Pilotwings Resort review: Pilotwings Resort takes place in the skies around Wuhu Island, which you last flew over in Wii Sports Resort. Wuhu's mostly unchanged, but it's sharper and more detailed this time around. Indeed it's hard to think of a better way to show off Nintendo's new handheld than firing up Pilotwings Resort, pushing the 3D Slider up as high as it can go, and then flying even higher.
The tutorial nudges you towards the plane first, and it's easy to see why. Fast and manoeuvrable, with a temporary boost on the A button and a handily infinite fuel supply, this is the easiest vehicle to master.
Harder to get the hang of is the glider: you'll have to perfect the art of using thermal plumes of air to maintain height and speed. Hitting them at just the right angle will speed you up and lift you towards the sky. The glider is also the only vehicle that lets you indulge in a little airborne photography - which you can save onto an SD card and use to build a scrapbook of Wuhu Island mementos.
The rocket belt is our favourite. A brake on the left shoulder button allows you to stop in your tracks and turn on a dime, while carefully timing your jet thrusts can let you float through all but the tiniest of gaps.
The Mission Mode teaches you the tricks for every vehicle and is divided into five difficulties. Much of the time, you'll be trying to thread a perfect route between sparkling rings that hover in the air, but there are other tasks too.
Some challenges stick a gun on the front of your plane, asking you to bullseye targets and pop balloons. Others make you do some nifty stuntwork, requiring you to follow a plane piloted by Miguel and mimick his dips, twists and barrel rolls through the skies.
The tasks in Mission Mode are an interesting and varied batch, but unfortunately it all feels a little bit short. Getting a one-star passing grade on every challenge is a goal that can be achieved in around two hours and the fact that there isn't much more to do with the alternative vehicle types that you unlock in the process is a huge disappointment.
Getting a perfect three-star rating on every mission, however, could take you a good while longer. The points you earn during a mission depend on your performance (hit a target right on centre and you'll get ten points, but just graze the edges and you'll earn three), as well as the amount of time left on the clock when you land. But you also have points deducted for bad flying. So, brush past a tree and you'll be hit with a penalty.
Nailing the landing proves essential too. Come in too fast and miss the target and you'll get a point penalty. It's funny just how quickly such a relaxed game can transform into tense high-score chasing.
Free Flight mode offers a much more open-ended way to explore Wuhu Island. To start with, it gives you two minutes to fly around the island but should you want to extend that time limit, you'll have to grab the collectible white balloons.
And if you want to unlock sunset or nighttime modes, you need to fly through enough of the 'i' rings dotted over the island which dispense a small nugget of Wuhu-related trivia or history (again, just like in Wii Sports Resort).
Each vehicle also has its own specific trinket to collect, or special ring to fly through, which once collected will unlock a small collection of dioramas viewable from the menu screen. There's a satisfying sense of progress to this mode.