|Dev: Monster Games Inc|
|Release: March 27, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
by Peter Eykemans
I'd argue that through the years the best things that have happened on Nintendo's various systems have been games created by Nintendo. And as we sit just a few short months away from the release of Nintendo's new revolutionary handheld system, the 3DS, my money is on the games created by Nintendo to make the system a success. For me, Pilotwings Resort, with its colorful new take on a series that has been around for years, is one of those Nintendo titles that are well worth anticipating.
Mode 7 Graphics don't mean much to the average (read: young) gamer anymore these days. But in the heyday of Super Nintendo's reign, Mode 7 meant the awesome power of rotation, scaling, and a false sense of three dimensions to please the eye and dramatically zoom into world maps (I'm looking at you Actraiser). Pilotwings on the Super Nintendo was a title built to showcase this awesome new power (of the time), and it absolutely worked. But this was back in 1991, a mere nineteen years ago.
Mode 7's false 3D representation is now outdated, and the 3DS is capable of presenting itself in three dimensions without the addition of clunky glasses. For everyone out there clamoring for information on the system, the 3D effect is truly something to behold. But you'll have to experience it for yourself upon launch, if you don't believe me.
In about three months, Nintendo will unleash its new system on the world and allow players to jetpack and biplane their way through Wuhu Island, the new setting for this PilotWings' title. If that sounds familiar, it's because you may have played table tennis on its beaches or fenced one of your friends off a platform and into the water in Wii Sports Resort. In addition to the multifunctional island, your character in Pilotwings Resort is also going to sport the friendly, rotund caricatures of the Wii's Miis.
Both the original Pilotwings and Pilotwings 64 took place on fictional islands, though PilotWings 64 traversed areas that were built to reflect real world locations including a Statue of Liberty lookalike, much like dropping in on New York, New York in Las Vegas.
From the little amount shown of Pilotwings Resort, we do know that it includes the familiar rocket belt segments in which players fly through the air popping balloons. It also puts players into the cockpit of a biplane that can rotate and flip its way through the skies in order to burst through loops and score points. If anyone out there recalls, all the training in the original PilotWings led up to a helicopter attack on a base in order to save some hostages. I highly doubt this ultra-friendly Mii version will put players into an attack helicopter in order to rescue hostages, but as of this time the game's ending has not been revealed, so there is still time for the game to take a slightly darker turn. But that's pure speculation.
From the 3DS' ability to create a comfortable 3D environment for anyone with its adjustable slider bar, a game that features high-flying stunts is sure to excite with this new ability to experience spacial awareness. Other events that were included in the first two PilotWings games were skydiving, human cannonball, birdman, rocket belt, hang gliding, and more. I'm sure the coming weeks will reveal more information about this high altitude portable title, hopefully including confirmed events and a few surprises as well.
And while the more serious characters and situations of the previous titles aren't present in this reboot, the new game does indeed look good in its own right regardless of how you feel about games that use Mii characters in place of game-specific ones. You can't tell me you don't want to send an animated version of yourself blasting through the skies with a rocketbelt strapped to your waist, can you?
PilotWings Resort is currently scheduled to launch alongside the 3DS handheld itself in March 2011.
CCC Freelance Writer