Pilotwings has long been the franchise Nintendo turn to in order to launch their more technical break-throughs. During the heady days of the SNES, we were introduced to Mode-7 graphics via parachutes; the power (for the time) of the N64 was demonstrated via Pilotwings 64’s launch day polygons; and now Pilotwings Resort is perhaps the title which best highlights the advantages of the 3DS.
Set on Wuhu Island, and offering the likes of jet packs, bi-planes and hang-gliders to get to grips with – there are other pieces of kit too but we shan’t spoil them – Pilotwings Resort challenges players to complete various missions and objectives: fly through a set amount of rings, hit a number of targets or land on a series of platforms, for example.
Pilotwing’s main problem is that most of its main progression, while certainly fun and entertaining enough, rather feels like a tutorial, you’d be forgiven for thinking that upon completion of the ranks the game proper would open up. It turns out however that going up through the ranks is game; sure each mission has a three-star rank to obtain, and you can always go back and try to set a faster time in each mission, but as fun as this is, it’s a little low on content.
There is however a more open-ended exploration of the island to those with the desire to discover every hidden nook and cranny of Wuhu but more mission-driven content would have certainly been welcome, as well as a few more means of transport.
Long has a lessening of content been thus with launch day titles however, and at least Pilotwings Resort impresses visually. Those 3D visuals really aiding your descents on to landing pads in the jetpack stages, courtesy of the added depth perception for example.
Well worth a pick-up on launch day, just don’t expect to be still playing it six months down the line. Hopefully we’ll have bigger 3D fish to fry come then anyway.