…Wii Sports on steroids. More sports, more motion control, the latter of which is due to the inclusion of the Wii MotionPlus, an accessory that attaches to the bottom of your Wii Remote. An angular rate sensor located within determines rotational movement, allowing for the capture of more complex movements than previously possible with the Wii Remote alone. You’ll go hands-on with the added motion control as your Mii performs aerial tricks while skydiving down to Wuhu Island during the game’s clever opening sequence.
The sports. Well, most of them anyway. The Wii Sports Resort roster features twelve activities, seven more than were available in the original Wii Sports. Each event features multiple game modes, a selection of courses and/or a variety of difficulty levels that you’ll unlock as you play and earn points, so there’s a great deal more replay value present.
Just like Wii Sports, there are activities in Wii Sports Resort that stand out. One such sport is Swordplay, arguably the best demonstration of the new 1:1 control as you move your sword around and swing it in real-time. It’s a little more simplistic than I would have liked (just block, swing and repeat) but will undoubtedly lead to some heated head-to-head duels between friends. Archery is to Wii Sports Resort as bowling is to Wii Sports, in that it’s likely the activity you’ll revisit most often once you’ve played through them all. Using both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to draw the bow and shoot an arrow, there’s a sense of accomplishment in Archery that isn’t always present in some of the other activities. The Basketball 3-Point Contest is sure to be another fan favorite. It’s easy to grasp and quick to play, making for an ideal competitive sport amongst larger groups of friends.
Other solid if unspectacular sports include: Wakeboarding; Power Cruising; Frisbee; Air Sports, such as Dog Fighting and Skydiving; Table Tennis, which plays similarly to Wii Sports' Tennis; Golf and Bowling, both of which make return appearances from Wii Sports with added control, such as the ability to manually add spin to your shots in Bowling. Par for mini-game compilations, Wii Sports Resort is best enjoyed in the company of friends. All twelve sports support multiplayer, between 2-4 players, via split screen.
What Doesn’t Work
A couple of sports didn’t turn out so well. Canoeing, on paper, sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but it ends up being the least responsive of all the events. You hold the Wii Remote like you would a paddle, swinging it forward and back to simulate rowing. To keep your canoe going straight, you need to alternate between the right and left side of your body. Problem is, the sensor doesn’t pick up on any of these movements very well and so canoeing quickly deteriorates into a rather frustrating exercise.
At least canoeing sounds good on paper though. I can’t say the same for our next contestant: Cycling. Did nobody speak up when someone suggested it would be a good idea to include Cycling in Wii Sports Resort, and that players would cycle using their...hands?! Did you even prepare for this meeting Gigantic Turkey Sub? Let’s include Soccer next time and we’ll get players to kick the ball using…their hands!
The only other issue I have with Wii Sports Resort is the lack of online multiplayer. Are we still not supporting online play Nintendo? Seriously? We’re a few months shy of 2010. Perhaps it’s about time you looked into that.
The Bottom Line
If you’re like me, where Wii Sports continues to get the most play on your Wii, then you’re surely itching to get your hands on Wii Sports Resort, if you haven’t done so already. The good news is it retains the same charming presentation as the original Wii Sports, includes a line-up of twelve sports, at least ten of which are sure to entertain gamers of all ages, and offers more control than ever before thanks to the Wii MotionPlus accessory that it comes bundled with. So pack up your swimsuit and plan a trip to Wii Sports Resort, you won’t be disappointed.