E3 2009: The Five: Wii Sports Resort
The 10-Cent Tour: The included-with-every-Wii game that brought virtual bowling and golf to nursing homes the world over returns. Wii Sports Resort includes some more action-oriented games and a new controller accessory that makes the Wii Remote more accurate.
1. It all starts with skydiving. To get players used to the Wii MotionPlus accessory, the game uses a skydiving Mii making a series of simple mid-air formations as an analogue for the Remote -- leaning down to go faster, or splaying out to slow down. The added responsiveness and accuracy of the peripheral are immediately apparent from the first moment of play.
2. Bowling and Golf are back from the original Wii Sports, but enhanced by the MotionPlus controls. This means your form actually matters when you take your virtual golf swing, and it's much easier to put fine spin on the ball in bowling. This should make both games slightly harder to toolbox, but I'm sure lazy gamers will find a way to play without getting up.
3. The extra accuracy of WiiMotionPlus adds a lot to many of the new games. The Remote seems to detect the slightest shades of movement when you're using it to aim a bow, flick up a three-point basketball shot, or throw a gently curving frisbee disc. The best use of the technology, though, might be Table Tennis, which makes it exceedingly easy and natural to position and spin the ball -- much more than the original Wii Sports' Tennis.
4. That said, there are some games in Wii Sports Resort that just seem like a waste of the WiiMotionPlus' potential. Canoeing ends up a frantic battle of who can scoop the Remote back and forth across their body the fastest. Wakeboarding uses the Remote as a glorified steering wheel, automating mid-air tricks as you cross the wake. The worst use, though, is the cycling section, where you crank your arms like a pair of legs to bike around the island. Last I checked, cycling used the legs, not the arms. They should have left this one in Wii Fit Plus.
5. Before playing most games, you have to recalibrate the Wii MotionPlus by laying it down upside-down on a flat surface. This is slightly annoying on its own, but it was even more annoying at E3, where demo coordinators had to hold down the Remotes to smooth out the rumbling caused by the thumping bass nearby. Those with loud neighbors: Beware.
The Crispy Forecast: A nice showcase for the great new MotionPlus accessory, but the general lack of four-player simultaneous competition makes it less likely to become a new party favorite.
This preview is based on a hands-on demo of the game at E3 2009.