Customer Reviews: Pilotwings Resort - Nintendo 3DS
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on April 1, 2011
As a Pilotwings fanatic, this is a tough game for me to review. I'll start off reviewing it from an independent standpoint and will finish off with comparisons to Pilotwings 64 for those who grew up loving that game.

Resort is very Wii-like. A great improvement over the Nintendo DS graphics. If you've played Wii Sports Resort then you know what to expect. It's obviously more pixelated than Resort, but the small screens mask this really well. I enjoy the different times of day you can play through. It adds a greater sense of depth to the game as lights in buildings turn on as the game gets darker and there are different occurances depending on when you choose to play.

I personally feel like the audio is not a strong point at all. There is one audio track each for the airplane, jetpack, and hang glider. I felt like this got very repetitive as I failed played more and more. They aren't bad by any means, but it would have been nice to have a little more variety.

Sounds throughout the game are very much like Resort. When piloting the airplane (whether flying, zooming or even shooting), the sounds are identical to resort.

Great gameplay while it lasts. I felt the physics in the game were pretty accurate and never messed up unless it was my fault. This made playing and mastering the game more enjoyable, because i didn't have to worry about the game not responding well to my commands. It was just a matter of me getting better.

The game starts off extremely easy as you participate in 'Training Mode'. I know Nintendo has moved to a more casual audience, but I really don't appreciate holding their hand as they try to teach me how to play. At least make this an optional mode that you can access from the title screen. However, the difficulty progresses nicely as you access Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum modes. I will say that I got three stars on EVERY mission on either the first or second playthrough. It was satisfying, but looking back, I would have like to sruggle a little more. It's pretty easy to get three stars, but nearly impossible at times to get a perfect score.

Replay Value:
Very short in terms of missions. You could get three stars on every level in under two hours if you get the hang of it. However, the game does have some legs to it. For starters, there are Dioramas (In-game trophies similar to Smash Brothers trophies) that you earn by completing certain tasks, whether it's getting three stars in every level or by finding hidden items in Free Flight Mode.

You can also spend several hours in Free Flight mode. Here you'll choose any aircraft that you've unlocked and are able to explore Wuhu Island. There are various objectives in this mode, ranging from flying through stunt rings or catching trophies and balloons. Finding balloons increases the time you are allowed to explore, which is very welcome considering you are initially only allowed two minutes. Ultimately, treasure hunting seem more gimmicky than fun, but that depends on the person. I could see it taking several hours to find everything. One thing to note, the more you collect, the more modes you unlock (sunset and night time). There's also a few surprises for fans of the series in Free Flight mode.

The 3D in the game adds a sense of depth. I would compare the 3D to a Magic Eye book. The image isn't popping out at you like you might expect, but it adds layers in the game that move away from you. It makes flying around more enjoyable and engaging. Its a subtle addition, but as I fly through rings or gather balloons, I can tell how far away they and I feel that it does improve my ability slightly.

One downside to it is that you have to train your eye to pick up on it. Its not as maddening as a Magic Eye, but it does make me slightly dizzy after a while. And if you look down at the bottom screen (map screen) and look back up, it takes a second to get used to it again. And if you move your head at all, you will see two hangliders as the screen distorts. Annoying, but manageable. It's a good thing you can turn the 3D off instantly and seamlessly though. Playing the game in 2D does not take away from the experience.

Comparison to Pilotwings 64:
This is where it was difficult for me. I considered myself to be a HUGE Pilotwings 64 fan. So much so that I have beaten the game over a dozen times. It was my favorite N64 game. Now, when comparing the 3DS version to the N64 version, I don't think it compares at all.

For starters, Pilotwings Resort has one island to navigate. The downside is that I've already lived and breathed this island with Wii Sports Resort. It's enjoyable, but it does get monotonous as you complete the game. Pilotwings 64 had FOUR islands (three being huge. I would compare Wuhu island on the 3DS to Crescent Island for Pilotwings 64, without all the surprises. I was very disappointed that this game couldn't be creative in its own right. But I do think Nintendo wanted to cash in on its Wii Sports Resort success. Wuhu doesn't even compare to Little America from N64. That level was much larger and had plenty of secrets to explore (teleporting stars, gas stations, changing night to day, etc.). Which leads to me to...

Weather. Pilotwings Resort has three different time modes...Daylight, sunset, and night time. This is almost the same as the N64 version except there isn't weather variables, such as cloudy skies, or even snow for that matter. I loved flying around Holiday Island being able to choose cloudy skies.

Flight modes are less diverse in Resort. Pilotwings Resort has two planes, two jetpacks, and two hangliders. There is the Wii Resort plane, but also a Fighter Jet plane that's really fast. The Jetpack mode also houses a Squirrel Suit in one level that "feels" similar to skydiving in the N64 version less the parachuting. The N64 did have bonus modes; however, such as Jumble Hopper (bouncing shoes), cannon, and sky diving. I was disappointed Nintendo didn't include these bonus modes in Resort.

Pilotwings Resort is a fun and enjoyable, but short game. There are challenges that will remind you of Pilotwings 64. However, with just one island to explore, it's clear Nintendo is moving in a direction different from 1996 and I guess gamers are moving that way too. It's a little sad to see games like Pilotwings 64 will probably never see a true sequel. If you want an enjoyable Flight Simulator, pick this game up. If you're a Pilotwings 64 maniac, you might be a little disappointed.
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on April 8, 2011
Though the game was fun, it ended up being pretty short. You are given 3 flying vehicles to fly in various different missions most of which are extremely short and easy to beat, unless you plan to go for a perfect score on each mission. I wish they'd made the missions longer and harder instead of easy to beat unless you are after perfect scores. The 3D in the game is amazing though compared to street fighter and the games that come with the 3DS, it is much deeper and actually helps to judge distances between you and obstacles in your way. Overall it is a very simple game. It's great for casual players who just want to fly through the missions, while others may want to go for perfect scores in every mission... that just wasn't for me though with this game. I can't say this game is worth it's value. It's short and does not make me want to go back and replay the missions for perfect scores. It's like a mini game for full retail price. It's fun though and worth borrowing from a friend or rental, it won't be long before it's just sitting around collecting dust.
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on March 27, 2011
Pilotwings Resort was an ingenious idea by Nintendo. They updated one of their more underrated franchises and combined it with the amusing Mii aesthetic of Wii Sports Resort. And in true Pilotwings tradition, it also launches the Nintendo 3DS hardware. Like Wii Sports Resort, the game takes place in the fictional WuHu Island, reproduced exactly like it was on Sports. You take control of a number of different aerial vehicles, from biplanes to rocket packs to jets, and then take them for a spin around the island, collecting balloons and flying through rings. It sounds rather banal, but it actually gets really challenging. Each mission is laid out like an obstacle course of sorts, and you must navigate through it within a certain time limit while being sure to get as many collectibles as you can. Completing each mission gives you stars, and you need a certain number of stars to unlock later levels. Gameplay-wise, the controls are very tight and responsive. The graphics are on par with Wii Sports Resort, and the sound is crystal clear. The music needed a little more work...the background songs are really Muzak-inspired!

Of course, the star feature in this game is the 3D effect. Simply put, it is phenomenal. Even compared to other 3DS titles, this game's 3D is deep and incredibly functional. It's not just a gimmick...playing the game in 3D vs. 2D will give players a clear advantage, as you can accurately gauge the depth and distance for targets and landing. As with any 3D game, playing for too long may cause eye strain and even a little dizziness, so take breaks (or periodically switch to 2D). But seriously, this is the game to show off the power of your new 3DS!
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on March 28, 2011
I pre-ordered my 3DS in black back in February from GameStop after trading in about 30 old PS2, PS1 games and back then I only pre-ordered the system because of the alluring 3D feature and being backwards compatible with DS games. I sold my DS Lite, but had some unopened games that I kept so I can play it on the 3DS. Those games are the Professor Layton Series and Dragon Quest VI. Nonetheless, I read the list of launch titles and I was dead set on getting Super Street Fighter IV 3D because of all the raving reviews. I picked up my 3DS on launch day and decided to go with the Pilotwings instead because I had Super Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter IV on PS3 and also because I was familiar with Wii Sports Resort that I have for my Wii. Usually, Nintendo games are top-notch based on first hand experience. I was also torn on getting Steel Diver and or Ghost Recon, but Pilotwings was a series in which was available since the good old SNES days and so we had a winner!

Boy, was I blown away by the game. I didn't have much expectations based on lackluster reviews by some of the gaming sites, but right away I was familiar with everything without resorting to the manual. The game is straightforward and it was very easy to pick up and play. The graphics are very comparable to the Wii and at times I thought I was playing Wii Sports Resort on my 3DS. The Rocket Pack, Hanglider and the Plane are all very easy to control and being able to explore the island of Wuhu and accomplish missions is absolutely charming and overall a fun experience. I do not regret my purchase of this game one bit. However, after playing the missions for about 2 hours, I was almost done with most of the missions and I felt it was kind of short for $40, but nonetheless, I didn't get 3 stars on every mission and so it will have a lot of replay value like Cut the Rope on the iPhone.

Flying freely around the island to explore new areas and seeing the sights take a lot of time and is fun doing so. Although I think Nintendo could have made it longer by adding more missions, it is still worth the $40 asking price because of the sheer replay value. If you ask "Would you select Pilotwings if you had to go through the selection of the games again?" Then my answer would still be yes. In addition, the 3D effects of this game is absolutely breathtaking. The depth of field adds to the overall experience of the game, but if you slide the 3D slider all the way, you can strain your eyes and so I keep it within 1/4 level and the effects are great. If you just got your 3DS and are torn between which game to buy, Pilotwings will not disappoint overall except that it is on the short side.

+Great graphics (comparable to the Wii)
+Lots to explore
+Challenging missions
+Easy to pick up and play for any body
+Simple control layout is well done and no complaints there
+Amazing 3D effects

-A little on the short side (but getting 3 stars on each mission will make this a long game to finish) (there is the replay value!)
-Some missions are very hard to get 3 stars on. (But then again, who doesn't like challenging games?) (minor issue)

I wish Professor Layton was a available game at launch for the US market like it was for Japan. Then it would have been a no brainer choice for me because Professor Layton series is amazing, very challenging and fun. Nonetheless, there are many good games coming out for the 3DS in which I cannot wait. Until then, the AR Games, Face Raiders, my DS games and Pilotwings will keep me busy.

UPDATE 3/28/2011:

I must say this... I got a few more hours of play time yesterday and wow... the replay value is amazing. Trying to perfect every level will be a daunting task and that is for sure. Wow... I am revisiting the air plane and rocket pack landing missions trying to perfect both levels and am stuck at 59/60 points! Arggh! Like I said before, I stand by this review and the stars I gave as the game gets better and better each passing day.
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on April 11, 2011
Pilotwings has proven to be a reliable franchise for Nintendo to launch its systems alongside, with games supporting the American launches of the Super NES, Nintendo 64, and now the Nintendo 3DS. It's a great series to showcase a new system's strengths, and Pilotwings Resort is no exception, showing the immense depth of the handheld's 3D effects, as well as the ease of use of the analog "circle pad" for precise controls. It provides a fun, yet ultimately very short experience that makes its suggested price of $40 seem a tad steep.

Of the two main modes in the game, Mission Flight Mode is the real draw. You work your way through a series of rankings (Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc) by earning star points in various biplane, rocket belt, and hang glider missions (there are some other "secret" vehicles, but I won't spoil them here). The sense of progression in this mode is satisfying, but there were only a handful of missions that were challenging enough to require multiple tries, and I was able to finish the mode in under three hours.

There is also Free Flight Mode, which allows you to freely fly around Wuhu Island within a time limit that can be extended by meeting certain requirements. There are many collectibles to find and rings to fly through in this mode, but it exists merely to provide a more relaxing flight session than you would find in Mission Flight Mode.

Gamers who consider themselves "completionists" will likely find the price of the game justified by the time they are finished with both modes, but I personally felt that more content could have easily been provided. The game is lacking in environments (even the game's main island was taken directly from Wii Sports Resort), and it wouldn't have hurt to include at least one more vehicle. I had a great time with Mission Flight Mode in particular while it lasted, but when all was said and done, I wished there was more variety.
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on April 19, 2011
I agree with most reviewers here, but in short:

Buy it if:
1. You like the PilotWings franchise.
2. You want an app that is visually appealing and shows off the 3D.
3. You don't mind repetition.
4. You are a perfectionist and love to beat your own times/scores.

Don't buy it if:
1. You're looking for something wildly innovative
2. You don't like repetition
3. You are looking for a very deep, flight simulator experience
4. You are easily disoriented, or tend to move your DS around
5. You are expecting a lot for $40
6. You want to play multiplayer.

All in all, I thought this game was fun for what it's worth. The graphics are beautiful and the 3D effects are subtle, but effective. I think Nintendo did a great job of recreating the feeling of a nice, leisurely flight. It's almost soothing to fly or hangglide around a beautifully rendered sunny island. It's also fun to find all the hidden paths and try to get those (sometimes challenging) 3 star scores.

My only issues are 1. this game may get boring for some because ultimately after you fly through the game, there's not much else to do beyond trying to top your existing times, etc. 2. I also think folks who are looking for a multiplayer experience will be disappointed.

I think the game is fun, but a touch pricey relative to what you get. However, it is a fun/cute/pretty little game that will offer a nice distraction until more titles are available. For a launch title it does the job just fine (as long as you don't mind the price factor).

Final note: If you have a tendency of moving your hands while playing the DS, just note, it may be easy to get disoriented if you accidentally move the "sweet spot" out of your field of vision.
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Pilotwings Resort for the Nintendo 3DS lets you fly airplanes, jetpacks, and hang gliders around an interesting island.

This game is equally good in 3D and in 2D. If you can play in 3D, you get a wonderful sense of depth as you curl lazily around the lighthouse or shoot through the natural arch of stone. If you need to play in 2D for headache or other reasons, the game is still perfectly playable and fun.

Each type of vehicle gives a different type of experience. The plane lets you zoom high in the air and bank sharply around objects. The jetpack gives you precision control like a hummingbird. I adore the hang glider best of all. It is incredibly peaceful to drift across the island, taking in the beauty, and floating with the birds.

There are multiple modes of gameplay here. You can simply take your time exploring the island, looking for all the I markers which tell you about the interesting points. You can also do their challenges where you have to land in a certain spot, follow a certain path, or so on. Each time of gameplay has its own rewards. You also unlock features (time of day, etc.) as you go.

I enjoy this game immensely. I'm not shooting enemies or destroying things. I'm challenged, yes, but it's an internal challenge - can I make that turn? Can I land exactly on the bulls-eye? The ramp-up of their tutorials is great. They help you learn the skills you need while having fun at the same time.

Are there any down sides here? I suppose if you found flying around boring then you'd probably not like this game. There aren't zombies to demolish. No vampires. No swearing.

But for most players, I think this game is a perfect part of your 3DS collection of games. There are times when it's quite fun to sit back, relax, and test out your flying skills. For those times, this game is highly recommended.

I purchased this game with my own funds in order to do this review.
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on October 4, 2014
If anyone is looking at this in hopes of recapturing the fun of Pilotwings 64 you will be disappointed. This is NOT Pilotwings, this should have been titled Nintendo 3DS Resort Flight. This is basically a port of the game Wii Sports Resort without any of the actual sporting events - just a bit of a tweaked flight mode. Which would have been a fine game in and of itself without the misleading Pilotwings title stuck in there which lead me to believe we were getting another installment of the fun N64 flight sim. What made Pilotwings 64 so good were the fun and quirky characters you could choose from, and the different flight vehicles and the flight world created specifically for that game.

Recap: This absolutely is NOT a new installment or remake of the Nintendo Flight Sim Pilotwings. This is a scaled down port of Wii Sports Resort with Flight only play.
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on March 26, 2016
Yay a plane!

Really, I loved Pilotwings on SNES back in the day, but those graphics did not age well, and I have more fun flying planes in JC2:MP so I kind of gave up on this series a while ago.

The N64 version is okay, but I missed the plane. The Wii version had a plane, and I felt like a toddler with a balsawood plane, playing with the Wiimote. They also did not feel as "piloty" as the first game.

This one is kind of a blend of all of the Pilotwings games. Aspects of all the older iterations are here, and I only have one major gripe... Why not just have all of the vehicles?

You forced me to give up on planes, the gyro copter kind of grew on me, and the game has not evolved as much since the N64 as I would have expected.

The game did not cost me very much, it is a good Pilotwings title, and I am happy to own it. I just wish they would settle in on simply ADDING content and not so much swapping it up here and there.

A lot of good in this one, and it is great as a 3DS game. Now if only they could give us Tetrisphere3DS...
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on July 23, 2014
Pilotwings is another game series Nintendo has chosen to bring back, and as a launch title for the 3DS. Does it signal a great return of the classic series for the better? Not exactly.
Unlike the original Pilotwings titles which were developed internally at Nintendo and also Paradigm Software, Resort's development has been handled by Monster Games, responsible for the ExciteTruck and Excitebots games on the Wii. Also unlike the original titles, there are no cartoonish characters who look goofy or similar to Nester from Nintendo Power, instead casting Mii characters as potential pilots. Also gone is the gyrocopter from Pilotwings 64 and some of the more outlandish 'vehicles' like the Jumble Hopper and Human Cannonball events. In some ways the game is still similar to the earlier titles in that you go through rings, ride thermals in the hang glider, take photos, and the Biplane, Rocket Belt and Hang Glider are all taken from earlier games. The changes to the Pilotwings aesthetics may be jarring, but they aren't the biggest problem in the game and aside from hardcore fans, most trainee pilots won't care too much about the changes.
Pilotwings Resort screenshotFirst off, let's answer the burning question. Yes, the game uses 3D frequently and to great effect. It's very difficult to describe as this is a new technology, but with minor exceptions it really makes a difference in Pilotwings Resort. Dodges and lining up landings and targets simply feel different in 3D. Landings, one thing which this reviewer was dreading due to experience from previous Pilotwings games were surprisingly easy thanks to the 3D effects. The graphics are at least the quality of Wii Sports Resort and considering that these are only the 3DS launch titles, it's a good indication for the platform's future. There aren't any noteworthy animations though, and considering there aren't any areas other than Wuhu Island, it definitely feels in some ways like a rushed launch game made with help from Wii source code.
Gameplay is divided into two categories, Free Flight and Mission modes. Free Flight is largely the same as the Birdman missions in Pilotwings 64 and the Airplane stage in Wii Sports Resort. However, you can only fly around the Island for so long before it gets boring. While you can explore and look for hidden items, they aren't much of a reward. Some items do give extra time to fly around the island or items for the Diorama mode (just a small extra in which you see the game's equivalent of concept art), but it can get frustrating that you can only gain certain items with specific vehicles at specific times of day, creating the illusion of replay value. Wuhu Island is the game's only area, and those who have already explored the island in Wii Sports Resort probably won't find this very exciting.
Mission mode is thankfully better, but still very short and feels lacking. Players are tasked with completing a variety of challenges across the island in the three modes of flight and eventually more. After collecting a certain number of stars, obtained by doing well in challenges, players can 'upgrade' to the game's higher classes. In order to gain the most stars, players need a point minimum in each stage based on factors such as time finished, score balloons popped along the way and landing accuracy. The Mission Mode classes start with Training, and go to Bronze level, to Silver all the way through to Platinum. The first three classes are incredibly easy and should pose little challenge, but the game's difficulty takes a huge nosedive up around the Gold class and feels genuinely unfair. For the most part, the game does have a good amount of variety in the mission types, but they eventually boil down to the same tired 'shoot this' or 'go through this ring types'. The game also does a poor job of explaining new concepts and vehicles, despite having control diagrams. There are no 'new' tutorials to explain advanced concepts which would have really helped in the later levels. Even with the added difficulty, the Mission Mode will last at most five hours, making it a difficult game to recommend for forty dollars.
Pilotwings Resort screenshotThe initial three modes of flight are what the player will use in the majority of the game, but there are a few bonus vehicles including a jet plane, a skydiving 'squirrel-suit' and a sky-cycle straight out of a Miyazaki movie. These vehicles don't add too much to the game, but make for a nice change of pace.
The music is very lackluster. While the tracks sound nice, they aren't especially catchy and sound largely like bland smooth jazz. The sound effects are largely forgettable, but there is at least one that should sound very familiar to fans of Pilotwings 64.
While Pilotwings Resort is a good showcase for the 3DS' 3D technology, it should not be representative of the system as a whole. The game is short, unfairly difficult at times and feels like the developers simply cut and pasted most of the game from Wii Sports Resort. Pilotwings Resort is likely what it feels like: a game rushed out the door to show that Nintendo didn't neglect its own system's launch and one trying to cash in on its own success with Wii Sports.
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