E3 2011: Go Vacation Hands-On Preview

We check out some of the 50 activities on offer in Namco Bandai's upcoming sports collection.


Currently scheduled for release toward the end of this year, Go Vacation is an open-world game that's simultaneously reminiscent of Wave Race 64, We Ski & Snowboard, Wii Sports, Pilotwings Resort, and a host of other games. While visiting the island on which Go Vacation is set, you can visit four distinct resorts (Marine, City, Mountain, and Snow) and take part in no fewer than 50 sporting activities. We had an opportunity to check out some of them during a visit to Namco Bandai's E3 booth earlier today.

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Starting out in the snow resort, we were reminded of Namco Bandai's own We Ski & Snowboard. We explored the resort at our leisure, and when we weren't racing down a slope or riding a chairlift back to the top, we interacted with plenty of characters. Icons above their heads clearly indicated their intentions, and so we headed straight for those who were going to present us with opportunities to take part in sporting and recreational activities.

First up was a bungee jump; this seemingly simple minigame (how hard can it be to jump off something?) actually ended up being pretty challenging because our goal was to get as close to the ground as possible before hitting the brakes. Still, it was fun to play split-screen with another E3 attendee before exploring the mountain in search of other activities. There was certainly no shortage of things to do at the snow resort; snow tube bowling, ice fishing, snowman building, snowmobile riding, and all manner of different ski and snowboarding events. Ultimately, though, we decided that in the interests of time, we should check out some of the other resorts.

We were spoilt for choice. We hit baseballs in the city, performed tricks on jet skis at the marine resort, and kayaked in the mountains. All of the activities that we tried used the Wii motion controls in ways that made sense, and there's no reason for us to think that other activities will be any different. Activities that we didn't get to see include, but are not limited to, target shooting, scuba diving, hang gliding, off-road racing, quick-draw contests, whack-a-mole, miniature golf, skydiving, and tennis. Needless to say, there's no shortage of variety.

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In addition to taking part in the numerous activities, you'll be free to explore Go Vacation's island any way you choose. You may want to rollerblade until you find an off-road truck, drive that truck to the ocean, climb out of it, and then scuba dive around the shoreline, for example. It all sounds very liberating, and furthermore, there will be hidden bonus items to search for in your travels. We look forward to finding some of those and bringing you more information on this promising game just as soon as we can get our hands on a copy of it.

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