Will it fly, or will it crash and burn?
Finally, we see another PilotWings title launch with a Nintendo system. PilotWings has always had a pretty stable fanbase ever since its first SNES release in 1991, with its intense Mode 7 graphics and unique missions. Its sequel, PilotWings 64, also received high marks for its graphics and gameplay. After a sequel to PilotWings 64 was announced then cancelled then announced then cancelled yet again, it seemed like we would never get another PilotWings again. That is, until the 3DS came into the picture.
For those who are unfamiliar with the series, PilotWings is a flight-simulation game, where you control several different aircrafts, mainly an airplane, rocket belt, and hang glider, to complete several different missions. PilotWings Resort manages to put most of what the PilotWings franchise is known for into a little portable 3D experience. The game delivers a solid “Mission Mode” that allows you to complete over 42 different missions, each with a unique goal to complete. These missions are all quite creative, but if you’re bent on using your aircraft for destruction, you’re out of luck; there are no longer any missions that require you to destroy buildings or giant robots.
There is also a “Free Flight Mode” that allows you to fly around Wuhu Island and collect a bunch of different items. Collecting a certain amount of each item will unlock extra content. Sadly, there is a limit to how long you can fly in “Free Flight Mode” (ironic, huh), though this time limit can be extended as you progress through the game. But “Free Flight Mode” quickly becomes dull, especially if you’ve played the Wii Sports Resort version before. Though PilotWings Resort is a solid title with everything a core PilotWings game needs, it lacks several extra features that would make this game a “must-have” title. First of all, the game lacks a multiplayer.
Though the only thing that you could probably do in multiplayer is the “dogfight” mode in Wii Sports Resort, it would have been a welcome addition. Also, there seems to be a lack of bonus minigame missions. Sure there is a flying squirrel suit in the game, but what happened to birdman, or that penguin suit? PilotWings 64 even had a “shoot-a-person-out-of-a-cannon” minigame; PilotWings Resort has none of that.
But PilotWings Resort does reward you for playing the game. In fact, this game is loaded with unlockables and extras, some of which unlock even more unlockables. This is pretty much the only reason why you will end up playing PilotWings Resort over and over again, simply because the unlockables seemingly never end.
PilotWings Resort seems to do what every PilotWings title does: show off the graphics of the system it launches with. Graphically, PilotWings Resort is quite spectacular, and the 3D effect just makes it quite surreal. And, like every other PilotWings title, the music is soothing yet so fitting to the game. Quite a show PilotWings Resort is.
The biggest problem with PilotWings Resort is its length. The game is simply just too short. But if you can get by that, then almost everything else about PilotWings Resort will give you a quality title. Sure, there isn’t a multiplayer mode, but you can get over that easily. PilotWings Resort is a solid launch title for the Nintendo 3DS, and is something that just might be worth the price tag of $39.99.