Wii Sports, which came out in 2006, was a kind of tech demo that you got for free with your Wii and offered motion-controlled games in the living room. The disc gave access to five swing-controlled sports, of which tennis and bowling were especially popular and contributed to the Wii’s big hit, even among people who didn’t play it before (anymore). The game received a welcome sequel in 2009 in the form of Wii Sports Resort, with twelve sports and an entire island to play for those sports, and in 2013 a new, frugal version of the first Wii Sports game was released for the Wii U. So there’s Switch Sports, a welcome sequel that also looks Like a frugal remake.
Switch Sports will provide access to six sports at release — one more than the original, but six fewer than the Wii Sports Resort sequel. We already knew three of them: tennis and bowling were already in the original, chanbara (trying to kick your opponent off a podium with your stick) was more or less at the Wii Sports Resort.
Tennis looks and feels much the same as in the original, including the option to play doubles only. While bowling, you feel the game responds more accurately to your throwing motions, although there is no question of your one-to-one reaction. Most welcome is the private amphitheater which adds obstructions such as holes, poles, fences and ramps to the bowling alleys.
Chanbara adds the ability to fight with one or two energy swords, but that doesn’t change the fact that the game is too boring to play with one hand and always turns into a blind slash-and-slash fest during matches against others (or maybe I just need to find better friends).
Among the new sports, football is the most unusual in the game – only because this popular sport was played with the feet instead of the hands. You play in Switch Sports with a giant, hard-to-control ball between the bouncing walls, making the game reminiscent of Rocket League. But while you “only” control the football player and the camera with the left and right stick, there will also be some swing (with your hands, unless you use a leg strap to attach the Joy-Con to your leg once that is updated). shown), in which the direction of the whip ‘roughly’ determines where the ball is kicked.
There are two groups to play soccer: one-on-one, where you basically walk back and forth, or four-on-four (maximum two players, oddly enough). Everything looks like a nice little game, like it was in Mario Party, but the illusion that you are playing soccer with real moves is not there.
Volleyball is probably the best game of Switch Sports. Anyway, it’s the game that has the most (tactical) ball-playing options. With all those settings, smashing and blocking moves, it feels like a volley. If you love the sport and have a well-coordinated team, you will enjoy it. I enjoyed it.
Still, my favorite from Switch Sports is Badminton for sure. While playing in tennis, I often feel that the direction I hit the ball depends on timing (hitting early for a sharp angle, hitting later for a wide angle), and badminton gives me a stronger sense of hitting the ball, pardoning the shuttle, and hitting the ball in the direction it actually hit. Moreover, badminton seems more primitive, and therefore more satisfying than tennis: two players, one badminton, heated pools that go on until someone makes a mistake, after which the badminton sails through the air in a crazy whirl: ready to crush hard. Meanwhile, with its light weight and refined vibrations, the Joy-Con is more like a badminton racket in your hands, making the illusion almost complete.
Do you do all sports now? Yeah, damn, that’s it again. You only get half as many degrees in advances this time. So a bit of a frugal package. This feeling of a beautiful island or any other petty nonsense is not compensated for: it’s all just as naked and straightforward as in the 2006 original.
On the main screen, you choose whether you want to play offline or online. Then you choose the sport you want to play and one of three levels. When your game is over, you can play it again or play another sport. There are no cinematic scenes, tournaments, or one-handed unlocking opportunities (you can only unlock accessories for your dolls when competing against random opponents online). Other than that, there are only tips screens that point out the dangers of Switch Sports: you should keep a sufficient distance from the TV screen, put your wrist and not accidentally kill the cat.
In addition to being a portable device and TV controller, the Switch has also become a great social gaming machine, thanks to many great multiplayer games, including successful Nintendo games like Smash Bros. And Mario Kart and Mario Party on the one hand and fun standalone multiplayer games like TowerFall and Heaven Ho on the other. With a focus on motion controls, Switch Sports offers multiplayer fun of entirely different pieces, more in line with some of the games that came out at the Switch’s launch, like 1-2 Switch and Snipperclips.
In that sense, Switch Sports is a welcome addition to the Switch range, and to be honest, I was ready to party with family and friends in the meantime. Having said that, it all feels like something from 15 years ago and there is a bit of fun to be had on your own.
Nintendo Switch Sports will be available for Nintendo Switch consoles starting April 29th.
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