PilotWings Resort

Come fly with Mii.

Don't know about you, but I was hoping the conclusion of Lost would turn out to be more interesting and intelligent than it was. Let's not spoil the ending for those who haven't seen it (the scriptwriters have already done that anyway). Suffice to say it wouldn't have taken a lot.

It would even have been better if a load of balloon-headed, ball-fisted characters had popped up and revealed the passengers of Oceanic 815 actually crash-landed on Wuhu Island. That would have made more sense, and at least we might have gotten to see grumpy old serious face Jack doing some hula hooping.

Sadly that wasn't to be, but we will get to revisit Wuhu with forthcoming 3DS title PilotWings Resort. The demo playable at Nintendo's Amsterdam showcase revealed it hasn't changed much - just like in Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort, the island is all blue skies, green hills, yellow sands and golden sunsets. And not a cloud of stupid clanky black smoke in sight.

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This must be what RAF basic training is like.

Nor are there any hula hoops, basketball courts, bowling alleys or the like to be seen. Seeing as this is a PilotWings game, there are of course a variety of aerial pursuits to enjoy instead.

Only three of these were available to try out in Holland - hang gliding, biplane piloting and rocket belt, er, hovering. The demo offered a freeplay mode which allows you to explore Wuhu plus attempt few challenges. These included flying through the old rings, negotiating a runway in the middle of the sea and landing safely in the middle of a bullseye target.

So far, so PilotWings. But this being a 3DS game, you now get to see those blue skies and that yellow hang glider in three dimensions. Depth of field comes into play when navigating through rings and distant objects in the landscape really do look far away. Not just small, Dougal.

However, the real star of the demo is the 3DS's new analog controller - or Circle Pad, as Nintendo is calling it. It makes pulling off the gentle twists and turns required much easier than if you were using the D-pad.

Plus it just feels nicer. With its soft-touch covering and gently concave shape, the Circle Pad is a tactile little dimple of an analog controller. The PSP's rough-surfaced nubbin feels stiff and old fashioned by comparison. It's as if one was inspired by what it feels like to stroke a bunny, while the other was based on a sandpapered nipple.

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