Published on August 9th, 2012 | by octaneblue0
Review: Pilotwings Resort
Developer: Monster Games
Release Date: March 27, 2011
When the Super Nintendo launched back in the early 1990’s, a flight simulator titled Pilotwings debuted alongside it. And with the launch of the follow-up console, the Nintendo 64, Nintendo released Pilotwings 64 with that too. It wasn’t until the launch of the Nintendo 3DS that Nintendo would revive the Pilotwings franchise. Pilotwings Resort provides a good introduction to Nintendo’s new handheld. But is this a flight worth checking out, or should this one stay grounded?
Pilotwings Resort takes place on Wuhu Island, which is the same locale seen in games such as Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort. The game involves taking your Mii through several missions with different modes of flight. The game offers several of them, including the hang glider and rocket belt. As you go through the missions, you’ll unlock more of them. Some of the additional modes of flight are really fun, but lack a large amount of missions involving them, which is disappointing.
The game looks really nice, and showcases the graphics of the Nintendo 3DS well. The game makes great use of the 3D concept; you’ll definitely notice as you’re flying around during missions. You get a good sense of depth perception, and it helps with some of the more tight turns, and so on. An issue with the 3D though is that there is definitely some ghosting that occurs, which can sometimes lead to your Mii running into part of the level that actually isn’t there.
The soundtrack of the game is very relaxing. It’s very nice to listen to as you’re flying around Wuhu Island. But honestly, the music can best be described as elevator music; this is not dissimilar to what was featuring in the previous games’ soundtracks. So if you liked the soundtracks of the SNES and N64 iterations, you’ll likely enjoy this one too. If not, there’s an option to turn down the music all the way.
Mission objectives vary with each mode of flight. But some examples include running through a balloon, shooting/landing on a target, flying through rings, and completing missions in a certain amount of time. You’ll come across more obscure objectives too, such as collecting UFOs. The missions are placed in different rankings; obviously, the missions will become much more difficult as you go through the ranks. The objectives will become more numerous, and the required scores for star ranks will become higher. Getting perfect scores in missions, specifically the later ranked ones, are very challenging. Avoiding penalties can be difficult too; you’ll lose points if you run into walls, fall into the water, land improperly, and so on.
A lot of the replay value of the game will come from challenging yourself to complete the objectives and earning the three star rankings. If you can be motivated to do well, there can be a lot of replay value here. But if you’re a gamer that just wants to breeze through the game, you will do so in only a few hours. You do eventually unlock the use of modes of flight in a Free Flight mode, where you can fly around Wuhu Island in a certain amount of time and collect objects. It’s a fun mode if you just want to fly around without the restrictions of mission objectives. But the fact that there’s a time limit is a downer; it would have been really nice to just fly around at your own leisure.
Since it serves as an introduction to the 3DS and its features, Pilotwings Resort would’ve been an excellent game to include with the 3DS. It makes great use of the 3D functionality, and shows off the power of the 3DS. But as a standalone game, it ironically may not have much depth for some. It’s worth checking out, but definitely not as a full-priced game. Wait for a sale or a price drop.
+ Good selection of flight modes
+ Nice soundtrack
+ Great use of 3D
– 3D contains ghosting
– Replay value varies
Final Score: 3.25 out of 5
Played through all missions, earning three-star rankings in most of them. Played Free Flight and grabbed several collectibles.