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Wii Sports Resort Swordplay

We've looked before at the capabilities of the MotionPlus and now we've had some hands on time with the new gadget we've got a run down of it's pro's, con's and some general reflections.

Included in the box of the MotionPlus and Wii Sports bundle you'll find the add on itself, the game and a silicon jacket that comfortably fits around the now longer remote and gives better grip and comfort during play, which is a nice touch for your money and makes the £22 outlay slightly more justifiable.  On date of purchase the Wii Sports Resort and MotionPlus bundle was £35, substantially reduced by trading in Zelda at Game (who am I kidding I'm not gonna play it again it's been covered in dust for the last 12 months). I also took advantage of the Game £3 discount on a stand-alone motion plus (which still comes with the silicon jacket) reducing the price from £22 to £19, when purchased with the MotionPlus and Wii Sports bundle.

After 5 minutes of massively patronising instructional videos that you have to watch telling you how to connect the MotionPlus and jacket you've already connected, you parachute out of an aeroplane down to the Wii Sports Resort (Wuhu Island).  Falling through the air gives you your first chance to experiment with how the MotionPlus works and demonstrates perfectly the accuracy in which movements of the remote are replicated on screen.

On the island itself, Wii Sports Resort follows the familiar formula seen in Wii Sports, Wii Play and Wii Fit.  There are 12 sports at launch and as your progress in each one, you'll unlock new modes of that sport or new difficulties.  The games available are Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Airsports.

Describing each will be both impractical and boring so I've picked out my favourite 4 for special treatment (and a mention of Golf further down), although you can see a screenshot of all of them in the slideshow.

Archery – Compete with upto 3 other people on progressively harder archery courses, as the target moves further away, moves side to side, is covered with blocks and boarding and the arrow is blown by the wind.  Holding the remote as the bow and drawing back with the nunchuck, the Archery game is excellently addictive, challenging and fun. 

Swordplay – Swordplay comes with 3 modes, all equally entertaining.  Duel see's you fighting against an AI or human competitor in a 1-on-1 scrap with what look like inflatable balloon swords.  Enormously fun and achieves what we've been waiting for with the Wii from day 1 – a proper sword fight. Show Down is a one player extension of a duel style mode which see's you following fixed paths across the island taking on hordes of Mii's charging at you with their own balloon swords.  Speed slice is the 3rd swordplay mode in which you compete against a competitor to be the quickest to slice an object in the correct direction.  This is probably my favourite swordplay mode and again shows off the MotionPlus nicely.

Airsports – If parachuting seems a bit of a disappointment and dog fights are fun but dumbed down for the family audience, Airsports comes to life with the Island Flyover option, inviting you to investigate the whole island looking for and collecting points of interest.  This gives you the chance to fly around and check out the entire island with all it's classic nintendo-ness, subtleties and also pick up on exciting new possibilities for the future as Nintendo are rumoured to be developing Wuhu Island for other titles in the future.  The control of the plane is done with the remote, as if you were actually holding the plane and is both simple and realistically fun.

Table Tennis – The complaint I had with Wii Sports Tennis after a few hours with it was that it lacked any sense of true replication of your movement on the ball allowing you to basically move the remote how you liked to return it.  Table Tennis aptly demonstrates how spin, speed and direction can be applied to the ball and suggests that other tennis titles will be good purchases in the future.

Apart from these being in my opinion the most enjoyable games of Wii Sports Resort with Motion Plus I have pulled these out for extra attention because of the potential they show for new and exciting games in the future.  I can't wait for developers that have fewer concerns with colourful, bubbly, family-friendly games, to get to grips with this and let me play with a bow and arrow, a fighter jet, a realistic table tennis arena and a lightsabre. Bring it on.

The Wii MotionPlus adds an extra dimension with added complexity and depth to what could have previously been a shallow and simplistic experience.  This is excellent for the keen dedicated gamer looking for a more complicated, fulfilling experience. As we know though, millions of Wii owners are casual gamers, Wii-party gamers who have less interest in a deep, complex and fulfilling gaming experience and hence why there are so many shallow, cheap, awful Wii games cluttering the shelves of your local Game store.  While the MotionPlus serves to make the new games complex enough for hardened gamers to enjoy and be satisfied with, it makes some of the games potentially too complex for casual gamers to pick up and play with satisfaction.  And I guess there in is the genius of Nintendo in releasing an optional extra to enhance the complexity of their games for those who want it, but allowing others to maintain the pick-up-and-play, approachable interactions that they're used to. 

Golf serves as the best example of this, which adds enough new complexities to the swing to make it genuinely challenging to get the hang of and be good at, and is without doubt a less approachable game for beginners with the MotionPlus than without it.  The golf part of the game gives you a new 18 hole course, access to the original course and an unlockable bonus and remains my favourite Wii sports game.

Is it worth it? Well, if you loved Wii Sports back when it was released, you'll also love Wii Sports Resort and the MotionPlus and you should buy it now.  This isn't just a new Wii Sports Game with a few extra games, it's a big upgrade and shows off the exciting capabilities of the MotionPlus.  You'll like it for the same reasons you liked the original – its cutting edge games technology with enjoyable, friendly games.  If you didn't like Wii sports or you don't like the concept of playing virtual games in this manner, it probably isn't for you.  The MotionPlus is not only more of the same, its more of the same AND better, so if you didn't like the original this probably isn't for you. One other quick word of warning and one which I've already picked up on – the MotionPlus adds the extra depth and complexity to the Wii sports games that many of us have wanted, but because of that extra complexity it makes some of the games less accessible to very casual gamers and those who want an easy pick up and play game will probably be able to find a better way to spend twenty-odd quid.

Overall the MotionPlus and Wii sports bundle is an excellent purchase which should reinvigorate your interest in the Wii that may have been suffering from a lack of attention recently.  With other titles, like Tiger Woods and Grand Slam tennis, already taking advantage of the MotionPlus, and many more doubtless lined up, the future looks rosier for the Wii now than it has for at least the last 12 months.  Dust off your little white box, clear some room in your living room and prepare for the Wii's rebirth into your gaming schedule.

8/10

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Good review, the game is a

Anonymous on Mon, 08/17/2009 - 12:18

Good review, the game is a lot better than most people would think. All we now need is a MotionPlus Zelda.

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