Wii Sports Resort

Jan 29, 2009
Nintendo’s most important release of the year arrives, heralding the abilities of the recently launched MotionPlus add-on and reminding consumers what made the Wii so popular in the first place…

The original Wii Sports was one of the key titles in popularising what is now the most successful hardware format in the world. For some people, it helped define the Wii itself. It managed to show consumers instantly and instinctively that the format was all about fun for everyone, and also illustrate the new and unique method of physical control.

Wii Sports Resort, the next major multi-event title for the platform, is a truly ‘second generation’ title. The game offers players a more varied line-up of sports and competitions, as well as utilising the Wii MotionPlus accessory which provides the most responsive experience possible. And Nintendo is confident the title will have the same impact as its predecessor.

“Every new console needs a killer app, or a piece of software that defines the console,” explains senior product manager Rob Lowe. “For the DS it was Brain Training, for Wii it was Wii Sports. It completely explained what Wii was about from the moment you had your first go on Wii Sports Tennis – even people sceptical about games couldn’t help but smile.

“The feeling you get when you play Canoeing or Table Tennis on Wii Sports Resort for the first time is almost identical to this – which is a fantastic commendation for the product.”

Wii Sports Resort takes place on WuHu Island, a resort packed with things to do. One of the most noticeable differences between this game and the original is that there are now twice as many sports – 12 compared to the original five. Some will be familiar to Wii Sports owners, but Lowe points out that these are the events that truly show the advances MotionPlus brings to the Wii Sports series.

“The best way to compare is to play Bowling and Golf on Wii Sports, and then try them out on Wii Sports Resort,” he says. “The extra level of control is amazing, especially on Golf, where every slight draw or fade, slice or hook is replicated on the screen.”

Within each sport there are often plenty of different styles and gameplay options, so it’s a far broader and more diverse experience.

In every case, the Wii MotionPlus helps to recreate the physical reality of the actual sport, giving players the sensation of smashing one down the fairway, slamming a basket or firing an arrow straight into the bullseye.

The controller picks up every nuance of a player’s movement and translates it onto the screen. The difference is brought into sharp focus in Archery, for instance, when every single twitch or tremor changes the direction of the arrow and can result in a miss.

All the different sports use the controllers differently, and some make use of the Nunchucks as well as the Remote. In Canoeing, for example, players hold the Remote on its own, like a paddle, while in Cycling they hold the Remote in one hand, the Nunchuck in the other and ‘pedal’ like crazy with both arms.

One really different activity falls under the banner of Air Sports. This involves flying round the island, doing a spot of competitive sight-seeing and using the Wii Remote like a paper plane.

This is phase two of the revolution that began with Wii and is now becoming industry standard – just as Nintendo moves things on still further. Lowe deems this to be “the biggest launch on Wii this year”, and as a result the platform holder will be marketing it heavily (see Holiday Plans), both over the summer and at Christmas.

Given the success and universal appeal of Wii Sports, it is inevitable that its sequel will deliver on its promises.