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Wii Sports Resort

Platform(s): Wii
Genre: Sports
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: July 26, 2009

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Wii Preview - 'Wii Sports Resort'

by Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen on June 19, 2009 @ 9:00 a.m. PDT

Wii Sports Resort takes the inclusive, fun and intuitive controls of the original Wii Sports to the next level, introducing a whole new set of entertaining and physically immersive activities. Wii Sports Resort includes new game experiences such as Sword Play, Power Cruising on a water scooter and Disc Dog, along with the new Wii MotionPlus accessory and Wii Remote Jacket at no additional cost.

Before you read any further about Wii Sports Resort, go do a bit of bowling in Wii Sports. Notice the subtleties that are there in the simulation, and those that aren't. The Wii Remote, ultimately, is limited, and many of those limits have been removed with the recent introduction of the Wii MotionPlus, which links to Wiimotes to let you do more with them. While it is launching with two EA Sports titles for Wii, the MotionPlus clearly seems custom designed for the upcoming Wii Sports Resort, which I got to play at E3.

The game takes place on a fictional resort island, with most of the 12 new sports (each with a couple of variants) relating directly to this island theme. I started with a round of wakeboarding. Notably, the game asked me to set the Wii Remote flat on the ground before I started, in order to calibrate it precisely. Then I lifted it up, held it like a handlebar, and promptly crashed in entertaining fashion based very accurately on how I was holding and moving the remote. Once I finally figured out the game, though, I was doing respectable tricks in no time flat, and I was impressed with the details of the motion control.

Then came the archery. "Hoo boy," I thought. "Surely this won't feel very realistic without a real string." Then I held the Remote and Nunchuk and started aiming at the target. Wind factor? Check. Every tiny twitch of my right hand visibly affecting the aiming path? Check. Strength of the shot being proportionate to how far back I hold the Nunchuk (handily providing visual target aids on-screen, since you don't have an arrow)? Check. Secret targets around the area? One was pointed out to me, though since I wasn't shooting very well, I decided not to try it. I admit that I was completely floored with how well this title turned out.

Two of the games from the original Wii Sports return as well, with golf and bowling being put back in with new refinements to complete the package. I regret not trying the new swordfighting game, which also replaces the boxing game as the direct versus mode.

What I saw of Wii Sports Resort left me incredibly impressed. The development team clearly took a lot of time to make each game feel right and play smoothly. The title should prove to be very addicting, and it's a great start for Nintendo's advancements in motion precision. It's been needed for a long time, and it'll certainly help as the Wii faces new competition on its own turf.


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