Reviews// Wii Sports Resort

Posted 16 Jul 2009 17:15 by
My goodness. I'm good at table tennis. I'm passable at golf; no Robin Hood at archery but no Blind Lemo Jefferson either. As for bowling, I can spin the ball like Shane Warne in his heyday. Now, this is probably entirely down to me just improving due my skills in an organic fashion.

Colleagues, however, tell me that it's more likely to do with the Wii Motion Plus widget that I've stuck on the end of my Wiimote and wrapped in a thick rubber condom that came with it (pardon the pun).

So, aside from introducing table tennis – which I excel at – did we really need a new Wii Sports? Did we need a Resort? In these straitened times, the sensible answer should be “No we don't need one. Simply make do with the old Wii Sports”. Having played WSR for quite a while now, however, I reckon that's not sensible.

Despite balance boards that are also skateboards, zombie-shooting guns that are simply that, Rabbids and Call of Duty 5, Wii Sports still stands out as a genuinely fun and, importantly, ownable, game for the Wii.

Let's all bite the bullet and own up to the fact that the Wii is a party animal requiring party snacks to keep the party going. The console has been with us for long enough for it no longer to be a novelty item. This means that the control system has also been around long enough for the frustrations of not being able to apply spin to kick into play.

So, let me munch on another slug with the question: “Does the introduction of the Wii Motion Plus mean that the Wii Remote was a bit rubbish to start off with?” I don't believe that to be true. I actually still believe that the Wii Remote did change the face of gaming for the better.

The Wii Motion Plus is a worthy addition. Don't get me wrong, it does not vastly expand the whole Wii Sports Resort experience, turning it into a whole new game; it adds some additional control and a deal more finesse.

So, onto the games themselves:
- Frisbee
- Power Cruising
- Swordplay
- Table Tennis
- Golf
- Air Sports
- Basketball
- Archery
- Cycling
- Bowling
- Wakeboarding

A mix of the old favourites (with golf and bowling; baseball, tennis and boxing don't get reprised) join new pastimes and their mini-games. The first one that struck me as a weird inclusion was the cycling. I know a tiny bit about road racing (via some knowledge osmosis rather than any actual active service) and I've got to say that I was quite chuffed at the control system (arm pumping) and especially at the slipstreaming and the conservation of energy. Okay, the Miis make this more like racing your mates around the local park than taking on Lance Armstrong (or Contador or that chappie Cavedish) at the Tour de France. The point is that it works. For me it doesn't work when, in two-player, you have to race on a tandem. Once again, however, that's all about the party-gaming. A little more competition is what's called for, though.

And that goes for the Table Tennis as well. Six points? Six points in a game? That's not enough to get into it no matter how good you are – and I'm superb. Once again, however, it plays very elegantly with top and bottom spin working well; and low services doing their job. A problem with it, however, is that you simply cannot place yourself. The D-pad is simply not functional as far as I could see, meaning that if your Mii is placed by the game away from the table, you have to wait for it to reposition itself. Also, what's with the smashes? These appear to come quite randomly as most shots keep the ball down.
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