tl;dr presents: Half a Wii Sports Resort review

It is both sad and awesome that now, about four years after I described to a friend what we believed (or even: were led to believe) the new Nintendo console would control like, we actually get it. Because, and I'm going to spoil the ending of this way too long article now, playing Wii Sports Resort Swordplay alone is as eye opening and amazing as playing Mario64 for the first time, leaving Midgar, or battling your first colossus. It is just that great.

What follows are some thoughts to each of the games. I have played 6-7 hours so far, single-player only. There are several modes that are only available to multiple players, and some games that I imagine are only really good when played against human opponents. Hence: Half a review.

SKYDIVING


Skydiving was a surprise, because it's actually a very nicely done, fun game. You use the airflow and the MotionPlus tilt to control your Mii, freefalling towards Wuhu Island. What you actually do, though, is to try and grab as many fellow Miis as possible while a timer of 3-4 seconds counts down. Every Mii you reach adds a second to the timer, so you string together combos by flowing through the air as quckly and precise as you can. What counts to your ultimate score, however, is not the number of
Ever wondered what the bottom of a Miis shoe looked like?
people you reach: When the timer runs down, a photo is taken. How many people's faces are seen on all the fotos constitutes your score. After every photo, everyone lets go and the timer starts anew. So in the last second, you have to decide whether you go for it and try to reach another Mii (adding a second), or position your group so that as many faces as possibles can be seen for the photo. At the end there’s the opportunity for a large group shot, the parachutes open, the end. You get to see the photos and your score.
Of course, this will probably lose its drive after you've done it a few times (I have had three or four rounds so far), and there's a multiplayer component that I could not try. It introduces the player to the MotionPlus dual-axis tilt and its incredible precision. All it uses is rotation and as such, a similar thing, though less responsive and precice, could have been done with the regular 'mote.




BOWLING


I never got  into bowling in Wii Sports, it seemed unresponsive and I never got the ball where I wanted it to go. Motion Plus, of course, shows how it should have been
Fuck it, Dude, let's go bowling.
from the beginning. Not much more can be said about it here, your throw is read exactly, and the game is similar to its predecessor, with the exception that you don't let go of the B button to throw the ball (I think you can turn that back on, but I don't know how), and that there's an additional, third mode, where there are obstacles on the lane you have to work around by adding spin to the ball and such.

EDIT: Ball release by button release can be turned on in a menu I had not discovered. All is well!


GOLF


Not included: Guns
See above. Golf is as it should have been from the beginning, with rotational information added to the reading of your swing; Golf and swordplay are the games with the most content in this collection, Golf especially has a lot of holes to play (this time scattered around the Island) and I heard it offers a lot of content for fans of the sport (which I am not). Plus, there's disc golf, but that is found under "frisbee".




BASKETBALL


shootin' some b-ball outside of school
Basketball I find absolutely pointless. You pick up the ball with B and then do a throwing motion which determines the basketball's path. Cool, in theory, for games like Boom Blox, but without the actual weight and feeling of the ball, doing a throwing motion over your head to hit the basket is neither pleasant nor particularly intuitive. I have heard of people enjoying this very much (because, yes, the controls work very well and hitting the basket required actual throwing skill), but I just don't see it. On top of the just-throwing-balls, theres the actual "game" mode with teams of four, but that basically consists of throwing the ball once or twice to your teammates (by button presses, not by motion), and then take a shot at the basket. Once one team attempts to hit the basket, the game restarts. Dumb. And not very entertaining. Perhaps this is one of the games that benefit from multiplayer, but.. I doubt it.
Seems very tacked on. There can't have been mouch thought put into it. Definatly the worst game of the compilation.

FRISBEE and DISC GOLF


Sadly, the puppie is not available for sword duels.
Frisbee would have been cool if I didn't play Tiger Woods 10 before. Compared to the smooth, intuitive, precice throwing that Tiger Woods displayed, WSR Frisbee just sucks. A huge part of that is that you do not control when to let go of the disc. That is done automatically. Which I cannot understand, at all, because that prevents any kind of planning ahead or timing or aiming your throw. I don't get it. This is true for both frisbee (hitting a certain spot and balloons in between) and disc golf modes, both of which are nicely done and have good stages, it's just... If I cannot influence when to let go of the disc when throwing, I don't see the point of fancy 1:1 motion controls. Perhaps this can be turned off and I just don't know how.

EDIT: Disc release by button release can be turned On in a menu I just found. It makes the game significantly better, more fun, and very much enjoyable. It is still inferior to Tiger Woods which is near perfect, but it's now very usable and very satisfying. Disc Golf is awesome!




TABLE TENNIS


Is that an aloha shirt?
Table tennis, control-wise, is sort of the opposite to Grand Slam Tennis. The racket is very precisely mapped to your hand, very much like the sword, and you hit the ball by actually positioning it properly with the racket. However, once the ball is hit, it takes a very guided, very limited path. Unlike GST, where your motion has little influence on the character animation but the ball mercilessly goes where you virtually hit it, Wii Sports Resort Table Tennis balls have sort of a life of their own. You do influence direction, and spin, but it is very appearant that the game "helps" with keeping it on the table, and doesn't let you position it on the other side as much as the other M+ tennis games. Most probably, people who have not played GST or VT09 will never notice that. At the end, the game is very fun, but comparably shallow. There's two modes (that I know of), normal matches and "ball machine", and I have not spent as much time with it as I thought I would.
Naturally, table tennis will be awesome in Multiplayer with a real human opponent. That's where Table Tennis will shine beyond measure. But in single-player, it's not really that mind-blowing.

JETSKI


No pixel shaders!!!1
It's a waverace demo. I don't think it has MotionPlus functionality. We've seen steering by Wiimote-Nunchuck-steering-wheel-position before, and this is exactly that. Travel the waves through rings. The multiplayer is said to be very cool but, again, I have not been able to test that, so far.






WAKEBOARDING


The best screenshot I could find. I know.
You hold the Wiimote like you'd hold the handlebar and then steer yourself through the waves, doing jumps and stunts. With every successful jump, the ride gets faster. Mess up, and everything will slow down. The trick is to position yourself so that your landing is as level as possible. Not a surprise in both content and controls, and ultimately forgettable. The slowing down in particular is pretty annoying, as most of the time you don't really see what exactly you did wrong. Wakeboarding is very, very similar to Excitetruck and Excitebots and one of the games that I don't think use MotionPlus to any noticable improvement.


CANOEING


Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Canoeing is fun. Very much. It's definatly a MotionPlus game: You hold the mote like a paddle and then just.. go. The point of the single player game is to get to the goal in the shortest possible time, avoiding obstacles and fighting the water. There are three or four different courses with different challenges each. On top of that, there's a multiplayer mode where it's all about syncing with the other players, and I'm told it is one of the best WSR multiplayer experiences, but I couldn't test it myself. Playing it, however, I notice that the paddle controls are almost completely tilt-based. You cannot actually decide how far in you want to thrust it into the water. You cannot actually play around with the paddle, hold it over your head or anything like that.
But we know from Archery that the device can detect non-rotational motion, right? After all, you control the bow by holding it parallel to the TV and then move it left and right and up and down, right? Well, we'll see about that when we get to archery.
Still, Canoeing is awesome, and its one of the games showing very clearly how much superior MotionPlus is to the previous device. It's scary how precise and reliable the consoles and the gesture/movement recognition are.

CYCLING


You'd think this had balance board support, but no.
I wondered how they wanted to pull of cycling when I saw it in the trailers. It works like this: You hold your hands like you were steering a bicycle. To accelerate, you move them up and down one after the other, like you do with your legs. To break, you pull the breaks (B+Z buttons). And, er, to ring the bell, you flick the analog stick (I laughed when I found that out). Those of you who have played the chocobo races in Final Fantasy VII know what Wii Sports Resort Bicycling is like: Racing others through a course, keeping an eye on your stamina meter. To steer, you steer. That's the advantage of MotionPlus, I suppose, that it retains accurate steering even when you are pedaling.
There's different courses and a multiplayer race mode. I suppose the game benefits from the multiplayer. I didn't have that much fun with it, simply because the controls are as awkward as they sound. They work well, but they're just not entertaining.

PLANE


This could have been StarFox.
At first sight, the flying of the plane over Wuhu Island seems exceptionally boring and pointless. You hold the plane like a papercraft plane, you can get speed boosts by doing a thrusting motion, you can shoot little blue things but that doesn't seem to have any effect on anyone, and you can send a signal rocket into the sky, whatever for. All around the island, symbols can be found which give you some kind of information about the locations when you fly through them. You have five minutes per game to fly around. And that's it, basically. The controls work like you imagine them to be, and a similar game would have been possible with the regular wiimote, though less precice, quick and reliable, and with fewer stunt possibilities.
However, you can get some hours out of this game if you like the collecting of stuff that can be found in, for example, platformers. There are 80 Info-symbols hidden all around the island, sometimes on places very hard to get to without crashing, and the more you collect, the more functions you unlock. Discover 10 symbols and balloons will start appearing on the island, on the vehicles, or in the hands of the many Miis that populate it. You can pop them by flying through them or by shooting them. The number of balloons you pop in each game is counted, but I have not yet discovered what that is for. With more symbols discovered, you get better weapons, more stuff appears on the map, you can play during the evening or in the night (complete with fireworks), or your plane will house more pilots.
The map is huge, and you will not discover more than 5-10 symbols each game. I have found ~60 so far, and I plan to find them all. It's interesting to see what else will change and be available. It certainly is a "non-game", and it's not the most astonishing showcase for MotionPlus, but it's more entertaining than I thought it would be.

SWORDPLAY: DUELS, CUTTING STUFF and BATTLE MODE


Become the blade.
Ah. Swordplay. Probably the reason many are going to get the game, and the discipline in which MotionPlus has to prove itself worthy. There are three modes: Duels in single- and multiplayer, where you have to hit your opponent into the surrounding water by blocking attacks and landing them yourself; "Cutting stuff" (SP and MP) where you have to be quick and precise in cutting things in half, and "battle mode", where you're given three hearts and have to survive hordes and hordes of opponents of different skill level during the course of some 15 levels. Battle is single-player only, I think.
All three modes are excellent.
But you probably want to hear about the controls. Swordfighting is lag-free, glitch-free, precise and unbelievably fun and satisfying. Unless you're flailing your arms around like crazy, every slash you perform is transfered 1:1 with angle, path and intensity into the game. Want to hit the opponents foot? Do so. Want to hit his knee? Do so. Want to hit his ear? Do so. Want to fake a left attack, then go for the chest? Do so.  Holding B gets you into block mode, where you have to watch the opponent carefully to block his attacks: By blocking his sword's path with yours. You will look like the guy in the Red Steel 2 teaser, playing Wii Sports Resort Swordfighting. It is really that awesome, and it works 99% of the time.
Duels are strategic battles that can get really difficult and exhausting once you reach Pro-Level. Imagine yourself doing a cool swordfight. That's what WSR Sword Duals feel like. Easily and without a doubt the best part of the game. Worth the price alone. A fantastic videogame expierience everyone should have.
Cutting virtual stuff up by 1:1 slashes is amazing, but of course something that is better played against a human opponent instead of the AI.
I did say your slashes are 1:1. That is not true for the entire control scheme. For example, you hold the sword parallel to the floor in front of your face. No problem. Then you keep the wiimote parallel to the floor, but move it down to your chest. In-game, nothing changes. MotionPlus detects every little rotation/tilt based input with 100% precision, even if you move your hands only slightly - But non-rotational motion it cannot and does not detect. At all. But what about archery then?

ARCHERY


[Placeholder for a hilarious Legolas joke]
Archery was the #1 argument when it came to comparing MotionPlus to Sony's ball-on-a-stick. People were holding the Bow out in front of them, moving it left and right and up and down to change the aiming. Clearly a non-rotational motion. Clearly, MotionPlus was able to detect the Wiimotes position to the ground, and the player, and the TV, right?
Wrong. MotionPlus knows shit about where the ground is, where the player is, or where the TV is. It has no space-awareness, at all. All it does is detect/record rotation and movement speed. I realized that when I found out that even the bow is controlled by rotation. Hold your arm out and move it left and right. Whatever you hold in your hand is inevitably rotated slightly.
MotionPlus detects that motion and transfers it to the archery aim. You can aim by holding your arm still and tilting the Wiimote. That would be awkward because it is extremely sensitive, but it shows how it works - Not by knowing where the Wiimote is in relation to the ground, but by rotation about its own axis. Now that doesn't change the fact that Wii Sports Resort archery or swordplay or canoeing are 100% reliable, sensitive, precise and awesome - But I predict that a number of people will be disappointed once they find out what MotionPlus can't do.
MotionPlus is able to record what movement has been done by analyzing rotation, direction and speed. Always relative to its previous position. It does that perfectly, and that will allow for some great things, if devs decide to utlize it.
What it does not do and never will is deliver 1:1 information as to where the Wiimote is at any time in relation to the player or the room. Many of the things shown in Sonys Motion Controller demo it will never be able to do, period. It is a great addition for a great price that will perfect gesture recognition and will enable awesome emulated 1:1 mechanics in games, such as the swordfighting or archery in this one, but it is not a revolution.
As for Wii Sports Resort itself, get it. It's cheap and offers a lot of value and fun in singleplayer, and should be spectacular in multiplayer. It has a lot more going on than Wii Sports, and it requires you to perform good at certain things to unlock others: Most games have unlockable modes and levels, and  it will take you a while to even have seen everything. I myself, 7 hours in, have not seen anything, nor understood everything because the game is entirely in Japanese. Wii Sports Resort is a great game, and a showcase for both players and devs about what should now be possible. I really hope devs take that opportunity.



This will be you. Don't try to fight it.

35 Comments
36 Comments
Edited by Meowayne

It is both sad and awesome that now, about four years after I described to a friend what we believed (or even: were led to believe) the new Nintendo console would control like, we actually get it. Because, and I'm going to spoil the ending of this way too long article now, playing Wii Sports Resort Swordplay alone is as eye opening and amazing as playing Mario64 for the first time, leaving Midgar, or battling your first colossus. It is just that great.

What follows are some thoughts to each of the games. I have played 6-7 hours so far, single-player only. There are several modes that are only available to multiple players, and some games that I imagine are only really good when played against human opponents. Hence: Half a review.

SKYDIVING


Skydiving was a surprise, because it's actually a very nicely done, fun game. You use the airflow and the MotionPlus tilt to control your Mii, freefalling towards Wuhu Island. What you actually do, though, is to try and grab as many fellow Miis as possible while a timer of 3-4 seconds counts down. Every Mii you reach adds a second to the timer, so you string together combos by flowing through the air as quckly and precise as you can. What counts to your ultimate score, however, is not the number of
Ever wondered what the bottom of a Miis shoe looked like?
people you reach: When the timer runs down, a photo is taken. How many people's faces are seen on all the fotos constitutes your score. After every photo, everyone lets go and the timer starts anew. So in the last second, you have to decide whether you go for it and try to reach another Mii (adding a second), or position your group so that as many faces as possibles can be seen for the photo. At the end there’s the opportunity for a large group shot, the parachutes open, the end. You get to see the photos and your score.
Of course, this will probably lose its drive after you've done it a few times (I have had three or four rounds so far), and there's a multiplayer component that I could not try. It introduces the player to the MotionPlus dual-axis tilt and its incredible precision. All it uses is rotation and as such, a similar thing, though less responsive and precice, could have been done with the regular 'mote.




BOWLING


I never got  into bowling in Wii Sports, it seemed unresponsive and I never got the ball where I wanted it to go. Motion Plus, of course, shows how it should have been
Fuck it, Dude, let's go bowling.
from the beginning. Not much more can be said about it here, your throw is read exactly, and the game is similar to its predecessor, with the exception that you don't let go of the B button to throw the ball (I think you can turn that back on, but I don't know how), and that there's an additional, third mode, where there are obstacles on the lane you have to work around by adding spin to the ball and such.

EDIT: Ball release by button release can be turned on in a menu I had not discovered. All is well!


GOLF


Not included: Guns
See above. Golf is as it should have been from the beginning, with rotational information added to the reading of your swing; Golf and swordplay are the games with the most content in this collection, Golf especially has a lot of holes to play (this time scattered around the Island) and I heard it offers a lot of content for fans of the sport (which I am not). Plus, there's disc golf, but that is found under "frisbee".




BASKETBALL


shootin' some b-ball outside of school
Basketball I find absolutely pointless. You pick up the ball with B and then do a throwing motion which determines the basketball's path. Cool, in theory, for games like Boom Blox, but without the actual weight and feeling of the ball, doing a throwing motion over your head to hit the basket is neither pleasant nor particularly intuitive. I have heard of people enjoying this very much (because, yes, the controls work very well and hitting the basket required actual throwing skill), but I just don't see it. On top of the just-throwing-balls, theres the actual "game" mode with teams of four, but that basically consists of throwing the ball once or twice to your teammates (by button presses, not by motion), and then take a shot at the basket. Once one team attempts to hit the basket, the game restarts. Dumb. And not very entertaining. Perhaps this is one of the games that benefit from multiplayer, but.. I doubt it.
Seems very tacked on. There can't have been mouch thought put into it. Definatly the worst game of the compilation.

FRISBEE and DISC GOLF


Sadly, the puppie is not available for sword duels.
Frisbee would have been cool if I didn't play Tiger Woods 10 before. Compared to the smooth, intuitive, precice throwing that Tiger Woods displayed, WSR Frisbee just sucks. A huge part of that is that you do not control when to let go of the disc. That is done automatically. Which I cannot understand, at all, because that prevents any kind of planning ahead or timing or aiming your throw. I don't get it. This is true for both frisbee (hitting a certain spot and balloons in between) and disc golf modes, both of which are nicely done and have good stages, it's just... If I cannot influence when to let go of the disc when throwing, I don't see the point of fancy 1:1 motion controls. Perhaps this can be turned off and I just don't know how.

EDIT: Disc release by button release can be turned On in a menu I just found. It makes the game significantly better, more fun, and very much enjoyable. It is still inferior to Tiger Woods which is near perfect, but it's now very usable and very satisfying. Disc Golf is awesome!




TABLE TENNIS


Is that an aloha shirt?
Table tennis, control-wise, is sort of the opposite to Grand Slam Tennis. The racket is very precisely mapped to your hand, very much like the sword, and you hit the ball by actually positioning it properly with the racket. However, once the ball is hit, it takes a very guided, very limited path. Unlike GST, where your motion has little influence on the character animation but the ball mercilessly goes where you virtually hit it, Wii Sports Resort Table Tennis balls have sort of a life of their own. You do influence direction, and spin, but it is very appearant that the game "helps" with keeping it on the table, and doesn't let you position it on the other side as much as the other M+ tennis games. Most probably, people who have not played GST or VT09 will never notice that. At the end, the game is very fun, but comparably shallow. There's two modes (that I know of), normal matches and "ball machine", and I have not spent as much time with it as I thought I would.
Naturally, table tennis will be awesome in Multiplayer with a real human opponent. That's where Table Tennis will shine beyond measure. But in single-player, it's not really that mind-blowing.

JETSKI


No pixel shaders!!!1
It's a waverace demo. I don't think it has MotionPlus functionality. We've seen steering by Wiimote-Nunchuck-steering-wheel-position before, and this is exactly that. Travel the waves through rings. The multiplayer is said to be very cool but, again, I have not been able to test that, so far.






WAKEBOARDING


The best screenshot I could find. I know.
You hold the Wiimote like you'd hold the handlebar and then steer yourself through the waves, doing jumps and stunts. With every successful jump, the ride gets faster. Mess up, and everything will slow down. The trick is to position yourself so that your landing is as level as possible. Not a surprise in both content and controls, and ultimately forgettable. The slowing down in particular is pretty annoying, as most of the time you don't really see what exactly you did wrong. Wakeboarding is very, very similar to Excitetruck and Excitebots and one of the games that I don't think use MotionPlus to any noticable improvement.


CANOEING


Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Canoeing is fun. Very much. It's definatly a MotionPlus game: You hold the mote like a paddle and then just.. go. The point of the single player game is to get to the goal in the shortest possible time, avoiding obstacles and fighting the water. There are three or four different courses with different challenges each. On top of that, there's a multiplayer mode where it's all about syncing with the other players, and I'm told it is one of the best WSR multiplayer experiences, but I couldn't test it myself. Playing it, however, I notice that the paddle controls are almost completely tilt-based. You cannot actually decide how far in you want to thrust it into the water. You cannot actually play around with the paddle, hold it over your head or anything like that.
But we know from Archery that the device can detect non-rotational motion, right? After all, you control the bow by holding it parallel to the TV and then move it left and right and up and down, right? Well, we'll see about that when we get to archery.
Still, Canoeing is awesome, and its one of the games showing very clearly how much superior MotionPlus is to the previous device. It's scary how precise and reliable the consoles and the gesture/movement recognition are.

CYCLING


You'd think this had balance board support, but no.
I wondered how they wanted to pull of cycling when I saw it in the trailers. It works like this: You hold your hands like you were steering a bicycle. To accelerate, you move them up and down one after the other, like you do with your legs. To break, you pull the breaks (B+Z buttons). And, er, to ring the bell, you flick the analog stick (I laughed when I found that out). Those of you who have played the chocobo races in Final Fantasy VII know what Wii Sports Resort Bicycling is like: Racing others through a course, keeping an eye on your stamina meter. To steer, you steer. That's the advantage of MotionPlus, I suppose, that it retains accurate steering even when you are pedaling.
There's different courses and a multiplayer race mode. I suppose the game benefits from the multiplayer. I didn't have that much fun with it, simply because the controls are as awkward as they sound. They work well, but they're just not entertaining.

PLANE


This could have been StarFox.
At first sight, the flying of the plane over Wuhu Island seems exceptionally boring and pointless. You hold the plane like a papercraft plane, you can get speed boosts by doing a thrusting motion, you can shoot little blue things but that doesn't seem to have any effect on anyone, and you can send a signal rocket into the sky, whatever for. All around the island, symbols can be found which give you some kind of information about the locations when you fly through them. You have five minutes per game to fly around. And that's it, basically. The controls work like you imagine them to be, and a similar game would have been possible with the regular wiimote, though less precice, quick and reliable, and with fewer stunt possibilities.
However, you can get some hours out of this game if you like the collecting of stuff that can be found in, for example, platformers. There are 80 Info-symbols hidden all around the island, sometimes on places very hard to get to without crashing, and the more you collect, the more functions you unlock. Discover 10 symbols and balloons will start appearing on the island, on the vehicles, or in the hands of the many Miis that populate it. You can pop them by flying through them or by shooting them. The number of balloons you pop in each game is counted, but I have not yet discovered what that is for. With more symbols discovered, you get better weapons, more stuff appears on the map, you can play during the evening or in the night (complete with fireworks), or your plane will house more pilots.
The map is huge, and you will not discover more than 5-10 symbols each game. I have found ~60 so far, and I plan to find them all. It's interesting to see what else will change and be available. It certainly is a "non-game", and it's not the most astonishing showcase for MotionPlus, but it's more entertaining than I thought it would be.

SWORDPLAY: DUELS, CUTTING STUFF and BATTLE MODE


Become the blade.
Ah. Swordplay. Probably the reason many are going to get the game, and the discipline in which MotionPlus has to prove itself worthy. There are three modes: Duels in single- and multiplayer, where you have to hit your opponent into the surrounding water by blocking attacks and landing them yourself; "Cutting stuff" (SP and MP) where you have to be quick and precise in cutting things in half, and "battle mode", where you're given three hearts and have to survive hordes and hordes of opponents of different skill level during the course of some 15 levels. Battle is single-player only, I think.
All three modes are excellent.
But you probably want to hear about the controls. Swordfighting is lag-free, glitch-free, precise and unbelievably fun and satisfying. Unless you're flailing your arms around like crazy, every slash you perform is transfered 1:1 with angle, path and intensity into the game. Want to hit the opponents foot? Do so. Want to hit his knee? Do so. Want to hit his ear? Do so. Want to fake a left attack, then go for the chest? Do so.  Holding B gets you into block mode, where you have to watch the opponent carefully to block his attacks: By blocking his sword's path with yours. You will look like the guy in the Red Steel 2 teaser, playing Wii Sports Resort Swordfighting. It is really that awesome, and it works 99% of the time.
Duels are strategic battles that can get really difficult and exhausting once you reach Pro-Level. Imagine yourself doing a cool swordfight. That's what WSR Sword Duals feel like. Easily and without a doubt the best part of the game. Worth the price alone. A fantastic videogame expierience everyone should have.
Cutting virtual stuff up by 1:1 slashes is amazing, but of course something that is better played against a human opponent instead of the AI.
I did say your slashes are 1:1. That is not true for the entire control scheme. For example, you hold the sword parallel to the floor in front of your face. No problem. Then you keep the wiimote parallel to the floor, but move it down to your chest. In-game, nothing changes. MotionPlus detects every little rotation/tilt based input with 100% precision, even if you move your hands only slightly - But non-rotational motion it cannot and does not detect. At all. But what about archery then?

ARCHERY


[Placeholder for a hilarious Legolas joke]
Archery was the #1 argument when it came to comparing MotionPlus to Sony's ball-on-a-stick. People were holding the Bow out in front of them, moving it left and right and up and down to change the aiming. Clearly a non-rotational motion. Clearly, MotionPlus was able to detect the Wiimotes position to the ground, and the player, and the TV, right?
Wrong. MotionPlus knows shit about where the ground is, where the player is, or where the TV is. It has no space-awareness, at all. All it does is detect/record rotation and movement speed. I realized that when I found out that even the bow is controlled by rotation. Hold your arm out and move it left and right. Whatever you hold in your hand is inevitably rotated slightly.
MotionPlus detects that motion and transfers it to the archery aim. You can aim by holding your arm still and tilting the Wiimote. That would be awkward because it is extremely sensitive, but it shows how it works - Not by knowing where the Wiimote is in relation to the ground, but by rotation about its own axis. Now that doesn't change the fact that Wii Sports Resort archery or swordplay or canoeing are 100% reliable, sensitive, precise and awesome - But I predict that a number of people will be disappointed once they find out what MotionPlus can't do.
MotionPlus is able to record what movement has been done by analyzing rotation, direction and speed. Always relative to its previous position. It does that perfectly, and that will allow for some great things, if devs decide to utlize it.
What it does not do and never will is deliver 1:1 information as to where the Wiimote is at any time in relation to the player or the room. Many of the things shown in Sonys Motion Controller demo it will never be able to do, period. It is a great addition for a great price that will perfect gesture recognition and will enable awesome emulated 1:1 mechanics in games, such as the swordfighting or archery in this one, but it is not a revolution.
As for Wii Sports Resort itself, get it. It's cheap and offers a lot of value and fun in singleplayer, and should be spectacular in multiplayer. It has a lot more going on than Wii Sports, and it requires you to perform good at certain things to unlock others: Most games have unlockable modes and levels, and  it will take you a while to even have seen everything. I myself, 7 hours in, have not seen anything, nor understood everything because the game is entirely in Japanese. Wii Sports Resort is a great game, and a showcase for both players and devs about what should now be possible. I really hope devs take that opportunity.



This will be you. Don't try to fight it.

Posted by Claude

Good stuff Meowayne. I'm a big golf nut, so the 18 holes will be a huge plus for me. No manual release point for Disc Golf seems weird, like you said, maybe it's in there, but you haven't found it. Bowling was probably my favorite game, still play it when people come over. I'm looking forward to the new and improved version. I can't wait to try out the sword fighting. There seems to be a lot of meat in this game, something for everybody. Thanks for posting.

Are you going to buy the english version when it comes out?

Posted by Meowayne
@Claude said:
"Are you going to buy the english version when it comes out? "
Yessir.
Posted by Nat3TheGreat13

Wow this looks like a ton of fun, will pick this up. Good review!

Edited by Al3xand3r

Yes, you can turn "release button to throw" on for all the games that have such mechanics. Don't ask me how, I don't have the game and I can't read Japanese. it's just all mentioned in the NeoGAF thread I linked you to. Maybe you can ask them if you have an account there. I guess it's optional with default being off to make it easier for the casual gamers. My sister did have trouble understanding the release mechanic (she never gamed before, or even played real-life bowling).

And nobody argued spacial awareness. That is impossible with just an added gyroscope so I'd love to see the fool who claimed that. People simply argue that in actual practice, in more than just mini-games, you don't need that kind of detection (though it would be welcome of course). All the software needs to know is its starting position and the game character's position. All movements are done relative to the game character. Not relative to you, and not relative to the TV. If it could detect that it would help with any desyncing issues, but in practice it's similar enough, as is evident by the sword fighting you enjoyed so much. Just imagine guiding the character with the analog stick and there you have it, it's almost new-gen Zelda if you combine it with the archery and frisbee (boomerang) mechanics.

I think the most impressive thing about the plane game is the visuals honestly. It shows the Wii can pull off some pretty good stuff considering flight sims tend to suffer when it comes to the actual ground rendering, but here everything is nice and detailed, as good as it looks when you're up-close in the mini games that take place in a particular part of the island, and you notice the impressive draw distance, when high. Neat.

Posted by Meowayne

The plane game looks alright, yes, but its all very basic. It has treetops made up of two 2-dimensional sprites, for example. But yes, having played the game now and seen how much everything ties to the island, I can see why Miyamoto is "proud" of it. Not from a graphics perspective, but from a design perspective. It somehow adds to the experience that every game can be geographically related to the others.

I found the "release button to throw" menu, it is beneath the "Left or right handed?" dialogue. Bowling and Disc Golf benefit greatly from that; Disc Golf and Frisbee are now actually usable. Still inferior to Tiger Woods, but very good nonetheless. Great! Both are much better now.

Posted by Meowayne

The desyncing, by the way, is no issue at all. You press down on the D-pad and everything is back to perfect in an instant. And you only need to that sometimes in battle mode, because that goes on for very long.

Edited by Al3xand3r

That's sweet to know, I guess it was trolls that made a big deal out of it in that thread, there was a horrible waggle-fest video too.

And yeah I saw those trees :P
It still looks nice and I saw in a video that you can fly real low and see Miis waving at you near the Wii Fit running start (or end?) xD

Posted by Meowayne

Yes, flying very low there are a lot of Miis (later carrying balloons you can shoot) and the locations are identical to those you are at in the games.

Edited by Al3xand3r

I wish it had a joystick mode. With all rotational movements it could still detect all the basics. Pitch, yaw, pivot (so better than the analog stick).

it would need extensive deadzone etc options to suit your playing style, so it's probably not suit for a casual firendly game though.

So.............................. Videos?

Posted by Meowayne
@Al3xand3r said:
" So.................................................................. Videos? "
My camera is way too crappy to do satisfying video of that game. I tried. But there is starting to be some good material on youtube.

  

Edited by Al3xand3r

I've seen that guy's videos... Couldn't he just flip one camera's image so that we see it kinda 1:1 in mirror mode :S

How is disc golf inferior to tiger woods by the way? Is it simply because it's less fully featured since it's only part of the full game here, or is it because of the actual control? I heard control is actually tigher in this one so, I'm just curious.

Posted by Al3xand3r

In his latest batch of videos you can see night flight and sunset wakeboarding, nice. I still think the flight game looks impressive, definitelly better than Sky Crawlers overall, despite the slick aircraft designs in that one, but that's not the look they went for with this.

Posted by Mikemcn

Nice post, im pumped for sword fighting, if only there were a lightsaver option.......

Im glad to see they did good with this game, of course its gonna cost me 100 bucks or so to get more wii motes, the game itself and motion pluses, but its worth it.....

Posted by Meowayne
@Al3xand3r said:
"How is disc golf inferior to tiger woods by the way? Is it simply because it's less fully featured since it's only part of the full game here, or is it because of the actual control? I heard control is actually tigher in this one so, I'm just curious. "
In Tiger Woods, every throw you make is transferred just the way you want into the game. If I want to hold the disc vertically in front of me and then throw it like this, I can do that. If  I just want to just lob the disc three meters into the basket without adding any spin, I can do that. Wii Sports Resort always reads a "throw" motion, doesn't let you throw it if you don't spin, and the force with which the disc flies is very exaggerated.
Imagine the motion you do when you throw a ball of paper into a basket a little distance away. Tiger Woods Disc Golf would let you do that. WSR would transfer that into a glitchy mess.
Posted by Al3xand3r

Is there a difference between disc golf and dog firisbee? The IGN nintendo chat said you have more freedom in the dog mode?

Posted by Meowayne

I don't see a difference, no.

Posted by Meowayne

Alight, this is the best I could do with the hard- and software available to me.

  

This is my skill lvl 0 Kevin Spacey against the first dude, so there's not really a battle, just some random slashing.
The audio sounds alittle weird because it's a composite of both video files; but at least this shows how I did not edit the timing/sync.
Better quality should be available once processing is finished. I uploaded in 640x480.
Edited by Al3xand3r

That looks cool, I would have settled for a simple single-view, like the top left, with the TV in front of you instead of empty space. But this is better so thanks for the effort. Good stuff ^_^

Are you using the sensor bar re-syncing on or off? Did you test what difference it makes? It looks spot-on.

Posted by Meowayne
@Al3xand3r:
I tried using only one camera, but it's impossible to get the right angle AND  still see the TV image. The difficult part with what I did was not the filming, but finding a freeware video editor that could do picture-in-picture. :|

I have not found any "use the sensor bar for syncing" option, no idea where that is or what it does. If it's there, it's on default setting, i.e. on. I don't have any problems with desyncing. At all.
Edited by Al3xand3r

Hey look, you CAN have split-screen plane duels in the plane game, so it has a game in the non-game :D

  
That makes it even more impressive, that it can run those visuals in split screen mode too, even if reduced in ways I can't see in the vid :)
Posted by End_Boss

I want a Star Wars dueling game made with the 1:1 sword controls NAO.

Posted by AgentJ

Does it shock me that a good wii game gets no attention? No. I mean, there have been about ten unique posters on this topic in three days. 

Edited by Meowayne

Here's a quick one for table tennis.

  

You don't see much. Firstly, because cam and perspective aren't too hot, and secondly because the difference to Wii Sports Tennis can not really be seen, but must be experienced. You do see, however, that the "cosmetic" motion mapping isn't as glitch-free as it is in swordlay. (I say "cosmetic" because the actual hit detection is perfect).
Posted by Meowayne

I have bought a second MotionPlus. The "cutting stuff up" mode has two Miis standing close together with their backs turned to you, so I took this as an opportunity to test out dual-wielding MotionPlus swordhandling.

And oh my god.

Posted by Al3xand3r
  

xD
Posted by Mikemcn
@Al3xand3r:
I have the utmost respect for these people and im sure they are wonderful to be around, but at no point should 4 guys play wii sports kayaking alone, just a thought.....
Edited by Al3xand3r

4 guys aren't alone... Each one has 3 others with him <_>

Posted by Meowayne

Wii Sports Resort has gotten 5/5 on this site and even 8/10 on gamespot, nearing the 90% mark at gamerankings. It's refreshing to see that this spectuacular game is getting the praise it deserves.

Now that the localized version is out, I too must give out a few more bits of praise. I complained that there was little difficulty and play time in some of the modes, namely Archery - But that was because the stamp system was a mystery to me in the japanese version.



Basically, just like a lot of Wii games these days, they copied the HD consoles achievement/trophy system. There are five stamps to collect in each of the games - And boy, there are some gruesomly difficult ones to get.
These are the five tasks for archery:

Bulls in a row:           Hit the bullseye and get the full 10 points with hall 3 arrows in one stage.
Stay on target:          Hit the target with all 3 arrows in each of the 4 stages.
Rack 'Em Up!:           Shoot and hit with 100 arrows.
The Secret Target: Hit all the secret targets in every level to get this stamp.
Sharpshooter:         Score 10 points with every arrow in each of the 4 stages.


1-3 are usually managable if you approach pro level, but 4 and 5 can be some real heavy challenges. Archery seems easy at the first plathrough, you even manage to hit the most difficult target after a couple of tries. But the secret targets - whose existance I was not aware of until recently - they are where the archery part really begins. They are objects you also find in the swordplay mode - fruit, cake - and they are hidden in every stage. Finding them is difficult enough (I have not yet found all of them), but actually managing to hit them, crossing huge distances taking the wind into account, that takes some amount of skill. Some of the targets you cannot even see while in aiming mode.
It's so great to discover there's even more to do in archery. That particular game rocks to much. :D

There are 15 achievements to get in the various swordplay modes. I have not yet checked what they are. I'm looking forward to this very much. :D

Posted by ThomasP

Dude, awesome coverage. I'm so excited to get my hands on this game. I can barely wait any longer.

Posted by BlameTheGame

Great review, makes me want the game now.

Posted by Meowayne

If these vids don't sell you on the game, nothing will.

  
  
  
  



Edited by Al3xand3r

Game arrived this morning, got some time in it the last hour, I played sword fighting, power cruising, wake boarding, bowling, frisbee, golf, canooing, and so far I love all of it, though sword fighting (and the other sword modes) the most. I unlocked the pro status in that and got my ass handed to me, lol. I unlocked frisbee golf and it's great fun, as is regular golf. Regular golf is harder since you need to hit the ball at a good angle to get a straight shot, it takes some practice. Bowling is good as ever though you have more spin control now. Wake boarding was the weakest but it's still fun trying to string combos together. Oh yeah, I also flew around a bit, that's more a tech demo than anything, but it's cool flying over the other event areas and what not. Oh, I forgot table tennis, that's pretty damn fun too. These are my shitty quick impressions :-)

Posted by Meowayne

Someone over at gamespot said, the more you play WSR, the more challenging it gets. And that's true. Playing it for 20-30  minutes, breezing through every game on skill level 0 is quite nice, but certainly doesn't remotely represent the game; the sports rarely begin to be challenging (and therefore, entertaining) until you reach pro level, unlock everything, and play for stamps.

Posted by Al3xand3r

This game's more of a workout than Wii Fit was, lol. My arms are sore from all the sword fighting and paddling. But it's so damn fun.
 
And yeah I've unlocked some of the modes' tougher settings, getting my ass handed to me. I'm surprised at how well the sword duel AI does. We can be there exchanging hits blocking them all just as efficiently. I wish I had a 2nd M+, but single player is way better than I expected.

Posted by Al3xand3r

Awesome video in free cruise mode:

  I'm gonna have to look for whales myself now :)