Go Vacation PAL Wii-WiiERD
English | Platform: Wii | Release: November 5, 2011 | Publisher: Namco Bandai | Developed: Namco Bandai | 4.34 GB
The Wii plays host to more mini-game collections than probably any system in existence. Most of them can only be called cheap cash-ins, but a few examples - specifically Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort - manage to rise above the sea of mediocrity to provide players with something truly fun they can enjoy with friends and family. Go Vacation, despite its flaws, makes for another fine addition to this category.
Conceptually, Go Vacation essentially amounts to an exact rip-off of Wii Sports Resort. Instead of Wuhu Island, your getaway takes place on Kawawii Island, which comes jam-packed with mini-games galore. The big difference? Instead of observing the island from a distance, only visiting it during the games themselves, Go Vacation offers up an open world mechanic that allows players to romp around the island s various areas in between the mini-game mayhem. This substantially adds to the experience, especially considering the numerous transportation options the game provides.
From Marine bikes to roller blades to horses, traversing the island proves engaging in its own right, and makes for an excellent way to add some much needed depth to this oftentimes shallow genre. Each of the different options handles incredibly well, especially roller skating (which you do by alternately moving the Wii remote and nunchuk up and down, steering by tilting side to side). Traveling the world doesn t get old either, considering it s essentially optional since you can access games you ve played from a menu rather than tracking down their whereabouts.
The big downside to this otherwise great idea comes from the fact that the illusion comes crashing down when you try to interact with any of the game s NPCs. For whatever reason, you can t speak with or in any way interact with these characters, making Kawawii feel like some sort of Stepford/Twilight Zone hell where everyone but yourself is actually a robot. You can even run them over with a vehicle (trust me, I tested this extensively), and they ll simple reel back, then two seconds later have a huge smile and a music note of happiness popping out of their head. Unsettling, to say the least, and a real buzz kill for what, in concept, is an amazing idea.
As for the mini-games, you ll find 50 of them spread across four different Kawawii Island resorts - Marine, City, Mountain and Snow. Each area offers a variety of different activities to participate in, such as table hockey, ATV races, snowball fights, scuba diving and so on. The actual mini-games vary in caliber - some turned out terribly fun, while others didn t do much to inspire subsequent playthroughs. Sky diving, for instance, has the player tilting the Wii remote and pressing the D-pad to maneuver their character into different positions, but in practice it didn t offer much of a challenge and got boring fast. The same goes for volleyball, which felt really clunky, especially because you don t actually move your character during the game, you just use the Wii remote to hit the ball.