Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
If you’ve spent countless hours with Pilotwings on either your SNES or N64 and consider yourself a “Nintendo Nerd”, I can bet my most valuable Nintendo shirt that the announcement of the 3DS version wasn’t much of a surprise. You may have even noticed that the first two titles were launched with the intent to showcase new 3D technology of the platform is was launching on. Now that Nintendo is unleashing a new handheld with “real 3D” capabilities, the timing is perfect to dust off the old classic. This is Pilotwings Resort.
As the game welcomes you to the tropical Wuhu Island (yes, the same island from Wii Sports), a nice lady from the Wuhu Sky Club suggests to choose a Mii character and sign your member card. Then, you’ll get the option to test the three available aircraft: plane, rocket belt and hang glider. Once your test drives are completed, two modes become available: either you enter the Free Flight or the Mission Flight. In “Free Flight”, you grab the vehicle of your choice and fly around Wuhu Island under a certain time limit in search of balloons and rings, among other hidden collectible items. The more items you find, the more unlockables you will gather. Truthfully, these unlockables aren’t very interesting and make pursuing them a minor priority at best. However, once you’ve amassed a set of items, time will be added to your exploration timer. In other words, “Free Mode” is the less stressing part of Pilotwings Resort and gets your ready for the “Mission” mode. In it, players will get to go through a series of challenges (like going through rings, shooting targets, etc) to collect as many gold stars as possible. Four classes - excluding Training - are available. The more gold stars you earn in a said class, it unlocks the next one, so on and so forth. Trust me, what starts as a walk in the park later becomes a somewhat challenging jog. Luckily, seasoned gamers won’t be destabilized too badly by the small difficulty curve and should complete all 40+ missions with no real hurdles.
What may hurt Pilotwings Resort is the non-presence of StreetPass/SpotPass support or any form of competitive/cooperative gameplay via Download Play. Even though it could have gotten a far better reception from me, I can live with the decision to streamline the game. I’m also well aware of the fact that most early 3DS adopters who are looking forward to purchasing it and could potentially fall from their chairs. More than often, game developers decide to cram in as many modes and features as possible just for the sake of clamoring how big and encompassing the experience is going to be. Then the player just ends up playing with one or two modes anyway. Those who grew up with the franchise will be more understanding, but that it isn’t always the case with everybody.
Based on my personal experience, the game looks okay, but far from breathtaking. Useful, to a certain extent - such as in “Free Mode” where I needed to find the hidden items - but most of the time, I found myself turning off the 3D effect altogether. Primarily because some camera movements made the game suffer from visual jaggies. Note that 3D does amplify the quality of the visuals a tiny bit, which are nice but not impressive and certainly not enough to sway me to use it all the time.
As much as I would like to go on and on about Pilotwings Resort, I have come to realization that I couldn’t say more than what Monster Games actually brought to the table. Sure, it’s not the most robust experience on the 3DS. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular from any of the launch titles, aside maybe from one or two in particular. Most gamers know that portable games - with the exception of RPGs - carry their enjoyment best when played in short bursts. That’s how you need to approach this new Pilotwings game. To me, it remains a title worth picking up despite its notable omissions.
+ Solid controls
+ Visuals are good
- Suffers from weird jaggies when played in 3D
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Release Date : 2011/03/27
System : Nintendo 3DS
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : Monster Games
Category : Adventure
ESRB : E
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10