Wii Sports Resort

Staycations take on a whole new meaning when you have a resort in your home

What It Is

Did you know that Wii Sports is the most successful selling video game of all time? It’s true. By the beginning of 2009, Wii Sports, which comes with the Nintendo Wii, had sold well over 40 million units and passed sales of Super Mario Bros, which formerly held this coveted sales title.

Now it’s time to return to the world of Wii Sports with the latest game in the series, Wii Sports Resort. Sports Resort is a collection of 12 new games contained in a resort-like environment called WuHu Island. The sports (games) include Air Sports, Archery, Frisbee, Basketball, Canoeing, Cycling, Power Cruising, Table Tennis, Bowling, Swordplay, Golf, and Wakeboarding. The game has been designed to take full advantage of the new Wii Motion Plus, a small device the snaps into the bottom of the Wii Remote and gives the player incredible control over the onscreen character.

Why It’s Fun

The Motion Plus device makes this game the closest thing to virtual reality that I have seen yet and effectively recreates the fun and excitement of the sport you are playing. In Canoeing, you can’t just swing your arms erratically and hope to have any momentum or control over the canoe. You have to use precise, controlled and realistic movements of the Wii Remote to move through the water.

The best way to explain what makes the addition of Motion Plus so much fun is by comparing the two versions of Golf, which is included on both the first Wii Sports and Sports Resort. Visually the two are very similar and the basic play-pattern is the same—you swing your arm to hit the ball, while trying to stay within the meter’s perfect hit parameter. In the original version, your main concern is how hard or soft you hit the ball as you swing your arm. In Resorts, you have to use actual golf principles such as keeping your wrists firm and maintaining a consistent swing to maximize your hit. This difference might sound subtle, but I compared the two golf games by playing three holes on each version. My final score on the original Sports version was one under par, which I think is pretty good. On Sports Resort I scored a less than stellar five over par. The subtle Motion Plus differences create a much more challenging game that is the closest thing to a real game of golf you can play in your living room. This makes for an overall far more enjoyable experience.

Who’s Going To Love It

I can’t think of a person who wouldn’t enjoy playing this game. Kids and adults who enjoyed the original are going to love this one just as much if not more. While they probably won’t admit it, even teens and hard core gamers are going to want to check out how incredibly responsive the Motion Plus is.

The range of games include something for all difficulty levels, so while some sports might be perfect for new gamers, experienced gamers will also find something that keeps them challenged.

What To Be Aware Of

Each individual sport features several games that greatly improve the replay value of Sports Resort. For example, after playing the first Frisbee game, which involves hitting targets with the Frisbee, you unlock Frisbee Golf (a form of golf played with a Frisbee). In Swordplay, you begin in an American Gladiators style battle to knock your opponent off a giant platform with the sword, which unlocks Slice & Dice (a game where you go head-to-head in a challenge to slice a random item in an exact motion) and eventually unlock Sword Play Showdown, where you run through a course as hordes of Miis rush at and attack you. All of these games have multiple levels so you can spend hours just playing the three games within the sport of Sword Play.

We have a bit of a Catch-22 with Sports Resort because what makes this game so much fun—the Motion Plus—also contributes to my only complaint: You can’t play without the Motion Plus. Granted, you aren’t going to want to play without it, but unless you have four of them, this becomes a single-player game and you miss out on the fun of playing against an opponent. There are a bunch of turn-based sports that allow multiple people to play by sharing one remote, but after playing Sword Play, you are really going to want to challenge a person rather than the just the Wii itself.

Wii Sports Resort is sold with one Motion Plus device and a Wii Remote.

Fun Scale

0 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Wii Sports Resort
Publisher: Nintendo
Rated: Everyone
System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Sports
Players: 1 - 4

SRP: $49.99
Available: Now, at most major retail and toy stores as well as electronic gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: July 26, 2009
Date of Review: Summer 2009

*Rating determined by the ESRB


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