The sequel to Wii Sports. More games, more control.

User Rating: 8 | Wii Sports Resort (w/Wii MotionPlus) WII
The original Wii Sports title is a signficant piece of gaming history. Why? Because not only did it mark the return of the pack-in game, it is also the best selling video game of all time, thanks to Nintendo's huge success with selling the Wii console. Sporting only five games, it may have been shallow, but it was good fun that displayed the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii's controller interface. Now, Wii Sports Resort comes along with 12 games, both old and new, and introduces gamers to the brand new Wii Motion Plus accessory, which increases the accuracy of the Wii remote.

When Wii Sports Resort begins, your Mii character jumps from an airplane to skydive along with a multitude of other Miis. It prompts you to hold the Wii Remote a certain way, and you tilt the controller exactly how you'd want your Mii to react on screen. You try to grab ahold of other Miis and make formations, and after falling several thousand feet, you deploy your parachute and land at Wii Sports Resort, an island chock full of new sporting events, and a few favorites from the old game.

The sporting events are as follows: Swordplay, Wakeboading, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Air Sports. Most games will have different modes that will unlock as you play. For instance, Swordplay starts out with just a versus duel, but then it unlocks Speed Slice, which has you slicing objects in a certain way before your opponent does. After you've played that for a while, it unlocks another mode called Showdown, which has you combating wave after wave of oppenents. A few games don't have new modes, but they have harder difficulties and multiplayer options.

Swordplay has you and your opponent trying to whack each other off the end of a platform suspended above water. It's quite hilarious to see them plummeting to the drink. Wakeboarding has your Mii being towed by a speedboat, where you use its wake to leap into the air and perform tricks for high scores. Frisbee has you tossing a frisbee as close to the marker as possible, where your trusty canine friend retrieves it. Archery quite simply put is shooting an arrow at a target. The targets become further away and start to move as the difficulty increases. Basketball has two competely different modes. You have a shooting contest, and a three on three competition. Table Tennis has you playing ping pong with another Mii.

Golf returns, and is now even more accurate thanks to the Wii Motion Plus, which might make the game harder for people who are actually very poor at golf. Bowling returns as well, and just like golf is a lot more accurate, and harder. Power cruising has you riding a jet ski through buoys for points based on time. Canoeing has you paddling down a course avoiding obstacles to try to reach a set distance before time expires. Bicycling has you pumping your nunchuck and remote like a set of paddles, leaning them left and right to steer, all while managing your Mii's stamina. Air Sports has you skydiving and taking the best possible pictures you can, flying an airplane across the entire island resort (and you can see the places where each sporting event takes place from the sky), and a two-player only dogfight.

The first game you'll probably want to take for a spin to test out the new Wii Motion Plus will be Swordplay. Take a second and move the remote around and watch as your Mii's padded sword moves around on screen, mirroring your motions exactly. Canoeing is another great example of the extra control the Wii Motion Plus gives you. You can't just waggle and expect to move fast. You really have to put forth an effort to get in the proper stroking rhythm. It's all pretty impressive. Unfortunately, the Wii Motion Plus gets easily confused when you're swinging the control around hecticly, so several times you may have to pause the game and allow the device to recalibrate. It can really disrupt gameplay at times.

The games for the most part are rather fun. Some will of course find one gamer more fun than the other, but regardless they show off the Wii Motion Plus pretty well. Also, some games are more physically exhausting than others, such as canoeing and bicycling. You may find yourself out of breath and with tired arms after only playing for about 15 minutes, so if you want to continue to play, it's advised to play a much less physical activity, like frisbee tossing.

New to Wii Sports Resort are Stamps. Think of Stamps as point-less Achievements or Trophies. Each game and unique mode will have a set of five Stamps you can earn by accomplishing a certain task, such as bowling a perfect game, or coming first in every race in Cycling. This is a perfect incentive for those perfectionists who love to be the best they can be. Also, the points and leveling system return, which ranks your proficiency in each sport depending on how well you perform. Wii Sports Resort is as much about self-competition as it is multiplayer competition.

Unfortunately, Nintendo misses out on another golden opportunity for a great multiplayer online game. There is no online mode for Wii Sports Resort, and that really is a shame, because a lot of these games such as Table Tennis and Swordplay are just begging to be played with a friend from across state, or even across the country. Maybe this franchise will carry over to Nintendo's next system, where hopefully Nintendo will take online gaming a little more seriously.

Graphically, there is no improvement over the original Wii Sports title. You still have the same low-res graphics and poorly modeled Mii characters. The environments are a lot more interesting, though. Everything except bowling is outdoors, so there's a lot more to take in. There's more color everywhere, and the water for the water sports games isn't half bad. Still, this is a game that's meant to be played for its fun gameplay, so as long as you aren't expecting high definition graphics, you should have a good time.

Audiowise, there's really nothing to comment on. Just like the graphics, everything's pretty tame. The music is laid back and relaxing, and the sound effects are just there. It's kinda satisfying, though, to hear Miis getting smacked around with a padded stick. Also, the smack of an arrow as it hits the bullseye marker can illicit many a "Yes!", but really, it's quite hard to bring up noteworthy instances in this department.

So what are you getting when you purchase Wii Sports Resort? For starters, you're getting a free Wii Motion Plus, which greatly increases the accuracy of the remote for this title and future titles. You're getting more than twice the number of games as the original. Ultimately, you're getting a good time, and a good work out if you play the right games long enough. Also, one cool feature is being able to import Miis from the Check Mii Out channel. If you turn this feature on, the game will draw in all kinds of user created Miis, so you'll always have different Miis to compete against. In a way, you get even more replay value from this title by just continuing to play in order to see all the different Miis in existence. The bottom line is that this game's worth owning if you're a Wii gamer.