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June 5, 2015

Top 12 Sports in Wii Sports Resort

Read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I extensively covered Wii Sports Resort in the preceding two posts. This time, I’m taking a look at the twelve sports I like the most in this game. And since there are 24 sections, divided between twelve categories, that means I’m looking at half the content in this game. I wasn’t in the mood to make a Bottom 12 this time around (I prefer to keep those for larger minigame collections), so I’m keeping this a happy list! Hope you enjoy.

12. Slalom Course (Power Cruising)
Hurry up! You have five seconds!
You hold the Wii remote and Nunchuk like handlebars. Your Mii is driving a jet ski, and you have to drive around a water course. Large vertical rings appear on the course, with a countdown starting at 10. The idea? Speed through every ring, as fast as possible (you can get a speed boost by twisting the Wii remote in your right hand), in the exact order in which they’re presented (skipped one? There goes many valuable seconds spent trying to go back and crossing it again), and cross the Finish Line. When you pass through a ring, you get points equal to the time remaining on its countdown. Sometimes, there are smaller rings within the big rings, and you get twice the amount of points when you cross inside those. Yay!  But, most of all, be careful. A bad wave could cause your Mii – and his expensive jet ski – to miss a ring or ram into an obstacle. Also, in order to unlock the final levels, you have to act VERY fast and be VERY precise, because you need to score big. It’s not an easy sport, but it’s an enjoyable one nonetheless. Just don’t throw a fit when you find out you have to start a level over because you didn’t get a good enough score…

11. Golf
FOOOOOR! ALBATROSS! BIRDIE! HOLE IN ONE!
...BOGUEY.
This sport makes a comeback here with the 9 courses from the original Wii Sports, 9 new courses in this breathtaking environment, and three secret courses! (You unlock those secret courses by finishing each of the six sets of three courses with a final score under zero.) Once again, you need a lot of precision in order to get the best score. Thankfully, some holes are close enough from the starting point that it’s simpler to get a hole-in-one. As was the case with Wii Sports, here you can change your golf club at will (unless you’re close to the hole, in which case the clubs that would send the ball too far are removed from the selection), and you can even press 1 to see the terrain’s formation, and adjust your angle so that the ball will go into the hole. Personally, I like how all the golf courses are played on an island located a few minutes of flight away from Wuhu Island. I also like the inclusion of a variation: Frisbee Golf. I’ll discuss that one later.

10. Playing with a dog (Frisbee)
This level of cuteness is over 100%!
One word: PUPPY! You’re given a little puppy at the start of this game. The game takes place on Wuhu Island’s beach, and is pretty simple: You adjust your angle and then throw the Frisbee (I wholeheartedly suggest you follow the tutorial). Anyway, you throw the Frisbee, and then the puppy will chase after it, and then catch it in mid-flight. But here’s the added challenge: There’s an arrow on the beach indicating where you should throw the Frisbee. A smaller arrow indicates the spot where the puppy caught the Frisbee; the closer it is to the target, the more points you get. In the second half of the game, big balloons appear, and breaking them adds points to your score. You still have to aim for the target region on the beach, though… All in all, a difficult medigame to master, but a fun one. Plus, PUPPY. You can’t not like it. It’s a Puppy Mii! So adorable…

9. Speed Slice (Swordplay)
Yep, you can even break time counters.
Think of it as revenge for the worse aspect of Slalom
Course.
You play against another Mii in this competition to see who slices and dices the fastest. A judge Mii will throw two items in the air, and when they land an arrow appears on them. The goal is to swing the Wii remote in the same direction as the arrow… but you have to do it faster than your opponent. The player who slices his item first gains a point. Of course, as your opponent’s level increases, so does their speed. The match ends when one player has gained ten points. The funny thing is that some of the things thrown by the judge just shouldn’t be so easy to cut with these swords. I mean, loafs of bread, huge eggs, that’s alright, but flower pots? Won’t someone be angry? Timer machines? How could those be destroyed by a sword? A pencil? I thought they were mightier! Ah, never mind. It’s a sport I appreciate, less frustrating than the other two swordplay sports, Duel and Showdown. Definitely one to check out.

8. 10-Pin Game (Bowling *duh*)
Ten pins, one ball. Who will win? The player, of course.
Here goes another Wii Sports classic, the normal bowling game! The controls haven’t really changed, but this time you can choose not having to let go of the B button after swinging. That’s a neat feature for those who kept screwing up when time came to release the bowling ball in the original Wii Sports. Otherwise, the game is still unchanged. Maybe it notices wrist movements a little better. Also, the developers probably removed certain mechanics that made it possible to get a score of 300 easily. Have you heard about that guy who scored 300 points FOURTEEN THOUSAND times on the original Wii Sports? That’s some mad skills. Seriously, I tip my hat, my Mario cap in fact, to that guy. So, um… where was I going with this… Ah yes! I still like bowling in Wii Sports Resort, but I found out I liked playing 100-pin games even more.


7. Frisbee Golf (Take a guess)
Oddly enough, this game teaches you how to correctly
throw a Frisbee. 'Cause if you don't know how to do that, you
will never attract pretty people on the beach.
Frisbee makes a surprise comeback, like a boomerang! …Not really. Still, if there was one thing I never thought I’d try someday, it’s Frisbee Golf. And real-life Quidditch, but that’s another story. I thought it was an urban legend! Or just a throwaway gag in The Simpsons! And yet, it’s real. The concept is simple enough: You toss the Frisbee, and then you stand where it landed and you toss it again. As with normal golf, you have to try and beat every course in a number of throws. However, you don’t have to aim for a small hole here; instead, you have to aim for a circular region located where the hole should be. Just try to toss the Frisbee into that region! It’s harder than it seems, what with the risk of screwing up your throws, and the wind sending the Frisbee where you don’t want it to go… but all in all, it’s a fun sport and I’m glad they added it.

6. Wakeboarding
Is that a bird, is that a plane? No! It's a Mii who got flung away
by the boat that was pulling him!
Sort of a mix between surfing and waterskiing, wakeboarding is a practice where your Mii is being pulled by a boat, with his feet attached to a board. The idea is simple: You have to spin the horizontal Wiimote one side or another, and the Mii will go in the direction while being pulled. You must then pull the Mii back towards the waves created by the speeding boat (the wake), which will result in your Mii jumping. You can make another movement while jumping, which will cause the Mii to do an aerial figure, earning him double points. Just make sure to bring the Wii remote back to a completely horizontal position or your Mii will fall into the water instead of landing on it. The harder difficulties in this sport add obstacles, such as poles, that get in the way just as you’re trying to build up a score. Well, it’s still good. When pressing the – button instead of playing, you can play five minutes around the island. A great way to go sightseeing around Wuhu Island!

5. Skydiving (Air Sports)
It's the twelfth time they all go skydiving today.
Thank God it's free for the residents of Wuhu Island.
If you just bought (or rented) the game, chances are that this is the first sport you’ll ever play in Wii Sports Resort. And yeah, it’s a lot of fun. You twist the remote with your wrist to direct your Mii’s freefall, and you have to make him grab the arms of other Miis who went skydiving with you. There are so many in the sky… It’s raining Miis! Hook up with as many Miis as possible, then strike a pose and show a smile for the photograph who’s going to fly by! As all the Miis approach the ground, they start forming circles and other aerial figures around yours (wow, even before the game starts your Mii is apparently a guest of honor!), and you have to go through rings in the skies before everybody lets out their parachute. Well, the folks of Wuhu Island sure know how to make you feel welcome! Do they do that for everyone? I hope not!

4. Road Race (Cycling)
Since when is cycling harder for the arms than for the legs?
Hands-down the most exhausting sport in the game, but the second best one, right after Island Flyover, if you want to go sightseeing. Sure, it’s tough for the arms, but by completing all six portions of the great trip around the island, you see every location of interest on ground. (For obvious reasons, there is not a single bicycle race taking place on the sea, so you don’t get to take a closer look at Golf Island.) The concept is simple. You pedal by alternating shaking the Wii remote and Nunchuk. The faster you shake, the faster your Mii goes, but the faster it gets tired. See, your Mii has three hearts representing its state. When two hearts are down, your Mii will show many signs of tiredness. Lose that last heart and soon your Mii will be unable to keep going, and will have to take a break of a few seconds. The tricky part is to go fast, but not too fast (and take the risk that your Mii gets tired and you lose precious seconds), while still managing to reach first place. Oh yeah, it’s a race. The six-part mega-challenge, unlocked after you’ve completed all six parts individually and two trips comprised of three parts each, pits you against 49 other Miis racing. Do you have what it takes to reach first place?

3. Archery
Aim well, aim right, look for secret targets!
For this one, things get a little… inverted. That is, if you’re right-handed, anyway. You hold the Wii remote in your left hand, the Nunchuk in your right. To start aiming with the bow, you press Z and hold it. Then you hold A to adjust your angle and aim. Then, you let everything go to send the arrow towards the target. As with golf, you have to take the wind and its speed into account, as well as the distance separating your Mii and the target. Gee, good thing those gameplay mechanics aren’t in the 3D Zelda games, or else Link would waste an awful lot of arrows! I don’t get how the Meridas and Katnisses of Fiction Land can fire arrows with such precision despite all these factors. Then again, I don't know the rules to football, so I guess I just don't know much about sports. You get points depending on how close your arrow is to the center of the target. There are three levels (Beginner, Intermediate, Expert), twelve targets to aim for. As the difficulty progresses, the target is placed further from the archer, obstacles become more common, and the wind blows stronger. Good luck, you’ll need it! (P.S. Can you find all 12 secret targets?)

2. 100-Pin Game (Bowling!)
Gotta love chain reactions.
There’s just something fascinating about 100-pin bowling. It might be to see the domino effect that takes place after you’ve struck the first pin with your bowling ball. Hear all those pins fall and hit the floor. Maybe they’ll bring more pins down. Maybe they’ll be sent flying and fall on more pins. It’s quite beautiful, in a way. However, don’t get fooled. Knocking down all 100 pins in a single throw is hard. Not rare, but hard. More so than in 10-pin games, chances are that there will always be one or two pins still standing. Three to six, in the worst case scenario. Scoring 3,000 points here is even harder than scoring 300 points on a 10-pin game. However, due to the much larger bowling alley and the lack of scuppers, you can make your bowling ball ricochet on the sides… or you can throw your ball so that the first pin will fall, get thrown away, and hit the other standing pins. New strategies arise for this game. However, I feel sorry for those in-game folks who have to replace every single pin by hand…

1. Island Flyover (Air Sports)
Wow?
You probably guessed this was coming. I just can’t praise enough the Island Flyover mode. It’s great, just great. I already described it in great detail. I don’t think I need to talk about it any further. My only point of criticism is that you only have five minutes each time you play, which is too little in my opinion to fully enjoy this mode. Thankfully, it offers great rewards, gives complete control over what you do, and it offers the best panorama of the entire game. How can you not enjoy that?

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.

Well, that’s all I could say for Wii Sports Resort. Great game, and I don’t think I could say anything more about it. Next week, a WiiWare game review!