The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Given that it's the sequel to the game that defined the Wii experience for most people, and its packed-in with the WiiMotion Plus attachment, Wii Sports Resort could be the best-selling game of 2009. In many ways, this is more than just a game – it's intended to introduce the Wii audience to WiiMotion Plus in the same way the original taught us the basics of motion control.
The proceedings start off with cinematic flair, as your Mii parachutes down to the island from a passing plane. While you are skydiving, the game overlays a Wii remote over your character to show you how Motion Plus allows for fine adjustments of pitch and angle. On the way down you link up with other Miis in formation until your chute deploys, displaying a large Wii Sports Resort logo, taking you into the game. Later you can repeat the skydiving minigames and earn stamps for taking photos of yourself.At the resort, you and your friends can jump into any of the 12 minigames at will. While there are difficulties, alternate modes, and performance-based stamps to collect (think Xbox 360 Achievements), this game pretty much defines the phrase ''What you see is what you get.''
So what do you get? In addition to the WiiMotion Plus unit, your $50 nets you a collection of games more numerous and of better quality than the original Wii Sports. Some of the contests are designed to show off the greater degree of control the Motion Plus brings to the Wii; the swordplay and archery contests display just how sensitive the add-on makes the remote in detecting fine movements. In particular, archery shines by keeping a focus on actual challenge (something the first lacked almost entirely). Hitting a bullseye on a moving target from a great distance is no easy feat, but the Motion Plus controls convince you that you can do it if you just get the right angle. While it's not as difficult, the swordplay admirably showcases the near one-to-one accuracy when holding a virtual blade.
Other contests don't fare nearly as well. I could not figure out how to get the jet skis in the power cruising minigames to stay on course – even after recalibrating the Motion Plus several times. Other games work, but are simply no fun (cycling and canoeing, I'm looking at you).
The remaining modes fall somewhere between compelling and merely pleasant. Golf is definitely improved, but not nearly as accomplished as the recent Motion Plus enhanced Tiger Woods game. Frisbee and table tennis are solid fun, as is the three-point contest in basketball – too bad the actual two-on-two play is terrible. One surprise was the oddly addictive air sports game, which lets you cruise around the island while holding your remote like a paper plane.
In the end, the best game in Wii Sports Resort is actually the best game in Wii Sports. Bowling was good before, but now features the ability to spin the ball and perform curved rolls. Later levels even force you to perform these techniques by introducing moving barriers in the lane. Add in a fun new 100-pin mode, and bowling once again takes the Wii Sports crown.All in all, families that loved the first one would be well advised to pick up the sequel. It's a better game, and for the price of admission you get an accessory that will (hopefully) allow for improved gameplay for the future.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
If Wuhu Island were a real place, I wouldn't mind vacationing there; Nintendo's fictional vacation spot feels innately relaxing. The game's tropical Magnum, P.I. piano music entranced me while I participated in some of the most stress-free minigames I have ever played. As though I were vacationing with my therapist, the game kept reminding me to take a break and stretch my legs. But just because Wii Sports Resort makes you feel a little lazy doesn't mean there isn't anything to do. Of the 12 minigame categories, only a few are complete duds (go ahead and skip cycling). Many modes are not only fun, but provide you with plenty of options with which to waste your time. Air sports, for example, lets you skydive, tour the island on a plane, and participate in aerial dogfights. I wish there was a little more meat to some of the games - most only require a few simple motions - but in a way, that's what makes Wii Sports so relaxing. Multiple difficulties, unlockable courses, and a variety of achievement-style goals give solo players something to work towards, but tackling these minigames with friends is the reason to keep revisiting this resort.