E3 2008: Wii Sports Resort Hands-On

We try out three games in this update to Wii Sports, as well as the Wii's new Motion Plus.

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During Nintendo's E3 press conference earlier today, we watched as top Nintendo execs tried out the new Wii Motion Plus add-on on Wii Sports Resort, a new minigame compilation similar to Wii Sports. We managed to get our hands on a demo copy shortly after that, and got to try the three games that were shown at the earlier press event.

We were most keen to try Wii Motion Plus, so consequently we leaped on the Disc Dog game first and foremost. Wii Motion Plus--which supposedly significantly improves the motion-sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote--is a small add-on attached to the bottom of the remote. One Motion Plus will come bundled with copies of Wii Sports Resort (as will a new longer rubber cover protector), but will also be sold separately. We initially spent a significant amount of time just subtly twisting the remote in our hand while playing Disc Dog just to see how well the motion was reflected on the onscreen Wii. Picking up incredibly fine movements seemed to be no hassle, and it was cool to see an almost mirror image of our own movements onscreen.

First things first: You will definitely need the Wii Motion Plus to play this game, as it's not backward-compatible with current Wii Remotes. As for the actual Disc Dog game itself, you'll simply need to pull back your hand and pretend to throw a Frisbee to activate the action on game--you won't need to press any buttons to release the Frisbee, as the Wii Remote has a pretty good knack of knowing exactly when you would have let a real Frisbee go. You'll need to aim at a point onscreen, with greater points awarded the closer you get to the centre. Your trusty little canine companion will faithfully catch and retrieve your thrown Frisbee, although you can be mean and throw it completely out of its running range if the mood takes you.

Power Cruising is Wii Sports Resort's version of Wave Race, and it requires you to hold the Wii Remote and Nunchuk in one hand each (Wii Motion Plus isn't needed for this game). Acceleration is achieved by keeping your finger on the B button, with steering done by tilting your hands backward and forward, as you would with the handlebars of a real Jet Ski. This game also features a boost bar--quickly twisting the hand holding the Wii Remote (like using a throttle on a bike) will engage boost. While the boost doesn't last long, the bar refills pretty quickly, so we found ourselves using it quite a lot to regain speed lost on turns. The physics in this minigame were quite impressive--the Jet Ski behaved realistically when buffeted by waves, and the water effects in particular looked realistic.

The final game we tried out was two-player swordfighting, which also requires the use of Wii Motion Plus. The minigame first begins with a trial, with both players having to use their virtual swords to cut down logs onscreen. Once again, the sensitivity of Wii Motion Plus was pretty impressive, as we found ourselves able to make some intricate and precise cuts in the logs with ease. Things got decidedly less precise when it came to the two-player duel. The fight takes place on the top of a large platform over some water, with the goal being to score enough hits on your opponent to push him over the end and into the sea. This section was fast and frantic, and quickly devolved into frantic arm flailing. We're probably going to need more time with this particular minigame to see if there's any more finesse required.

Our brief play time with Wii Sports Resort left us wanting more--and by that we mean more games with more depth. As it stands, we're hoping this new game has more replay value than Wii Sports, which was fun for a while before quickly losing its appeal. We're eagerly awaiting more news from Nintendo about what else the game will be packaged with, so keep it tuned to GameSpot for more details as they come.

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