When I heard that a new Pilotwings game was being released for the 3DS in the form of Pilotwings Resort, I was really excited. I will always remember this as being one of my favorite games when I was young. I remember dashing to my friend’s house whenever I had a chance to play the original on the SNES. When eventually i got my own SNES it was still in my top ten, even though I had played it to death.
In this new version specially made for the 3DS, you get to fly around and compete in Nintendo’s Resort. Yes, I know again Nintendo seem to revolve many of their games around their virtual island. After signing up your Mii for flight school, you will find at your disposal a plane, a rocket belt, or a hang glider to fly around in. There is a lot of fun to be had flying around exploring, and your first 20 minutes will be spent, flying around the resort, in and out of a volcano and flying through tunnels.
Nintendo have stuck to the standard graphical template found in other titles that use the resort with a distinctive cartoon-style look. However, the first thing you will notice is the fine detail on the various flying machines. They stand out really well and the 3D really does strike you, helping to bring a real, three dimensional field of depth to your flying experience.
The controls are very easy to get the hang of, nothing too complicated really. You use the analogue stick to move around and the buttons to accelerate etc. You also have the option to shoot targets that are found on various missions to gainextra points. The game has not changed too much from the previous Pilotwings games. The whole idea is pretty familiar: fly through circles in the air to gain as many points as you can within a time limit, and without running out of petrol. One point I must make, though, is that, sadly, unlike in previous games, there is no real skydiving in Pilotwings Resort. This is a real disappointment for me, as this was my favorite Pilotwings activity as a child, and so the fact it only makes a brief appearance here is a real shame. I would have thought Nintendo could have included more missions for this, as you are pretty much limited to just three modes of transport. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the game as it is. You work hard to progress through the levels through bronze, silver, gold and platinum rankings, Or, of course, you can just fly around the island as mentioned before.
The audio has not changed much with the same kind of music and sounds present here as in previous games, which I quite enjoy as it brings back memories. It sounds much better using earphones though, as the 3DS speakers are not the best. It would also have been good if Nintendo had included a multiplayer game mode. Something as simple as seeing your friends scores and trying to beat them would suffice, but Pilotwings is, once again, disappointing lacking in this department. It’s something that I hope Nintendo work on in future games, as it’s not like the past where you went to your mate’s house to play. We all play online nowadays, andwe all like to beat our friends high scores, so it’s baffling why such a feature hasn’t been included.
One thing it is worth taking note of , is that I managed to complete the game after only 3-4 hours of gameplay. This was a bit shocking, as the original took me weeks. I felt the difficulty level could have been a bit harder maybe, but even if this had been the case there is really not too much to the game, and maybe making it harder would have put people off after constant restarts. I found myself having to re-attempt a few missions about fifteen times and this did become a bit frustrating.
If you are thinking of buying this game, I would advise you to think hard before shelling out your money, as Pilotwings Resort is nothing like as good as the original. Although it is fun and worth picking up if you are a fan, I can’t help but feel they aimed this game at a brand new audience and not at the die-hard fans of the original title. They have made a pretty sweet game, though. Great to pick up for a few minutes and have a fly around. If you want a long game though there are better alternatives out there, and, sadly, Pilotwings Resort loses a lot of points because of this.
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