Take to the skies in 3D with the third installment of the Pilotwings series.
Let me get this out of the way. I LOVE the Pilotwings franchise. When I bought my Super Nintendo “Pilotwings” was one of the first games I purchased with the system.
Since that day back in the 1990′s I was always a huge fan of the series. The game was something new and it was also one of the games that showed off the SNES Mode-7 capabilities. Nintendo followed up the game with a sequel for the Nintendo 64 system, adequately names Pilotwings 64″. But since that day the only form of something remotely close to a Pilotwings sequel was the flying game in Wii Sports Resort for the Nintendo Wii.
Nintendo took what was most likely the coolest part of Wii Sports Resort and built around it for the Nintendo 3DS. The results are a cool flying game that shows off the amazing 3D capabilities of the Nintendo 3DS portable system.
So what exactly does Pilotwings Resort offer new 3DS owners? It offers them a glimpse of what this new 3D system has to offer. Out of the launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS I would say that this game is the best to show off how well the 3D works on the 3DS system.
The game stays true to the original SNES and Nintendo 64 games, but one thing that has changed is that the game uses your Mii characters as opposed to the original Pilotwings characters. Lark, Goose, Kiwi, Hawk and the rest of the gang from the previous Pilotwings games are replaced with your own personal Mii characters.
Pilotwings Resort contains two modes of play. The first mode is “Mission Flight Mode”. This requires you to complete a series of objectives within certain parameters. This could mean reaching a goal within a specific time or it could mean you having to pop a certain amount of balloons. The objectives become difficult as you progress. The player is graded between one and three stars on their performance in each mission. The classes featured are Training, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
I thought that the Hang Glider would be a pain to control but its extremely easy to use and maneuver. You basically use the jet streams to go higher and faster. The Jet Pack is also very easy to use and is one of my favorites in the game. The plane is also very easy to use and moves such as barrel rolls are easy to pull off. The new Analog pad on the 3DS works like a charm.
The second mode featured is “Free Flight Mode”. This mode allows you to freely explore Wuhu Island using any type of aircraft (Plane, Jet Pack and Hang Glider). Various collectible such as balloons and stunt rings are scattered around the island and you actually do have a time limit. Once you start collecting these items you will be able to access the Evening and Night maps for Wuhu Island.
Graphically Pilotwings Resort look much like its Nintendo Wii counterpart in Wii Sports Resort. The game is colorful and plays as smooth as silk. All of the landmarks from Wii Sports are here, including the cool sun glare and the mirror-like water. I love the night maps, as you will see lights far off in the distance. The details of the lights on the Hang Glider and Plane at night are also very cool. It just adds that extra touch as the lights twinkle as you fly through the night sky.
The music is your typical Nintendo-esque music. Some of the tunes are very poppy and joyful, but I really like the music featured in the Hang Gliding sections of the game. Very relaxing and enjoyable to the ears. If you listen closely you will hear a few music nods to the older Pilotwings games.
The Bottom Line:
Pilotwings Resort is a excellent return to the beloved series and it really shows off what the Nintendo 3DS capabilities can do. Things look like they are coming right for you and the screen just comes alive once you start flying around Wuhu Island. The game also offers enough to keep you coming back for more. Some of the old-school gamers like myself will fall in love instantly.
If you are looking for a game that is fun and also relaxing at the same time, Pilotwings Resort is for you. If you are a fan of the original SNES Pilotwings and Nintendo64 version Pilotwings 64 then you will feel right at home with “Pilotwings Resort”.
A definite pick-up for all you new Nintendo 3DS owners out there!