Wii Sports Resort
Rather than being just a simple follow up to Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort faces its own monumental task: familiarise Wii owners with the new MotionPlus accessory
- MotionPlus is excellent when well-utilised, many strong events including Archery and Swordplay
- A few so-so sports, no online play, not all games show off MotionPlus tech
Though time will tell whether it achieves the same phenomenal success of the original, Wii Sports Resort has the great same mix of innovation and accessibility. Much like how you marvelled at the first swing of the bat in Wii Sports, tossing your first frisbee or shooting your first arrow will be just as fun as it is memorable. Andrew's right--it's not perfect, but it is an awesome tech showcase and a damned fun game.
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The original Wii Sports was a fantastic introduction to the concept of motion controls. Think about it: the Wii Remote was a radical departure from established video game controllers and without the butter smooth motion control experience of Wii Sports to light the way, the whole experiment could have easily back-fired. Of course, the game is also ridiculously fun and still stands as the quintessential Wii experience.
Which is why a retail sequel makes so much sense. But rather than being just a simple follow up, Wii Sports Resort faces its own monumental task: familiarise Wii owners with the new MotionPlus accessory and convince them to buy yet another Wii Remote attachment. Easy enough, right?
Like the real thing
Actually, it is because much like its predecessor, Wii Sports Resort makes it largely effortless for anyone to jump into one of the 12 included mini-games, and although every single game doesn't justify the use (or requirement) of the included MotionPlus adapter, the ones that do offer a very positive advertisement for not only the accessory but the potential future of gaming on the Wii.
What makes MotionPlus so compelling is the way it enhances each mini-game; at its best, it allows you to forget that you're simply holding a piece of plastic. Each slight movement of the Wii Remote is replicated on screen, whether it's a table tennis paddle or sword in your hand. The added accuracy lets you focus on the actual motions and it adds a nice touch of realism to the experience.
Of course, you'll still have to overcome the urge to focus on the visual representation of your actions and instead simply play like you would in real life. Resort's visual style may be eye pleasing, but following the on-screen images isn't always the best way to play. For instance, while playing Frisbee Dog, I found myself putting up much better scores when I stopped focusing on the angle at which my Mii was holding the disc and simply motioned like I was tossing the real thing.
The same held true in Table Tennis, an improved version of the mini-game seen in Wii Play: the less I worried about the on-screen position of the paddle, the better I seemed to play. It works against many of the traditional notions we have about playing games, but it proves to be a very intuitive way to play, and both aforementioned mini-games are among the best in the package.
Slice and Dice
Also of note are the Swordplay games. Wanna-be Jedis should be excited as Resort finally proves that a lightsaber-focused Star Wars game (or any sword-based game, for that matter) is a real possibility on the Wii. Split between duels, adventure-like Showdown stages (in which you take down waves of foes), and a Speed Slice mode where you chop up everyday items as indicated by the screen, these games finally give you nearly full 1:1 control. It's no exaggeration to say that the standard for melee-based action games has been set and any future game that doesn't support MotionPlus will immediately be seen as a disappointment.
The MotionPlus attachment also improves the Bowling and Golf events, both of which are holdovers from the first game. The attachment gives you greater control over the spin and release of your bowling ball, making an already sharp mini-game even better. Golf has a more robust feel this time around, with nine new holes (for 18 total) and additional shot options, though it's still tough to gauge the strength of your shot, especially while putting or chipping in.
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