We are not a fan of Wii Fit, but we — like 500,000 other folks over the past week — really love Nintendo’s latest Wii offering:  Sports Resort.  Wii Sports Resort makes use of a hardware add-on called “Motion Plus.”

The Wii MotionPlus accessory attaches to the end of the Wii Remote and, combined with the accelerometer and the sensor bar, allows for more comprehensive tracking of a player’s arm position and orientation, providing players with an unmatched level of precision and immersion. Every slight movement players make with their wrist or arm is rendered identically in real time on the screen, providing a true 1:1 response in their game play. The Wii MotionPlus accessory reconfirms Nintendo’s commitment to making games intuitive and accessible for everyone.

With Motion Plus in hand, Sports Resort really comes alive as a new standard for interactive games playing. Let’s take a look at each area for “gamering” included in Wii Sports Resort.

Swordplay
When you engage in Swordplay, you won’t stop playing for several hours.  The fights are addictive, fun, bloodless and extremely challenging.  Once you’ve worn out and built up your dominant arm, challenge yourself by using your other arm, and you’ll soon know the feeling of pain in swordplay.

Wakeboarding
Once you get used to the feel of using your Wii Motion Plus in a horizontal position, you can really start to spin and get great height and points for your ballets in the air.  If you want a good workout, exaggerate your arms and legs movement and you’ll be sweating and out of breath in no time.

Frisbee
You’d think playing Frisbee with your dog and Frisbee Golf with your friends would be delightful and fun.  Not so.  It is frustrating trying to get the Frisbee to fly right.  Even if you fiddle with every single aiming and balance control to set up your shot, you still risk the high likelihood that your aim will be waaaaaaaaaay off when the Frisbee leaves your hand.  Manual “release” of the Frisbee seemed to work a little better than Automatic mode.

Archery
You have to use the Nintendo Nunchuck with your Wii Motion Plus in order to play with your bow and arrows.  I’m not a great Nunchuck fan because it needs a cord to operate in a wireless environment — but in the archery game, using the Nunchuck feels strangely intuitive.  Beware of the wind in this game and — when you’re far away — always aim higher than you feel you should… even when you’re “locked in” with a focused shot.

Basketball
Playing basketball with Wii Sports Resort is a big disappointment.  Baskets are hard to score and the game against others is confusing and off-putting.  We expected so much more and got so much less in return.

Table Tennis
Playing table tennis was great fun!  We enjoyed it much more than we thought we would.  The game is quick and challenging.  You must concentrate and get your paddle in the right position or you will never return the ball with any predictability.  Pause just a tiny bit longer than you would normally before you hit a return and you’ll set up a SMASH RETURN that will make you a table tennis immortal!

Golf
With Wii Motion Plus, golfing is more realistic and challenging than other simulated golf games.  It is not easy to get the aim and the stroke right.  Oftentimes, you’ll get some of your swing right, but what you tend to get wrong will really punish your score.  Golf seems to know your limitations and the game will give up on you if you don’t get a reasonable score.

Bowling
In the original Sports packaged bundled with our Wii, the bowling game was the most fun.  We still feel that way with Sports Resort even though spin and aim are given greater precision in this update.  You must know how to control your wrist if you hope to do well.  Wii Motion Plus is unforgiving.  We prefer a manual release of the bowling ball to the automatic option.

Power Cruising
I was confused by power cruising.  You have to use the Nunchuck to play.  When I get frustrated with a game, I stop playing.  I stopped playing after a horrible first run.  I won’t return.

Canoeing
Canoeing is another really challenging game because steering is more important than generating power.  If you use this game as an upper body workout instead of an entertainment vehicle, you will likely get more joy out of the experience.

Cycling
Riding a bike requires a Nunchuck in the Wii Sports Resort universe and moving my arms up and down to simulate pedaling a bike just felt silly.  I played for 30 seconds and then stopped.  Not fun.  Not evergreen.  The dud game of the bunch.

Air Sports
Air Sports plays more like an engineering test for the Wii Motion Plus rather than a well thought out game.  Skydiving is okay.  “Dogfight” mode includes neither dogs nor fighting — in a horizontally split screen you chase a friend in an airplane to pop their balloons before they pop yours.  Big yawn.  So much promise.  So very little delivery.

Conclusion
Is it better to include 12 so-so games or release a bundled version with six killer games?  I’d vote for keeping it simple and only presenting your best in every aspect. 

Nintendo disagrees with me, and they included 12 games and the kitchen sink in Wii Sports Resort, and while I understand their reasoning to provide as much gamering experience as possible for the money spent, I disagree with including games that frustrate and bore the player because instead of thinking, “How soon can we play this again?” — you’re left with the sinking feeling of, “How do I get out of here and back to the sword fighting?”

One welcome change Nintendo made in Sports Resort is the default action sound.  Wii Fit and the previous Sports used an annoying “ping” chime and Sports Resort uses a quiet “whoosh” sound instead.  That chine used to ring nightmares in our ears and now the “whoosh” makes for a quieter overall game experience. 

6 Comments

  1. David,
    When I get frustrated with a game, I keep playing it until I either am screaming mad or I figure it out 🙂 Thankfully I figure it out more than I get screaming mad. 🙂
    I can’t wait to get Wii Sports Resort now. Thanks for the great review! 🙂

  2. Well, please work past my screams, Gordon, and let us know what you think of Sports Resort! I think it gives you a better body workout than Wii Fit and it does it quietly without you even knowing about it — that’s the best way to get aerobic exercise!