Instead, the autostereoscopic handheld brought us Pilotwings Resort. Developed by Minnesota’s own Monster Games (who notably developed two successful Wii titles: Excite Truck, and Excitebots: Trick Racing), and published by the money-printers themselves, Pilotwings Resort was our nostalgic welcome to the 3DS.
Pilotwings Resort is our 3D welcome to the Wuhu Sky Club and the island, over which we will fly a plane, pilot a jetpack, and hanglide. This time, instead of it being the generic character used in previous iterations of the Pilotwings series, it’s your Mii doing the flying, so be careful! (No, there are no physical penalties to your Mii, other than those imagined.)
The 3D translation is brilliant. I don’t care how many Roger Eberts post about the human ability to not appropriately view 3D. In this game, a level of depth is provided, and it does not at all detract from the experience.
The controls are mostly accurate in respect to 3D. One of the bigger issues, when video game first started being traversed in 3D, was inaccuracy in the time it takes to travel a certain depth, compared to the time it took to travel left and right. These problems are long since gone on traditional displays, but it was something I would not have been surprised to experience again, and I did not.
Pilotwings allows for perfection, at a price. Each of the levels you encounter in Pilotwings are scored, and your score results in one of 5 results: 0 – 3 stars, or a PERFECT (3 stars with a red border). These levels may require you to fly your plane through rings in an allotted amount of time and land gently, blast yourself around a volcano with a jetpack and land dead center of a mid-sea target, or ride jetstreams efficiently enough to land on a small platform that at first seems too far away for even a plane. I warn the perfectionists out there: PERFECT scores are not easy.
The controls of the airplane were a bit loose, and judging how to gently land is an issue. When you have to come from passing through a ring 100 meters in the air, to a landing zone almost immediately downward, even at the lowest of speeds, the analog stick will have you trying for perfection again and again.
For anyone looking for a prolonged experience, you’ll have to frustrate yourself with shooting for perfection. In order to ‘pass’ each of the levels: Training, Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, is not exceedingly difficult. To pass them all with PERFECT scores is.
The game doesn’t provide much in the way of variety. It’s generally repeated tasks, over and over, without much in the way of storyline to keep you moving along at a pace other than “I feel like flying around in 3D for a while.”.
Title: Pilotwings Resort
Console(s): Nintendo 3DS
Launch Date (NA): March 27, 2011
Developer: Monster Games