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SummaryA game with broad appeal, best played in groups
The GoodLike most games for the Wii, Sports Resort is primarily enjoyable when played with others. Maybe it's my competitive nature, but the only other way to play with any level of pleasure is by seeking to establish the highest score for each mini-game for bragging rights. After this, about the only other use for the game is to practice, practice - to be better for the NEXT time you play with others!
This game features several carry-overs from the original Wii Sports title (Bowling, Golf, and Table Tennis which serves as an analogue for the first game's Tennis). Bowling is a significant improvement over the original version, with the Wii MotionPlus providing all the difference - finally, an accurate representation of the player's subtle movements.
To keep players motivated to keep playing, "stamps" are given out for personal achievements reached during gameplay. Many can be accomplished by accident, but more often, they provide incentive to keep playing until all are earned. A nice touch to increase replayability.
As well, after each individual game, a player's rating level is assigned and tracked over time. Yet another way to encourage replays by urging the competitive player to continue improving their numerical rating to achieve the next "class" level.
The BadThough the game features 12 sports, each having 2-3 variations (i.e. for Bowling: "Standard", "100 Pin", and "Spin Control"), most users I've seen play (and myself) tend to only enjoy 3 or 4 sports and ignore the rest. Not exactly a high ratio of playability.
The game often requires "ready" verifications to the level of extreme overkill. What I mean is that there are typically several button pushes required to start each round of a given sport (i.e. after sifting through menu after menu establishing which game to play, which Mii to use, R/L Handedness, etc., Table Tennis begins with a shot of the table and requires pushing A to begin, then A again after a player closeup, then pressing A+B to signal "start", then pointing the controller at the screen and press A once more to ACTUALLY START THE MATCH). Tedious!!!!
Errors in motion detection are going to be inherent in any of these systems, but when they occur during the middle of games, it can truly ruin gameplay. Again using Table Tennis as an example, the gamer can be using a forehand motion, but the Mii executes a backhand - typically resulting in a poorly-hit ball, game over, and some choice curse words directed at the Wii sensor. Not cool.
The aforementioned Stamps system is a nice feature, but many goals are near-impossible and frustratingly reduce your score as you seek to accomplish them. For instance, in Archery, each level has a hidden item (usually far in the distance and difficult to hit) - to achieve a stamp, you must hit each item in every level. But, while pursuing this feat, the player's rating takes a nosedive because each attempt results in zero points. So, you may end up with a stamp, but your rating appears to be a beginner! (The only way to avoid this decline in rating is to restart or quit after a failure, before the rating is calculated).
The Bottom LineThis game is actually quite fun, especially for the competitive at heart. As most Wii games, the highest value is to play with family and friends, laughing (and perhaps sweating!)
Whether striving to beat your girlfriend's high score (or your own), setting a record, achieving an elusive stamp, or increasing your Mii's event rating, the game has enough here to keep the solo player interested for awhile as well.