Culture & Conversation

Fun in the Virtual Sun

When the Nintendo Wii came out in late 2006, it was bundled with Wii Sports, a collection of sports-themed mini games. Fifty-million-sold later and we now have Wii Sports Resort, a sequel with more games, and better controls. But does it capture what made the first game so compelling, easy to understand, and fun?

Wii Sports Resort, like its predecessor, is also a collection of sports-themed mini games. You start off skydiving your way to Wuhu Island. On this resort you can choose from a dozen games from archery to wakeboarding. The selection of activities range from typical island fare like jet-skiing and canoeing to more eclectic choices like fencing and aerial dogfights. Golf and bowling make a return with more accurate controls thanks to the Wii Motion Plus add-on bundled with each game.

The improved controls add realism and precision, but remind you of how bad you actually are at real bowling or golf. The game does a good job of making you mimic the actions of shooting a 3-pointer in basketball, throwing a Frisbee, or playing ping pong poolside, but cycling with your arms can get tiresome. Each game has multiple modes and challenges to unlock, and can be played with 1 to 4 players.

Graphically there is nothing significantly different from the first game, but the island setting is a welcome change in scenery. With this new backdrop there are tons of little details that ooze island flavour. Everyone is wearing Hawaiian shirts; the water looks and moves realistically as you carve into it with your board; the resort town is lit up at night like cottage country in Aspen. The sand is white and the skies are clear; the place looks like a five star getaway. With the sights comes the sounds of the islands as well. You can hear the waves crash onto shore in the background as the seagulls fly overhead. The crowds cheer and applaud at appropriate moments. The smack of a ping pong ball on a paddle to the screech of bike tires are all wonderfully recreated.

Wii Sports Resort’s attention to detail is what sets it apart from the first Wii Sports. The new events, the improved controls, and the cool island feel make this more than just your run of the mill sequel. Wii Sports Resort is out now for the Nintendo Wii.

Catch Marvin playing the game he reviewed on YouTube.

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