Imagine you’re in a plane flying over an island and to land on the island you skydive. That is the opening scene for Wii Sports Resort. From there, its a round of of games both alone and in teams. All kinds of fun that would normally be enjoyed a tropical island vacation, translated into a version that can be played in your living room. The variety includes fairly normal things like baseketball and bowling and also things like skydiving, wakeboarding and swordplay. And beyond just making these games playable year round any where, they are almost all multi-player. And for those who chose to play with less than the maximum number of human players, there is an adaptive difficulty to the NPCs.
Adaptive difficulty. While a lot of shooter games or strategy games have the ability to change their difficulty level to reflect the abilities of the player, this isn’t as common in games that are for the most part a set of multi-player minigames that also just happen to have the ability to have computer players. The adaptive difficulty in Wii Sports Resort is very well done, giving the player opponents who are just slightly better than they were the last time they played so that the player is constantly improving. Each player is represented by their own Mii and every time they play a new sport, they get a score for it. This score is their skill level. Every time the player does well, their score goes up to reflect how well they did. Just winning doesn’t guarantee that your score goes up a lot, you also have to do well. To really increase your player score by a large number, total victory is the best way. And it works the same way in reverse. If the game is too hard, then the player score goes down and the game becomes easier.
Graphics. The adorable cartoony graphics that we’ve come to know and love from the Miis and the Wii Sports and Wii Play games has continued to shine in Wii Sports Resort. And better than just continuing use of the avatar type, if you have a Mii stored, you can use that same Mii in this game and its outfit is updated to reflect the resort vacation. Hawaiian shirts for all! The environments are beautifully rendered in such a way that they look realistic but the cartoony people and animals don’t stand out as being unusual. More than just having pretty background, the environments actually matter to the game and things change as you would expect them to. For example, if you were practicing your archery skills shooting out over a pit of lava (an environment that is available in the game) and you miss the target, your arrow doesn’t just splash down into the lava like it does in the water. The arrow behaves exactly as you would expect an arrow to behave if it landed in the lava.
The game-play for Wii Sports Resort is essentially like any other Wii title. The Wiimote is used to aim, shoot, throw, run, wakeboard, or whatever else you might need to do. All of the different sports are controlled with close simulations of the real movements required to play. Some of the simulations are a bit of a stretch (like the cycling) but for the most part the games are well designed and easy to figure out and play. And if that wasn’t enough, they also remind you how to play every time you start up just in case you forgot.
So remember to come again on Friday for the wrap-up of this week’s reviewing where I will present my overall thoughts on the game and score it.