Game Review: Go Vacation (Wii)

If you want to take a vacation, but can’t afford one, might I suggest dusting off your Nintendo Wii and buying Go Vacation, a new outdoor sports game from Namco. Many reviewers have said that Go Vacation is a rip-off of Wii Sports Resort, but I disagree. Go Vacation is really more of a sequel to We Ski and We Ski and Snowboard, which were also great sports titles. Except in Go Vacation, not only do you get to visit a snow resort, you’ll also explore beach, city, and mountain resorts, too!

In the beach resort, you’ll get to do all sorts of sunny water activities like Jet Ski & ATV racing, beach volleyball, surfing, water gun fights, skydiving, and more. Then at the hip city resort, you’ll get around town and do tricks on inline skates and skateboards, as well as try a handful of carnival games. You’ll also race cars in what may be the closest thing we get to a Wii version of Ridge Racer!

The snow resort will feel very familiar to We Ski veterans. But not only can you ski and snowboard here, you’ll also race snowmobiles, sled on inner tubes, make snowmen, have a snowball fight, and go dogsledding! And finally in the rustic mountain resort, you’ll ride horseback, play tennis, try your hand at various shooting galleries and skeet shooting, go kayaking and rapid river rafting, and more! There’s so much stuff to do that brother Jeff calls it “Namco’s Every Game Ever!”

What makes this game different from Wii Sports Resort is that you can actually explore the resort island as you play the game. As you sightsee, you might find a secret mini-game, photo opp or bungee jumping spot, or maybe even hidden treasure! As you play and win mini-games, you’ll earn furniture and goodies you can place in your very own villa on the island! So it’s a bit like Animal Crossing, too! Maybe Jeff was right about calling it “Namco’s Every Game Ever!”

You can use your own Mii or make an avatar in the game. I recommend the avatar option, as you can put more clothes and outfits on it. You can even make a dog buddy to explore the island with you! Up to four can play at the same time while walking around the island and during mini-games. You can even use a lot of the Wii accessories that have been collecting dust around your house over the years, like Wii Motion Plus, the Wii Zapper and Steering Wheel, and even the Balance Board! Classic Namco arcade fans may want to keep their eyes and ears open, too, as you might spot a bush shaped like Pac-Man, or hear a classic arcade tune from Dig Dug or Mappy.

You’d think that a title with so many mini-games (there are over 50), that a good majority of them wouldn’t be very much fun. But that’s not the case here. I found only a tiny fraction of games that were duds. Most of the others were a lot of fun. Definitely one of the best third-party Wii games to come out in a long time!

Kid Factor:

Go Vacation is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Cartoon Violence. You can bump into people while you drive around, or shoot water guns at them, but that’s about as violent as it gets. Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions, but there are also picture cues so it’s not always necessary. My brother Jeff, who mostly plays only mature popular titles like Call of Duty or World of Warcraft, really likes Go Vacation, too, so you know it has to be good. Go Vacation makes for a GREAT family game. If you have kids who enjoy any of these outdoor sports, they WILL have fun with this game. Definitely put it on your Christmas list, or better yet, get it now!

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