The Games of Wii Sports Resort

wiisports_logoWhen Nintendo launched the Wii in 2006, the pack-in game Wii Sports proved very successful. To this day, it’s still the best showcase of what the Wii’s strengths are (which is both good and bad in a way). Many game companies have tried to imitate the success of Wii Sports with their own collections of motion controlled simulated athletic challenges, to varying degrees of success and failure (but mostly failure). But can Nintendo top themselves with their upcoming MotionPlus game, Wii Sports Resort? Well the answer is a resounding YES! And the best way to find out why is to take a look at the games you can play on Wii Sports’ resort island!


One of the complaints about Nintendo as of late is they cater too much to the casual player and not enough to the hardcore gamers. While I think that may be true to some extent, I have to say that when Nintendo caters to the causal gaming crowd, they really do it right! I really like how they make the Wii feel inviting to non-gamers. One way they do this in Wii Sports Resort is through a very helpful and informative video on how to insert and take out the Wii MotionPlus accessory. It would be great if other electronic device makers would do this with some of their products.

Wii Sports Resort comes with the MotionPlus accessory, and it works great! It makes your movements more sensitive and respondent to what you move on screen, and is probably what the Wii remote should’ve been like in the first place! Some say that Resort is just a tech demo for the MotionPlus device. Well if that’s the case, it sure is one heck of a fun tech demo! Only problem is that you NEED the MotionPlus to play Resort, and if you want to play multiplayer with a friend, you need more than one.

Buying the accessory separately is only 20 bucks, so that’s not so bad, but I think the problem is actually going to be FINDING it in stores now that Resort is released. I wish I would’ve picked up a spare MotionPlus doohickey, but the store that I bought the game from didn’t have them on display yet (luckily, brother Jeff got me two more when he went to the store, what a good brother he is). It’s too bad that Resort doesn’t have any online multiplayer, though. I know it’s more fun to play this game with friends right in your own living room, but could you imagine how much more popular Wii Sports would be if it had an online community backing it up?

Well, that’s enough introductions, let’s look at all the Wii Sports Resort games!

I think this’ll end up being many people’s favorites, as it’s easy to do and is a good showcase of what the MotionPlus is capable of. There are three gameplay modes. In Duel, you have to hit your opponent with sword strikes until they fall off the platform into the water. Don’t worry, parents, the swords look like the balloon animal swords you can get your kids from the clown at the mall, and the Miis still wear safety gear. Hold down B to block.

In the next mode, Speedslice, a judge will toss an object to you and your opponent and you must slice that object in the direction of the arrow before the other Mii does. It’s kind of like a quick reaction Simon Says. The fun part about this mode is the objects you get to slice up, which include giant cakes, watermelons, loaves of bread, and pencils!

In the last mode, Showdown, you run through a part of an island with your sword in hand as you try and beat all the other sword Miis after you! Again, you’re only bonking them with your balloon animal sword, and they just fall over on their backs when hit. This part is most like a video game and I could see a lightsaber or Zelda game made like this with MotionPlus.

This one is simple, yet fun. Hold the remote sideways with both hands like how you would the handlebar of the rope that the speedboat is tugging you with. Steer back and forth and make jumps on the wake of the boat. Just be sure to land level so you can get your points earned. If you flick the remote just as you hit the ramp of the wake, you’ll catch more air and do a trick for even more points. The only problem I had with this game is the camera doesn’t move fast enough, so it’s sometimes hard to see when you’re about to go over the wake so you can time your flicks.

Yup, Nintendo got the rights to use the copyrighted flying throwing disc. All you have to do in these challenges is throw a Frisbee. Just pretend like your Wii remote is a Frisbee and flick your wrist to throw (just don’t toss the remote!). I wasn’t very good at these games at first, but I got a little better as time went on. I don’t know if the Frisbee games themselves aren’t very good or if I just suck at throwing Frisbees. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter, as I’m probably the most UN-dexterous, UN-graceful, and flat out UN-coordinated person you’ll ever meet!

Anyway, the two modes of play are Frisbee Dog and Frisbee Golf. The golf mode is pretty self explanatory (and a bit more forgiving). Frisbee Golf has become a popular sport as of late (even my dad has gotten into it), so I can see many enjoying this mode. In Frisbee Dog, you must toss a Frisbee as close to the target as you can (and maybe pop a few balloons in the air for bonus points), and then your little Mii dog will catch it. I wish they would let you design your Mii dog like how you can design your Mii. What would they call them? “Poochiis?” (actually that’s a pretty good idea). I could make a little black Frisbee Dog to look like my real little black dog, Venus. Of course, Venus is so lazy that if I threw a Frisbee to her, she’d just look at me like, “Yeah, you threw that, good for you. I’m going to go back to sleep now.” But I still love my Venus anyway.


This bow and arrow game is pretty unique. You hold the Wii remote in your left hand like you would the hard part of the bow. And you pull back on the nunchack like how you’d pull back the string of a bow. I’m always afraid I’m going to pull too hard and yank the nunchuck cord out of the remote, though! Then you just aim and shoot at the target. The remote is very sensitive, and you have to keep track of the wind, too. So it feels very realistic. A lot of people say this is how the bow and arrow should be in a Zelda game, but I disagree. I just like pointing and shooting for that. This new way would be too slow.

This is actually one of the weaker games in the collection, but considering it’s still mildly entertaining, that speaks volumes for the rest of the series. There are two modes. In 3-point contest, you have a limited time to shoot baskets in five different locations in the three point zone. However, they don’t really give you a whole lot of time, and it’s hard to judge how you have to move the remote to make a basket. So out of all the games, this is the only mode that I think kind of sucks.

The Pickup Game mode is a little better. It’s just a simple game of three on three. Press the button to pass the ball, then dribble to find an opening to make a basket or slam dunk (which is easier). On defense, you can swish the remote to try and steal the ball, and swing it up to jump and block. And that’s pretty much it. It’s fairly fun. Basketball is pretty boring to watch on TV, but watching it live is a heck of a lot more fun, I think.

Table Tennis
A lot of people’s favorite from the first Wii Sports game was Tennis, but I didn’t like that one as much (my favorites were bowling and baseball). So they’ll probably be disappointed that Tennis isn’t on here, and table tennis isn’t much of a replacement. It’s a lot more fast-paced, and you do have more control over how you hit the ball, thanks to the MotionPlus device. Of course, I’m still not very good at it, probably because I couldn’t play real life table tennis worth a flip if I tried. There are two modes of play: a standard Match mode (more fun with multiplayer) and a Return challenge mode where you have to hit consecutive fast serves from the other player. It’s pretty hard!

A couple of the sports from the first game return here. A lot of people I’ve talked to have mixed feelings about Wii Sports Golf. I feel that it definitely has the steepest learning curve of all the games, but once you get into it, it can be really fun. Makes me want to try golf in real life, though I’d probably be horrible at it and I’d rather drive the golf cart around anyway. I’m not really sure if there’s any difference in controls with the MotionPlus, but there are three new courses to try. I’ve got a couple of Wii golf games real cheap that I haven’t even played yet (We Love Golf and Super Swing Golf).

The other old game to return is one of many people’s favorites, including mine. I didn’t notice any difference in the Standard Match mode, other than now your Miis wear Hawaiian shirts. But why change a format that works so well? It’s still fun and even though it’s the same as before, it’s nice and convenient that I don’t have to switch discs to play bowling. They did add two new modes, though. In the first Wii Sports Bowling game, there was a single player training exercise where you try and knock down 100 pins on an extra wide lane, and they made that into a full multiplayer match in Resort. And it’s a lot of fun. I’d hate to be the person who would have to set up all those pins again! The last mode is called Spin Control, and this one puts walls on the lane for you to have to work around by putting some spin on the ball. It’s tough and you have to have a lot of skill to get all the pins in this mode. But it’s still a lot of fun since the play control is so solid.

Power Cruising
If Nintendo would make a Wave Race game on the Wii, this would be it. Just hold the Wii remote and nunchuck like how you would hold the left and right handlebars of a jet ski. The A or B button is the gas and tilt the remote and nunchuck left and right to steer. Twist the remote to rev up for a speed burst. Controls work very well (way better than the steering wheel in Mario Kart). In the Slalom Course, you must go through the slaloms for points. The faster you go through them, the more points you get. And some of the slaloms have smaller holes that you can zip through to double your score. Vs. Mode is a race through the same obstacles, and there are three courses overall.

Can you canoe? Looks more like kayaks to me, but oh well. In this mode you use the Wii remote like an oar to row through the water. Alternate between left and right to keep straight, and turn by rowing in one direction. You must take care to dip your oar/remote in the water at an angle so you’ll actually move. In my opinion, this mode gives you the most exercise as you must row very fast to make it to the goal.

In Speed Challenge mode, you must make it to the end of the goal while rowing on the river in the allotted time. Vs. Mode is a race to the goal with other players. But you can play either mode with multiple human rowers. In Speed Challenge with multiple players, all are in the same canoe and you must row as a team to make the goal in time. In Vs. Mode, each player can race in their own canoe, or two can be in one boat to race as teams of two. Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing how this works with two goofy guys wearing lifejackets playing against two pretty female athletes.

It’s the Tour de France! The controls in cycling remind me most of the way you move the remote in Namco’s awesome We Ski. Tilt the nunchuck and remote left and right to steer. Pumping up and down on the controls to pedal is a little unrealistic, but since you can’t control with your feet (ew, why does my remote smell like stinky feet?), I guess this’ll have to do. Be careful not to pedal too hard because your Mii has a stamina meter and if it runs out, you slow down for a bit to catch your breath. You can coast down hills and ride the drifts behind other players to conserve your stamina. You race against 30 other cyclists in Road Race, and against other human players in Vs. Mode. Here’s a unknown fact about me. Since I’m blind in my left eye, my balance is a little off, and because of that, I’ve never been able to ride a bicycle properly. True story.

Air Sports
This is probably the closest thing to Pilotwings we’ll get on the Wii. I wish Nintendo would make that (they could call it “PilotWii-ngs,” get it?). There are three games in Air Sports. In Sky Diving mode, you tilt the Wii remote to control your Mii as it freefalls. Tilt downward to fall faster, keep horizontal to fall slower. Try to guide your Mii so you can catch other Miis in flight. Get as many as you can before they take a picture of you. Face the camera and earn more points. At the end, form up by passing through rings for the finale picture. It really does remind me a lot of the skydiving challenges in SNES Pilotwings. Except in Wii Sports, your parachute opens automatically. Too bad you can’t open it yourself. I would’ve loved to have been able to NOT open my chute and crashed on the island! You can do that in SNES Pilotwings and it leaves a man-shaped hole in the ground like the Road Runner cartoons.

In Island Flyover, you pilot a prop plane over the resort island. You hold the remote like a paper airplane to steer. I imagine other airplane games could use the MotionPlus device to make the Wii remote more like a flight stick, but this way works fine, too. It actually reminds me of another airplane game that came out for the Wii early in its lifespan, and that game was Wing Island. Although if Wing Island used the MotionPlus, it would’ve been a MUCH BETTER game! This mode is just for fun and with no real pressing goals. It’s just fun to fly around the island. You can collect “i” information icons that give you tidbits about the island, and later on you can shoot down balloons that Miis are holding. But that’s it. I actually really like this mode even though I bet most people would find it boring.

Finally is Dogfight. It’s a lot like the Island Flyover control-wise, except it’s two players and you are shooting balloons off of each other’s planes (hey, it’s a family game). If you crash, your little Mii pops out with a parachute every time, too. First one to lose all their balloons loses.

Anyway, that’s all the games on Wii Sports Resort. It’s a very fun game, and aside from Klonoa released earlier this year, Resort is one of the best Wii games this year so far. If you have a Wii and a group of friends that enjoy playing games with you, this is a definite must-buy. And same goes with families with kids and a Wii.

If you’ve played Wii Sports Resort before, let me know which games are your favorite in the comments section. And also let me know what your favorite sports video games are in general. Mine are Wii Sports and Resort, NES Super Dodge Ball, Mario Golf GC, and Sega Superstars Tennis. –Cary

7 Responses to “The Games of Wii Sports Resort”

  1. I confess, we still haven’t really cracked the surface with this game. I also confess to being really annoyed with the hardcore coverage of this game. I’ve seen complaints about the price – it’s $30+ a $20 Motion. Is that so bad? And it’s a must have for any Wii Sports enjoyer, party and/or casual gamer.


    Table Tennis – they got this almost exactly right. Backhand, overhand, don’t hit too hard

    Swordfighting (these are, I believe, wooden swords and I think, given the gear, this is a real Japanese sport).

    Bowling & Golf (the addition is better control of the spin – a serious upgrade to bowling. Golf is shallow compared to Tiger – which is excellent – but for the casual? It’s nice.


    Archery – a truly impressive simulation – really.


    Fisbee Golf – wish it had metal goals for putting but Tiger does this fairly well, so this is fine for parties.


    Canoeing – it’s a great sim, but I find it almost painfully tiring. It might be because I’m playing with kids who don’t quite get the paddling concept

    Cycling – see above

    Basketball – haven’t played enough

    The AIR GAMES – Henry loves ’em though

    Thaaks for the detail Cary. Readers, go buy it.

  2. I just wanted to put in my thoughts! I LOVE the archery and the waterboarding… maybe that’s because I can give Gamerdad and Gamerboy some real competition 🙂 It’s really fun!

  3. uh, honey, not to be nit-picky here but it’s wakeboarding not waterboarding. I doubt anyone would put out a waterboarding game. ‘Cept maybe the CIA. 😉 Too soon?

    She’s still got the record in Archery though, she relishes it. Henry also consistently beats me in the Swordfighting game. He’s unstoppable. I’m getting way too old way too fast. Either that, or hardcore skills just don’t translate to these games. Of course, that’s what makes them awesome.

  4. Jeff is unstoppable at swordfighting. He’s at the highest level you can be. But then, when he took karate, his best weapons training was with the sword… –Cary

  5. The Wii Sports Resort features sports that let you play like you’re really playing the sports in real life

  6. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  7. Hi, was looking to get some views on this, my partner is manager in a nursery and thought it would be good to purchase the Wii and sports resort for the kids in 3-5 years room. They’ve had it best part of a year now with great success as the kids love it and it helps with motor skills, etc. They have now had a complaint from a parent saying that the game is extremely violent and that children shouldn’t be playing it. Now this is obviously the sword fighting games but he was told that the kids are only allowed to play the speedslice on that part. But he still insists that now no-one should be allowed to play it, not even the cycling or frisbee, and has even shown evidence from the internet saying how violent this game is, now I’ve been on looking for this evidence but all I can find is good things about this game, not even a disgruntled mothers forum, and if I did think it was violent then i wouldn’t be letting my own 4 year old daughter play it. What views does everyone else have on this because it would be a real shame for the kids to lose the Wii because if one parent who probably hasn’t even seen the game.

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