Review: Pilotwings Resort
By: Zach Chovan
Pilotwings Resort is the third game in Nintendo's Pilotwings franchise. It seems Nintendo is bringing this one out of its dormant state as a showcase for its new 3DS system.
Pilotwings Resort is an excellent choice for showing off the 3D effect. This game was my first view into the world of glasses-free 3D, so it really made an impression on me. I think the 3D effect in the game is really good, and probably one of the best games out there to showcase the depth. It also makes sense that a "flight-simulation" game would benefit from the illusion of depth. It does add a lot to the experience and makes the game more enjoyable.
There are two modes of play: Mission Flight mode and Free Flight mode. Mission Flight is standard Pilotwings in that you're given cups (bronze, silver, gold, platinum) with about 9 missions in each that take place on Wuhu Island (a familiar venue for players of Wii Sports Resort). This is not a mini-game fest, though. Each mission will give a new objective operating a different vehicle (or modification of a vehicle). Vehicles such as the jet-pack, hang glider, or airplane. You'll take your Mii through rings, pop balloons or targets from your airplane popper-gun, or sky dive as fast as you can in the Flying Squirrel Suit. Each mission scores you based on a point system that is detailed before you play the mission. It will score you on your time, your accuracy, your landing, as well as penalize you for bumping into objects or crashing. Trying to get a perfect score is extremely challenging, and for some people it might even be impossible. It definitely takes patience to assure a perfect score, but it's something that is doable given enough practice and patience.
Free Flight mode will feel extrememly familiar to players of Wii Sports Resort. In this mode, you will fly around Wuhu Island in one of the vehicles and try to collect things and gather information about every sight-seeing spot on the island. You can even unlock different times of the day to fly. It's quite relaxing, as well as addicting, but still a lot of fun. This mode might lose its appeal if you have done all this before in Wii Sports Resort, unfortunately.
Overall, I found this game to be very enjoyable, even if it is a bit shallow. Most people can do everything there is with this game in less than 10 hours. However, depending on your skill level or how much fun you have playing the missions trying to get a "Perfect" on each one, it could last you longer. Free-flight mode adds to the replayability. Veterans of Pilotwings games of past may feel disappointed that it lacks some of the gameplay from the past, but what this game does it does well. Most of all, though, I found this game to be extremely relaxing. It's a great pick-up-and-play title, and I had the most fun with it when I was just vegging outside in a lawn chair playing casually. I can see myself bringing out this game in a desperate attempt to continue getting all "Perfects" for a while to come.
4 out of 5 stars.