After 15 years, Pilotwings is back…but is it any good?
Being a Sega fan of the early 90s, I sadly missed out on the original Pilotwings, but finally got my hands on Pilotwings 64 back in 1996, I thoroughly enjoyed it and prayed for a sequel and since then there have been so many rumours about the possibility that I lost count, but it’s finally here launching alongside the 3DS. So, does Pilotwings Resort bring the series back and most importantly, make good use of the 3DS?
In Pilotwings Resort you fly by 3 plane, rocket belt or glider across Wuhu Island (the same island from Wii Sports Resort) across 40 missions where you have to fly through checkpoints, collect objects and then land smoothly on a platform. The missions are ranked from Novice to Platinum and each different set of missions are only unlocked by gaining enough stars from other missions. For example, to unlock Platinum you need to get 18 stars from the Gold missions, which will be slightly difficult.
You can also fly around the island freely without missions, but there’s a time limit and tons of collectables to find through the island including location icons, balloons and stunt rings. As you progress through the missions, you’ll even get new vehicles to fly like the Turbo Jet, but fuel is a factor with these vehicles, so just be sure to keep an eye on the fuel gauge. There’s no multiplayer or co-op of any kind, but you can use your Mii to fly the vehicles. So in terms of substance, Pilotwings Resort is a bit light compared to other games…but still, its good to see it back.
The difficulty of missions will be a bit off-putting to players, especially when failure will come down to a small lack of precision with the circle pad. The 3D effect also makes it tricky to be precise and will begin to irritate after a while, but you can easily slide the effect down to whatever suits you best. I personally like it with 3D turned upto maximum, but I can imagine a few people disabling 3D altogether. It’s not the greatest looking game either, but if the Wii has taught us anything…it’s that a game doesn’t have to look great to be good or popular.
Pilotwings Resort is a decent launch title for the 3DS, but it is light on content. The lack of co-operative/competitive multiplayer is disappointing and seeing all the game has to offer won’t take long, unless you want to seriously get 3-star ratings on every mission and collect every object, but that’s if you can put up with the rather sharp rise in difficulty beyond the Bronze missions. The 3D effect is nice, but the visuals don’t do it justice. It’s a fun game, but just don’t go expecting it to be as deep or memorable as the original games.