But you remember it Wii Sports? In 2006, when it debuted on the Nintendo Wii, it probably achieved unexpected success. But not entirely unexpected. After all, Satoru Iwata had mapped out a new, unexplored path, but he had done it consciously, determined to abandon the now senseless technical head and head with the competition in favor of a slightly lighter approach. The approach that rewarded Nintendo Wii at the time and continues to reward Nintendo Switch today.
And here’s how a seemingly trivial arcade game became a best buy. And not only. Wii Sports was the perfect excuse for many to buy the console.
Not for me, I admit. At the time, I had worked hard enough to get an Xbox and was not ready for a new war to bring another gaming platform into the house. But I still remember having a very pleasant evening at the house of my neighbors at the time, neighbors who never flinched in front of a game of bowling or tennis.
Now the neighbor is me who ever since I unloaded Nintendo Switch Sports I can’t wait to have guests to challenge with Joy-Con blows.
The new title of the Kyoto colloss in fact is undoubtedly the worthy heir to Wii Sports. A hub that, to date, collects 6 different games and that allows you to go wild both alone and in company. And no, rest assured, the company does not necessarily have to be physical since you can count on a simple but effective online mode.
Hey, but that wasn’t there before!
There is to welcome you immediately after starting the game Spocco Square, ua sort of huge sports center that includes 6 different structures, dedicated to as many sports.
Personally I am curious to understand how Nintendo will expand this hub considering that today it seems well defined and that, at the same time, the Japanese company has promised to add golf in the coming months. So, where will they place this elusive golf course?
But this is a question for players of the near future.
At the moment golf is still a mirage but you can have fun with volleyball, badminton, football, bowling, chanbara and tennis. And yes, the first three represent a welcome change compared to the Wii Sports offer, although not all are equally successful.
On the podium, with the gold medal around his neck, we undoubtedly find volleyball. Nintendo Switch Sports ci propone a 2 on 2 which is more reminiscent of beach volleyball than classic volleyball. But the fundamentals are the same: bager, dribble, dunk and block. To bring home the victory you will have to use them all, performing the movements while holding one of the Joy-Con. But the timing will make the difference: it is not enough to catch the ball, you will have to do it at the right time to kick off the game’s actions faster and more lethal.
Volleyball then succeeds in masterfully mixing control and automation, with the athlete moving alone in the designated area while you will have to take care of everything else.
The result is incredibly fun, with the level of challenge entirely up to you. Before starting the game in fact you will have to specify whether the artificial intelligence should be Normal, Strong or Very Strong. Know that in Fortissima, at least the first few days, you could sweat a lot, pulling out all your competitive spirit to be able to take home the victory.
I found it just as inspiring badminton, also because at the beginning I had totally underestimated him. During the preview of Nintendo Switch Sports (which you can find here), I had mistakenly considered it a mere variant of tennis. But it is not like that. In reality badminton has its rules, its peculiarities, its rhythm, a rhythm which, with the right opponent, can become tight and challenging.
Il soccer it is perhaps the novelty that convinced me least, although it has all the potential to animate evenings with friends.
The Big N took an unusual approach, with a cardboard style, 1vs1 or 4vs4 games, a giant ball and doors that recall those of Rocket League. All this makes the gaming experience unique, both alone and in company.
But what is lost is the use of the motion controller. Compared to other sports, in fact, here the use of movement sensors is more moderate, having to rely on both Joy-Con and a stick that allows you to run and move around the field. It is not a real defect but an element that requires a small change of mentality compared to other activities.
To compensate a little, we try the Penalty mode, which requires the same headband as Ring Fit Adventures. In fact, in order to play you will have to insert a Joy-Con in the band and then tie it to mid-thigh. At that point you will be ready to take some unusual penalty kicks. Unusual because they are actually flying shots. Personally I found the idea rather brilliant even if perhaps there is very little technique: with the right timing it will be really impossible to miss the door.
Nintendo Switch Sports review: the legacy of Wii Sports
Alongside the 3 new sports we find the great classics, that is tennis, bowling and chanbara.
Il tennis proposes to us a traditional double, with both players controlled by us and our Joy-Con. The controls are extremely intuitive and the difference is strategy and timing. You will therefore have to worry about hitting the ball at the right time and carefully choosing the player with which to reply, possibly well in advance otherwise you risk giving your opponents a point.
Il bowling instead it comes with two modesto. The first is that classical, where the aim is – predictably – to knock down the pins. It is not an impossible undertaking and the spare is perhaps all too easy. You just have to practice and find the right place to hit, bearing in mind that the Joy-Con also detects the rotation of the wrist. The right effect could give you a strike but be careful not to overdo it, sending the ball in a completely unexpected direction.
Then it exists the Special mode, with obstacles, platforms and chasms which will make the game more eventful. A nice variant but perhaps less suitable for bowling purists.
Finally we arrive at the chanbaraa variant of fencing that provides 1vs1 clashes, with the players positioned on a circular platform suspended over a swimming pool. Your purpose is to throw your opponent into the water using only your sword. Or your swords. You can in fact opt for three different sidearms:
- a classic sword;
- an energy sword;
- two classic swords.
Know that the game is not as simple as it may seem at first. Chanbara is first of all a tactical sport, where hitting the opponent is difficult. For a good part of the time, in fact, you will be in a defensive position, with the sword oriented to your liking. To hit you the opponent will have to adopt the same type of angle, otherwise he will be rejected by your defense. A heavy backlash on the other hand will leave you totally uncovered, and therefore likely to suffer one or more blows.
Look closely at the other contender and do not rush to hit him, otherwise in no time you will be in the pool.
Nintendo Switch Sports review: alone, in company or online
The 6 games that make up the Nintendo Switch Sport can be played alone, in the intimacy of your living room, fighting against characters driven by artificial intelligence.
The title, however, is undoubtedly more fun together, with up to 4 players who can compete locally. Just make sure you have a spacious enough living room, otherwise you risk bumping into furniture and objects.
Alternatively you can opt for the online mode which allows you both to play with your friends on the net and to face people from all over the world. Just this last variant will allow you to accumulate the points needed to unlock cosmetic items that will help you customize your character, so that you stand out from all other fans like you.
Colorful and lovely
I end this review by talking about the technical sector.
As anticipated, Nintendo has opted for a cartoon style, far from reality but no less captivating. On the contrary, the scenarios painted by the Kyoto giant are colorful and adorable, with an attention to detail that you will begin to notice over time.
The scenarios are in fact well studied, characterized by a modern aesthetic and populated by characters who at times are the type for you and at other times they are engaged in other activities. All this gives you the impression of being inside a lively and contemporary center, which enhances what is most positive in sport.
The Nintendo Switch Sport review: conclusions
Nintendo Switch Sport he had won me over during the preview, and he has done so even now, with the definitive game in his hands. Surely we will have to wait for the evolution of the online component and the entry into the field of the expected Lega Pro but in the meantime I can tell you that the title is fun, colorful and exciting, capable of bringing back to sport even those who, with me, no longer have the desire and time to practice it. Yet it only took a few minutes in front of the TV to rediscover my passion for tennis and volleyball.
It could happen to you too, so why not give it a chance?