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Critical Reception: Nintendo's  Wii Sports Resort

Critical Reception: Nintendo's Wii Sports Resort

August 5, 2009 | By Danny Cowan

August 5, 2009 | By Danny Cowan
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More: Console/PC, Columns

This week's edition of Critical Reception examines online reaction to Wii Sports Resort, a Nintendo-developed, MotionPlus peripheral-bundling minigame compilation that reviews say is "worth the upgrade." Wii Sports Resort currently earns a score of 80 out of 100 at

Justin Haywald at gives Wii Sports Resort a grade of A-. "Wii Sports, the casual-friendly minigame collection Nintendo packages in with every Wii, has some definite shortcomings," he explains. "But, as a launch title, it showed developers how to take Nintendo's minimalistic remote and create fun, engaging games."

Haywald continues: "Wii Sports Resort takes that same pick-up-and-play formula and expands on it, with the help of the MotionPlus accessory (an add-on that comes bundled with the game and heightens the Wii Remote's motion-sensing capabilities)."

Haywald finds the game to be a much more compelling experience than its predecessor, despite the varying quality of its included games. "Wake Boarding, Canoeing, Power Cruising, Cycling, and everything in the Air Sports category (aside from Dogfight mode) are either overly repetitive or just annoying to control," he says.

Haywald describes Swordplay and Archery modes as highlights, however, and recommends the game for party settings. "Like Wii Sports, Wii Play, and Wii Music, this is a game made to be played with friends," he notes, "and your enjoyment with the title will directly relate to how much time you're able to spend playing it with other people."

At WorthPlaying, Sanford May rates Wii Sports Resort at 9 out of 10. "Although through Resort's table tennis I came to fully appreciate Wii MotionPlus, the effect was not immediately noticeable for me," he relates. "It crept up on me.

"In fact, as it happened, I noticed the vast majority of poor returns I made were indeed poor returns and not lost points based on what was almost exactly the same as an immediately prior shot, which had actually nailed a fine return. Insofar as it works with Wii Sports Resort games, MotionPlus makes 90 percent of everything your fault."

May finds that a Wii Remote equipped with a MotionPlus accessory is much less prone to error. "Bear in mind that's still about a 10 percent 'What the...?' rate, where you command one thing and the Wii does something completely of its own devising," he warns. "Still, that's not at all bad."

May describes Swordplay mode as the realization of a long-awaited dream for many Wii owners. "Swordplay is probably going to sit on at the top of the charts as a core gamer's favorite because the Wiimote control system begs for a good sword-fighting game, and so far, all Wii saber-rattling has been notably poor," he writes. "Right now, Swordplay is the best that's out there, and it's a lot of fun fighting with a friend or the AI."

Wired's Chris Kohler scores Wii Sports Resort at 8 out of 10, noting that the Wii MotionPlus accessory makes for vastly improved gameplay over its predecessor title.

"In Wii Sports' tennis game, you'd just swing your Wiimote as the ball traveled towards you, and the game would roughly interpret your motion as best it could," Kohler explains. "Playing Wii Sports Resort's table tennis, the difference is immediately apparent: If you start moving your Wiimote around, you can see the onscreen paddle mimic every single one of your movements in real time."

Kohler praises Wii Sports Resort's archery minigame, in particular. "The hiss of the arrow in your ear (coming out of the speaker in the Wiimote) as it flies toward the target, the dramatic camera pan that accompanies a bulls-eye shot, the thunk and subtle swinging of the target, stuck with an arrow: This is videogame design," he says. "This is the masterful use of decades of knowledge to create real tension and release, resulting in you uncontrollably jumping up and pumping your fist when you land the perfect shot."

Other games don't fare as well. "I got addicted to archery, bowling, table tennis, swordplay and even a little bit of golf," Kohler writes. "I thought Frisbee, power cruising (Jet Ski without the license), wakeboarding and basketball were all right. Cycling, in which you wave your arms up and down to simulate pedaling a bike, was not quite ready for prime time. Ditto canoeing."

"If Wii Sports was the Pong of our day, Wii Sports Resort is the Super Pong machine with color graphics and handball and hockey modes," Kohler concludes. "Some of it is superfluous, but it's worth the upgrade."

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