Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
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A Wii Resort For Island Sports
Wii Sports Resort with Wii MotionPlus Accessory (Wii)
Member Name: Hishyeness
Wii Sports Resort with Wii MotionPlus Accessory (Wii)
Date: 30/07/09, updated on 30/07/09 (356 review reads)
Advantages: Some great mini-games that really show off the MotionPlus accessory
Disadvantages: Expensive to fully kit out two remotes. One or two less compelling mini-games
Our Nintendo Wii has been hibernating under our TV, gathering dust since shortly after Christmas. The Wii party games made a brief appearance for the holidays and the shine of Wii Fit wore off after our New Year's resolutions met with their usual success and longevity (i.e. none). It's a fab console, but it's very ease of "pick up and play" makes it just as easy to ignore in favour of other pursuits.
However, we were intrigued by the promise and novelty of the new Wii MotionPlus gadget, and when Wii Sports Resort (WSR) - essentially Wii Sports 2 - was announced, it was immediately added to our Wish List. As such, I was delighted when I received it for my birthday last week, and it has played a part in our nightly entertainment since.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
WSR comes packaged with the game (in its own DVD-style case) and an elongated clear silicon "skin" cover with the MotionPlus accessory already pre-inserted into it, designed to replace the original cover that comes with the Wii Remote. You will need to buy additional MotionPlus gadgets (£24.99 RRP but selling on Amazon for £15) for each of your remotes should you want them. Note - you cannot play WSR without the MotionPlus accessory.
The game case includes a detailed instruction booklet and a Club Nintendo scratch card containing a unique PIN code. Membership of Club Nintendo (you sign up on-line here: www.club-nintendo.com) allows you to register your products and get points for them, which you can redeem against various catalogue items, including Wii Points you can use to download games from the virtual online arcade of vintage Nintendo titles.
OTHER USEFUL INFO
The game accommodates up to four players and remote controls, although some games allow you to take turns with one remote. Due to some moderate violence the game is rated as suitable for ages seven (7) and up. WSR is a "Touch/Generations" game - a designation Nintendo uses to identify titles that are suitable for a wide range of ages and abilities (i.e. grandma will also get a kick out of it!).
When you first insert the game into the Wii, it will perform a Wii menu update. WSR requires this update to be installed or it won't play. Once the update is completed and you go into the game proper, there is a short, three minute tutorial which shows you how to connect and calibrate the MotionPlus accessory. After first use, the tutorial is no longer shown, but can be accessed from the game menu should you need to view it again.
Formalities completed, you will be shown a short cinema sequence during which your character will skydive down to a tropical island resort called Wuhu Island, which is the setting and backdrop for WSR. You are then presented with the main menu screen. WSR consists of twelve sports, ten of which are entirely new.
Bowling and Golf make a return appearance from Wii Sports, and are joined by Swordplay, Wakeboarding (water skiing on a surfboard), Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Power Cruising (on jet ski), Canoeing, Cycling and Air Sports. Nunchuks are required for Archery, Power Cruising and Cycling.
You choose the sport you want from the main menu and then the mode of play (some sports offer more than one mode - more on this later), the number of players, difficulty level and various other options, some of which are only unlocked when you make the relevant progress or hit a milestone. Like Wii Sports, you can use the personalised Mii characters created on the Wii console throughout the game.
We only have the one MotionPlus enabled remote, so the games we are playing at the moment are limited to those in which are either single player, or you can share a remote. Each game starts with a tutorial (which you can skip through by pressing a button on the remote) and each time you beat an opponent or finish a game, you are given a number of points which are entered against a progress chart. The next time you play a computer player, you are assigned an opponent with a similar skill level. High scores in each sport are also saved.
> Swordplay (Rating ****)
Synopsis: This game has three modes: (a) Duel (one or two players simultaneously) which involves attacking your opponent with a sword and trying to push them off a raised platform; (b) Speed Slice (one or two players simultaneously) where various items are chucked at you by the sword master and you have to slice them in the direction indicated by a red arrow faster than your opponent; and (c) Showdown (1 player) where you have to make your way across the resort island hacking down the enemies that come at you.
Game Experience: This was the first game I tried and it is fairly intuitive and fun to play. Speed Slice especially is strangely addictive, as things as varied as pencils, sushi, watermelon and loaves of bread are thrown at you to slice and dice your way through. The sounds generated when you slice change depending on the item and are quite realistic.
> Wakeboarding (Rating ***)
Synopsis: This game has one mode which can be played by up to four players taking turns with the Wii Remote. The game is essentially water skiing but with the equivalent of a snowboard. The idea is to score as many points as possible by doing acrobatic jumps and landing safely on the water.
Game Experience: You hold the Wii remote like a bar and jerk it upwards to perform aerobatic routines. It was a little difficult to get the hang of as you have to jump when you hit the boat's wake and land flat to get points - the harder and more elaborate the routine, the more points you score. Not my favourite, but good fun nonetheless.
> Frisbee (Rating ****)
Synopsis: This has two modes, both for one to four players taking turns: (a) Frisbee Dog where you throw a Frisbee in the direction of the arrow for a dog to catch. You get ten throws in total - high score wins; and (b) Frisbee Golf, where you try and get the Frisbee into a designated target area in as few throws as possible.
Game Experience: This one takes a while to get right and I spent a fair bit of time in the tutorial to perfect the throwing technique. This game really showcases the sensitivity of MotionPlus as you can impart fade and spin on the Frisbee with your wrist action. In Frisbee Dog, you are given a target to aim at, and your dog automatically catches the Frisbee when it gets to the target area. Sometimes, balloons are put in your path and you get extra points for popping them if your dog subsequently makes the catch.
In the Golf version, you have the option of 3, 9 or 18 holes and a choice of courses. Three different sized Frisbees are given as options for each "stroke", which go long (driver), medium (iron) and short (putter) distances. This was really fun to play and the scenery and backgrounds were colourful and well done.
> Archery (Rating *****)
Synopsis: This has one mode, for one to four players taking turns with the Wii remote, but it also requires the Nunchuk. You get 12 arrows to shoot at the target, with high score winning.
Game Experience: This is my favourite game so far. You use the Wii remote as the bow and pull back the Nunchuk as if it was the bowstring. This is another game where the MotionPlus really comes into play as the slightest movement - especially for long distance targets - is reflected in your aim and the result of your shot. I am really enjoying the realism of this one.
> Basketball (Rating ****)
Synopsis: This comprises of two games: (a) Three-point Contest (one to four players taking turns with the Wii Remote) where you try and score as many three point shots as possible within a time limit (the game allows a maximum of 25 shots); and (b) Three on Three (one or two players, with the latter requiring separate Wii remotes) with each player controlling team of three players. High score wins.
Game Experience: WSR lets you get as energetic as you want and I love replicating an actual basketball shot in the three point contest. What makes it so addictive is that a genuine shooting action is rewarded handsomely by MotionPlus and you get a very realistic shot. I actually find myself subconsciously jumping off the floor when I shoot and have found this game marvellous exercise. In Three-point Contest, there are five racks arranged in a semi-circle around the court, with five balls on each rack. You get a point for each shot you make. The last ball on each rack is multi-coloured and counts double. The Three on Three also works quite well with the simplicity of the buttons used to play making it quite fun.
> Table Tennis (Rating ***)
Synopsis: Two games; (a) Match (one or two players each requiring a Wii remote) which, with the first to six points winning the game; and (b) Return Challenge (one to four players taking turns) where you compete to see how many balls you can return before missing.
Game Experience: This is similar to tennis on Wii Sports, but again, the MotionPlus accessory makes more realistic and intricate spins and slices available as if you were holding a real ping pong bat. I enjoyed the Return Challenge more than playing against the computer AI in the Match version. However, it will be more fun when we get a second MotionPlus gadget so we can play each other simultaneously.
> Golf (Rating ****)
Synopsis: A carry-over from Wii Sports. This has one mode and can be played by up to four players taking turns. The dynamics and controls have not changed from the original
Game Experience: Again you are offered a variety of courses and course lengths, all of which are very nicely portrayed. This differs from Wii Sports in that the controls are now much more sensitive and accurate - again, thanks to MotionPlus, making this a decent and enjoyable golf sim. Putting especially is now harder, and any slice in your golf swing is also exaggerated. However, this is just a bit of fun, so if you are seriously into golf sims, Tiger Woods PGA Tour is currently available with this accessory - and on the evidence of this showing, it should be quite good.
> Bowling (Rating ****)
Synopsis: This the second carryover from Wii Sports, with two game modes that appeared in similar form on the original, and a third, new game all of which are played by one to four players taking turns: (a) 10-Pin Bowling) for nine frames, with high score winning; (b) 100-Pin Bowling - a variation on 10 pin involving a wider lane and 100 pins; and (c) the new Spin Control, which places barriers in the lane which you have to spin the ball around - otherwise identical to the 10-pin game.
Game Experience: 10-pin bowling doesn't differ much from the Wii Sports version (10 frames, similar graphics) except that it is now much more responsive to your wrist action, which in my view makes it much more realistic - and difficult. The 100-pin version is diverting, as its 10-frames with 100 pins a frame, but you end up with some weird and wonderful spares which are impossible to pick up because of the size of the field. I found Spin Control quite difficult to master, but again, it shows MotionPlus at its best.
> Power Cruising (Rating ***)
Synopsis: You jet-ski your way around a course, slaloming through the rings set at various intervals and trying to get the best time. It has one mode, but with a single player option (up to four players share a Wii remote and Nunchuk and take turns) or a player vs. player mode (which requires a Wii remote and Nunchuk each for simultaneous play).
Game Experience: Quite good fun, but I quickly ended up losing interest and have no played this much since. There is nothing wrong with this per se, I just didn't find it all that compelling. We also have Family Ski for the Wii and find that does pretty much the same thing on snow - but every so slightly better. Not bad, but not great either.
> Canoeing (Rating ****)
Synopsis: You use the Wii Remote as a paddle in each of the two game modes: (a) In Speed Challenge you try to reach the goal within the set time period (one to four players, each requiring a separate Wii remote); or (b) VS Mode - Race other players to pass through the five checkpoints first (two to four players requiring one Wii Remote each).
Game Experience: I love this. You use the Wii Remote as a paddle and have to navigate your way down a course as fast as possible. If you manage to achieve a good time, then the next time the course is lengthened but the time you have to achieve stays the same. I get quite energetic about doing this and can easily work up a sweat. It's great fun. I haven't tried the VS mode as it needs another remote.
> Cycling (Rating ****)
Synopsis: Two modes: (a) Road Race (one to two players with a Wii Remote and Nunchuk each) where you start at the back and have to pass all of the other riders to try and win the race; and (b) VS Mode - (2 players only with separate Wii Remote and Nunchuk) a straight race to the finish line.
Game Experience: Like golf, you get a choice of courses which take you over various parts of the island. You replicate the peddling action with the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk. You are given three hearts which represent your energy levels, and if you lose all three by cycling too hard, your character runs out of breath for about five seconds, allowing other riders to overtake you. You regain hearts quickly by coasting and entering other riders slipstream. As such there is a bit of strategy involved in timing your sprints, and its not just a competition to see who can pedal faster. Very enjoyable. As with canoeing, VS was not possible for me to try.
> Air Sports (Rating ***)
Synopsis: This game has three modes: (a) Skydiving - a one player game that involves jumping out of the plane and freefalling, with the object to link up with other Mii characters and get your photo taken. The more Mii's in the photo, the more points; (b) Island Flyover, which does what is advertised - it's just a very basic flight sim that allows you to fly around the islands; and lastly (c) Dogfight, a two player game (you need one Wii remote each) where you use a balloon popper to try and burst the balloons attached to your opponents airplane.
Game Experience: The Skydive game is a bit of a laugh - different to anything else on the disc, but I can't see it being too long-lived. The Island Flyover is diverting, but not much more. The Dogfight holds the most promise. Playing against the computer AI is good fun, and gets harder the higher rank the AI has, but it's best played against another human player and we can't play simultaneously without another MotionPlus enabled remote.
There are some cracking games amongst the twelve options provided on WSR with plenty of re-playability. One or two - such as Power Cruising and Air Sports - have yet to grow on me, but it's not really fair to comment - especially for part of the game that require a second enabled remote. However, it is annoying - and a little unfair of Nintendo - to sell a game with so many player vs. player options and ask punters to fork out another £15 to be able to use the functionality. Unlike Mario Kart, you don't have the option of using the remote without the Wii Wheel.
The graphics are very similar to Wii Sports and illustrate the limitations of the Wii when compared to current generation, dedicated games consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3. However, WSR makes great use of colourful and engaging backdrops to give real atmosphere to the proceedings, and you never feel like it needs more. The game has a polished look and feel about it and is very easy on the eye.
PRICE & AVAILABILITY
This game is rightly selling very well and we had to wait a week and a bit to get it after first release. My wife paid £39.46 from Amazon, a substantial saving on its RRP of £49.99 - this included free delivery. However, keep in mind that an extra Nunchuk and MotionPlus accessory will be needed to make use of all of the functionality provided, adding to its already not insignificant cost.
All in all, from a playing point of view, WSR is a resounding success. It fully utilises the great features that make the Wii so easy and intuitive to use for people of all ages. The menu makes it very easy to dip into and out of games, and very little previous games experience - if any - is required to pick up and play. The addition of MotionPlus is far more than a gimmick - it actually adds much more realism to the games. This is a game that would suit the casual gamer, works as a great party game, and even has some exercise benefit as well.
Where WSR loses a star for me is in the overall cost of equipping two players to play it. At almost £40, the game is quite expensive by today's standards, even allowing for the MotionPlus accessory included in the game pack. Assuming you already have a second Wii Remote and a Nunchuk, asking players to fork out another £15 seems a bit cheeky to me.
Nevertheless, as a game, I would highly recommended it.
© Hishyeness 2009
Summary: A must buy for the Wii let down a little by price and need for accessories.