Wii Sports Resort review

April 24, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Posted in Game Review, Wii Review | Leave a comment
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Wii Sports is officially the biggest selling game ever (if you count those sold in console bundles) so expectations are high for this tropical-themed sequel.

Title: Wii Sports Resort

Format: Wii

Developed by: Nintendo

Published by: Nintendo

Genre: Sports

Just over a year ago Nintendo President, Satoru Iwata, was being pressed into confirming whether the company was planning a sequel to mega system-shifter Wii Sports. He said they wouldn’t rush into making a quick and easy cash-in and would only consider an update if they could really do something special with it. When they did announce a sequel it was alongside the new Motion-Plus peripheral which adds an additional gyroscope to the bottom of the Wii remote and therefore offers better motion detection. Presumably Nintendo wanted something that would sell the new control method to the mass-market that had already lapped-up the Wii thanks to the pull of the original Wii Sports. We’ve already had three third-party titles that use the new gizmo (don’t forget to check out our review of Grand Slam Tennis), and now it’s Nintendo turn to show off what they can do.

The resort suffix in the title refers to Wuhu Island (last seen in Wii Fit) and the variety of summer themed sports contained within. There are 15 sports in total, with two or three different variations for each one and we’re happy to say that most of them are incredibly good fun. The sports that really shine are those where the controls themselves offer a good deal of depth like Frisbee, Sword-Fighting and Table Tennis. The latter holds an incredibly challenging single-player mode, which genuinely requires a lot of skill and mastery of the controls to do well in. It’s no surprise then that this is the game that has got the most attention amongst the more hardcore Wii crowd.

But there are some sports that just don’t work, either because the controls aren’t solid enough or because they are just plain dull. Cycling falls into the first category, with the game requiring a constant pedalling motion while tilting the remote and nunchuk to steer, which is just too awkward to be fun. You spend most of the time weaving along the track while watching fellow riders cycle past. Then there’s Power Cruising and Wake-Boarding, the first is disappointingly basic (especially after fans were hoping for something to match wave race) and the second is so simplistic you have to wonder why Nintendo even bothered including it in the first place.

It’s easy to dismiss Resort as being a bit too simplistic and lacking depth but that would be missing the point entirely. It’s designed to be a fun title that you can dip in and out of when the urge takes you, and there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back. High score enthusiasts have got some meaty challenges to get their teeth into like the new 100 pin bowling challenge and the return mode in Table Tennis. There are also some achievement-like objectives in the form of ‘stamps’ to collect when you do well in a particular sport. They aren’t very hard to get but add a little something extra to the mix.

But there is one major black cloud hovering over the horizon, spreading a shadow over Wuhu Island’s sunny and cheery vistas, which could have wider implications. Most of the sports on offer in Resort could have been made into fully fledged titles on their own; Golf and Basketball are just begging for a Mario-themed release, while Power-Cruising and Parachuting are virtually Wave Race and Pilotwings reskinned and simplified for a new audience. With their inclusion in this package Nintendo will likely cross those possible releases off their schedule list and it would be a great shame if they never saw the light of day.

Overall, Wii Sports Resort comes highly recommended, if only to give your parents something different to play instead of Wii Sports come Christmas time.


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