Pilotwings Resort Review

by on April 8, 2011

Game: Pilotwings Resort

Developer: Monster Games/Nintendo

Publisher: Nintendo

Available on: Nintendo 3DS Only

Quite frankly, it has been a bloody long time since we got to play a new Pilotwings game, too bloody long! Nintendo and Monster Games have finally made things right however, with the release of Pilotwings Resort for their brand new console, the Nintendo 3DS. With a more powerful device powering the game, as well as the 3D capabilities that come with the 3DS, it’s safe to say that hopes are high, but has Pilotwings Resort been worth the wait?

The first thing you’ll notice about Pilotwings Resort is the 3D. This might seem like an obvious thing to say, but the 3D will probably be too strong for most people. Almost immediately you’ll turn the slider down, quite far in fact. Truthfully, most people are reporting the same with this title, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as even toward the lower end of the slider, it’s just a more subtle 3D that is easier on the eyes.

With that out of the way, you’ll get started on the Wuhu Island (yes, that is the same locale as Wii Sports Resort) by grabbing your licence, signing it, and then you are let loose to pilot the aeroplane, jet-pack and hang-glider that are the bread and butter of Pilotwings Resort. Sadly, like a lot of the Nintendo 3DS launch titles, neither the motion controls or the stylus are used in gameplay (you’ll sign your licence and select menu buttons though), with the entirety of the title being played out with the face buttons, directional stick and d-pad. Each vehicle has slightly different controls, but they are all very easy to get to grips with and before you know it you’ll be flying around like a pro!

Showcasing the new power the 3DS contains, Pilotwings Resort is a lovely game to look at, full of colour, charm and fun. Integration of Mii’s is done fantastically, and aside from the fact that most people will turn the 3D slider down, it’s generally a great looking game. The audio is nice too, inoffensive and subtle, but to be fair, there really isn’t a lot of sound required aside from the buzz of a propellor, the whistling of the wind, or the burst of your jet-pack.

Pilotwings Resort isn’t really a supremely deep title, and as such only has two real modes to play around with. Mission mode is the first you’ll play, and this tasks you with completing (yeah, you guessed it) missions. You might have to fly the plane through balloons and then land safely on the water, or hover from one floating landing spot to another, but you are judged on pretty much everything you do, towards a grand points total. Overall though, you are ranked with stars (up to 3 for each mission) and you need to collect these stars to unlock more of the mission mode. Starting with novice, working your way up through bronze, silver, gold and platinum, they gradually get more and more difficult. You’ll have to replay the harder ones to collect enough stars to progress through the mode. It’s never incredibly challenging, but you also won’t breeze through it without trying. There are variations to each vehicle of course, for example, instead of the jet-pack you might use a squirrel suit, but most of the time you’ll find a vehicle you like and stick with that until you need to use the others, to progress.

Free Flight Mode is just as it sounds. You are given two minutes to fly around Wuhu Island in whichever vehicle you so choose (including ones you unlock via Mission Mode such as the Jet Plane for example), in daylight or night time (again, unlockables ahoy here) to collect the 75 locations, 120 balloons (some require certain vehicles) and 60 stunt rings. Once you unlock Free Flight Mode you will probably spend most of your time playing it instead of Mission Mode, as it really is a lot of fun just flying around Wuhu Island, exploring and performing stunts.

Apart from unlockable Dioramas, which are quite pointless really, there isn’t much more to Pilotwings Resort. It’s short and very sweet, with most experienced gamers being able to experience everything it has available to them in under 4-5 hours. There is no StreetPass support to speak of, no online, and actually no multiplayer whatsoever! This is simply a pretty looking Pilotwings game on a hand-held console, in 3D. The important thing though, forgetting everything else, is that Pilotwings Resort is just brilliantly fun to experience. Anyone can pick it up and have a go, and the result will always be the same, a happy, smiling face.

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