Wii Sports Resort

Wii

As you jump out of the plane, hovering over Wuhu Island, you can almost hear a tiny voice floating up to greet you Ė ďde plane boss, de plane!Ē Thatís right, this is truly fantasy island. After all, where else could you bowl one minute, play table tennis the next, have a round of golf, then take a plane ride round the island? Not even the Butlins at Bognor Regis can offer that much excitement.

This is the spiritual successor to what was essentially the tech demo that was Wii Sports. Many argued that the success of that title was mainly due to it being bundled with the Wii at launch; thatís true to a certain extent, but how many units were sold just on the back of the video of people playing the tennis game alone? Quite a few, we reckon.

What makes this different though, is the inclusion of the motionplus attachment, which basically makes your movements with the wiimote a lot more accurate: a 1:1 ratio to be precise.

Below we have a breakdown of every game on the disc, to find out if this motionplus gizmo is all itís cracked up to be. Are you sitting comfortably? Then read on...

Swordplay

Itís not difficult to see that probably this game more than any of the others demonstrates the effectiveness of motionplus. You hold the wiimote as if you were holding the hilt of a sword, with the ability to thrust it forwards and back, as well as left and right. Thatís some thrusting action. There are 3 disciplines in all. Duel is a one-on-one (either with someone else or AI), where you battle in a ring, and have to knock your opponent out of it with your sword. Speed Slice finds you chopping up all manner of fruit and veg, well, just because you can really. Finally thereís Showdown, where one person gets to battle through hordes of enemies. Take 3 hits and you lose.

boom games reviews - Wii Sports Resort: Swordplay
So let me get this straight, you're my father?! Arrrgghhhhh!!!!

The only downside to this game is that the wiimote doesnít make the buzzing sound of a lightsaber when you play it. If anything showcases that Jedi swordplay is within clutching distance of a wiimote, itís this. So Lucasarts, are you making it? Itís all very well just flailing about with the wiimote in your hand, but the art is to learn when to attack and when to block (with a press of the B trigger). That way, a true Jedi, become you will. Sorry, weíre getting excited about the prospect already.

If you played nothing else, you could quite easily be happy with this. Itís clever and fun. What a combo.

Wakeboarding

One of three water-based events (not including the fact that you can land the plane in the sea in Island Flyover); you have to hold the wiimote horizontally, as if you were holding onto the handle of a line attached to a speed boat. As you are pulled along, you have to build up speed on your board before you can hit the wake left by the boat, to get enough height to perform a trick. Although the real trick is not in performing the tricks themselves Ė which seem to happen through random shakes of the wiimote Ė but by landing perfectly on the water. If you donít, you lose the points you gained from the trick.

Although having the motionplus doesnít appear to add anything to this game, the challenge from getting a good score warrants its inclusion. Also, on the hardest difficulty level, timing jumps and landings become crucial, making it one of those games you come back to more often than you might think you would.

Frisbee

The winner of the most frustrating game award has to go to Frisbee. The first part Ė Frisbee Dog Ė is harmless enough; you pick up a Frisbee, throw it in the general direction of a target on the floor, which a seemingly stray dog runs to fetch for you. The closer to the centre of the target you throw it, the higher your score. There are also balloons to burst for extra points, and a few more on top of that too if you can throw it at a certain height for your pooch to perform a mid-air catch.

boom games reviews - Wii Sports Resort: Frisbee Dog
What's that Lassiedog? Someone trapped in the mine? Never mind about that, go fetch me my frisbee!

The second part of the game is Frisbee Golf. You get the choice to play between 3, 6 and if youíre feeling particularly brave, a full 18 hole game. Itís essentially the same game as Wii Sports golf but here you throw the club at the ball instead of simply hitting it. Of course you donít, that would be dangerous. You throw a Frisbee around the course, with a general target zone to aim for on the green, instead of a tiny hole in the ground.

The problem here is the fact that a Frisbee is round and a wiimote... isnít. You can Ďpretendí that the wiimote is a lot of things, but a round bit of plastic is a stretch. All too often the Ďfrisbeeí would just go flying in every direction except the right one. This may be more down to the fact of a cack-handed lefty throwing in Boom towers more than anything. It didnít feel a particularly natural motion however, which made it a slightly less enjoyable experience.

Archery

With the nunchuk attached, you have to mimic the act of archery for this task. You get three arrows for each distance. Obviously the further away the target, the more difficult it is to hit Ė especially when itís moving.

The technique is to hold the wiimote close to your face, press the A button, then move the nunchuk away from you whilst holding Z. A target area will appear which you have to match to the target. However, it never gets smaller than the target itself, so you have to think about the distance youíre shooting to, as well as the direction and strength of the wind.

The fact that it goes all out to be a simulation does take some of the fun out of it; perhaps some kind of silly fairground shoot-the-flying-rubber-ducks type of game would have been more entertaining. An interesting use for the controllers nonetheless, if not wholly satisfying.

Basketball

Ok, so shooting hoops isnít really a big deal for us Brits, but you really get a feel for the game here. The obvious problem is that the wiimote isnít the most round-shaped object in the world, so when youíre expected to treat it as such, it doesnít feel quite right. Especially when you can put spin on your Ďballí as you throw it during the 3-point game.

In fact the amount of control you have over your Ďballí is pretty spooky. However, once past that fact, itís easy to get into the swing of things. The 3-on-3 game is actually pretty well executed too, with the added bonus of being able to block your opponentís passes and jumps, as well as pass and shoot yourself. Again, another grower.

Table Tennis

The natural sequel to tennis on Wii Sports, this game takes the idea of control to another level. You could easily play this game just hitting the ball back and forth with a generic forehand and back hand shots. However, itís when you start to add spin to the equation that things get interesting. Itís one thing applying spin to a shot, but itís another to actually watch the effect of it on front of your very eyes.

boom games reviews - Wii Sports Resort: Table Tennis
ping. pong. ping. pong. ping........pong.

As well as the first-to-six matches, thereís the return challenge, where you try to return the ball as many times as possible. This will test your endurance and choice of shots to the limit.

The only thing that lets this game down is itís all too short. Games to 21 points for example, should have been included, instead you just have wave after wave of different players to contend with. And although the competition soon gets tough, without some kind of league system, it all feels a bit samey after a while.

Golf

For many, this game will be worth the price of admission alone. It takes everything from Wii Sports golf and pimps it up. Not only do you get to choose 3, 9, or 18 holes, you also get to choose classic or resort courses.

The big difference here again is the level of control; not only do you get a sense of power from swinging the remote, you also feel the subtleties of angles too. Experimenting with the way you use the club can have unexpected results. For instance, on a few shots to the green, there was enough spin on the ball to have the ball fly past the hole, then crawl sweetly backwards in a way that Tiger Woods would be proud of.

If youíre a golfing fan, it would be difficult not to imagine a big, ear-to-ear grin whilst playing this. And if youíre not already a fan, after playing this you may well be converted Ė you have been warned.

Bowling

Like golf, bowling is another Wii Sports alumnus. Again, the only real difference is the level of control. You can really feel the spin you put on your ball as you deliver it to the pins. Thereís a 100-pin game added - which is no real leap - as well as Spin Control, where you have to manoeuvre your ball through various obstacles using only the power of spin. Overall though, it really wouldnít have been missed if it hadnít have made the cut. Probably the weakest resort link.

Power Cruising

For all those expecting this to be the reincarnation of Nintendoís classic Wave Race game, youíd be wrong. Itís close mind, but no cigar. It uses both the wiimote and nunchuk Ė one in each hand, as you emulated the steering control on a jet ski. You then have a slalom course you have to navigate through. Sadly, the controls let this one down. The problem is you have to hold the controls up in front of you, so itís easy for your arms to get pooped after just a few goes.

It wouldnít be so bad if the water you were in wasnít so damn choppy either. On calmer water, it probably would have been easier to control, but if you add waves slapping you about into the equation, it then feels you have a bit of a fight on your hands. Itís a shame because it really could have been one of the more enjoyable games here, and although there are six courses, they all look and feel a bit samey too.

Canoeing

Now, which bright Nintendo spark thought this would be a good idea? Strangely enough, though, they were almost right. You sit in a canoe and use the wiimote as the top of the paddle, and steer the canoe like you would a real one. Left, right, left, right etc. You then have a course you have to traverse in the shortest time. Each time you finish it, you then go on to a slightly longer one.

It can be quite hard work, feeling almost like really canoeing, but it is also oddly rewarding. Especially when they throw a duck and her ducklings into the mix, as they almost act like your guides through the course. How cute is that? On the harder setting you have more obstacles to avoid, making your arms work even harder (sure you could just use the one, but where would be the fun in that?!).

Again itís one of those games that almost borders on exercise, which of course would not do at all Ė this isnít Wii Fit after all. But seeing that the world isnít awash with canoeing games, this one definitely gets the thumbs up.

Cycling

Considering the new-found accuracy that the MotionPlus gadget brings, this game has one of the more haphazard control methods of any of the games at the Resort.

To move your bike you pump the wiimote and nunchuk in each hand, as if they were your feet in the pedals. So that takes care of your motion. To steer however, seems to be a matter of pure luck than judgement, as you have to wave both controllers in the general direction you want to go. It feels like you have more chance of controlling the elements around you than you do the bike youíre attempting to ride.

Still, taking a ride around the island is quite a treat, as long as you donít mind how long it takes you. But as far as road racing is concerned, this just feels wrong, wrong, wrong.

Air Sports

This is split into three separate disciplines: Skydiving, Dogfight and Island Flyover.

Skydiving - you jump out of a plane, plummeting towards the island, and then you have to link up with as many other skydivers as you can and have you picture taken with them. Itís fun the first time, but repeat plays will be slender.

Dogfight - A two-player game where you fly in planes attempting to pop one anothers, erm, balloons. Thereís no flying AI here, so you will have to make sure you have not one but two MotionPlus devices to play. However, if you donít have two from the off, this is hardly an essential buy for the second one.

Island Flyover - Probably one of the most calming and docile of the games, you get to hold the wiimote as if you were holding a paper plane guiding it through the air. You have five minutes each flight to fly through as many island icons represented by floating Ďiís and collect them. Sure, it sounds easy, but when you realise thereís 80 of them spread out all over the island, it will certainly take you a little while before you catch Ďem all. As you start to gather them up, you begin to unlock certain items, like the ability to shoot balloons for example, or to unlock another plane. Itís easy to forget about being up against the clock however, as you can often get swept up in simply sight-seeing the many wonders of Wuhu Island.

boom games reviews - Wii Sports Resort: Island Flyover
Check the map again Jean, this doesn't look like Milton Keynes?!


The verdict

The great thing here is, just like a selection box of choccies, everyone will have their own favourites. Even if there are one or two that you donít like, thereís more than plenty here for all to enjoy. And unlike Wii Sports, Nintendo have extended the life span of this title with the inclusion of stamps for each activity. Itís their version of 360 achievement points or PS3 thingies, where you have to accomplish certain tasks to gain a stamp.

So what smells about Wii Sports Resort? To be honest, very little. Admittedly the lack of any online gaming is a tad disappointing, but the Wii itself isnít the online monkey many would like it to be.

A fairer criticism would be to say that it at the end of the day, this is yet another bunch of mini-games for Wii owners. And it may well be a Jack of all (well most) trades, but anyone expecting anything more substantial than that, may well be left feeling slightly disappointed.

What there is here though, is a bunch of varied games that you can simply have a bloody good time with. And yes, the sums of its parts do add up to a AAA title Ė just. Kids will love it, grannies will love it, and yes, you will love it too. But really, you already knew that didnít you?

four out of five