Review: Go Vacation

As the Wii rapidly nears the end of its life cycle, one would think it should be expected to finish strong with some memorable licenses or at least new installments of familiar ones. Well, there’s a little of that, but mostly a lot more of what the Wii has become famous for over the past few years: minigames with waggle in mind. Go Vacation falls into this category, and with lofty aspirations to turn the whole of your living room into that of the quintessential family vacation. It’s a family-friendly idea on an even family-friendlier console, but one that falls victim to most of the pitfalls beleaguering most minigame collections. You might actually need a vacation from Go Vacation, after it’s all said and done.

Before hopping right into the fictional world of rest and relaxation, you can select from a premade avatar or your Mii. Once you’re outfitted with a digitized you, you’re headed off to your first resort — the marine resort, to be exact. After brief tutorials and an introductory sequence where the rules of the land are laid out before you, Go Vacation allows free reign of the entire resort area, something I did appreciate in view of other minigame collections that offer only staccato diversions. Amongst the expanse of gorgeous beaches, rivers, majestic hilltops and the beautiful ocean, you can roam to your heart’s content—collecting stamps that can be earned through visiting all the activities while on the island.

Rather than visiting a hub menu to select a minigame, you can hop a jet ski and reach races, treasure chests, and other opportunities that will arise to keep you entertained. The various modes of transit found scattered along the resort offer quick transport from challenge to challenge, though a fair amount of waggle is involved to power the lot of them. As you can imagine this translates into premature tiredness before you’ve even gotten to the nitty-gritty of the arcade games. Walking quickly becomes the preferred mode of transportation, but if you’re not up for free reign of the area, you can still of course choose an activity from the menu.

There are more than 40 minigames to choose from, ranging from golf, skiing, skateboarding, tennis, and much more. However, these activities end up recalling echoes of previous games who tackled the same subject matter in a more graceful fashion: Wii Sports Resort tackled most of these diversions with more finesse and minimal inconclusive waggling. While movements can be minimal with Go Vacation, they’re often inaccurate as well, and require so little work to engage in that it quickly becomes more fun simply to traverse the resorts rather than participate. It doesn’t help that camera angles often mar the experience and most of the minigames can be completed with little or no effort. The allure with Go Vacation is that you have considerably more fun when adding other people to the equation. AI teammates are available for solo multiplayer endeavors, but human players make the experience all the more digestible.

Plenty of unlockables such as stamps and keys are incentive to perform well in each challenge, and the cheery resort atmosphere as well as happy-go-lucky music work together to create a pleasant family-friendly air that children and younger gamers will no doubt enjoy, but older players will likely relegate to the bargain bin. It’s simply been done before and done better — and will probably be revisited again in the future via Kinect or Move.

Comments are closed.