Backlog Quest: Day 18 – Pilotwings Resort

Dear Journal,

Today I visited the weirdest resort ever, where I was forced to perform complex maneuvers in various aircraft rather than just relax.

Seriously, what kind of resort gives you a jetpack and has you on a timed course with only a couple of minutes training?

All joking aside, Pilotwings Resort marks a return to one of Nintendo’s classic franchises that has managed to maintain a cult following over the years. My only real memory of the past games in the franchise is the Nintendo 64 version, which at the time was well beyond my ability (or I refused to read the instructions, I’m not sure).  So with that I was a little unsure of what to expect from this 3DS title.

The result was an enjoyable, though short game based on performing certain task with three different modes of flight based transportation. Each stage had you performing three tasks with each of the three primary aircraft.  Each mission would reward you stars based on your time and performance, with a certain number of starts required to advanced to the next stage.  Each individual mission was fairly short and straightforward, many of them rather easy even.  As you progress you may find yourself having to play one or two more in order to collect enough stars to unlock the next stage, but I only recall having to do this once or twice.  There isn’t a ton of variance between the different missions, though switching up what aircraft’s mission you want to complete can help to keep it fresh (switching between rather than just going through one and then the other, etc.).

The bright colorful graphics and the island with a few little surprises to find offered a mostly pleasant aesthetic experience.  Like most 3DS games, it pops much more when in 3D mode than when in boring old 2D.  I still find Nintendo’s Mii’s creepy though, so their use in Pilotwings Resort didn’t do much for me.

While Pilotwings Resort is well made and without major flaws or issues, it just feels as though the game is lacking something.  I’m not entirely sure I had a lot of fun with it, or if I just beat it to beat it.  I do know that the game relies heavily on the idea of going back to get every star to stretch out the amount of time you might spend with it, but I never had any interest in doing so.  Those who really enjoy the game might find themselves taking the time to do so, but re-playing the hang glider mission over and over trying to get a perfect score just didn’t sound like a good way to spend my time.  Flying around the island is enjoyable as well, but only for so long.  With many of these reviews I find myself kind of wanting to go back and replay a game, and while there is technically nothing really wrong with Pilotwings Resort, there just isn’t that draw to go back to it either.

To put it all together; Pilotwings Resort is a descent little arcade style flight-sim that doesn’t take much to be good at (though being great would take more time and effort).  Playing through it once to play through it is enjoyable, but for me, and I imagine most people who aren’t avid fans of the franchise, the replayability just isn’t there.  It is charming enough but the short length and somewhat repetitive missions won’t likely make a lot of new fans in the series and is probably best picked up at a bargain price.

Tomorrow I take up America’s past pastime in Backyard Sports: Sandlot Sluggers

Final Rating: 7/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On
: Nintendo 3DS
Time to completion: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: $5
Current Price: $15.56 (Amazon)
Recommend Purchase Price: $10 or under. $5 was kind of a sweet spot for it.
Why you should buy it: Charming game and presentation, there really isn’t anything wrong with it.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: Short length and lack of replayability.

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.