Of the half dozen or so 3DS titles I've played to this point, Pilotwings Resort definitely makes the best use of the system's 3D capability. If you want a good idea of just how pretty graphics can be, you won't go wrong renting this title.
Unfortunately, that's where my praise ends. The game itself is just a slightly-expanded version of "Island Flyover" from Wii Sports Resort. Same island, same day, evening, or night options, same point-of-interest gathering, same balloon popping, the works. To borrow Yogi Berra's phrase, it was like deja vu all over again.
The differences: There are six aircraft available (two planes, two jet packs, and two gliders) compared to WSR's two, and there are 39 "missions", each 1-3 minutes long, involving doing stuff while flying around the island.
I've played the game for about seven hours, and it feels like I've done just about everything there is to do here. If you haven't played Wii Sports Resort, it'll feel a bit newer to you, but there's still just not much game backing the pretty pictures.
The freedom of flight
Challenging missions for perfect scores
Good variety of vehicles
Balloon popping missions have poor hit detection
Free flight mode is time limited
Island just doesn't feel big enough
Very little difference between 2D and 3D, very poor on max settings.
Controls are no where close to being realistic
No online leaderboards
Little to none replayability
Biggest complaint of all -
Flying a perfect mission for a few minutes working on a perfect score just to hit the landing slightly off and receiving less than perfect marks. You never really know how they'll score your landing until after the fact. There where many hang glider and plane missions that took me minutes to complete and just because I was slightly off center on the landing/came in too fast/came in too slow it would take points off and I would have to do the mission all over.
Decent game that gives the freedom of flying, but the scoring system is very aggrevating. The 3D should have been more fined tuned also. I recommend renting only and enjoy it for a 2 or 3 days.
posted by Damon_Albarn (AGOURA HILLS, CA) Jun 30, 2011
Member since Jun 2011
The game mechanics in the Pilotwings franchise have always been simple and I believe it's this simplicity that is what makes it such a fun series. The controls are intuitive and forgiving, managing altitude and speed are the primary factors in gameplay and everything else is pretty much left up to the player's skill. The free flight mode is well balanced with a time limit structure forcing the player to break up their free flights into quick playthroughs, later players can unlock longer time limits which extends the time the player can spend exploring Wuhu Island.
Out of the six types of vehicles I'd have to say my favorite is the hang-glider as this vehicle showcases what pilotwings does that's unique in it's genre of flight simulators. The introduce the player to an interesting mechanic where the player has no propulsion other than the transference of potential energy (altitude) into kinetic energy (speed) by climbing higher through the use of thermals, the controls are forgiving enough for this game to be considered casual but the challenges are difficult enough that the game features a lot of replayability to achieve a perfect score on all of the game's challenges.
It's definitely worth a rent especially if you're looking for interesting games to try on the 3DS. Its unique gameplay make this title something rare in the video game industry and fun to experience.