Pilotwings Resort is a beautiful marriage of the Pilotwings gameplay and the lovable WuHu Island, which was first established in Wii Sports Resort. As a launch title for Nintendo 3DS, I’d say that it was a smart move combining these two popular series to ease us into the new world of portable, 3D gaming. It has been about 15 years since the last time we’ve seen a brand new Pilotwings game, and, after a few hiccups along the way, we’ve finally got the latest installment in the series. Flight simulation and the chance to see your Mii soar through the sky — what can go wrong, right?
The presentation and design of Pilotwings Resort is simple and effective. You have easy to navigate menus, an on-screen HUD that is both self-explanatory and labeled, and everything is bright, colorful and clear. I always stress clarity, and I’d rather have the best looking cartoon graphics than half-hearted attempts at realistic graphics. Although you don’t have the realism like some of the top-notch flight simulators out there, the friendly Wii Sports look is just fine. Plus, if you’re looking for high-end graphics, the Nintendo 3DS is probably not the best place to look in the first place.
Gameplay is where Pilotwings Resort shines. As you navigate the skies in a plane, with a rocket belt (jetpack) or a hang glider, you will notice that the controls are incredibly tight. These controls are also complemented by the newest addition to the Nintendo portable family, the thumb pad, which feels super accurate. This is all especially important, because grabbing collectibles and accomplishing missions requires a good amount of precision. Missions include fly through here, shoot this target there, land here, etc.
The only upsetting part is that they could have gone further with it. Why stop at these drill-like missions when you can have dogfights with maybe some multiplayer. It’s like playing a videogame based on paintballing or hanging around a shooting range; we do these things in real life because we can’t actually shoot people in person. The world in videogames have no limits, so why limit yourself to activities that are made because of limitations. It makes no sense to me. Maybe I’m weird, but it just makes me feel a bit silly.
After completing a mission, you are then scored based on how well you executed certain tasks, the time it took, and other factors you may include when judging a performance. If you’re especially proud of what you just did, you can even watch an instant replay. Each missions is scored out of 3 stars, so gamers looking for a challenge can look forward to grabbing 3 out of 3 stars for every mission.
After you’ve exhausted the fun that is to be had with Pilotwings Resort‘s missions, you can jump on over to Free Flight Mode. Here, you can explore every nook and cranny of the island. The name of this mode is a bit misleading though, because there is a time limit for each time you decide to explore. You start off with a 2 minute time limit, and incentives to continue playing this mode and going through with it multiple times includes collecting and exploring every area of the island to unlock more stuff. I found this mode pretty enjoyable, and I think it’s safe to say that collecting stuff is universally addicting.
How about the 3D? For this game, I felt most comfortable with the 3D effects turned up halfway or lower, because any higher felt dizzying. I also suggest leaving the 3D turned up just a bit instead of having it completely off, because the addition of depth really helps with how far or close your surroundings are, therefore making you an overall better pilot!
Outside of some instances of bad camera angling and minuscule issues with the controls (and I mean super minuscule), Pilotwings Resort is an enjoyable game that anyone can find fun with. However, its barebone modes and lack of multiplayer make this an experience that can only last for so long. At full price and games preloaded on the system that are just as fun (if not better), your money can easily find a better place to be spent waiting or even on regular DS games.
- Title: Pilotwings Resort
- Platform Reviewed: 3DS
- Developer: Nintendo, Monster Games
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Release Date: March 27, 2011
- MSRP: $39.99
- Review Copy Info: A copy of this title was provided to DualShockers, Inc. by the publisher for the purpose of this review.