Welcome BACK! Free Roaming time is over – it’s time to get into some more activities! Go Vacation supports a shitload of control options through its wealth of games, including Wiimote, Wiimote + Nunchuck, Balance Board, MotionPlus, Wii Wheel and the Zapper. Today we’re going to get out our fancy new controller to play some MotionPlus games.
Windsurfing is the first game I’m going to talk about, because it really took me by surprise. Expecting a passable point A to point B race, I got a creative use of Wii controls I’ve never seen before. No buttons are used in this, and there are two things you control. The first is the sail’s angle, and the second is the direction of the boat. These are BOTH controlled, simultaneously, with the Wii Remote.
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The pride, the glory, the honor. Which games will take home the top awards, and which ones will end up on the floor with a sore butt? Is there a difference?
Hi everyone! What’s the next activity on the schedule? Schedule? Screw that! There is none, we’re on HOLIDAY! I just don’t feel like doing anything. So far we’ve already wet ourselves, gone skateboarding and sniffed some petrol. It’s time for a break. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to the game outside the games, in the game system. Go Vacation features 4 different resorts to roam around in: Marine, City, Mountain, and Snow, all with their own style and appropriately themed activities. The resorts are how you find each mini-game – walk around and you’ll see icons above peoples heads, inviting you to activities. However, there’s much more here than a simple hub for the games: the resorts are vast and contain many nice views and secrets.
Your character controls like any standard third person adventure game: simple analog stick movements to walk around and B to jump. It’s not exactly Mario levels of interaction, but movement is smooth and polished and the animation is consistent. Running is pretty slow however, and if you tried to run around an entire resort on foot it would take forever, so thankfully there’s different forms of transport lying around. If there’s water, you can bet there’s either a kayak or jet-ski nearby. On land, there’s either a motor vehicle, skateboard, or snowboard to speed things up, or even a horse. The game does well to make the transport always accessible; you can teleport to key areas of the map (Xenoblade style) and pick any vehicle you want from a quick menu. Namco has made sure there will be NO discomfort on this vacation!
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Motorsport is a big part of Go Vacation, much to my excitement, and it’s found in the form of “Motor Fest” in the City Resort. This one mini-game manages to include not only street races through the resort, but also motorbike racing, checkpoint races, and open-wheel oval racing in a huge stadium. All the motorsport games are controlled with the Wii Wheel setup, using motion to turn – no nunchuck – and much to my relief it feels very smooth, a bit like Mario Kart Wii but faster. The car handling isn’t realistic, but they do wiggle about a bit if you tackle a corner too fast, and you need to lift off the throttle a fair bit, with braking only required on the sharp corners. It’s not exactly Race Pro, but it’s just challenging enough to be satisfying. It’s more comparable to Ridge Racer, which is no surprise when you find out the Ridge Racer development team actually helped work on Go Vacation.
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Skateboarding is a huge part of Go Vacation, not only do several games focus on it, but it’s a primary method of transportation around the City Resort. When I was first thrust into the City Resort, I felt like a bit of a retard trying to control the skateboard. The concept of having to move both the Wiimote and Nunchuck in the direction I wanted to go was bizarre and felt awkward. Not only that, but to go forward, you have to shake the controller up and down to take off. This is unlike any other skateboarding game I’ve played; it’s very physical and everything is done by motion. Can’t I use the joystick and hold B? No. The reason for this begins to make sense very slowly, using motion for primary movement frees up the joystick and buttons for spinning and doing tricks while you’re in the air, and having motion turning lets you still move while spinning. The use of motion turning and accelerating also makes the entire experience of jumping, tricking and grinding more connected and active. It really gives you a solid feeling of balance, as you land from a jump and have to steadily correct the controllers to keep going. The simple act of going straight, keeping speed, and jumping from one place to the next is the challenge in this game. Whenever I screw up, it’s because I’m shaking when I should be turning or vice versa. The challenging aspect here is holding everything together and being consistent with your movements. It’s an amazing use of Wii controls to create a NEW experience, and after spending a few hours mastering the skateboarding mini-games I’m absolutely in love with it.
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I’ve been playing quite a lot of Go Vacation on Wii. It’s a great way to relax, which i’ve been needing lately; the game is very calm and features a lot of fun mini-games with quite a bit of work put into them. The scope is so huge that a review wouldn’t be enough to give an accurate impression of this game – there’s that many different methods of control and presentation. So instead of doing a boring wholesome review, here I’m going to talk about one of the fifty mini-games, Water Gun Battle, in the first of at least one writeup for Go Vacation.
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