Developed by Nintendo, release date: TBD
Demo Time: 8 minutes
Estimated wait time: 20 minutes
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.
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.