Thursday, 6 August 2015

Review No. 114 Pilotwings Resort - 3DS (3+)

Strong Points:
Graphics are quite good...
Music is good
Lots of missions
Lots of vehicles
The vehicles are quite varied and have different playstyles
Free Flight Mode is great
Exploring Wuhu Island is fun
The vehicles handle pretty well
The altitude and speedometer are a nice inclusion

Weak Points:
...although some points (such as the water) haven't aged brilliantly
The controls can be a bit fiddly
Landing can prove a problem and take away a few minutes of hard work
The scaling's a bit off - you are about the size of a building
The squirrel suit is only used once

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
Nintendo 3DS Retail:
Europe: March 25, 2011
North America: March 27, 2011
Japan/Australia: April 14, 2011
Nintendo eShop:
Japan: November 1, 2012
PAL: November 22, 2012
NA: December 20, 2012

Plane/Turbo Jet:
Circle Pad: steer
D-Pad: look around
Start: pause
B: brake
A: speed boost
X: change view
L: bank left
Double Tap L: barrel roll
R: bank right
Double Tap R: barrel roll
Hold R and L: invert

Rocket Belt/Super Rocket Belt:
Circle Pad: steer
D-Pad: look around
Start: pause
B: weak jet
A: Strong jet
X/Y: shift camera angle
L: brake/hover
Hold R: to point camera down

Hang Glider/Pedal Glider:
Circle Pad: steer
D-Pad: look around
Start: pause
B: brake/land/flare/pedal backwards (pedal glider only)
A: pedal forwards (pedal glider only)
X: change view
R: take photo
L: cancel photo

Squirrel Suit:
Circle Pad: turn/accelerate/decelerate 

Exploring Wuhu Island in Pilotwings Resort is fun, there's no doubt about it. With little hidey-holes and secret areas containing even more secret points of interest, it's an explorers' dream. And with three modes of transport (and an upgrade each of these) as well as three times of day (with certain events only happening at certain times) you can have a lot of fun doing it!

The main mode that you'll be using to explore will be Free Flight Mode. In this mode you get to explore Wuhu Island... well, freely, while using any of the six vehicles. As well as exploration for the fun of it, you also get to look for points of interest (which include a, generally humorous, comment on the area - such as that Camel Rock used to look a lot more camel-like), balloons (that can be popped in return for extra time) and either stunt rings (planes), Mii trophies (rocket belts) or gold rings (gliders). Collecting these vehicle specific items will get you a diorama depicting the vehicle used and a place on Wuhu Island.

There are three types of vehicle (plane, rocket belt and hang glider) and three upgrades (turbo-jet, super rocket belt and pedal glider) that each come with their own controls, playstyles and abilities. The planes are the fastest and can do tricks such as banking turns and barrel rolls (which are needed in order to go through stunt rings) as well as shoot in certain levels. The rocket belts, however, offer the mostmanoeuvrabilityy (especially with its hovering capabilities that can be used to cancel all momentum) and makes you balance fuel as well as time. The hang glider forces you to use thermals and gravity in order to move (due to it having no propulsion of its own) as well as take photos (and is one that I would probably reserve as a slightly more difficult mode). The pedal glider is slightly different as it lets you pedal in order to speed up, in exchange for stamina. There is also a squirrel suit for a singular skydiving mission (which I really wish they had used more often as it's quite fun to use). Each vehicle's playstyle will take time to perfect and each one handles differently and pretty well.

As well as Free Flight Mode there is also a Mission Mode in which you have to complete six-nine vehicle specific missions. The missions involve you having to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time whilst collecting as many points as possible by going through goal rings, balloons, capsules and MPH barriers (which require you to have a certain speed or higher in order to break through). Then, in most missions, you will be required to land your vehicle (either through a landing strip for the plane or a target for the other two vehicles) while making it as accurate and smooth as possible. Now, after a bit of practice, this is no problem but it is still annoying to have your perfect run ruined by a slight bounce or degree of accuracy wrong. Then, at the end of the mission, you will be given your score. This score takes into account all of the points you've gathered as well as your time taken, penalties (by knocking into things) and landing ability and equals into an up to three-star rating (and a perfect rating for a perfect, or higher, score). Finally, by progressing in Mission Mode, you will unlock added bonuses in Free Flight Mode (such as different times of day).

The graphics are pretty decent for a 3DS game (although the scaling's a bit off as you are about the size of a building) and the music's great. The 3D effects are as good as they ever are on a 3DS but can be used to help judge distance slightly better.

Overall, Pilotwings Resort is a fun little title with a surprising amount to do and a surprising amount of skill needed to do everything. Now, a Wii U sequel would be nice...

Rating: 74%

Goodbye for now, Harry 

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