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Review: Go Vacation For Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch and Wii U for that matter are still waiting for a true sequel to Wii Sports Resort. While this may never happen, fans can turn to Go Vacation for now. Initially released back in 2011 as a Wii exclusive, Go Vacation was Bandai Namco’s attempt to replicate the massive success of the original Wii Sports. The updated HD port for Nintendo Switch doesn’t have significant competition this time; in fact, Nintendo has teamed up with Bandai Namco to help out with publishing duties. But overall, the game remains largely the same.

Go Vacation is set on Kawawii Island, a fictional locale that consists of four major resorts – Marine, Mountain, Snow and City. Uninspired names aside, each resort is unique in its own right and provides a set of distinguishing minigames built with its core theme in mind. You’ll discover summer activities such as scuba diving, beach volleyball and fishing at Marine Resort; outdoor activities like kayaking, horseback riding and rafting at Mountain Resort; wintry activities such as snowball fights, snowman building, snowmobile races and ski jumping at Snow Resort; and urban-style activities like high-octane car races, hang gliding and table hockey at City Resort.

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Each resort allows you to freely explore its extensive terrain on foot, in a vehicle or another mode of transportation, including inline skates, skateboards, skis, horses and snowboards. Despite being meant to enhance your movement, some are actually a chore to maneuver. When trying to move using motion controls, you’ll often fall flat on your face due to failing to balance properly with the gamepad in your hands. Controlling skis proved to be most cumbersome of the bunch. Fortunately, you have several options at your disposal and will probably resort to riding an ATV, an off-road car or snowmobile to get to destinations whenever possible.

More than 50 minigames are available to play through, complete with cooperative and competitive elements for up to four players. Don’t get too excited though, as the majority of activities are forgettable, especially when you take their tiresome controls into account. You can count all the good minigames on your fingers. Fun can be found within beach volleyball, mini golf, tennis and water gun battles. But the same can’t be said about the vast majority of other activities. You’ll often find yourself wanting out from completing a minigame after realizing that the controls aren’t cooperating with your input. This is particularly worse when using motion controls, where you rotate the controller in every practical direction only to see yourself straying completely from the path. Activities such as hang gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping and racing to name a few are affected by this; and you wouldn’t mind not returning to them ever again.

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Resorts are massive and encourage exploration, but this aspect feels somewhat restrictive due to not being able to rotate the camera around your avatar. The experience is also hindered with frequent loading screens; this shouldn’t have been the case on Switch – a significantly more powerful console compared to Wii. Kawawii Island is populated by non-player characters to emit a sense of liveliness. However, it tends to accomplish the exact opposite. You can’t interact with most characters; they’re just there for the heck of it. Additionally, if you try to run over them with your vehicle, they don’t budge, discharge a generic reaction such as nodding their head and immediately return to what they were doing.

Animals are even more stubborn in that they won’t even notice you there. Bumping into them is as if you’re running into a solid brick wall. These lifeless creatures could’ve at least been programmed to move out of the way. Another unnatural reaction applies to your own avatar, who is totally bummed out after attaining second place in a certain activity; on the other hand, the third-ranked NPC can’t stop leaping for joy. You’ll hear the same exact sound effects and tunes throughout the game. While some of them are catchy, they get old after having to listen to them over and over again.

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There are a number of customization options to choose from in order to suit your style. You can create your own avatar or opt for playing as your Mii. Although your Mii can stand out like a sore thumb, it gives you more personalization in terms of playing as a character who better resembles you. Mii characters lack further customization such as being able to wear in-game hats and accessories, so you can’t have the best of both worlds. As you progress through the game, you’ll eventually be able to customize your very own villa, which you can tailor to your liking by selecting from more than 450 pieces of furniture. You can even have a dog companion follow you on land or water. This doesn’t add anything substantial to the main gameplay, but it’s nevertheless a nice touch – specifically for pet lovers.

Go Vacation doesn’t do the best job of trying to appeal to everyone, but party game fans might find enough enjoyment to hold them off until Super Mario Party arrives later this year. While the staggering amount of things to do may be appreciated by some, it’s another example that demonstrates how quantity shouldn’t always be a priority over quality.


A review copy of Go Vacation on Nintendo Switch was provided by Nintendo UK.

45 thoughts on “Review: Go Vacation For Nintendo Switch”

  1. I was pretty sure I was going to get this game, but after THAT review I don’t think so. I was pretty excited about the exploring part, but not being able to turn the camera is restrictive and disappointing. I usually have a lot of fun interacting with NPCs, but that isn’t the case here. Maybe I will get this game SOMEDAY and develop my review then, but for the moment it is simply a no.

                1. it’s a subject i’d rather not go into but i’ll give you the abridged version in 6 reasons.

                  1. The formula is still to bland after 20 plus years.

                  2. The story was ok to start off with ( with the best being gen 2 “16 gyms”.

                  3. even after all the new updates it’s still the same crap you played since whatever gen you started at.

                  4. making distribution pokemon download and not catchable was a dick move.

                  5. the whole concept of Ash/Satoshi being reset Every damn series and STILL having that little yellow bastard with him and it gets it’s butt pwned by starter pokemon.

                  6: They refuse to have a new protagonist and give Ash a break Ok Pokemon Chronicles did it and that was a good series but then they returned to the predictable overly reset protagonist. “to be honest i’m surprised he even knows what a pokemon is the amount of times he’s been reset and not got something bad like alchimers which is really upsetting to say the least.

                  and simplifying the game for players that already know how to catch a pokemon (the 30+ year olds that need to grow out of it and leave it to the younger generation)

                  That’s pretty much my hatred in a nutshell shortened down into a readable mild rantish reason.

        1. You can still hate something from Nintendo & still be a fan. I hate the Wii, Wii U, and their Switch Online App having exclusive features, like voice chat, for instance. Am I a hypocrite for still thinking myself a Nintendo fan or am I no longer a fan at all because I hate more than one thing from them? There are fans & then there are zealots/fanatics/elitists. The latter needs to be exterminated and that includes those from Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Christianity, Islam, Democrats, etc.

          1. Want to check friend’s activities and reply to messages?

            Want to customize your account settings?
            Of course you don’t.

            Want to purchase a game and have it ready to play when you get home?
            Why would you ever want that?

            Nintendo Switch Online App: “Fuck you.”

        2. plus you can be a Nintendo fan and not like everything my friend. Take Quadraxis he is a hardcore Metroid fanboy sure he goes a little over the top from what i read but it’s what he enjoys and nobody kicks up much drama over it so why should my hatred over one franchise matter? or worse make me a hypocrite?

      1. Inkstar: I have nothing against constructive criticism, but saying “it should either change the formula completely or just let the series die” is way beyond constructive criticism, especially by someone considering himself “First Class Nintendo Imperial Leader”. Your name is by the way kind of funny for you have no one to lead. I said you are hypocrite for you try to look like a big fan of N (given your nickname), but then you show unreasonable hatred towards one of the core franchises of N.

        1. and before i stop this for good please red what i said i gave my reasons because i was responding to another user, if you still like the series good for you but as for me myself i think it’s gotten boring , samey and something that needs to change to how it should be in the show Not Simplified, Not reset for casuals just a game like the show no censorship just like the anime or like the origin version of the show. And now with that, I put an end to this by saying these are my final words on the matter, good day, night afternoon etc.

  2. Andrew Joseph Curran

    Wow! I’m surprised. I was looking forward to this game, but I expected more around a 7/10 from this game, not a 5/10. I don’t think I’ll be picking this up after all.

  3. I wish they would just port Wii Sports Resorts. Game was pretty fun actually. The Sword game and golf game in the collection were pretty good multiplayer games. I loved that game where your character us basically Link and you gave to fight off hoards of other sword wielding miis. It reminded me of the combat in Skyward Sword which imo still solid and had most depth.

  4. Nintendo First Order Generál Alex213

    Sad. I hope this game is good :(
    Now i need new nintendo Island (pilotwing) resort. I love Wii sports and 3ds pilotwing som much ;)

    1. As you can see from the review and even reviews of the original, the game is mediocre. Besides that, I must request you to follow First Order posting guidelines and to revert your rank to original (replace á with a) or select different rank. More details can be discussed privately.

  5. Amazing people have the knowledge, power and money to make videogames and then they made some straight up garbage … like do they enjoy the game themselves ?????

    And if not, WHYYYYYY did they make or didn’t change it ??????

    Let’s be honest, the devs hate it and just listing to some coffee stinker in a suit thinking he will be millionaire next week.

    Let this company DIE

  6. I`m sad that Go vaction got that review , but I will get the game anyway. I have the original version for the wii and the game is really fun to play, can`t wait to play it on the go too.

  7. I’m sad that Go vacation got just a 5/10 , but I will get the game anyway. I have the original version for the wii and the game is really fun to play, can’t wait to play it on the go too.

  8. Pingback: Video: New Launch Trailer Unveiled For Go Vacation On Nintendo Switch | My Nintendo News

  9. Before I clicked on the article I guessed “Hmm, this is going to be a 6/10. Maybe only 5/10”. I wasn’t disappointed. You can see these kind of games are trash by just looking at screenshots! A heartless cash grab, nothing else!

  10. I am giving this game a try, based on how these reviews don’t always speak my heart. For example Mario Sports Superstars was a decent game, with fun multiplayer, 5 fun sports, and cool graphics. But you shot it down because there’s no download play. I’ll be back with a review on Go Vacation later.

  11. This game didn’t _get_ 5/10. Yes on this site, but on metacritic it has 66 points (7.8 from users) and 68,25% on gamerankings. So it would round about to 7/10. It seems like a pretty solid purchase for people who like these kinds of games.

  12. Besides the fact that the whole island is made of 1 polygon and the npcs are soulless, I think it’s a cute game. It’s a tad lonely if you don’t have more than 1 person, but the exploring is okay. It’s really sad to think of how much more I would like this game if I could turn the camera.

  13. A shame that it got mediocre ratings from most reviewers. I was hoping this would be a great family game.

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