Nintendo Switch Sports
“Even with a few flaws in the package, the highlights of Nintendo Switch Sports make it a must-own multiplayer party game.”
Badminton is king
Precise motion control
Perfect for multiplayer
Slim selection at launch
Football is a stupid game
Play alone non-stop
There’s no better feeling than bowling an attack, both in real life and Nintendo Switch Sports. It’s a small, but satisfying sporting achievement that doesn’t require years of training and discipline to achieve results. It can almost happen by chance, with physics taking the wheel as soon as the bowling ball hits the pegs. No matter how many times I attack in Nintendo Switch SportsI always release a silent punch without fail.
That’s the enduring strength of Nintendo’s 16-year-old sports series. Basically there is no difference in bowling in Nintendo Switch Sports and Wii Sports, but not necessarily. Nintendo’s new pack of sports minigames defies conventional expectations of modern games by remaining confident in its instantly gratifying gameplay rather than inventing new hooks to expand the experience. Not a single real-life pitcher has ever complained that the sport doesn’t add enough new features year after year (imagine someone arguing that it’s time to add an 11th peg).
When Nintendo Switch Sports focuses on reinforcing already intuitive gameplay with more precise motion controls, it’s as addictive bit by bit as Wii Sports. It only loses points when it becomes more complicated than it needs to be.
If it wasn’t broken
This time around, Nintendo’s anthology of sports games features six activities at launch: Bowling, tennis, badminton, chambara, volleyball, and soccer. There are more highlights than raw in the pack, and there is a trend between hits. Most of the best minigames (with one exception) need no explanation.
Every time I turn, I’m surprised the ball always goes exactly where I intended.
Badminton, the crown jewel of the collection, is the perfect example of that. It’s a more ping-pong variation of tennis where two players pass back and forth on a small court. There are no instructions; If you know how to swing a racket, you’ll know how to swing a Joy-con. Badminton matches are a test of reflexes and timing is surprisingly quick and intense that I am confident that I can joined a family party and pulled in some smiles from kids as well as adults.
That’s probably part of the reason why the classics come back from the originals Wii Sports as enjoyable as ever here. Bowling was largely unchanged, with players rolling a 10-frame game by lining up shots and swinging their arm as if it were actually holding a ball. It never gets old. I’ve spent hours and hours trying to beat my best record and I’m still not tired of it (although my right arm certainly is). There’s a special challenge mode, placing obstacles in the lane, for added variety, but I find that I’m still perfectly happy just playing normal rounds.
Tennis can also repeat the same, although badminton has taken the throne. It’s also the sport that best highlights how precise Nintendo’s motion controls have become. Every time I turn, I’m surprised the ball always goes exactly where I intended. There’s rarely a moment when my sports mate (the game’s Mii 2.0 avatar) does something I don’t expect. In the past, I had to buy a cumbersome Wiimote add-on to achieve that level of precision. A Joy-Con is much lighter and more precise in comparison.
Nintendo Switch Sports‘the strongest point is that it removes as much friction from the experience as possible. I barely have to think about the controller in my hand when I play. It’s just me fighting the pins.
While its simple pleasures are easy victories, Nintendo Switch Sports struggles as it tries to give more depth to its activities. For example, volleyball requires some movement. Players need to collide, jump, block, place and poke the ball. Perhaps predicting that it can be difficult to remember them all, the game flashes on-screen commands to let the player know what actions to take. It’s like playing volleyball and like Simon Says.
Football is where the struggle to create complexity is most prominent. Players participate in an official 3-minute game of soccer, in which they run around a large field, exerting their stamina to run and shoot the ball with some technique. It’s the only game where the player needs to manually move around during play (characters automatically run to the ball in sports like tennis), making it the game with the most depth. hitherto.
It’s no surprise that football was ultimately eliminated by a simpler variant of it.
It’s not very elegant. I spent the game slowly running on the wide field, almost never touching the ball with my feet. Most of the matches I played were in extra time, neither team scored a single point. Part of the problem is that swinging the remote to kick goes against the simple excellence of the series, where the motion controls mimic real-life actions one by one. It’s no surprise that football ended up in a more stripped-down variant of it, a fun penalty shootout mode where players could use foot straps for physical kicks. Foot strap support will be added to standard soccer mode this year, but I doubt I’ll ever return to the mode Mario Strikers: Battle League Switch hits this summer – while I’ll be happy to play Sports conversion tennis is over Mario Tennis Aces Anytime.
Even so, adding more moving parts to a sport is not a flawed idea. Chambara is one of the game’s more guided activities, and also one of its biggest highlights. Fencing mode has the player block and slash by rotating the Joy-con diagonally, vertically, and horizontally. It’s a surprisingly strategic battle, especially fun with a friend you can chat with.
Chambara works because the core movements are easy to grasp. I rotate my Joy-con to the side and my character’s sword rotates with it. Homely. That’s the appeal of the Nintendo Sports line. I want to roll a bocce ball, swing a cricket bat or push a plate down a board (all free ideas, Nintendo). Anything more than that feels like it betrays the series’ secret weapon: its low barrier to entry.
Sports as a service
The most attractive aspect of Nintendo Switch Sports is Nintendo has committed to long-term support. Free updates later this year will add golf to the game, expanding the active roster with another surefire shot. That’s important, because with six games at launch (two of which aren’t terribly exciting), the game selection is half that of Wii . Sports Resort. The promise of more sports and free updates means the game will be a bit more of an ongoing service – and not one you need pay $2 a day to use.
This is the kind of game that will be an essential part of any Switch owner’s collection in the second half of its life.
Purely online play is another important, even if expected, addition here and the game drives players to buy into it. Gears, like clothes, can only be unlocked by playing sports buddies online. I appreciate that there is a slight rewards loop, but it makes solo and local multiplayer less appealing since there are no prizes. I expect that to be changed in a later update, as I doubt that Nintendo’s famously shaky online gameplay will make games as fast-paced as badminton justice. (The server wasn’t turned on during the review period, so I couldn’t test stability online. I’ll update this review if online functionality differs from previous first-party Switch games. .)
Nintendo Switch Sports the last is most valuable as a party game, like Wii Sports was 16 years ago. I love playing solo (I’ll chase that perfect bowling game until I die), but the most fun I have with it is usually with other people. Badminton is one of the best two-player experiences on the entire system for my money, and nothing beats a casual bowling session in a room full of friends. This is the kind of game that will be an essential part of any Switch owner’s collection in the second half of its life.
Although it does not call the game’s release strategy in place. While Wii Sports As a free bundle with the Switch console, Nintendo Switch Sports is a $40 release ($50 to get a physical copy with a foot strap). I doubt that players would be willing to shell out that much for a game that isn’t significantly different from its predecessor on paper. If Nintendo bundles it with Switch models this holiday season, I believe this will be a home run – that is, as long as it adds baseball to its sports lineup.
Nintendo Switch Sports is exactly what it needs to be. It’s an intuitive Wii-era sports minigame pack with more precise motion controls and full online integration. Addictive activities like bowling and badminton make it one of the Switch’s best multiplayer party games, though overly complicated minigames like soccer detract from the simple appeal of the Switch. story series. With a long-term support plan, I hope that Nintendo can build on the current thin offering and make it the kind of staple console device any Switch owner needs to install.
Is there a better option?
If you want a more in-depth, dedicated sports game with motion controls, Mario Golf: Super Rush and Mario Tennis Aces maybe more than your speed.
How long will it last?
Nintendo plans to support Sports conversion through the end of 2022, with plans to add golf and footband support to the football. Add in online play and you can be reasonably satisfied next year.
Should you buy it?
It’s correct. If you love Wii Sports, there’s no reason you wouldn’t love this. Though you’ll get more out of a multiplayer experience than a solo one.
Nintendo Switch Sports was tested on an OLED Switch attached to the TCL 6-Series RC35.