Nintendo Switch is quickly becoming my favorite console with the amount of multiplayer or co-op games that are available on it. There is a good variety of content to enjoy for offline multiplayer experience since the design of Nintendo Switch revolves around this concept of co-op gaming. It feels like a blessing in the current market where every game is going for online multiplayer experience while ditching the traditional offline multiplayer.
Go Vacation is not a new game by any means. It is actually an old release that launched for the Nintendo Wii and later ported to the Nintendo Switch hardware. It is a traditional mini-game collection at first glance, but there is actually a lot more to it than simple mini-games. It has a story mode that takes you through most of the games while offering you stamps to collect, or clothes and other customization items that you can unlock for the free-roam.
Go Vacation begins on Kawawii Island where you can roam around freely and explore four huge paradise resorts. These resorts offer different mini-games depending on their location which can range from Marine, City, Snow, to Mountain. You can imagine the mini-games available in each of these resorts, and this is the key to enjoying Go Vacation. It is not just a bunch of mini-games, but there is an effort to add some goal to motivate the players whether you are playing it alone or with a friend. Co-op is the backbone of the game and without it, this can easily end up as a dull experience.
First of all, I think the developers deserve some recognition for implementing the different control schemes that offered on the Nintendo Switch. These include support for the Pro Controller, single JoyCon, dual JoyCon and basically every combination that you can enjoy in 4 player co-op multiplayer on the Nintendo Switch. There is also support for split-screen which holds up well in most mini-games.
Kawawii Island is a huge place that you can explore through different means of transportations. You can get a Jet Ski or take a stroll on foot, you can also try to ride Bikes to get to your goal. Although, the lack of proper fast travel is what makes Go Vacation a frustrating experience. The motion controls handle your vehicles if you are playing the game with a single JoyCon and it can end up with a disaster especially on Bikes where the controls are just not as precise.
Fast travel is also an option but limited to select spots around the Island. This means you will have to manually drive or run to the fast travel spot and then find out your desired mini-game which can often end up feeling a bit cumbersome since the map layout is also confusing at first. Most of the time that I spent playing the game was with a single JoyCon and the motion controls didn’t exactly make my experience any better.
The appeal of Go Vacation is its huge amount of mini-games that you can play in co-op with friends. The variety of games available doesn’t mean that you will enjoy all of them. There are certain games that I really enjoyed like the fishing game that lets you challenge a friend by catching a fish to score points or the beach volleyball mini-game, which is simple but still fun due to its unpredictable nature.
What exactly is the purpose of your stay on the Island? It mostly feels like cosmetics or materialistic things that don’t serve a purpose aside from appearance. You can customize your character with clothes and accessories or get a pet for them. There will be various breeds available to pick as a pet so you are not stuck with a default one. Once you have enough stamps, you also gain a villa which the player can customize to their liking with furniture. This gives the impression that you are living a leisure lifestyle on a luxurious resort but it never translates that well to the gameplay.
Some new additions to the Switch version include daily rewards that can range from the new type of outfits to pets. There are also animals to photograph around the Island if you like this type of content. It can help to make the exploration feel slightly rewarding. You can also find reward crates that planes drop around the Island. The fishing mini-game which I surprisingly enjoyed a lot has added new types of fishes available to catch in both marine and mountain resorts.
If you don’t want to go through the adventure mode and simply play the mini-games, the game lets you do it as well. However, it is still best to go through the main story mode at least once to have a better idea of what type of experience you can expect from the mini-games. The replay value ultimately depends on how much you enjoy them, however, don’t expect to gain much out of it if you want to get this as a pure single-player adventure.
Go Vacation Review (Switch)
Game Reviewed on: Switch
Game description: Go Vacation is a variety video game developed and published by Namco Bandai Games for the Wii, as a pseudo-sequel to We Ski and We Ski & Snowboard. In the game, players explore an island containing four paradise resorts and play over 50 mini-games. It was later ported to the Nintendo Switch.
Final Score - 7/10
Go Vacation is a good reminder of how quantity doesn't always mean quality. There are a lot of mini-games available to play here, but not all of them offer a memorable experience. Motion controls implementation is also disappointing but the multiplayer is still fun if you can play it with friends.