PilotWings for the SNES was a cult classic that drew a lot of attention from the hardcore and casual audience alike. PilotWings 64 was a launch title that went on to sell over a million copies worldwide. So naturally Nintendo thought to bring the success of the previous games and introduce gamers to PilotWings Resort which also is a 3DS exclusive launch title. Did we say that it is also in 3D in which should be even cooler! Sadly Nintendo forgot some of the key elements we all know and love about PilotWings which draws from the experience. Some of the key features for the 3DS are even left in the cold such as Street Pass, leaderboards, and the oh so important multiplayer.
Other than looking pretty and saying that is somewhat of a compliment. Given that this is new hard ware PilotWings Resort fails to impress in the graphics department and will not really give gamers that WOW factor. The textures are all pleasant and neatly fitted however when traveling over some of the buildings the landscape feels rather static. With no real Dynamic things going on like perhaps an erupting volcano or some kind of weather system, you will feel that the game is rather bland and repetitive when the graphics are concerned.
As far as the story goes the only real tidbit of info you gather is when you first journey to the resort. You are greeted by a Mii that looks like a flight attendant and asks you to fill out an identity card, and that’s about it. You are then given the task to complete various missions to unlock missions of higher skill level. The sad thing is though is that the rating system which in the original was medals is now stars. Which in my personal opinion is a direct rip off of Angry Birds and Cut the Rope to help those that are new comers feel more comfortable than a Bronze, Silver and Gold ranking system which makes more sense. Seeing that we all should have graduated the 1st grade by now you might expect a little more intelligence when it comes to the rating system.
As far as the variety of missions goes the 3DS title does show some ideas of brilliance. Yet most of which could be beneficial to the series is only visited on certain occasions. The majority of your time at the resort will find you flying a plane, rocket belt and hang glider. There are a couple of instances where you are allowed to use different kinds of gear such as a Pedal Glider, Jet Plane and a Squirrel Suit. Sadly the equipment stated in the last sentence only show up in a few missions, which means they only show up for less than 4. The squirrel suit being my personal favorite and some of the most fun in the game you wonder why the developers feel like the best gameplay only gets 1 level.
With simple gameplay mechanics that find you flying through hoops, shooting ballons and landing on small landing pads or ocean runways for planes. You have to wonder what merits this game a price tag of 39.99. After all this title feels more like a downloadable game if we are just looking at the mission based type mode. Pilotwings also has a free roam mode which is timed to allow you to travel across the island to collect stuff. That allows you to unlock Dioramas for you to gaze upon and realize you did all that work for silly trophies…LAME! And yet the package feels more than empty with no features that include Street Pass, a total lack of multiplayer and no leaderboards which in this day and age is unacceptable.
Sadly what would’ve been a staple launch title for the 3DS feels like a bland Downloadable game… which you pay top dollar for. Some of the positive notes for this game includes good graphics, solid gameplay and an amazing 3D experience when playing the game. However the draw backs of this title hold it from its true potential. With a non existent multiplayer experience. No leaderboards for missions from you friends and gamers alike, in which should be a no brainer for this game. Also the failure to feature a 3DS experience with Street Pass is uncalled for as a launch title looking to sell the hardware. After your done with this game if you choose to acquire every thing the game has to offer you will be left wanting more… especially another squirrel suit level.