Go Vacation

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Go Vacation
A boy, a girl, and a dog stand on the shore of a island resort. In the background, two riders on horseback, a monorail, a hang glider, and a lodging facility are shown in front of a blue mountain. The words "Go Vacation" appear in the middle of the picture with the outline of a small plane flying past them.
North American Wii cover
Developer(s)Bandai Namco Studios
Publisher(s)Namco Bandai Games[a] (Wii)
Nintendo (Switch (NA and PAL regions))
Bandai Namco Entertainment (Switch (Japan))
Producer(s)Kenya Kobayashi[1]
Composer(s)Taku Inoue[2] Norihiko Hibino[2]
SeriesWe Ski[3]
Platform(s)Wii, Nintendo Switch[1][4]
ReleaseWii
Nintendo Switch
Genre(s)Resort tour game
Sports
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Go Vacation (ゴーバケーション) is a variety video game developed and published by Bandai Namco Games and developed by the same staff of Bandai Namco Games that created the We Ski series.[1] The game was released for the Wii and Nintendo Switch consoles. In the game, players can explore an island containing four resorts and can play over 50 mini-games. A port for the Nintendo Switch which updated the game's visuals and added several new features was released on July 27, 2018.[4][9] Nintendo published the game for the Nintendo Switch port in North America and Europe.[10]

Gameplay[edit]

Image is split into four screens, each containing a third-person view of a player firing a hand-held water gun at other players.
A split screen view of four players having a water gun fight.

In Go Vacation players explore four resorts located on the fictional Kawawii Island; Marine, City, Mountain, and Snow, with over 50 activities being available on the island including bungee jumping, ice fishing, scuba diving, miniature golf, tennis, off-road racing, and snowman building; with harder modes unlocking for a minigame once the player beats a minigame for the first time.[11][9]

The island can be explored at leisure and can be navigated by walking or by riding on different vehicles depending on the resort.[12]

Occasionally, when exploring the games resorts, the player may earn "challenge stars", which are earned by performing specific actions; such as jumping between two cliffs.[13]

Players can also play as either a Mii or a variety of pre-created avatars with players also being able to create a virtual dog and an NPC character to accompany them as they explore the resorts; who, with some exceptions[b] cannot play minigames with the player. [15][14] If the player decides to use a pre-created avatar, they will choose said avatar from eight different categories such as "Grandmother" or "Grandfather", as the categories contain avatars related to those subjects.[14] There is a total of two hundred and eighty-four pre-created avatars.[14] Up to four players are able to play together with local multiplayer.[16]

Occasionally, an NPC may ask the player to embark on a small quest, such as getting one item and bringing it back to the NPC.[17]

After playing twenty minigames, the player unlocks a villa that they can decorate.[18] Players are able to change the floor plan of their villas; and can also decorate their villas with furniture they can discover in the open world, or unlock using "Silver keys" that are unlocked after completing specific goals in a minigame.[14][19][20] Furniture is unlocked in sets, of which there are ninety.[14] Players can also alter the exterior of their villas by using "Gold keys" that can be earned by completing a variety of challenges.[19][20] Players are also able to decorate their villas with any photos they may have taken during the game.[20]

Players can also find treasure chests scattered about the various resorts which all contain outfits for their avatars.[15]

Resorts[edit]

In the image is Kawaii Island. The Island is surrounded by a dark blue ocean. In the center of the island, a large and snowy mountain can be seen. To the north-west of the snowy mountain the Mountain resort can be seen, a large and grassy area with many trees; and a lake with a castle can be seen in the middle of the Mountain Resort. To the north-east of the snowy mountain is the Snow Resort, a large and snowy area. Above the Snow Resort a helicopter can bee seen; and next to the helicopter a large cruise ship can be seen in the ocean. To the south-west of the snowy mountain the Marine Resort is visible; a large tropical area with a jungle partly visible. In the Marine Resort is a large cove. A small hot air balloon can be seen next to the cove in the Marine Resort. To the south-east of the snowy mountain lies the City Resort, a large metropolitan area with several large skyscrapers. A hot air balloon is visible from above the City Resort.
A pre-rendered image of Kawawii Island. The upper-left area is the Mountain Resort, The upper-right area is the Snow Resort, The bottom-left area is the Marine Resort, and the bottom-right area is the City Resort.

Players are able to visit four different fictional resorts in Go Vacation located on Kawawii Island; players unlock more resorts as they complete a set amount of minigames in each resort.[9] There are several spots in the resorts in which the player can play a Bungee jumping minigame.[21] In the Switch version, players are able to find and take photos of animals scattered across the resorts.[22]

The Marine Resort is the first resort that the player visits; it contains many coves and beaches for the player to explore, it is largely themed on water-based sports and hosts games such as beach volleyball, surfing, swimming, water gun battles, ATV races, marine bike tricks, (an event in which players compete on marine bikes to land different tricks) scuba diving, and many other games; with players additional being able to ride on NPC-controlled boats and tour airplanes, or alternatively players are able to control marine bikes, ATVs, and surfboards.[12][23][24]

The City Resort is the second and smallest resort and focuses on extreme and leisure sports and hosts games such as table hockey, pie-throwing, skating, mini golf, and many others; with players also being to ride on a NPC-controlled trolley car, or alternatively use a skateboard or inline skates that the player can control themselves.[12][23][25] Players can also use the aforementioned skateboards that are found throughout the Resort to ride on multiple skating rails in the City Resort.[12]

The Snow Resort is the third resort that the player visits, it focuses on winter sports and hosts games such as ski jumping, snow tubing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and snowball fighting; with players being able to ride NPC-controlled chairlifts and helicopters, or alternatively players are able to control skis, snowboards, snowmobiles or snow tubes.[12][23][26]

The Mountain Resort is the final resort that players unlock, it focuses on outdoor activities; it includes forests, places to go rafting, kayaking, exploring, off-road car racing and horseback riding; with players being able to ride on NPC-controlled train and boats, or alternatively players are able to ride horses, or control off-road cars or kayaks.[12][23][27] It also contains a lake and a shooting park.[14]

Development[edit]

Go Vacation took roughly two and a half years to develop.[28]

Go Vacation was first shown at Namco Bandai's booth at E3 2011, a video game trade show held in downtown Los Angeles.[11] After viewing a trailer for the game, GameSetWatch noted that the game appeared to be a "quality title" and favorably compared it to Wii Sports Resort, a similar variety game.[29]

Inspirations[edit]

While no areas in the game were specifically made to emulate real-world locations; parts of the Marine Resort are inspired by Hawaii.[13] Go Vacation was chosen as the title of the game due to the developers wanting to convey a sense that the games resorts would be a place the player would "want to spend time in"; however, according to Kenya Kobayashi, the games producer, the team of the game did not believe that outside of Japan the word "vacation" didn't have any connotations of activity, so the team added the word "Go" to the beginning of the name to attempt to convey activity.[30]

Activities[edit]

In order to decide what activities to include in the game, the developers of the game sent out surveys to people in America, Europe, and Japan asking the survey-takers what they wanted in the game.[13]

Music[edit]

The Go Vacation soundtrack consists of a wide range of instrumental and vocal tracks from composers, musicians, and vocal artists including Taku Inoue, Norihiko Hibino, Nobuyuki Ohnogi, Aubrey Ashburn, and Jody Whitesides.[2][31] On December 21, 2012, Japanese record label Sweep Records released the officially licensed album of songs containing live instrumentation and vocals, Namco Music Saloon.[2] This album and aspect of the game's soundtrack consists of original arrangements of songs from other Bandai Namco Entertainment titles including Ridge Racer, Dig Dug, Pac-Man, New Rally-X, and Kobota no Puzzle: Mojipittan.[2] On March 23, 2013 Namco Bandai released the remaining, original background music as "GO VACATION BGM Album" through its Namco Sounds label on iTunes.[32]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(Wii) 64/100[33]
(NS) 62/100[34]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid5/10[35]
Famitsu29/40[36]
GamesMaster79%[37]
GameSpot6.5/10[15]
IGN7/10[38]
NGamer56%[39]
Nintendo Life4/10 stars (Wii),[40] 6/10 stars (Nintendo Switch) [7]
Nintendo Power7/10[41]
Nintendo World Report8/10 (Wii), [42] 7.5/10 (Nintendo Switch) [43]
ONM80%[18]

The game received "mixed" reviews according to the review aggregation website Metacritic.[33] Andy Robertson of Wired said of Go Vacation that it joins games such as "Endless Ocean, Pac 'n Roll, Leedmees and Wipeout HD" as some of his "go-to family gaming suggestions", and said that its "a real treat."[44] Jim Sterling, writing for Destructoid stated that "to call it bad would be unfair, but to call it anything better would give it more credit than it deserves."[35]

The game received praise from some reviewers for its large open worlds which can be navigated using a variety of vehicles.[9]

The game's controls were praised by some but criticized by others; with Audrey Drake of IGN saying that "from Marine bikes to roller blades to horses, traversing the island proves engaging in its own right", however, Mark Reece of Nintendo Life in his review of the Wii version of Go Vacation stated that the minigames more often than not, "fail to offer any entertainment" due to "a poorly conceived or unintuitive control scheme, with the rest of the activities just not being a very good idea in the first place".[45][40] Sterling of Destructoid took issue about having to constantly plug-in and unplug the Nunchuk controllers in the Wii version when swapping between minigames, saying that "it's really a pain in the arse to be expected to keep plugging and unplugging the nunchuck."[35] In a review of the Nintendo Switch version of Go Vacation, Daan Koopman of Nintendo World Report noted that the controls are one of the "biggest improvements over the original."[46]

The minigames of Go Vacation were praised by some, though Koopman criticized the game for not properly informing the player that more activities or modes can be unlocked in the individual mini-games after the first playthrough of said minigame.[18][46] Jeuxvideo.com's Anagund praised the game for having many minigames, stating that the proverb of "quality over quantity" might lose its meaning with Go Vacation.[17] Some of the minigames were also criticized for an apparent lack of quality, with Jim Sterling calling them "tepid and shallow", and Nintendo Life's Ryan Craddock saying that they feel like "an undercooked version of things we’ve seen countless times before."[20][35][47] Anagund took issue with the games skydiving minigame due to his opinion that is relatively simple compared to the games other minigames.[17]

An excerpt from the song Starry Ocean.
An excerpt from the song Malasada Break.

Go Vacation's music was criticized by some, with Nintendo Life's Mark Reece calling the music "irritating and forgettable in equal measure", with him also saying of the opening theme that it will "more than likely awaken a strong desire to gouge out your own eardrums."[47] In his review of an album that contained only music from Go Vacation, Don Kotowski called the music's vocals "cheesy" and that they tend to "be a huge distraction that really hampers my enjoyment of the album"; though he praised the songs "Starry Ocean" and "Malasada Break" from Go Vacation, for their "nice island vibe", and saying of "Starry Ocean" and "Malasada Break" that it's "quite impressive to see how Hibino has elaborated on the simple originals to produce fully-fledged arrangements."[2]

The games customizable villas were praised by some reviewers, with Craddock of Nintendo Life comparing them to the Animal Crossing series house customization mechanics.[23][48]

Some reviewers criticized the game's NPC's, with IGN'S Drake saying that the games island feels like "some sort of Stepford/Twilight Zone hell where everyone but yourself is actually a robot" due to a lack of interaction with the NPC's and that it "feels empty" because of the "lifeless NPC's that haunt its shores"; Sterling called the NPC's "faux anime characters."[45][35]

Sales[edit]

As of the eighth of June, 2011, Go Vacation has sold 1.82 million copies worldwide.[1] Go Vacation sold 47,209 copies in its first week on sale in Japan, being the third most popular game that week behind other new releases such as Macross F: The Wings of Goodbye Hybrid Pack and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Impact.[49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Go Vacation Press Release" (PDF). Bandai Namco Entertainment (in Japanese). 8 June 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kotowski, Don (8 April 2014). "Namco Music Saloon -From Go Vacation-". Video Game Music Online. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 17 August 2018.
  3. ^ Robertson, Andy (6 January 2012). "Wii Go Vacation Is Skyrim For Families". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Sato (17 May 2018). "Go Vacation Announced For Switch With Over 50 Co-op and Competitive Activities - Siliconera". Siliconera. Curse LLC. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Go Vacation (Wii) News, Reviews, Trailer & Screenshots". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 19 August 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  6. ^ Vuckovic, Daniel (20 October 2011). "Nintendo Australia outlines Wii and DS line-up for the rest of 2011". Vooks. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Craddock, Ryan (26 July 2018). "Go Vacation Review (Switch)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  8. ^ Editorial Department Gami (14 September 2018). "Nintendo Switchで遊びホーダイのリゾート体験! 『GO VACATION』が12月27日発売決定!". Nintendo of Japan (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 17 September 2018. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
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  16. ^ Doolan, Liam (15 July 2018). "Rumour: Go Vacation For Switch Might Include Online Play Based On eShop Listing". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 18 August 2018. Retrieved 18 August 2018.
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  18. ^ a b c Scullion, Chris (4 November 2011). "Go Vacation Review". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Go Vacation Nintendo Switch Tips & Tricks - Play Nintendo". Play Nintendo. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
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  25. ^ "Go Vacation: City Area". Bandai Namco Entertainment. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  26. ^ "Go Vacation: Snow Area". Bandai Namco Entertainment. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  27. ^ "Go Vacation: Mountain Area". Bandai Namco Entertainment. Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
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  31. ^ "Interview with Taku Inoue (October 2012)". Square Enix Music. Archived from the original on 10 December 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  32. ^ "GO VACATION BGM Album". iTunes. Apple Inc. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
  33. ^ a b "Go Vacation for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  34. ^ "Go Vacation for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
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  36. ^ Brian (11 October 2011). "Famitsu review scores (10/11)". Nintendo Everything. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  37. ^ "Go Vacation". GamesMaster: 94. 25 December 2011.
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  39. ^ "Go Vacation". Nintendo Gamer: 60. November 2011.
  40. ^ a b Reece, Mark (11 November 2011). "Go Vacation Review (Wii)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  41. ^ "Go Vacation". Nintendo Power. 273: 77. November 2011.
  42. ^ Jared Rosenberg (28 October 2011). "Go Vacation". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  43. ^ Daan Koopman (26 July 2018). "Go Vacation". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  44. ^ Robertson, Andy (6 January 2012). "Wii Go Vacation Is Skyrim For Families". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  45. ^ a b Audrey Drake (13 October 2011). "Go Vacation Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  46. ^ a b Koopman, Daan (26 July 2018). "Go Vacation (Switch) Review". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 17 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  47. ^ a b Reece, Mark (11 November 2011). "Go Vacation Review (Wii)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  48. ^ Craddock, Ryan (26 July 2018). "Go Vacation Review (Switch)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 15 August 2018. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  49. ^ Ishaan (26 October 2011). "This Week In Sales: It Was A Namco Bandai Week". Siliconera. Curse LLC. Archived from the original on 2011-10-28. Retrieved 28 October 2011.
  1. ^ Released under the Namco brand name in Japan and Europe.
  2. ^ For instance, a minigame where the player may bring a in-game dog and an NPC that the player has created is dog sledding.[14]

External links[edit]