With the original selling close to 46 million units worldwide since its debut in late 2006 (packaged with the Wii in all territories but Japan), Wii Sports has proved to be immensely fun, no matter how basic the gameplay may be. Sure, we can be snide about Sports being a glorified tech demo for what the Wii could theoretically achieve with new-age motion control tomfoolery, but that was three years ago.
The sequel - Wii Sports Resort - hits shelves in North America on July 26 and in Europe on July 24 and besides being an updated minigame bonanza, there is one tremendous difference between the two titles: Wii Motion Plus. Yeah, this little $20 doohickey is supposed to provide 1:1 control (where your real-life movement is matched perfectly on-screen). But will you feel a difference? Will WMP blow your socks off? Is Wii Sports Resort more awesome with slightly enhanced technology? Will WMP be a new renaissance for the Wii-generation?
We weren’t sure ourselves considering Nintendo’s love for creating new peripherals. After playing through Resort, we’re here with a report on what you can expect, starting with the three holdovers from the first game.
To be honest, Bowling feels almost exactly the same as Sports 1, albeit with slight tweaks. The first Wii Sports did a wonderful job recognizing subtle movements with your wrist. We could really cater to our own bowling style with spins and such. However, there seems to be one big change to the bowling game as demonstrated in the video.
See how the Mii lets go of the ball after a full swing, almost with a slight pause? That’s because we were trying the tactic we learned from Sports 1, where you physically raise your arm way past the sensor to trick it. On screen, the Mii would just launch the ball about halfway down the lane and you could earn strikes regularly.
Not so anymore. Basically, this exploit has been eliminated. Resort and WMP recognizes the movement of your hand and has compensated to the point of just launching the ball like a regular bowler would in a normal bowling position. Guess you actually have to try this time, not that it was difficult in the first place.
Again, Golf doesn’t feel terribly different - only a tad more accurate and “touchy.” We say touchy because every slight gesture will register on the power meter. A miniscule side-to-side movement caused our power meter in putting to rise about halfway. Wow.
It does take some getting used to, probably because we couldn’t imagine putting a ball with hardly any power behind it and expecting the ball to go far. There’s almost zero tactile feedback in the game. In reality, the sensation of hitting a golf ball on grass would benefit your skill.
If you remember from Sports 1, the Golf minigame didn’t really allow for wild gestures, like say Tennis for example. Golf is all about finesse and probably asks more of your concentration than any other game in this package (besides Archery).
Okay, so Table Tennis isn’t the same as Tennis (duh), but the games are remarkably similar (duh). However, this time you battle one other opponent to score six points. Yeah, no doubles, which kind of makes sense considering you’re playing ping pong.
And again, we didn’t notice too big a difference in how Wii Motion Plus fundamentally alters gameplay or how you hold the Wii Remote. That can be a testament to Nintendo’s design, but we strongly suggest the case may be that the original controls for Sports 1 were fine and that WMP barely enhances anything (for Table Tennis at least).
We did notice that the slightest of flicks upwards on a serve will cause your Mii to launch that ball in the air. Seriously, Wii Motion Plus should just be re-branded as Wii Touchy as Hell.