Gameplay Time: 2 hours
Games tried: Swordplay, Table Tennis, Archery, Bowling, Basketball, Air Sports, Frisbee, and JetSki
Multiplayer: Only games that support “turns” sharing the same controller. No simultaneous.
Here we go. Jarrod Nichol has started an interesting feature with his. We here at Project COE are going to continue this potential tradition with big releases, leading up to full-fledged reviews.
I just bought my copy of one of Nintendo’s most anticipated games this year. Upon opening the box, I take a look at the MotionPlus add-on and attach it accordingly. Take note that the peripheral has it’s own remote jacket that you’re forced to house your controller in. No big deal as the whole package is designed really well. About every obstacle you can possibly think of is put into consideration; nunchuck attachment is simple, wrist strap can be adjusted through an opening behind the jacket, a lock-in switch on the MotionPlus itself to assure a tight fit.
The first thing you’ll notice is how smooth it is navigating the Wii System Menu with MotionPlus. Truly, that alone says that there’s some added power to motion-sensing. Generally navigating the channels and menus is pretty jittery. Also, there’s some extra weight that you’ll notice with your Wiimote. Very comfortable, though.
Upon choosing the game, you’re given a hilarious tutorial about the Wii MotionPlus that cannot be skipped and goes on for 3 minutes. My friends and I simply laughed out loud at this “Wii MotionPlus for Idiots” video and cracked cheap Wii jokes continuously. It almost sounds like one of those videos shown before your flight on how to use a seat-belt. To add more fuel to the fire, the commentator even has the audacity to suggest something weird: that if I want to remove the MotionPlus from the Wiimote, I’ll have to put back the original remote jacket in. Yeah, right. It’s a pain in the butt to begin with to remove the stupid jackets when I’ll need to charge my remotes using Nyko’s quad station. Moreover, the calibration tip would have been pretty useful if the game itself hadn’t suggested it a zillion times.
Anyway, after that nightmare the game starts off atypically instead of your usual title theme. I appreciated this appealing intro and found it kind of funny and ironic that the game started off with the Mii of my friend who had the controller. Good stuff. Next, we tried out a bunch of games; Swordplay, Table Tennis, Archery, Bowling, Basketball, Air Sports, Frisbee, and JetSki. Collectively, I first noticed a huge graphical improvement over it’s predecessor. The Mii characters are still extremely simple in nature, but the environments are so detailed…full of color, physics, and little details here and there. And of course, just like the original Wii Sports, not every game here is a hit…either due to the concept of the game itself or how the controls are handled. Despite providing a bit more longevity via additional challenges and modes per game, that demo-like experience still lingers on like no tomorrow. As soon as you start playing a certain game, you’ll start wondering about its possibilities if were a full game on its own…and even comparing it to a certain similar Nintendo franchise. Yep, I too thought of Wave Race when playing JetSki and Archery reminded me of Twilight Princess.
Out of the games we tried out, I can safely say that Table Tennis currently takes top honors. The controls are spot-on and are a true testament to what the MotionPlus is all about. Every little detail is handled accurately…we experimented with spins, power shots, and serves…it works all too well here. It really makes me wish that Tennis from the original Wii Sports could’ve made a return here with better controls…that game represented the original Wii Sports so well with motion-controls and overall fun-factor because of four-player simultaneous multiplayer. Table Tennis does the same with Wii Sports Resort minus bigger multiplayer.
Archery is another really cool game and deserves second place in my book. Despite not using the MotionPlus as aggressively as intended, the nunchuck controls really feel like you’re actually using an arrow. The depth-of-field techniques, blur effects, and colorful environments also make this mode appealing to gawk at.
Frisbee really surprised me with how good it works. It’s probably the least-appealing game out of the bunch, but the controls work so well…almost like throwing a real frisbee and the mechanics mirror Bowling somewhat. Obviously, people will immediately compare it with its Nintendogs counterpart. This has cooler controls, however.
Speaking of Bowling, it’s enhanced form doesn’t feel all that different from the original Wii Sports because that had some great controls to begin with. I can say that the detection on your throw arc and such is better and there’s a lesser margin of error overall. So if you were a fan of the original, you’ll love this one as well.
Swordplay is sort of fun. It doesn’t use the MotionPlus as deep as I thought, but it works well overall. Think of this mode as an enhanced form of Boxing from the original Wii Sports…with better controls obviously. Protecting yourself from hits feels spot-on and 1:1…but the hits themselves aren’t that impressive. You’re able to choose where you’re slashing from but you can’t play around with the attack itself. Stabbing is perhaps the deepest this one will go in terms of attack types. All in all, I sort of wanted more from this game.
Basketball kind of surprised me, too. Originally, I didn’t feel too excited watching our COE team testing it out in E3…but after playing it with my buddies I came away impressed. The concept of shooting hoops is extremely simple, perhaps one of this game’s simplest ideas next to Frisbee, but there’s a certain depth you’ll find as you take aim and flick your wrist…as if you’re really trying to score a point in real life. Additionally, I like the fact that the MotionPlus detects actual jumping from us as an alternative to “swinging” your arm to get ready for the shot. Really feels like you’re playing some B-ball here.
Air Sports and JetSki really disappointed me. Both modes feel incomplete and make me wish that Nintendo would announce Pilotwings and Wave Race already instead of this crap. The former game has accurate control but basically has no clear-cut objective unless you like to fly around and see the sights. I have to admit that “Dogfight” has some potential fun factor should I ever obtain an additional MotionPlus (don’t worry, I’ll end off with a rant about this). The latter game has extremely confusing and jittery controls…perhaps I don’t fully understand the game yet but my friends and I really followed the instructions we were given…holding the Wiimote and nunchuck like handlebars…but the JetSki simply does not want to stay in a certain path…I keep turning left and right for some reason even though my hands are still. I even calibrated the controller a few times, but no no avail.
To end today’s log, let me rant about how expensive individual MotionPlus controllers are. 20 bucks a pop…wow. Even though I’m treated with a pack-in at regular retail price, the value of Wii Sports Resort is still lower than the original Wii Sports due to the need to buy another MotionPlus (or 3) for simultaneous multiplayer. Not that this game has enough appeal on that font to begin with. Normally, I wouldn’t be too upset if this were a matter of buying extra controllers…but this is a completely different concept. I already have four Wii Remotes and four nunchucks…and hypothetically speaking, with three additional MotionPlus add-ons that’s more than 300 US dollars just for the sake of controllers.
Later days with deeper impressions on my favorite sports and ones I haven’t played (though I have the feeling that the enhanced Golf will be the only good one among the rest). I may add pictures of the MotionPlus when I have time. Fitness Rocks!