Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wii Sports Resort

It's my birthday this weekend, so I finally got around to picking up Wii Sports Resort.  It's a heckuva lot of fun.

Well, I should be honest and say that several of the 12 events are a heckuva lot of fun.  Many of them just seem like padding, leftover Wii Sports events, and don't take particular advantage of the greater precision afforded by the Wii MotionPlus add-on, which is the most compelling reason for this new game to exist.

But the events that do use the peripheral well are very entertaining. I'm thoroughly enjoying table tennis -- it's similar to Wii Sports Tennis, but it's much easier to put "English" on the ball, and forehand and backhand swings are recognized and handled correctly.  Frisbee throwing works pretty well and intuitively.  And the canoeing events can be a good workout -- the act of pushing against the water feels fairly real, and the event is much less artificially forgiving than has been typical of Nintendo's casual games.

My favorite challenges by far, though, are the sword fighting events.  The fencing is a lot better than the old Wii Sports boxing, and the "cut down a series of enemies" events are really fun.  As I've noted before, it's clear that while Wii MotionPlus does a much more accurate job of tracking angular movement than the Wiimote by itself, it still has no real idea of where your hands are in space -- attempts to stab forward with the sword or raise it over your head to bring it crashing down on your enemies don't really work the way you'd like.  But when you're swinging it around with crazed abandon or deadly precision, it feels just right - at one with your hands, and doing just what you want it to do.  It's an illusion, to some degree, but it's a compelling and engaging illusion.

So bring on Red Steel 2.  Or some sort of Zelda game with realistic sword fighting, please.  And let's not neglect the Star Wars universe either -- Nintendo's given us a workable light sabre haft, let's see if Lucasarts will step up to the plate.

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