Friday, 24 July 2009

Wii Sports Resort - Wii

Nintendo's decision to bundle the original Wii Sports with the Wii was an undeniable success. It introduced people to motion-sensing controls and helped launch sales of the console into the stratosphere.

Wii Sports Resort expands upon the original game and gives players more control thanks to the packed-in Wii Motion Plus - a small peripheral which clips on to the Wiimote to give the player a greater degree of accuracy.

With a total of 12 main events set on the sun-kissed Wuhu Island, this heightened degree of control adds a huge amount to the game's playability. Backhand serves and smashes can easily be pulled off in Table Tennis, aiming in Archery is intuitive and responsive, while adding curve to a Frisbee throw is a breeze.

Along with the above events, Wii Sports Resort also features Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Basketball, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Air Sports, while old favourites 10-pin Bowling and Golf make a return - the latter now featuring a full 18-hole course.

Playing most of the events unlocks new modes or difficulty levels for the 12 main attractions, such as the wonderful Frisbee Golf or Three-on-Three Basketball.

Wii Sports Resort has a definite focus on multiplayer, although the single player modes are still compelling and fun.

It's easy to initially dismiss events such as Wakeboarding, Cycling and Canoeing as throwaway fluff, but dig a bit deeper and these events begin to shine.

The Air Sports events also deserve a mention. Sky Diving and Free Flight are great activities to relax with, and while shooting at planes in Ariel Dogfighting has its moments, flying at different times of day around Wuhu Island searching for points of interest evokes memories of Nintendo's classic Pilotwings.

While unlocking new modes and improving your scores is at the centre of the game, every event has mini-achievements called Stamps to collect.

These range from simply getting five consecutive shots in basketball, to harder challenges such as getting perfect 10s in every round of archery.

Visually, the game ticks all the right boxes. Wuhu Island's sun-drenched beaches, lush green hills, and brilliant blue skies make the game instantly appealing, while full Mii support means your gaggle of Mii creations can be found scattered across the island.

The only disappointment I have with Wi Sports Resort is a lack of online leaderboards or rewards for collecting Stamps, while some might find the lack of stat tracking a missed opportunity.

Still, despite these minor niggles, Wii Sports Resort is a triumph. It may not be the deepest sports game on the market, but it's certainly the most fun.

Nintendo sent me a copy of the game two weeks ago, and I've played it every night since. It's charming, entertaining and instantly accessible. Go buy it.

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