certainly one of the best examples of how MotionPlus accentuates the range of motions picked up by the Wii, with the controller movements even being picked up when held behind your back, with the Mii trying to hold the Frisbee in a similar manner. The initial task is to tilt and twist to the right angle and then smoothly move your arm as if releasing a real Frisbee in order to have your little Doggii™ companion run and attempt to catch it in its mouth, all the while keeping within the target superimposed onto the ground. The ante is upped later as balloons also need to be popped in mid-flight, and eventually a Frisbee Golf mode opens up where players literally must fly across various courses to reach the 'hole'.

Basketball: Initially this is merely a case of quickly grabbing a set number of balls and chucking them at the basket from varying angles, trying to keep the Wii remote flat and getting your timing just right to dunk as many in the allotted time as possible. A three-on-three mode opens up later, though, where tactical passing and basket attempts come into play.

Cycling: Many criticise this unfairly, probably due to the leg motions having to be done using your hands instead. However, the process of moving the Wii remote and nunchuk up and down alternatively to build up enough speed to go from 30th to 1st before reaching the finish line, whilst also carefully tilting both controllers left or right to turn corners, is a delicate balancing act that certainly appeals to those who like a good challenge. Reducing stamina levels prevent frantic waggling, although clever navigation to get behind other cyclists and enter their 'slipstream' rejuvenates your Mii slightly.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort on Wii

Canoeing: When first trying this mode in an early demo version, it seemed a complete mess. However, clearly it was due to not being in the correct environment (a large hotel with a swimming pool dangerously close by…) as playing the finished product in the safety of your own home is a far better experience. The subtle definition between how far you push the (inverted vertically held) Wii Remote downwards and which side of your body this action is being carried out, is thoroughly impressive as the Mii works its way around winding courses filled with obstacles in an attempt to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.

Power Cruising: Fans of WaveRace from the Nintendo 64 and GameCube may be disappointed that a Wii version has yet to materialise, but hope has not been lost yet thanks to this offering, which bring back the thrills of Jet Ski racing over gorgeously animated undulating waves. Sadly it is not as fleshed out as it could have been, with the main aim being to simply steer through gates and rings as fast as you can, without any competitors getting in the way. As with the Cycling, the controls are sensitive to the extreme, which will put some players off. However, the process of holding both controllers horizontally with the top of one facing the other, then holding 'A' to accelerate, tilting left and right to steer and rotating the controllers forward to boost, becomes increasingly intuitive the more you play.

Table Tennis: The original Wii Sports Tennis was by far and away the favourite amongst the majority of players, and with Virtua Tennis 2009 and Grand Slam Tennis already out on Wii, using the MotionPlus add-on, Nintendo's choice of Table Tennis is indeed a wise one to prevent overkill in the genre. Once more, players are faced with the fact that the controls work wonders if you make the right moves. Swipe in one direction too much and the ping pong ball will definitely fly off the table. On the other hand, a smart swipe and twist of the Wii Remote at the same time will result in some splendid curling shots. It all proves to be highly realistic and the fact that opponents increase in quality depending upon your current 'level' (as in the original Wii Sports), everything moves along at a fair pace, without causing frustration from constantly losing.

Air Sports: The introductory parachuting challenge returns in this mode, with the addition of trying to guide your Mii through more rings to score points. There is also a dogfight option for two-players to engage in, holding the Wii remote like a dart or paper aeroplane and mimicking the motions of flight - nose-diving, levelling out and tilting in order to turn as you glide through the air. Sharply jabbing the controller forwards gives a slight boost, whilst pulling back away from the TV slows the plane down. The greatest level of enjoyment is had in the Free Flight section, where players can fly around the extravagant island, taking in the sights and relaxing, learning more about various locations on Wuhu Island, as well as taking unusual detours through caves and road tunnels. Just be careful not to crash!

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort on Wii

Swordplay: If ever there was a perfect way to show off exactly how minutely accurate the MotionPlus technology is (along with the Frisbee mode, that is) Swordplay is the mode to do just that. As with Frisbee, every intricate movement is picked up and copied, meaning that you literally feel as if in control of the Mii character's wooden blade. Twisting around, tilting from side-to-side and even thrusting forwards, the technology is truly fantastic. Facing off against another character, you must keep bashing them with your sword until they tumble off the small circular platform you are both atop. In order to claim victory, blocking is necessary, which is activated by holding 'B' on the Wii remote and moving the sword into the appropriate position to ricochet an opponent's swipe, knocking them off balance and allowing you to pounce in for that killer blow. Other than the simple one-on-one duel, though, Speed Slice involves two people attempting to slice in the indicated direction faster than each other, whilst Showdown has you facing off against numerous combatants in a row, with just three lives. Maniacal waggling may seem the order of the day, but tentative play and clever sword movements will lead to a greater chance of victory.

Bowling: This plays almost exactly the same as it did in the original Wii Sports, meaning it ranges from standard 10-pin bowling, to the massively enjoyable 100-pin game (with no alleys, leading to potential rebounds off the wall!) and obstacle avoidance mode. The main difference is that even the tiniest tilt of the Wii remote is now reflected, meaning outlandish spin can be applied to pull off some spectacular bowls.

Golf: As with bowling, nothing much has changed…and yet the control system is so sensitive that it does indeed play completely differently. Is the change for the better? Most definitely, with it conditioning the player to take more care with shots - whilst the inclusion of a 'reset' position means the controller can be set to any starting angle you please, removing the main issue of the first game where sometimes a back-swing would result in the on-screen club swinging forwards as the game became confused.

Wakeboarding: With the Wii remote alone held horizontally, players must guide their Mii left and right as it is dragged along by a powerboat, holding onto its wakeboard for dear life, leaping upwards and to the side as it is flung off the top of waves caused by the boat cutting through the water. With the odd deft jerk of the controller, fancy moves galore will be pulled off (and, consequently, plenty of points accrued) as long as you are able to balance out the board before impacting back on the water. Simple, yet quite addictive.

On the whole, there may be a few events that lack the addictive nature of others, but there is such a wide range on offer that Wii Sports Resort cannot fail to bring a smile to the faces of everyone that plays it. Even with the lack of customisation options, online battling or co-operative modes and modes that could easily have been fleshed out more, Nintendo's fledgling MotionPlus-only title should capture the heart of current Wii owners, as well as those that had previously been sitting on the fence, wondering whether to pick one up.

Screenshot for Wii Sports Resort on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Nintendo has done it again, showing how it is indeed the master of its own technology, whilst also creating a fantastic package that will appeal to all members of the family, no matter what their gaming level, age or gender. Wii Sports Resort is a motion-controlled marvel with a little piece of magic included for each and every one of us.









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 are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?

There are 1 members online at the moment.