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Wii-Sports Resort combines exuberant physical game shows of the 90's (think Gladiator and It's a Knock Out) while honing the Wii controls to near perfection. Finally, a Wii-Sports beater, even if it is by Nintendo again..
OK everyone, at the time of writing Wii Sports Resort has been out for a month, and it's not quite long enough yet to really know if it will be a massive industry hit. My betting though, is that it will, especially when compared to the original Wii Sports, which revolutionised the industry but left us seriously wanting.
Let's get the trivialities out of the way first though... for those of you that don't know, this title is one of the first few to make use of the new Wii MotionPlus add on to the Wii-mote controller. It promises to significantly improve the motion based experience by mimicking arm and wrist movements precisely. Essentially, games should be more challenging, interesting, and have some serious quality added via the use of this little gizmo.
The MotionPlus control is bundled with the game - along with an extended protective sleeve. You will need to buy any additional ones though. But does it live up to the hype? For those of you that don't like reading, the short answer is yes, for those of you that do enjoy reading let me tell you a tale of wonder and joy.
A friend and I started off with table tennis (and Indian snacks, bourbon, crisps and chocolate).
Wii Sports Resort is a multiplayer game taking place on Wuhu Island (don't laugh), that offers various sports challenges. Gamers are offered head to head competition or can play against the Wii.
12 Sports are offered, a reasonably random subset of these includes bowling, sword fighting, archery, table tennis, Frisbee and wake boarding. More sedate offerings include golf and basketball (hoop shooting).
A friend and I started off with table tennis (and Indian snacks, bourbon, crisps and chocolate). I have to say that I immediately noticed MotionPlus improvements. With a similarly rated opponent it quickly degenerated into an exciting game with us both shouting and jostling to win – excellent.
The Table Tennis game makes it possible to spin the ball and use pace to play harder or more delicate shots via the MotionPlus. The competition really hotted up and we were sweating in no time. The thing I liked most was that if you played say a backhand for what should be a forehand shot, then you would more than likely fail to get the ball in. With the old Wii Sports, you could pretty much perform any movement and still have a reasonable chance of getting a return in, making it a bit of a joke, not so anymore. This is an excellent mini game for parties, and could really be developed into a full title in it's own right.
One has to force the opponent of a kind of floating platform, a bit like the TV show Gladiators.
Onto sword fighting - the versus Wii mode is a hoot and excellent for taking out some aggression. A reasonable range of moves are provided as you swash buckle your way forward against oncoming opponents. The head to head mode provided a few great laughs, shocks and surprises. One has to force the opponent of a kind of floating platform, a bit like the TV show Gladiators. After playing table tennis and sword-fighting alone, I was fairly convinced that the vast majority of buyers would be happy that their cash had not been wasted on this title.
Of course with such a range of games on offer it's unlikely that you will like them all. In my case I didn't feel that the bowling added anything to the original version, or that the MotionPlus provided any additional control. The basketball hoop shooting was fine, but only really against a living opponent, and gets boring in a hurry, as do some of the other mini games.
My favourite challenge of this title is the archery – which brought the Nun-chuck into play. The only time I've really tried archery was aged 10 in Torromelinos at the hotel kids club, but I won then so had high hopes. Well, I lost, badly, but the game itself was great. After a few ok tries in normal mode we went straight to expert mode to see what would be different. Expert mode provide a real closely fought and tense challenge via the inclusion of greater distance, hidden objects and greater wind. Excellent stuff. Yet another that could be a title in it's own right.
The choice on offer means that kids will enjoy it, entire families can play, even drunks like me and my mate can play, it really is one for everyone.
Well, as you can see I'm a fan of the game and also the MotionPlus controller. I should point out though that whilst the MotionPlus gives a much enhanced experience, it doesn't quite live up to the hype, you can still blag the movements a bit. There is still scope for quite a bit of improvement to the controller. Will they call the next one MotionPlus ? It is good enough though to warrant a few more unique games coming on to the market, I look forward to seeing them.
If you like Wii Sports then it's fair to say you will like this a lot more. What I love about it is the diversity. The choice on offer means that kids will enjoy it (i.e. sword fighting), entire families can play, drunks (students) can play, it really is one for everyone. In fact, you could even have drunken students playing alongside families and kids, how about that? Even people that smoke those strange cigarettes could probably manage a round of golf in between munchies. Personally it had been a while since I enjoyed playing a game as much.
One gripe would be the lack of online features, but that's being petty. Note also that the one off MotionPlus controller software update and ensuing safety video clip are compulsory, you cannot skip the vid, but it is quite amusing.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
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