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Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

The piece of Nintendo Switch Sports fits well into the mosaic of the halfway point of the Big N: find out why in our review

Already in our preview of the game, we defined the timing of Nintendo Switch Sports: in this sense, ours review he can’t help but acknowledge the obvious. If you loved the previous video games set on Wuhu Island, your every smile during the trailers of this title will be enough for you to make the (right) decision to open your wallet. And the game couldn’t have come out at a better time, as the antithesis of an unhealthy comparison between self-destructive drug addictions and the world of the web (where you are now) and video games (of which we speak).

And while elsewhere there is (badly) talk of “generations to be saved”, as we anticipated in the aforementioned preview, the only generation vaguely in danger is that of the Great N console. We are halfway to the hybrid platform, and it is right now that the console must keep up with the fierce competition of next-gen photorealism, the right moment to reconfirm the appeal of the hardware on the casual audience. The writer has been in the eye of the videogame storm for too long to be defined as such, but if you want to know if the independent sequel to a game sold in a bundle with Wii sixteen years ago can find a generous audience … the answer is not quite like that discounted.

The heat is forty

As there is no plot to talk about (the only pretext can be summarized in the screenshot below), let’s get straight to the heart of this review by talking about an aspect that acts as a contour to the entire Nintendo Switch Sports experience. Even with our preview we have reversed things a bit, which is why we need to talk about the value for money. Qualitatively speaking, as always, you can expect the usual attention to detail that the Kyoto giant has accustomed us to love. However, we are not dealing with the usual sixty euros justified by quality, but with forty to balance a more modest amount of content.

The number can go up to fifty for anyone who has purchased the title in physical format, given its inclusion for the band with which to tie a Joy-Con to the thighs. We will talk about this later, but for now we invite anyone who made the previous gym their own Ring Fit Adventure (a godsend in the middle of the pandemic) to buy the game digitally. With hindsight, bringing up another title, we also understand why this title missed the launch of the consoles: where Wii Sports was used to show the potential of the hardware, in this case the honor went to 1-2 Switch .

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

“Mila, it makes a wall…” – Nintendo Switch Sports review

Moving on to the various disciplines of Nintendo Switch Sports (and going in order, this time), it is therefore there volleyball to open the dance in this review. To the detriment of the hatred towards this specific sport on the part of the writer (who however appreciates the vision of it), the digital transposition of volleyball succeeds in the not easy intent of maintaining the strategic depth of the discipline without overly complicating things during the game. There are different actions to take, but beyond a learning curve linked to the ability of the players to concentrate, the experience remains intuitive.

I roles they can change at any time, depending on the trajectory of the ball. This first sport shows a clear intent in game design to foster the potential of co-op, with the help of excessive use of the single Joy-Con. Our avatars move independently on the pitch, and you can find yourself playing at the baseline as well as under the net, as appropriate. Precisely for this reason it is good to always be ready, from receiving through bagher (baseline) and wall (under the net) to attack with always satisfying dunks. If we ever described volleyball as the weak link in the experience, we were wrong.

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

Volàno, or “how to remove the bad from badminton” – Nintendo Switch Sports review

And therefore the turn of the badminton. How to differentiate this discipline from tennis? It is not up to the reviewer alone to ask, quite the opposite. It is evident that the development team has also asked the exact same question. The main novelty, for anyone less familiar with the discipline itself, lies in the range of action available to them. Halfway between actual tennis and table tennis, the room for maneuver is decidedly more restricted. It may seem like a trivial matter, but by analyzing the dynamics of this sport better we discover the butterfly effect caused by what seemed like a small difference.

We could limit ourselves to the smallest number of participants, which drop from a maximum of four to a fixed number of two. We could, but we won’t. Instead there is a lot (good) to be said about what the sport has to offer in terms of pace. The frenzy is such as to make the dynamics of tennis almost lethargic once you return to the “old” disciplines. Even the parabolic range of the lobs (okay, it’s an arc trajectory, but we wanted an alliteration) can fuel theheart-pounding atmosphere that distinguishes this sport once you get carried away. Not to mention the possibility of placing the occasional treacherously muffled shot …

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

“Mi-ti-coh” – Nintendo Switch Sports review

Not being able to exempt ourselves from the obligatory homage to the Simpsons, we therefore also introduce the bowling. It would be unfair to talk about an introduction, as it is basically the exact same activity that we already loved in Wii Sports. However, we just couldn’t do without it: unlike tennis, this great comeback has received enough improvements to be almost unrecognizable. The basic idea is the one already known to all: to drop all the pins with a maximum of two attempts per turn. And in real bowling, the waits involved in sharing the same lane are a nuisance.

The bowling alley of Spocco Square (this is the name of the newborn successor of the Wuhu island) is decidedly more generous than its counterpart dated 2006. The use of a single lane (with associated waiting areas) is still allowed, but the addition of a mode to play simultaneously all together makes this option obsolete to the point that it becomes almost irrelevant. For the rest, everything remains intuitive as always: keep your fingers firmly on the trigger of your Joy-Con (without letting it go, this time) for the launches and using the combo between analog lever and buttons to adjust the shot.

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

Rocket League – Nintendo Switch Sports Review

How could we describe the videogame transposition of soccer offered by this title? The most laconic definition is “Nintendo’s response to Rocket League”. Which leaves some time it finds, given the availability of gameplay by Psyonix (and not) on every console as a live service, but it is also surprisingly effective. The only meeting point between the two terms of comparison, however, is the generic basis of the gameplay; otherwise, apart from similar proportions between player, ball and goal, the two games don’t have much to do with each other. It is also the only discipline to involve (by default, at least) both Joy-Con.

The movement of the character, in fact, we manage it ourselves with the left analog lever. The right hand, on the other hand, will be busy managing the shots with the motion sensors of the other Joy-Con. The final result seasons everything with a stamina indicator, to manage (with the dropper) our ability to carry out sporadic sprints (vital when the golden balls are introduced for the play-offs, with goals that are worth double: a literal golden goal). Among the various methods, the possibility of carrying out stands out penalties using the aforementioned band. A future update (we’ll talk about it again) will introduce the use of the same accessory even for real matches.

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

With an emphasis on the latest “a” – Nintendo Switch Sports review

Returning from Wii Sports Resort is instead a fencing variant that is called here chanbara (o chambara; one spelling is as good as another). Here the depth of the motion controls emerges further: there is a learning curve just like with Wii Sports and related sequels, but with proper practice it is possible to perform the exact movements you want. Depending on the type of weapon chosen, only one Joy-Con (one sword, energy sword) or both (two swords) is used. The premise is the same in any case: our aim is to drive the opponent out of the raised ring, throwing him into the pool below.

We have the opportunity to parry the blows by holding the sword (or rather, the Joy-Con) perpendicular to our opponent. Strategically we are like volleyball: our every move must be calculated with due skill, despite the fact that the matches tend to be very fast. Finding ourselves in the waters of shame is a matter of a moment. Losing a match can be frustrating, unless we enter a match with a view to the type of weapons we will be using. Normal fencing has no tricks up its sleeve to speak of, while with the energy sword and the two swords we will have a loaded shot to the sound of parades.

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

And finally, the iconic sport of Wii – Nintendo Switch Sports Review

What remains to be said, therefore, on the tennis? In reality, there isn’t much to add. The service is now handled by just the movement of the controller, but other than that it’s all delightfully the same. The pace of matches, whether singles or doubles and with a number of sets to win or not, is far less hectic than the war of nerves in which badminton is quick to degenerate. For the rest, all the immediacy of Wii Sports is still available to players, whether they are “true casuals” left without a Wii or whether they are “real fans” who have already loved the original. Or, why not, nothing prevents newbies from joining the family.

If nothing else, since this discipline isn’t here to reinvent the wheel as simultaneous multi-lane bowling has done, we have a little more time to discuss motion controls. In the case of volleyball, badminton, football and tennis, direct the trajectory of the ball is possible, but it requires a lot of practice. Everything depends on the (anything but innate) familiarity with Joy-Con management. It seems obvious, but in reality it doesn’t take long to forget that we can also rotate the wrist and not just the arm. Coming to terms with this deepening of the gameplay avoids us some “but I had sent it over there” too many.

Nintendo Switch Sports review: and half generation is safe

Olympic Bureaucracy – Nintendo Switch Sports Review

A little while ago we alluded to a certain one indecision in the target the game is aimed at. Nintendo’s “blue ocean strategy”, with the original Wii Sports, has led an unprecedented and unlikely senior audience to “discover” a gamer in the soul. Assuming this is the flagship fanbase, the first impact with the selection of the …