Hands-on: Wii Sports Resort's archery and canoeing

Last year, Nintendo only had three playable games from Wii Sports Resort: Disc Dog, Power Cruising, and Swordplay, all of which were used to show the precision of the Wii MotionPlus device. This time, twelve games are available for play, and we were able to get our hands on two of those, which we think do an even better job of displaying the difference between a MotionPlus-enabled Wiimote and a stock controller.

First, we tried the canoe game, in a two-player race. The goal in this game variant is to cross five checkpoints before the other player. In this game, the Wiimote is a surrogate for the canoe's oar, held vertically with both hands as if it were an actual oar.
The best thing about describing games like this is that it's not really difficult to describe the controls. You hold the Wiimote like an oar and then row, just like you would with a real oar. You have to switch sides every couple of strokes to avoid going in a circle. The on-screen oar reacted absolutely identically to the movements of the Wiimote -- as close as the mythical "one-to-one" as we've ever seen in a motion-controlled game. The finer controls actually made the game harder, in our estimation -- while most games like this would kind of be "close enough" and point you forward, if you're not rowing in the exact right direction, you'll turn off course.

The next game we tried was archery, which was, again, pretty easy to explain. You hold the Wiimote vertically like a bow, hold Z on the nunchuk to simulate grabbing the strings, pull back, and let go of Z to shoot an arrow. It's slightly more complicated than that -- pushing A at the beginning locks your player's body direction so you can focus on aiming. As you pull back, your view of the target narrows and zooms in, as if you're focusing tightly on the target. After a few seconds of zoom, the game will snap you back out and make you aim again, simulating, we suppose, fatigue from holding the string out for too long.

You get three shots at each target, and then the next stage presents a more distant target. The Nintendo rep told us that there were secret items in the background that could be hit by arrows, but we never found any. Instead, we got closer and closer to (but not quite on) the bullseye.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.