About this post
I'd last played Wii Sports Resort in depth about a decade ago. It got into my head recently and wouldn't leave, so I decided to write a post about it. To refresh my memory of what the sports and the game as a whole were like, I watched a 6h20m "all stamps" speedrun.
If you haven't played Wii Sports Resort, this post likely won't make a lot of sense. I wrote this post for myself, and it's a collection of my thoughts after I've played the game, it's not exactly a review or a recommendation of the game. I've tried to include little video clips of the gameplay of each sport to allow you to to quickly familiarise yourself with the sports if you don't know them, so hopefully you can get some meaning out of my words even if you haven't played the game. Fortunately, Wii Sports Resort doesn't have any lore, so I won't be spoiling anything about the game here.
This post is also a Web 1.0 exclusive. In other words, it's not available on Gemini. Sorry!
Right, the all stamps speedrun.
Watching the all stamps speedrun was fascinating! I remembered so many things about the game and also discovered a lot of things that I never knew before. For example, I never realised that the victory music for each sport is different from each other! Usually this reflects the sport in some way. For example, the basketball music sounds... I don't know how to describe it, but it sounds basketball-y!
The music and sound composition for the whole game is really incredible. The in-your-face-ness of basketball, the wind and ambience of the golf courses, and the menacing beat of swordfighting showdown... wow!
A lot of the stamps in this game were incredibly challenging. I remember that I'd obsess over them a lot when I was younger, either thinking about how I could get them, or wondering if I was skilled enough to achieve the stamp's high demands. For example, the archery stamp that requires a perfect game (difficult execution!!), or the power cruising stamp that requires first locating all 5 time balloons and then popping them in a single run (difficult planning!!). I think I could have had more fun if I focused on the actual gameplay of the sports, but I'm not upset at my past actions.
My whole family were huge fans of this mode and it has always had the "Most Popular" banner above it. We played it for hours the first day we got the game, then woke up the next day with really sore shoulders and arms. As well as the versus mode we also played the mode where a single player fights against an opposing army, though my siblings played this one more than me. They managed to get to level 20, volano reverse, but not complete it. As time went on, they became far better at the versus mode than I did, but I still enjoyed playing against them. I like the way the characters move and step around each other on the circular platform.
Looking back, I realise that the island flyover mode made me fall in love with this game. It's not merely a free roam around the island, there's all sorts of balloons to pop, locations to explore, and of course i-point message boxes to read, which add a huge amount of flavour to the whole island and its setting. The text is different depending on the time of day, meaning that there's 240 individual tweets of lore about the island to find. It's so interesting and it contextualises the whole setting of the game and makes it seem like a real place. It's so awesome! It turns out that the US and PAL versions have differing i-point text, so now I want to read the US version's lore too. For example, the PAL version never says that the tennis court balls were stolen by dogs, merely that they were stolen. I spent so much time playing island flyover.
I always wished that it didn't have the time limit, so that I could truly roam free, but I guess the fitness-themed game didn't want you to spend all day in front of the teevee without realising where the time had gone. The plane controls were really fun to use, aside from constantly having to thrust the remote forward to get temporary speed boosts, which is super annoying.
Power cruising has a free roam mode too which lets you get up a lot closer to the game world due to the camera, but you move a lot slower than the aeroplane flyover and the pitch of the engine is more annoying. And you have to stay in the ocean, you can't go on land in your tiny boat, but there are a lot of interesting parts of the ocean that are tricky to access by plane. The regular power cruising game is decent enough, and going through the floating goalposts is satisfying, but overall the game isn't deep and doesn't feel like a sport.
I should have played golf more, I think it was definitely one of the more interesting and skillful modes in the game. I played a round with my dad just a couple of years ago and it was fun to watch each other try to line up shots and make jokes. It really puts the pressure on when you have to make a tricky shot and you have to use the motion controls to do it. It's also a lot of fun when you get a lucky red bar and the shot exceeds your expectations. Trying to balance the different clubs and the wind speed and the shot angle and the slope of the green is so interesting.
it's awesome and anticapitalist!!! in real life, that is. i never played it in wii sports resort
I think the basketball 3 vs 3 challenge was my favourite mode to play against my siblings? Unlike some of the other games you can play against the other person in real time rather than turn-taking, and the game is really interactive: trying to pass the ball to a better position, avoiding them snatching, and then juke them out when shooting. And even when shooting you still need to land the shot, which isn't free. The defense part is fun too, trying to snatch the ball at the right moment without falling on your face and giving them a free shot. This is probably the sport that I screamed the loudest at in both triumph and dismay. I want to play it again with someone.
Tutorial video that also shows gameplay and doesn't waste time
My dad was absolutely obsessed with this game as well as the return challenge. He would spend hours every evening playing the table tennis return challenge trying to get a higher score, which was both funny and sad to watch. It took him so many attempts to get to 999. He would also tell us all about his games against opponents in the regular mode. Many times he was upset by his mii standing at the wrong side of the table to return the serve and not running to where it needed to be. Sometimes he would shout (playful) at the teevee, "stop standing there like a wet lettuce!!!!", a phrase which has remained in my head for a decade. Apparently this is a wider known slang term but I don't know the slang implications. Lucia, the champion, gave him soooooo much trouble.
Whenever we had friends around to play we liked the bowling game since we could pass the controllers around for everyone to play and it had just the right amount of luck while still being straightforward to play. I remember playing this against my babysitter a decade ago. I won.
I found this one relatively fun to play on my own and I enjoyed going for high scores. Nobody else liked it as much as I did. I guess it was never a very deep game mode - just ride off the boat's wave trail, spin the remote, and land on your board. I still liked it in the moment.
Gameplay video. The video shows the practice mode where you can find ducklings. The main game has you complete a bounded course as fast as you can.
I think canoeing is the game that made me sweat the most. It's not very deep but it is fun to push the boat around and say hi to the ducks and the fish. I found out from watching the speedrun that the fish give you a speed boost if you row the same way as them, which is,,,, funny,,,,,
Gameplay video. The video shows the co-op mode on a tandem bicycle; the single-player mode is identical but with a single mii on a standard bicycle.
Cycling does seem to be a fairly deep mode. I never played it a lot in the past, but after watching the speedrun, I've gained a massive appreciation for it. There are 6 courses that span the whole island, and each of them was carefully designed. They ride around different parts of the island including the main landmarks such as the main bridge, volcano, and the town, but the route connects these landmarks using many tiny paths that reach all over the island that you might not have noticed before.
The music is completely dynamic, made up of many layers, which swell and fall away depending on the game state, including how much energy you have left, which part of the island you're riding on, whether you're behind somebody, and then as Vincenzo leads you into the final section of the course the music is seamlessly replaced with a much more intense version of the main song, and hearing it makes you feel like you can do anything!
It's important to plan a strategy of when to stick behind to recover and when to use your energy to push ahead, so that you'll be able to eventually pass the race leader. The way the multi-day races are implemented is really interesting - your position from the previous races is carried over, but each rider is released from the start at regular intervals. This means that you still have to pass the same number of people in total, but each day is like a reset for how the riders are distributed over the course, meaning you'll always be able to plan how to get to the next person ahead of you without large gaps between packs forming over the whole event.
Wii Sports Resort is a very good game with a lot of good sports and a lot of good memories that you can happily play alone or with friends. If you have an old Wii kicking around in your house, why not get the game? It costs $20 to get a second hand game disc, but there's a neat little trick where you can hack your Wii, download the game, and play it for $0. (Though do note: it will be awful to emulate unless you also have a real Wii Remote due to the way the game interprets the motion inputs from all of the remote's sensors.
- Wii hacks and USB Loader GX installation guide
- Direct download Wii Sports Resort, WBFS format, NTSC region from archive.org
- Direct download Wii Sports Resort, RVZ format, PAL region from archive.org
- Explanation of disc image formats and how to convert them