Come Fly the Unfriendly Skies
I’ve known about Pilotwings for a while. As somebody who used to read every Nintendo Power magazine, I’ve always been keenly aware of its existence, and more or less aware of what it was. But I had never played one until Pilotwings Resort came out for the 3DS. I know, I’m a rotten human. For what it’s worth, I rather liked Pilotwings Resort, and it drove me to go check out the original on the Wii’s Virtual Console. I’ve come back to report that either I or that game are terrible, perhaps both, and that I am no closer to understanding the concept of a Pilotwings stage.
Fortunately, it’s just airplanes and skydiving, so there’s not a whole lot to get.
Without knowing exactly what this stage is about, I can tell you right now that I am glad to see any and all Mode 7 references in Smash Bros. for Wii U. That does, however, create an interesting thought: why is this a Wii U stage? If it was just Pilotwings from the SNES version it would fit because Wii U stages are meant to be pulled from console iterations of games. But Wuhu Island from Pilotwings Resort is clearly in the background, and that was a 3DS title. The question is: Is Wuhu Island just a wink and a nudge to Pilotwings Resort, while in this otherwise SNES focused stage? Or is this what they’re really blowing the island?
Anyone that thought Wuhu Island wasn’t going to feature prominently somewhere in the next Smash Bros. was keenly lying to themselves. It’s easily one of the biggest “characters” Nintendo has created in the past decade, and it was only a matter of “how” it was going to appear, not “if.” But I don’t know that I wanted it like this. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Pilotwings Resort, but to use that as the sole appearance of the island? I really hope this is just a bit of an in-joke if you wedge the camera to far to one side, and not indicative of Wuhu’s full-fledged presence.
On one hand, it would make sense that flying all around the island on a bi-plane was the level. With as much space as that island has, it had to obvious that there would be a rotating stage element to it. With Skyloft taking the approach of Brawl‘s Delfino Island, it kind of figured that the only thing left would be a Aero Dive style stage with a singular platform (in this case, a biplane) that moves all around the environment. Even if we were using the fact that Wuhu Island was primarily focused in Wii Fit and Wii Sports: Resort, it would still make the most sense. Remember, there was a biplane flying diversion in Wii Sports: Resort, so it’s not entirely out of left-field.
Fortunately (or not?) we don’t know all the details, and Wuhu still has a chance to be it’s own stage(s), which I believe it rightly deserves. This isn’t some random Pokemon in the background, or Animal Crossing villagers throwing down a midnight K.K. Rave. This is one of the most iconic characters for Smash, and while it can’t have it’s own roster slot (*snrk*), it needs it’s own stage slot, not tacked on to arguably the most irrelevant title for it to star in yet.
There’s still plenty of more time before we see anything! But what do you think, readers? Do you want Pilotwings to wrap around Wuhu, or do you want something more? Do you think Wuhu Island will be it’s own beast, and do you even want that? (Note: Too bad, because it’s happening.) Feel free to discuss in the comments section below!