Wii Sports Resort: If you gotta play, pick the island
Last Friday night I was intrigued to observe a dozen 9 and 10 year old boys and girls sort through a massive collection of video games and cooperatively decide to play just one – Wii Sports Resort. This game has been in our covey of CDs for several years, and it’s one of my 10-year-olds favorites. Actually, it’s one of my favorites, too, but oddly, I’ve never reviewed it. Perhaps it’s just so familiar to me that I assumed it is to everyone else, as well.
When my son wants me to play a video game with him, I always suggest Wii Sports Resort or Just Dance 3. These are games that don’t require reading two pages of narrative to understand character plots and storylines. They’re not shooter games requiring fast handheld controller action to change weapons, turn, jump, crouch, shoot, etc., which are challenges beyond my coordination level. Instead, Wii Sports Resort ($16-$24) is a game that moms and dads can do with their children; it’s also physically invigorating and fun.
This get-off-the-couch and move sports game is on the resort island of Wuhu and is rated E for everyone. It requires a Wiimote, a nunchuk and significant floor space. A single player or two can choose from an initial offering of 12 games.
The Friday night kiddos chose swordplay, but they could have chosen wakeboarding, frisbee, archery, basketball, table tennis, golf, bowling, power cruising, cycling, canoeing or air sports.
The first two up battled, swinging, slashing and jabbing their remotes wildly to knock the opponent off a circular platform, plummeting them into the crystal clear waters below. The winner remained, and the next contender took the controls.
The screen splits in Resort so each player is looking at his or her opponent head on, making it a real one-on-one dual. Like all of the sports selections in Resort, there are several different competitions in swordplay. After 20 minutes or so of play, the gamers moved to a fast draw contest called Speed Slice. Both stood poised as large objects were thrown at them and they were challenged to chop the pound cake, sushi roll, etc. in the direction of a lighted arrow. This challenge requires quick thinking and action.
All play is based on your physical body movements, mainly upper body. In table tennis, for example, players swing the Wiimote like a ping-pong paddle. In bowling, the Wiimote becomes the bowling ball, requiring a backwards swing action and forward release. Golf, as you might think, requires the life-like motions for playing the actual tee ’em up game.
Although you might think cycling would require leg movement, it doesn’t. This activity is done using both mote and nunchuk. You pedal by moving both arms up and down at the elbows, basically pedaling with your arms. Leaning side to side helps you navigate around corners.
Get a good core-body work out when canoeing, which requires a side to side twisting motion, or in basketball for a 3-point contest or pick-up game. Basketball is likely the most physical sport on the game. Shooters jump as they try to make as many shots in a limited time or oppose one another in a game – shooting, blocking and stealing.
Wakeboarding and power cruising are similar but the landscape is pretty, in a cartoon way, and both contests are easy fun.
As you play, you unlock games within the sports. So canoe, and then you can unlock the speed canoe challenge, for example. Essentially, there are 12 games but 24 different challenges within the primary sports that come unlocked after play.
Resort offers gender friendly, age inclusive – 3 years to 80 and on up – kinda fun. Plus, it’s always great to find a shared activity with children that you all enjoy. Wii Sports Resort fits the bill.