The original Wii Sports introduced a number of gamers and non-gamers to a world of fun and excitement. In its general experience it could easily be considered pretty basic, the game gave us five different virtual sports to play in our lounge rooms, each provided simple controls but was enough to skyrocket the game up the charts to a leading role in family entertainment. Because of the simple controls it made the game easy for many to pick up and play, even allowing non-gamers to get in on the action, many were able to adapt in seconds and become masters in minutes, it was easily one of the gaming world’s most accessible games. Most of the games with the Wii brand found quite a name for themselves as a family fun experience, however many would say it needed more and a follow up would be the perfect way to do more with the Wii Sports brand, and so we have Wii Sports Resort the follow up the original game deserved.
Wii Sports was a game changer, it singlehandedly showed people what the Wii was capable of. Wii Sports Resort takes what was great about the original game and expands upon it in what is mostly the best way. The original game featured only five sports, this included the excellent and highly enjoyable Tennis, the near flawless and family favourite Bowling, the reasonably well done Baseball, the slightly flawed boxing and finally the less then satisfying Golf, however in Sports Resort they have tried to expand the overall experience of the game by putting in twelve sports. From the original game only two sports have been carried over, this includes the family favourite Bowling, and the less then satisfying Golf (everything needs a second chance) but more one that later. The other ten sports are all new to the game, some good, some mediocre, and some that prove to be less than appealing.
Just like Wii Sports, Sports Resort does ease in new players and introduce them to gaming, thanks to a series of easy to learn sports. It is never quite as easy to pick up some of these sports as it was in the original game, some sports offered do actually take a while to learn, however for the most part sports do still provide that easy to jump into nature.
Wii Sports Resort takes a step forward on the experience of Wii Sports continuing the use of the motion controls, however this was expanded upon by Nintendo’s Wii remote add on motion Plus. It is impossible to play this game without the motion plus peripheral as Wii Sports Resort relies on this add on to enable the sports to be played with decent precision, and by extension allow your movements to be almost mimicked by the onscreen Mii. Many games released during the Wii era struggled to accurately use the motion plus in an effective manner, however, this is rarely the case with Wii Sports Resort with the motion plus actually adding to the games enjoyment rather than deteriorating it.
Sports in the game such as Swordplay prove to be the best showing of the use of the remote add on using it to create a fun activity that is also mostly accurate. Using the motion plus you control how you swing and how you block meaning that in the main mode of the sport duel mode the accuracy presented by the motion plus helps to create a good battle as you try to push your opponents off the arena, this could not be done without. Table Tennis also sees a good use of the motion plus, for the most part Table Tennis often feels like an enhanced version of standard Tennis from Wii Sports. As much as I liked Tennis in the original game it does arguably have a selection of problems with a major one being that it lacked co-ordination. Table Tennis is always in your control and it made me enjoy it more as I could actually play well, although a small space probably helped as well. Mainly what makes Table Tennis better however was that I could properly aim the ball and it would go in the direction that I wished to send it which helped on many occasions.
In total there are twelve sports available to play in this game each providing a different experience for players to engage in and something different to go between. Among these sports are the previously mentioned Swordplay, Table Tennis, Bowling and Golf along with eight other sports including, Archery, Air Sports, Basketball, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Cycling, Power Cruising and Canoeing. Personally I feel that each sport has its positives and its negatives but in the long run it comes down the individual’s perception as different people will most likely enjoy different things. Honestly there are many instances where I found that the sports did not work even with the motion plus particularly, while the technology is good there were many instances where the controls were just not working for me, I stand by this game being a highlight of the motion plus but things just don’t always work. As an example I particularly struggled while trying to do Canoeing, as with real life to move the canoe you must move the paddle from side to side to make sure the canoe continues on the correct path. For the sport moving the control side to side often did not work it could have just been me but even with the motion plus I often felt restricted, I had trouble swapping the paddle side to side and it bothered me. Sadly a couple of other sports suffer from similar restrictions and do detract from an otherwise fun experience.
On the whole Wii Sports Resort is a fun experience with many of the sports being fun to play, with my particular highlights being that of Swordplay and Table Tennis, with each being generally enjoyable and also being reasonably thought provoking depending on the situation. Air Sports, Bowling, Basketball and Archery all tied for my second favorite sport assortments, I personally found each to provide reasonably intuitive control for the gameplay as well as some very precise movements which make them reasonably entertaining. However I did personally fail to find a whole lot of enjoyment out of the rest of the sports the game had to offer, for the most part this little issue is born out the control problems, in sports such as Power Cruising and Cycling the controls require you to use the control as a steering mechanism which I often found to be confusing. In some places the controls are just awkward but for the most part this does not deter from the core experience as much as the sports are just all around unenjoyable as I found to be the case with Wakeboarding and Golf. As I have said sports are a matter of personal preference and for me personally about half of them only ever completely proved to be satisfying.
Wii Sports Resort may not always work but it still provides that something for everyone attitude and sense of fun that was born in the original Wii Sports. It is sad that many of the sports just didn’t work for me but what I did enjoy was quality and made excellent use of the motion plus which ensures this game has some of the definitive ways to play on the Wii.
Current day comment: Personally I am still holding out for a remake of this game for the Wii U in a similar fashion to Wii Sports Club, but either way the game is still worth playing on the Wii and continues to be a fun experience when the sports work. Should you ever find a Wii copy of the game and own either a Wii or a Wii U I do recommend giving the game a go, I don’t think you will be disappointed.