Giant Bomb Review

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Wii Sports Resort Review

5
  • Wii

Wii Sports Resort is more--much more--of what made you fall in love with the Wii in the first place.


Playing tennis? On a table? That's crazy talk.
The original Wii Sports was the perfect pack-in game because it really summed up everything that the Wii was about. It was easy to grasp, but had enough of a hook to it to keep people coming back whether they'd played a thousand games or just one. It showcased the Wii's motion-sensing controls and let you know what they were all about. But beyond all of that, it was, at its core, fun. Simple, basic, fun.

While that experience is the one that launched millions of sales for Nintendo's console, it's been a bit of a bumpy road for those of us with years of gaming experience. As developers chase after the millions of Wii owners who don't have a lot of hours spent with more traditional games, we've seen tons of games that attempt to duplicate the simple successes of Wii Sports. But very few of these cash-ins have succeeded. All of this makes Nintendo's return to sports-themed minigames that much sweeter. Wii Sports Resort offers more variety and a bit more complexity without alienating that family up the street who only bought a Wii because they love bowling. Unless you're the kind of sullen misanthrope who can only feel at peace when getting headshots with some kind of virtual scope, you'll surely find something about Wii Sports Resort that keeps both you and your non-gaming friends or family coming back for more.

As the first game that actually requires you to have a Wii MotionPlus, Resort is the big showcase for Nintendo's sensitivity-enhancing brick, and it works very well. Wii Sports Resort and the MotionPlus combine to finally make good on all the promises that the Wii originally made back in 2006. Remember all the dopey models, hiding behind couches and twisting on-screen swords with lifelike precision? With the MotionPlus attached, everything feels just a bit closer to that reality. It's probably most noticeable in the sword fighting game, where you have to swing at multiple angles to get around your opponent's defense. The sword stuff ended up being my favorite game of the lot, actually. It just feels right.

In addition to the swordplay, there are 11 other types of games to play with in Wii Sports Resort. Odds are you won't love all of them. Me, I found canoeing, cycling, Frisbee, and power cruising to be my least favorite. Canoeing is just kind of tedious, though the act of paddling your canoe is fairly lifelike. Cycling doesn't replicate the act of riding a bike very well, asking you to shake a Remote and Nunchuk up and down to pedal and move them sideways to steer. Frisbee--which lets you play Frisbee golf or attempt to throw the disc at specific targets--seems really cool in theory, but I'm absolutely awful at it. And as much as you want power cruising to be the second coming of Wave Race, it's never going to be the second coming of Wave Race. The controls are awkward and the courses are dull.

The sword fighting is incredibly satisfying. 
But for every cycling, there's something like table tennis, which feels great and approximates the actual act of playing ping pong surprisingly well. Just like the real thing, it's all in the wrist, as twisting your wrist will apply spin to the ball. It brings more depth to an experience that would otherwise be strictly timing-based. There's also archery, where you draw the Nunchuk back like you're drawing a bow, take aim, and fire in a variety of situations. As the wind increases and your targets start moving, this becomes pretty tricky. The basketball game is mostly a three-point competition that feels like it rewards proper jump shot form. There's also a variant that lets you play three-on-three. This is nice because it lets you execute slam dunks by slamming the Wii Remote home after getting around the defenders, but it takes so many liberties with the rules of basketball that it's kind of clunky.

Golf and bowling both appeared in the original Wii Sports, and they're back in Resort. The main differences I noticed was that bowling felt a lot easier because you have a higher level of spin control on your shots. That same wrist twisting made golf a lot harder for me at first. I probably spent 30 minutes slicing shots into the rough before working out the kinks in my faux-swing, keeping my wrists straight, and getting a good feel for how much power is enough power. That said, they're still very similar to their counterparts from the previous game.

There's also an air sports section where you can sky dive or fly a plane around the island. The sky diving almost seems like a tutorial designed to get you used to moving the Remote with the Wii MotionPlus attached. The flying is interesting because it lets you see the whole island, where every event takes place. You can buzz the area where the sword duels take place, see the different cycling courses from the sky, and so on. But that and the two-player dogfighting aren't strong enough to keep you coming back.

If you can toss this Frisbee to this dog with any level of accuracy, you're a better person than I. 
All of these events are based around the tropical island of Wuhu. As you might expect by "Resort" being right there in the name, the game has a Hawaiian shirt kind of feel to it that gives everything a bright and colorful style. It's not dramatically better than my memory of the original Wii Sports, but when you compare the two side by side, you can tell which one is newer.

By offering 12 events and covering a variety of different styles, Nintendo has almost ensured that anyone who remotely liked anything about the original Wii Sports will find Wii Sports Resort to be a lot of fun. On top of that, it's still just as accessible as the original was, making it a great choice if you're looking for games to play with people who don't play a lot of games. You know what? It doesn't even need that layer of qualification. Wii Sports Resort is great. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by JonathanMoore

Great review guys.


-- God Bless.
Posted by Bigandtasty

Sword fighting sounds fun.

Posted by Meltbrain

Jeff, the head of your 5-star mind-splosion picture is cut off in the review Blurb. This is the kind of game that makes me wish I had a Wii... but then I think a bit harder and realise I don't want a Wii anyways. If I did have one I would definitely play this, though.

Posted by VWGTI

I may pick this up.

Posted by Izick

I must say the score surprised me, but I think this was an amazing review!

Posted by Chewii101

Looks like this is going to force me to blow sum dust off the old Wii and head to WUHU!!!!! island.

Posted by MattBodega

I'm exciting to play with MY CUTE PUPPY.

Posted by Osphere

Surprised by this review a bit, I'm curious to play it now.

Posted by ShadowKing7

Dang, wasn't expecting 5 stars for this.  After seeing the QL and now this, I'm probably gonna pick this up if just to try swordfighting, ping pong, and archery.  Nice review!

Posted by GalacticPunt

A five-star review of a Wii game from Jeff?  NEV... oh, wait... definitely!  This does look like a hell of a lot of fun.  Will certainly pick up soon.

Edited by liquidsol

This is awesome, now I don't have to wait until this Fall to play my Wii again.  I hope the motion plus injects a few more good years into the Wii.  I'm now expecting a LOT from Nintendo's new first party titles, hope they don't disappoint.

Posted by JJOR64

Holy fuck, a 5?  I was suspecting a 4.  I guess I have to get this game now.  It does look like a lot of fun and I haven't bought a game for my Wii for a while.

Online
Posted by vgmkyle

I knew it was getting a five after the bombcast.

Posted by Metal_Mills

Your mind blown picture seems to have been cut off and shrunk for some reason. Really surprised it got a 5!

Posted by Tovan

This looks like it'll be a lot of fun. Great review.

Posted by Kohe321

Great review, I'm going to get this!

Posted by Sparky_Buzzsaw

Nice review!  I'm looking forward to picking this one up sometime.

Moderator Online
Posted by insanejedi

This 5 proves that GB is biased against the 360 and the wii, just like how they were biased against the wii when they gave Smash Bro's and Mario Kart 4's and 3's.

/sarcasm

Posted by JackiJinx

I really didn't expect the quality of this game to render a 5. I guess everyone gets surprised every once in awhile.


Just a note (because I'm me and I must note): although I have no plans on picking this up and am very, very much a sullen misanthrope, I'm not FPS crazy and probably never will be. Yes, I enjoy violence just as much as the next social deviant, but I tend to find joy to the extreme in Curse of Monkey Island, the Ace Attorney series, Puzzle Quest, and other minimally violent games. Nothing I'm going to dwell on for years to come, but I'm just saying.

Just saying =P
Posted by Claude

I'm picking my copy on day one, hope I like it as much as you did... probably will.

Posted by TwoOneFive

Fuck the Wii, i'm still not buying one. 

Posted by Coleslaw893

5 STARS?! NO WAI!!!1!11!!!!

I seriously did not expect that. This review makes me want this game even more.

Edited by artofwar420

5 stars, damn! Well, might as well get my yearly Wii game.

Posted by c_rakestraw

It's official: I'm sold. I'm definitely getting this game. It sounds awesome.

Posted by Brendan

I wonder where all the "Jeff is biased against the Wii!" folks are now?  Maybe they are in a corner somewhere realizing that maybe Jeff actually has unbiased opinions on a game to game basis.  No wait, that's just plain crazy talk. 

Posted by mythus

its humorous.   so nintendo has become famous with it's mini games.  i wonder if  nintendo will implement the mini game all wii owners have played; blow the dust off your system.  i think the lack of games has served this 5 star rather then the quality of the game.  it just feels wrong, but w/e.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

after hearing the bombcast i kind of expected the 5 star, but seeing it in front of me is still surprising. now i might have to consider getting this... thanks a lot...  my wallet is in tears

Posted by Floppypants

Nintendo must have passed around some really delicious cool-aid when they dropped by to demo the game.

Posted by musdy
@TwoOneFive: Totally.
Posted by Ontheocho

Ugh, why the Sunday release again.  Got buddies coming for a barbeque on Sat, and this game would go so well with ribs and beer.  Could be a Protestant conspiracey.  Martin Luther = Iwata?

Edited by TimesHero

No video review?  Really?  REALLY? Any Wii game should have a Video review so we can see how you look when flailing around like a baboon flings poo while playing these games.

Posted by Knives
@mythus said:
" its humorous.   so nintendo has become famous with it's mini games.  i wonder if  nintendo will implement the mini game all wii owners have played; blow the dust off your system.  i think the lack of games has served this 5 star rather then the quality of the game.  it just feels wrong, but w/e. "
You kind of sound bitter.
Posted by imayellowfellow

deff felt a 5 after that bombcast

Posted by Kenzo287

Jeff gave a Wii game a 5. Holy shit...I'm gonna have to buy this

Posted by bodgie

wow, awesome! gonna hurt in my wallet though, because i want 2 motion pluses :< but yea, getting 5 stars from jeff really convinced me

great review jeff

Posted by JJWeatherman

"You know what? It doesn't even need that layer of qualification. Wii Sports Resort is great."

Good to know. I was kind of on the fence about this game but I feel like a purchase is totally justifiable after this review.

Edited by Duffman

This totally snuck up on me.  I'll have recommend this to my relatives next time I get the chance.

Posted by MaddProdigy

5 stars for the lulz, this games fun as hell

Posted by Linkyshinks

 4 would have been ample IMO, the game does have a few games where you find the controls simply don't cut it, and the fun is lessened as a result.. Still, I will be getting a official copy soon.

Posted by toadstule

wow, did not expect that. definitely looking forward to picking this up. i enjoyed wii sports so i should enjoy this as well.

Posted by Venatio

5 stars? Seriously? For this? Sure Jeff its your oppinion

Posted by Nictel

I'm surprised there isn't more "he's just giving 5 stars to show he isn't biased." 
What is perhaps even more surprising; their was an article in the newspaper today about its release. Granted a small one but you won't see one when the new Halo comes out.

Edited by Hemlock

Five stars sounds right to me. Not every game needs to be a sweeping epic with 6 hours of gameplay and cinematic title screens dudes. I've always held that Wii Sports is about old-school unadulterated fun, and that makes for a pretty rad video game. Definitely getting this, I just hope my Wii is still working.

Posted by Shaanyboi

Sweetness.  I'm getting it.  Can't wait to play swordfighting!  Hell, that alone was enough to sell me :P  And archery........yeahhhhhhhh archery

Good year for the Wii.  MadWorld, Wii Sports Resort, Ghostbusters, Conduit (sorta...), Crystal Bearers, Silent Hill, Red Steel 2... sweetness

Posted by selbie

If you and GS scored this game so high then what the #&%* is IGN smoking??

Posted by MattyFTM

Sounds awesome. I was debating whether to get this or not, now I think I'll definitely have to get it.

Moderator
Posted by Odie20XX

One thing I'd like to point out is that in archery, if you hit the secret target, you'll get 10 points just like the bull's eye.

So it's not worth extra but you can get a stamp if you hit them all on each difficulty though!
Posted by Ouroboros

5 stars?  Really, Jeff?

Edited by Carlos1408

Great review Jeff, this game does look like a lot of fun... Simple but effective. I don't think I'll get it though, I had enough with Wii Sports and would rather spend my money on other games... :)

Posted by sdauz

still feels a bit like a tech demo...why must all Wii games be preparation for something better?!

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