It is not much exaggeration to say that Sports Wii changed the world. It may have been a fairly basic game with simple, often inaccurate controls and laughable graphics, but when Nintendo bundled the title with the Wii in 2006 (partly as a tech showcase for the Wiimote), it quickly became a global phenomenon. Long before mobile gaming reached its peak, Wii Sports pioneered the idea of casual play, fulfilling the Wii’s promise of bringing families together as kids and grandparents staggered, exchanged tennis volleys or gliding through the living room chasing a ten-pin bowler. hit.
It’s been 16 years since this game’s debut and, with the exception of 2008’s Wii Sports Resort and a disappointing Wii U remake, what was once considered one of Nintendo’s most promising franchises has been left fallow. So far, that is. Nintendo Switch Sports has now arrived to take up that torch, aiming to reclaim the franchise as the king of local multiplayer.
The good news is that Nintendo’s efforts have been largely successful. Drop off the players in the bright and sunny sports arena of Spocco Square, Change sports offers a menu of three returning activities – bowling, chambara (sword fighting) and tennis – and three newcomers – badminton, football and volleyball. Golf having been announced as a future free update. This is a minor upgrade from Sports Wii‘ selection of five (far from Wii Sports Complex‘s 12) and provides enough variety to satisfy most sporting tastes.
Fortunately, the gyroscopic sensors of the JoyCons of the Switch are a important stand out from the rather unpredictable behavior of the Wiimote/nunchuck combo that preceded it. Gone are the matches where your inputs would be misinterpreted or, worse, completely ignored, leaving you halfway dipping on the couch and banging your shin on the coffee table with nothing to show for it. Instead, inputs are tactile, precise, and hugely satisfying, whether you’re rolling a bowling ball down the lane, hammering a shuttlecock, or bludgeoning your opponent from the Shambara platform to watch them dive into the water below. . The graphics, as you’d hope, are also a major upgrade, complementing the rather bland Mii aesthetic with more detailed (and customizable) “Sportsman” avatars. Don’t make a mistake, Change sports is unlikely to disturb the tastes of Astral chain in the graphics department, but the new characters, combined with a vibrant palette and neon lighting effects, make for a much more polished experience than you might think.
Like its predecessor, it’s a board game through and through
As for the games themselves, they’re a bit hit or miss, with a few obvious highlights that are likely to command most of your time. The must-have classic bowling and tennis remain more addictive than ever, with the former being one of the easiest to master but, thanks to an alternate mode that throws obstacles in the way, requires a significant investment to master. Badminton, however, is disappointingly similar to tennis (although much simpler to play) and volleyball is both frustrating and unexciting, likely to make you curse your AI teammate more than anything else. Shambara, however, allows for frenetic play, a dance of frantic parries and counterattacks that will most likely impact your ability to keep both friends and room adornments intact.
Perhaps the most involved game is football, which takes the form of a slightly simplified game. rocket league, letting you run around the pitch with the analog stick while managing your sprint meter and desperately trying to land one in the net by swinging your arms. The physical copy of the game also comes with a leg strap, allowing you to strap on the JoyCon and put some good behind the shots, but this is reserved for the game’s penalty-based Shoot Out mode.
Online multiplayer is available (and actively encouraged) but it’s not there Nintendo Switch Sports shines or where its main strengths lie. Like its predecessor, it’s a board game through and through. It’s unquestionably at its best when you and a group of friends/parents/kids are all crowded around the same TV, taking turns dueling with spinning arms, throwing each other violently at furniture at the pursuit of victory. It may lack the depth of modern AAA games, but as a laid-back, cheerfully social group experience, it’s hard to beat.