Go Vacation Review

Go Vacation

After 30 minutes with Namco Bandai’s Go Vacation, I turned the game off. I really wasn’t expecting much, but the controls were so bad, I literally had trouble completing stages. So I gave the game a rest and decided to come back to it later. Upon return, the game was just as maddening as before, but 30 minutes is hardly enough time to accurately assess most any game’s quality.

From the beginning, it’s clear that Go Vacation is not an entirely original game. Like plenty of titles before it, it’s nothing more than collection of mini-games, many of which aren’t drastically different. It draws heavily on Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, Nintendo’s own foray into the island sports mini-game genre (Are there enough to constitute a genre yet?). But Nintendo did it first, and more importantly, did it better. The only real difference between what you’ll find on Wuhu Island (Wii Sports Resort) and Kawawii Island (Go Vacation) is that in this game, you have to travel from place to place, around the island and to and from the different resorts. And believe me, this gets old fast. Each resort represents water, urban, mountain and snow sports, allowing for (a perceived sense of) variety.

go vacation 1

There are 50 different types of mini-games, ranging from jet skiing to rollerblading to horseback riding. On the surface, it seems as if there’s a lot to do, but many of the activities seem similar to others and most are rather dull. It’s not always a matter of difficulty – a number of mini-games control poorly – so the execution of a simple task becomes impossible. The two mini-games I despised the most were the sky diving and beach volleyball activities (both of which are early in the game). The sky diving asks that you navigate your player through the sky, lining him/her up with an outline in accordance to the rest of the sky diving group. It sounds easy, but it’s damn near impossible. The same goes for the beach volleyball, which requires you to move your Wiimote swiftly up and down when the ball comes in your direction. The problem is that the game doesn’t always recognize your movements, which leads to your player just standing there instead of reacting to the ball.

go vacation 2

If you’re a Nintendo fanboy and an avid collector of all of Nintendo’s plastic peripherals, you’ll find a use for nearly every one you’ve got. Go Vacation utilizes everything from the Wii Motion Plus to the Wii Balance Board, and the Wii Zapper to the Wii Wheel. Unfortunately, they don’t help to make this game any more fun.

The characters in Go Vacation are all of the cutesy anime variety.  They’re all pretty typical, but that’s not necessarily a knock — just a characteristic of the style. You can design your own player, or import your Mii into the game. There are a few gameplay elements that depart from the mini-game style and require you to explore and collect treasure. The game encourages you to accumulate different clothing and items for your player’s own house. It’s kind of neat, but loses its novelty pretty quickly.

go vacation 3

Go Vacation is not an awful game, but it doesn’t do anything particularly well. For this reason, I can’t recommend this game, especially considering its $40 price tag. If you’re in need of a mini-game fix, looking for a used copy of Wii PlayWii Play Plus or Wii Sports Resort. You’ll be much more satisfied with these more polished games.


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Author: Josh Robinson View all posts by
Josh is a 25-year-old man-child who loves pizza, video games, baseball, cartoons and anime. Most of his heroes are middle-aged Japanese men, and he's been known to quote Seinfeld at random. You can find him on Twitter using the handle @averagejosh.

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