Pilotwings Resort Impressions – Landing A Plane In 3D

By Alex Aniel . January 18, 2011 . 12:05pm

Pilotwings Resort

Developed by Nintendo, release date: TBD

Demo Time: 8 minutes

Estimated wait time: 20 minutes


image Pilotwings makes its first appearance since Pilotwings 64, released nearly 15 years ago on the Nintendo 64. It’s a wise pick since the sky high environment for gliding or flying airplanes itself to being an ideal match for 3D visuals. Pilotwings Resort shares some characteristics with Wii Sports Resort, and their shared subtitle is certainly no coincidence. Pilotwings Resort resembles Wii Sports Resort by having simple, but colorful outdoor visuals and in fact, they both take place on the same Wuhu Island.  Like Wii Sports Resort, Pilotwings Resort makes use of the 3DS’s Mii avatars as the playable characters.


The Pilotwings Resort demo allowed attendees to play three different modes: air gliding, flying airplanes using rocket propellers to soar through the air independent of the wind, and airplane landing. Due to time limitations, I only tried the airplane landing game. This was surprisingly easy to control with the Slide Mat and buttons, which I used to  speed up or slow down the plane in preparation for landing the plane. The game gave me a designated target, such as a small suspended surface above the ocean. The ability to land the plane within the target determines the score the player earns. It’s quite a simple concept, but it is decent fun to control the airplane and attempt landing it.


image The 3D effect the 3DS provides gives Pilotwings Resort’s otherwise plain visuals something interesting to look at. The depth perception, for me, was best with the 3D dial set somewhere in the middle. The brightness of the visuals made the 3D effect overwhelming at first, but once I found a comfortable spot, I appreciated what the 3D visuals offered. This was particularly interesting for the airplane landing game because the 3D allowed me to better judge the distance between the target and the airplane. It felt like as the plane approached its target, that gap became smaller and smaller. While this can be perceived in the traditional 2D mode, the effect isn’t nearly as striking or realistic, so the 3D effect has provided something of value to Pilotwings Resort.

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  • Yukito

    Glad to see there are still games with color.

  • This is one series I wish Nintendo would keep on a console. I love Pilotwings, and we need a Wii version!

  • I was disappointed I couldn’t play this with the 3D full blast. Backgrounds become way too muddy. Did you try the glider? I couldn’t figure out how to handle it!

    Overall not too pleased with this demo, but maybe I should have tried more than 2-3 modes.

  • day one.

  • Apache_Chief

    “There’s no way Pilotwings 64 is 15 years old”
    *checks Wikipedia*


  • YoFace

    “Pilotwings Resort makes use of the 3DS’s Mii avatars as the playable characters.”

    Wish that was an option, and not mandatory. Like in Mario Kart Wii. Would have been great to have original characters like from the N64 game.

    But still, since it’s been 15 years, can’t wait.

  • 5parrowhawk

    That’s odd, because with a real airplane, the pilot’s depth perception through binocular vision is pretty much irrelevant – everything is so far away, unless you happen to be flying a stunt plane through a really tight course, that there’s virtually no parallax effect (see Stereopsis and Convergence (eye) on Wikipedia).

    Well, if it works for the game, then that’s cool though.

  • Hopefully there will be a download that will add people so that I can terroize them when flying over them :D

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