Go Vacation review Don't fall into the same trap so many others will. Don't take one look at Go Vacation and pass it off as shovelware. It's not. The fact that Nintendo has decided to publish Go Vacation on Namco Bandai's behalf in Europe shows the confidence it has the game's quality, and we agree. This may be a mini-game compilation, but it's one that took a team of over 100 developers more than two and a half years to create. Make no mistake, this has had a lot of work put into it, and it shows.
On paper, Go Vacation sounds a lot like Wii Sports Resort - it's set on the luxurious Kawawii Island and has you taking part in various activities using either your Mii or a preset avatar.
It's only when you start playing the game that you realise there's a lot more to it than even Wii Sports Resort offered. Whereas Nintendo's mini-game compilation featured 12 different sports to play through, Go Vacation has a ridiculous 50 or so to choose from.
The game is split into four different areas - a beach, a snow resort, a city and a mountain resort. Each has its own unique sports, and some that feature in multiple areas (like bungee jumping). While there's an option to simply choose each game from a menu, most of the fun in Go Vacation is in actually wandering around and exploring the island itself, something Wii Sports Resort doesn't allow.
Secret passageways unlock shortcuts, treasure chests containing mental secret outfits are hidden in hard-to-reach areas and a variety of vehicles are dotted around for you to hop in and pelt across the sea or land.
Way To Go
There's also a fairly solid structure to the single-player mode, with an actual sense of progression. At the start of the game your host sends you on a stamp-collecting mission that ultimately takes you through each of the mini-games, giving a stamp each time you finish one.
After collecting 20 you'll be given your own villa which you can then decorate with furniture, and collecting keys by performing achievements in each of the games - beating a certain score in surfing, say - lets you unlock more furniture. It all links together well and it'll take ages to get every key, unlock all the furniture and find every hidden chest.
Of course, it'd all be pointless if the mini-games themselves weren't any good, and while there are a couple of iffy ones (the dancing event doesn't pick up your Remote movements very well) the majority have tight controls and play well. Some go beyond expectations, such as the motor-racing, which features cute versions of Ridge Racer cars.
If you're a mini-game snob and wouldn't be seen dead playing this sort of thing, Go Vacation isn't going to change your mind. Anyone else will find a surprisingly vast selection of well-made games that, while not as fun as those in Wii Sports Resort, have a better single-player mode wrapped around them.