Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wii Sports Resort hits the bull's-eye

I have seen the new Wii Sports Resort.

I would say, it looks really cool!

These are the games included:

SWORDPLAY Basic in its complexity but visceral in its appeal, at least as much so as punching your best friend in the face in the original Wii Sports boxing. Can definitely be an upper-body workout.

WAKEBOARDING You hold the controller horizontally like a tether and steer left and right, flipping off the boat’s wake to do tricks and score points. I found it diverting, but it could not hold my attention for hours.

FRISBEE Almost entirely intuitive and natural. You either play fetch with a digital dog or, far better, Frisbee golf on the same courses you can also attempt in “real” golf. With some practice you can put some nice curves on each throw.

ARCHERY A real gem. One of the only video games I have ever played that is about deep concentration and focus rather than the more frenetic sort of eye-hand coordination. Archery truly capitalizes on the sensitivity of the MotionPlus. The first time a buddy makes a loud noise as you release your arrow, you will not find it funny. Of course, your buddy will.

BASKETBALL The one Wii Sports Resort activity that didn’t work for me. Either Nintendo messed up the programming or I’m just horrible.

TABLE TENNIS Along with golf and archery, one of my favorites. It’s fast, and MotionPlus makes it phenomenally accurate and powerful in creating spins and aiming shots. Taking on all comers.

GOLF A genuine step up from the golf in the original Wii Sports. Obviously not as detailed as the Tiger Woods game, but if you can’t control your wrists you will not hit straight shots in Wii Sports Resort golf, as it should be.

BOWLING A remake of perhaps the most popular game in Wii Sports. As someone who has been doing a bit of real bowling these days, I can say that the new Resort bowling is certainly more accurate than its predecessor. And who can resist 100-pin bowling (maximum possible score 3,000)?

POWER CRUISING A bit too similar to wakeboarding, just without the tricks.

CANOEING Good for 20 minutes, little more, unless you’re just looking for shoulder exercise.

CYCLING Ingeniously designed, blending rhythm and precision with some deceptively deep strategy in terms of deciding how to manage your energy over a racecourse. When do you exert yourself for a boost of speed, and when do you conserve your breath?

AIR SPORTS Think how you hold a paper airplane. That’s how you control your plane here. The dogfighting wasn’t fabulous, but I have to admit I spent more than an hour just flying around Wii Sports Resort’s digital island.


With more than 45 million copies in circulation, Wii Sports has probably been played by more people than any game in history. A subsequent minigame collection, Wii Play, sold 23 million copies. So Nintendo has high expectations for Wii Sports Resort, and there's no reason to think the company will be disappointed.

If you're a fan, you won't be disappointed, either. Resort is bigger, boosting the number of events from five to 12. The three sports that have returned (golf and bowling from Wii Sports, table tennis from Wii Play) are sharper, thanks to the new Wii MotionPlus accessory. And the whole package is as lighthearted, fast-paced and as accessible as the original.

The package comes with one MotionPlus device, which attaches to one end of the Wii remote and gives it more precise control. (It's available separately for $24.99.) When bowling, you can flick your wrist to give the ball some spin. Table tennis feels more like the real thing. The updated version of golf is more demanding: You really need to focus on keeping your swing straight, or you'll be digging a lot of balls out of the rough.

The most engrossing of the new events is archery. The Wii remote is your bow, and you pull back your virtual arrow with the nunchuck. Nailing a moving bull's-eye from the longest distance is a genuine accomplishment.

- The Associated Press - Indoor sports that aren't just for parents

DETAILS Wii, $50

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