Sword Play, meanwhile, recalls Wii Boxing in its split-screen, first-person, energetic and visceral duel. Before you get to the fencing with family-friendly wooden swords, however, you get ample opportunity to play with the real thing. After a few practice swishes, logs and giant pencils fall from the sky for you to slice up however you like, purely for the - admittedly glorious - fun of it.
This is when MotionPlus is simultaneously at its most impressive and disappointing; strikes don't do what you want them to do unfailingly, connecting only two-thirds of the time, but when they do connect, it's with astonishing, surgical precision. Cleaving a log into four by splitting it vertically and then chopping laterally before it even begins to fall is without doubt the most satisfying interaction we'll have this E3 (including social ones, but that's probably just the jetlag).
Then it's into the three-round bout, more crisp and tactical than boxing - largely thanks to a more definite block command, on the B button - and over quicker, making it less of a war of attrition and festival of lactic acid agony. You'll need to knock your opponent out of the ring to win the round, otherwise it's a draw. If it's undecided after three rounds - as our match was - there's a sudden-death finale on a tiny ring that's over in a couple of blows. Take that, lifestyle press.
The third game is more of a departure: Power Cruising, essentially a cut-down version of Nintendo's classic jetski racer, WaveRace. Remote and nunchuk are held laterally like the handlebars, and tilted to steer, with B acting as the throttle and a twist of the controllers giving you a boost. It's currently a simple single-player checkpoint dash; no word on whether split-screen will be added later.
The waves are gentler than WaveRace's, but the handling is unmistakable, and hugely tactile. It was, however, harder to see what MotionPlus brought to this mini-game. Steering of this sort has been done perfectly well on Wii before. What's more, it could be accomplished with just one hand, and didn't seem any less responsive with the nunchuk than with the remote. We didn't have time to investigate this one thoroughly enough, and to be fair, it doesn't matter: Power Cruising is great.
With its holiday theme, playful presentation, oddball games and gentle sense of humour, Wii Sports Resort seems even more inviting and accessible than its world-conquering predecessor. It absolutely won't provide any more depth or sophistication, but it absolutely will provide more realism, and a more genuinely direct and rewarding control experience, thanks to the mysterious MotionPlus.
Wii Sports Resort is due out worldwide next spring.