Wii Sports Resort - WII - Preview
E3 2008 Preview
When Nintendo announced their obscurely named "Wii MotionPlus," I wasn't sure it'd be worth it. The idea of attaching something to the bottom of your Wii remote -- even something small and lightweight -- seemed about as appealing as Sega CD: it was a nice concept, but who really uses it?
Wii MotionPlus, however, makes the standard Wii controls obsolete. To be honest, this is exactly what the Wii remote should have been in the first place. Once attached, you get one-to-one control with every game designed for the MotionPlus. Thus far that lineup is limited to just one game, which the MotionPlus will be packed with: Wii Sports Resort. Only three of its mini-games were shown, and all were pretty cool. Two of the three, however, were downright impressive.
Jet Ski Racing
If you've read our Nintendo media briefing coverage, then you already know about this and the other two games. But what you don't know is how well they actually control. Amazingly, this game feels as good as the concept claims. It isn't easy holding your arms out to form handlebars. Without a doubt, you're going to get a little tired. But if you can endure this little annoyance, you'll discover a mini-game that should be turned into a full-fledged sequel to Wave Race.
Here you have just one goal: race through the rings as fast as possible. The faster you go, the more points you'll get per ring (each ring has a 10 second time limit; the number of seconds determines how many points are received). Every ridiculously sensitive move is effected in the game. You can't move your hands frantically, and there isn't any shaking. You must be steady and tilt the controllers (remote and Nunchuk) carefully to keep your jet ski from running into things. Despite the controller difficulty, it felt great. The demo was short and likely represents the length of the final mini-game, but you can be sure players will want to tackle this one several times over before a proper jet ski game is released. (Are my Wave Race hints subtle enough?)
As far as the graphics are concerned, the water/wave effects were excellent, but were much more cartoony than the Wave Race or Splashdown series.
One word: wow. This mini-game is, like the rest, much too short for its own good (in demo form at least. So were the original Wii Sports games and they did not change before launch). But it is incredibly intuitive and addictive. Using wooden swords, you can attack your opponent in almost any way you please. This is not an exaggeration -- when Nintendo said one-to-one, they meant one-to-one. Your hand movements translate into on-screen reactions. The only drawback was that I couldn't raise my sword high over my head, a move that may not be practical but seems like fun after watching Anakin do it in Star Wars.
The game is played on a round platform raised above water. You win by hitting your opponent enough times to knock him or her off the platform. When falling, the camera work is quite good -- Wii jumps right into the spinning, diving, I'm-falling-into-water visuals the moment you're knocked off.
Ahhh, the Frisbee throwing game. You know the gist...throw a Frisbee to a dog, which will either catch or fetch it and bring it back to you. Not too exciting, but the controls were very realistic. Lots of non-gamers, especially older players, will enjoy this. But unless something else is added to the final version, it won't do much for anyone else.
Nintendo isn't talking. All we know is that the game will include at least as many mini-games as the first and will be packaged with one MotionPlus. Addition MotionPlus adaptors can be purchased separately, allowing players to take advantage of the essential multiplayer experience.