Things We Like
OLD SCHOOL, NEW SCHOOL: Back in the original days of the Nintendo Wii, the game that got everybody moving (literally) was Wii Sports. The sequel to that title, Wii Sports Resort, offers an enticing add-on, bundling in the Wii MotionPlus, which is quickly becoming the must-have accessory for Wii owners. It's a little cube that attaches to the bottom of your controller and allows for super-sensitive pickup of your movements. The MotionPlus retails separately for $19.99, so you save $10 with Resort, which sells for $49.99. Resort works as a perfect way to introduce you to the MotionPlus and is a solid game in its own right, with 12 sports now (seven more than the original) including only two holdovers from the original (golf, bowling), and an achievements system (stamps) that keeps track of your progress.
SWORD FIGHT!: The best of the 12 sports is Swordplay, where you can have that lightsaber battle you've been pining for your whole life. You and your opponent (preferably a human) square off on a round stage about 200 feet up above the water. Loser is the first one to get wet. Though at first you will default to wildly flinging your sword, you soon realize that defense is the key to the game. A perfectly executed block -- you have to block in the exact opposite direction of your opponent's strike -- will send you for reeling backward off-balance. That's when you pounce and take over the match. There's also a slicing competition where you chop up any number of objects -- fruits, diamonds, doors, etc. -- in different directions, again showing off what the MotionPlus can do.
THE ISLAND: All 12 activities take place in a ... resort! Of course. It's called Wuhu Island and it's quite beautiful. The full list of the sports includes the following, and remember that there are three additional modes (two words: Frisbee Golf) of play within each sport: archery, Frisbee, basketball, cycling, canoeing, power cruising, table tennis, air sports, bowling, swordplay, golf (with added holes) and wakeboarding. Besides Swordplay, the best of the bunch is Archery. Hold the Wii-Mote with your left hand and pull back with the nunchuk, then let go of the Z button to whisk away the arrow. It's essentially the same motion as shooting a real arrow, minus the danger to human and animal life of course.
REAL EXERCISE: Like it or not, you will burn a few calories playing some of these games. The most labor intensive is the cycling, in which you move your arms up and down to simulate pedaling. You do get moments of rest though when you draft behind other riders. Canoeing also will make you pant just a bit, depending on your level of fitness, which is surely high for most gamers, right?
100-PIN CHALLENGE: Fans of the original Bowling will love the new 100-pin challenge mode, where every frame has 100 pins. You can tell your friends you bowled a perfect 3,000! The MotionPlus comes in especially handy with bowling, where you can now throw sliders and screwballs down the lane at will.
See clips from Wii Sports Resort ...
What We’d Change
SOME GLITCHES: The controls aren't perfect on every activity. The jet ski racing is especially dodgy. When you hit the power boost it's tough to keep your line and you end up nearly going off the track. With basketball, it's neat how the 3-point shooting is set up with trays and the moneyball -- just like the 3-Point Shootout on NBA All-Star Weekend, but it's hard to figure out how to make a shot. It was clank-fu for me. Also, I'm still trying to figure out how to throw the frisbee without having it crash straight into the ground
OTHER MINOR COMPLAINTS: In the Air Sports, you get to fly around the island, which is cooler than you'd think. But the controls could be set up better. Gaining speed is done by pushing forward, but then when you bring your arm back to normal position you brake sometimes. Also, you only get 5 minutes to fly around and look for new items of interest before starting over, which is annoying. In Wakeboarding, you have no discernible control over which trick you do. Time your jump right and you will do a trick, just not sure which one.
ONLINE?: As with many of Wii's titles, there's no online component. Nintendo is catering to the social gamers who have other people in the room when they play. But how about throwing the Han Solos of the world a bone?
Sports Resort is a worthy addition to your library, and it's one of those games you're sure to fire up when you have folks over.
-- Aaron Samus