GAME NAME: Pilotwings Resort
DEVELOPER(S): Monster Games, Nintendo
PLATFORM(S): Nintendo 3DS
RELEASE DATE(S): March 27th, 2011
It has been 15 years since the last time gamers got to take the plastic wrap off of a Pilotwings game. It was the launch of the Nintendo 64. Players were given a game that offered beautiful graphics and gameplay that showcased Nintendo’s new analog stick. Now two consoles and three handhelds later with the launch of the Nintendo 3DS,Nintendo and Monster Games brings us a sequel to both the Pilotwings series and the Wii Sports Resort game called Pilotwings Resort. Does this game fly smooth or does it crash and burn?
After Monster Games has made the last three games in Nintendo’s Excitebike series (Excitetrucks, Excitebots, Excitebike:World Rally), Nintendo has handed over the reins to the Pilotwings series to Minnesota-based company. The game has two different modes you can choose to play from, Mission Mode and Free Flight Mode. In Mission Mode, you start out with training missions for the three different flying methods. The first is the prop plane. Your main objectives with the plane is to fly through rings, shoot balloons or targets and then land the plane on a water runway. The second flying machine is the rocket pack. Main objectives when using the rocket pack is to fly through rings all while watching your fuel level and then landing on a bulls eye target. The third and final flier is the hang glider. With the same kind of objectives as the first two, the hang glider is the most difficult because in order to go higher you need to hit certain wind gusts. The controls on every craft feel spot on using the 3DS analog stick. You can unlock different iterations of the three craft types as well as you progress through the game. After training there is Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond classes to beat. Your goal is to get three star perfects on every level which gets extremely hard later on, even for the most seasoned gamers.
The second mode that Monster Games included is called Free Flight Mode. In this mode you are given two minutes to fly freely around the island of Wuhu and fly through info rings which tell you the name of the place on the island that you are currently flying over. As you progress you get different objects you can collect. This mode is entertaining, but with the inclusion of the two minute clock, it really pressures the player and instead of enjoying the scenery you feel rushed to complete and collect items.
I would have liked to see Nintendo include some of the features that come with the 3DS system, whether it be StreetPass or SpotPass, or even some sort of online functionality. The only real feature that is used is the ability to take in game photographs and view them in 3D later on. The 3D effects in the game create a great sense of depth and do come in handy when landing your aircraft or seeing how far you are from a certain target or ring.
If you are a fan of Nintendo games or the Pilotwings series I would recommend picking this title up. It does show off the 3D very well and is challenging enough to keep gamers coming back for more. The controls are intuitive and feel precise just like most Nintendo games. Only the inclusion of some of the other features the 3DS offers would have been greatly appreciated but overall doesn’t hinder the experience.