Pilot Wings supports fun gameplay for a while, but it gets old pretty fast and fails to be as good as its predecessors.
Pilot Wings Resort is fun as it lasts for sure, it's just that it doesn't last very long.
Pilot Wings Resort doesn't hold any story or other reason to play the game, except a few unlockables. You just choose one of its 4 profiles, then choose a Mii, then you get a membership card and then you are a member of the Wings club or how they call it.
The game takes place on Wuu Huu Island from Wii Sports Resort, and yes, it's the only Island in the game. Though alot of gamers will love to fly around the well designed Island of Wii Sports Resort, everybody who have played Island Cruising in Wii Sports Resort totally, won't find anything new on the Island.
The gameplay is broken into two major modes: Mission Flight and Free Flight.
In Mission Flight you play through a number of missions that are scattered around Wuu Huu Island by trying to score as high as possible. Your score then is rated by one, two or three stars. The missions are all solid, engaging and support a nice difficulty curve. The missions remain in the seven sections: beginner, bronze, silver, gold, platinum and after getting on every mission all 3 stars a final section called diamond. The farther you get, the more challenging the game gets, and the last few sections full with missions put up a satisfying challenge. There are 3 types of vehicles to discover: plane, rocket belt and hang glider. Rare missions also let you play with upgraded version of those vehicles, like a turbo jet, super rocket belt and bicycle glider. And then there is only one mission where you play as your Mii in a squirrel suit, avoiding obstacles while you are falling.
As you see, there isn't really an impressive amount of vehicles here, in fact, there are less vehicles in this game than in the N64 version, but at least those vehicles in this game prove to be really fun for a while.
Sadly, the mission mode does fall short in variety. All the missions only have you flying through specific objects, charging at specific objectives and landing on a specific platform or area. There is a bit variety between the objects and objectives you encounter, but it the missions still feel very similar from each other. The whole experience just feels somewhat to simple.
Free Flight mode is a whole other story, in this mode you fly around Wuu Huu Island with one of the 3 vehicles to collect hidden content like sights or balloons. In mission mode you also have the ability to unlock more content to collect for Free Flight mode as well as the 3 upgraded vehicles to fly with in Free Flight mode. Collecting the treasures scattered around Wuu Huu Island is engaging, though in the beginning you only have like one and a half minutes until you have to stop. Yup, its timed, which can get frustrating. Luckily you do unlock extra time for collecting enough balloons, but first near the end where you then have like 4 minutes to fly above the Island it feels like enough time to collect hidden treasures, and that's a bit to late. Still, it can be enjoyable to swoop over Wuu Huu Island and collect some of the scattered content. But also this mode suffers a bit of its missing variety. It at least would have been nice to see some extra Islands to fly around in this game, but sadly these are all absent. Also, the content that can be found in this mode is a bit weak. At the end, I was hoping to unlock a bit more content to play with, but all I unlocked was a few dioramas that hurt in my eyes when zooming to close in because of the 3D effect. At the end, Free Flight mode left me wanting for more.
Talking about the 3D effect though, it looks great. One good aspect of the game is simply its visuals. Though pretty simple, they are charming, with bright and colorful environments. The 3D effect also is great: Though it doesn't necessarily add to the experience, it does add a great sense of depth to the visuals and it does help recognizing the distance of your objectives.
Sadly, I do have another complaint to point out, and it's one of the biggest I have with the game. There is no Multiplayer in this game: How awesome would it be to fly around Wuu Huu Island with a friend or to take part in a plane battle with shooting balls at each other. Sure, not to many buy the 3DS right away probably, but it still would have been great for those who have friends to play with. And, with the Street Pass included to the 3DS, there easily could have been online play to extend the games life a bit. There aren't even any leader boards where you can compare your scores with those from other profiles.
I had a great time with Pilotwings Resort as it lasted. Both modes where entertaining more or the less and the presentation also has its charm. I enjoyed flying with all 3 vehicles and was impressed by the really responsive controls. But, with that said, this game gets old pretty fast, it just feels to simple and plain. Seriously, Island Cruising in Wii Sports Resort already had half of it's content, and though it didn't have the same awesome controls, the variety between vehicles, and mission mode, at least Island Cruising had multiplayer to keep it entertaining a bit more. And, Wii Sports Resort had besides Island Cruising lots of different sports games to offer.
As it stands Pilot Wings Resort just feels like an extension of Island Cruising, which is definitely fun and entertaining as it lasts, but all in all feels somewhat plane and doesn't nearly reach the awesomeness of Pilotwings on the N64.
+ strong controls
+ cool vehicles
+ engaging modes
+ pretty visuals with strong colors that are especially pleasing in 3D
- weak value
- not that much content to be discovered
- little variety with no real surprises
- no Multiplayer and no online support
Review Score: 6.5/10