Nintendo Switch Sports Review

In 2006, Nintendo released the original Wii Sports for the Wii as a packaged game, whose simple gameplay served as various tech demos for the new motion control technology. Wii Sports helped sell millions of Wii consoles, became a fad and spawned a line of consoles of its own. Nintendo followed with Wii Sports Resort, which focused on the new Motion Plus accessory, and Wii Sports U, which brought the series to the Wii U. Nintendo Switch Sports is the latest installment, and unfortunately, it’s the series’ worst game to date.

Nintendo Switch Sports is the same concept as its predecessor. It’s basically a compilation of mini-games, each based on real-world movement. Instead of traditional button inputs, each exercise uses the Switch Joy-Con controllers for motion control. Nintendo Switch Sports players can try out a variety of sports, including some returning fan favorites as well as some new ones.

Three sports returning in Nintendo Switch Sports are bowling, tennis, and chambara, aka fencing. Each sport functions pretty close to how they did in previous installments, though bowling requires the player to hold the trigger longer than in Wii Sports. There’s no new tech on display here, so the novelty of Nintendo Switch Sports wears out pretty quickly. Anyone who’s played Wii Sports extensively will probably tire of the returning sports before long, though they’re still fun to play with the right friends.

The three new sports in Two  Miis  playing  badminton  in  Nintendo  Switch  Sports Nintendo Switch Sports are badminton, volleyball and soccer. Badminton has similarities to tennis, but is still played so differently that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time. The sport of badminton in Nintendo Switch Sports requires players to pay more attention to how hard they swing their controllers, as a wrong swing can cause a person to fall to the ground, leaving them defenseless when their opponent returns for a birdie.

Volleyball is more complex than some of the other sports on the deck, requiring a wider variety of motion control inputs beyond simply swinging the controller back and forth. In volleyball, Nintendo Switch Sports players must perform different moves to hit, position, and smash the ball. Volleyball is still so simple that players can safely skip the tutorial, but it’s varied enough to make it stand out from most other sports.

Finally, football is the highlight of the Nintendo Switch Sports experience, and it’s the only sport in which the player can directly control a character. Players can move their characters freely on the field, with different swings of the Joy-Con controllers producing different types of kicks.

nintendo-switch-sports-soccer Football in Nintendo Switch Sports is the most fulfilling sport on offer, but it can get outdated quickly. All of the campaigns are shallow, and three of them are repeats of previous titles, and it’s likely that most Nintendo Switch Sports players will be satisfied after a few hours of playing. The Nintendo Switch Sports is fun to pick up and play once in a while, but it’s not going to have the staying power that the Wii Sports did back in the day.

Aside from the shallowness of the campaign, there’s simply no compelling reason for Nintendo Switch Sports to keep players returning to it so often. The Wii Fitness Age from the original Wii Sports is gone, which doesn’t give players any reason to log in on a regular basis. The replay value is supposed to come from cosmetics that players unlock to customize their Mii characters and Sportsmate, but there’s a big problem with how it works.

For some odd reason, the option to unlock decorations is locked after online play, which itself is limited to two players on one console. The appeal of games like Nintendo Switch Sports is that they can be played with friends, so this limitation is a headache. It would be one thing if Nintendo wanted to ensure that unlockables and the like only came from competitive matches with real online players, but it’s no secret that games sometimes match players with bots.

Cover  art  of  Nintendo  Switch  Sports There is another reason why restricting unlockable content to online play is problematic is that everyone must have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play with everyone else. Let’s say Player 1 has a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and they want to team up with their friends to play against other people in an online tennis match. The second player will also need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, otherwise they will be paired with the bot. Unlockable content can still be earned, but it’s still an odd limitation that seriously detracts from the fun of the game.

Nintendo’s decision to limit unlocking to the game’s online mode is puzzling, which in turn hurts the experience for those playing with more than two people on one console, and many campaigns are made to do just that And designed. Add to that the lack of Wii Fitness Age and the superficiality of exercise, and one would see no reason to keep playing Nintendo Switch Sports for more than a few hours.

It’s possible Nintendo could improve Nintendo Switch Sports with future updates, but that remains to be seen. Nintendo Switch Sports is known to include golf in a future update, but Nintendo’s post-launch plans for the game remain a mystery. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make Nintendo Switch Sports half as fun as its predecessors, and for now, it’s a game Switch owners can safely skip.

Nintendo Switch Sports is out now, exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

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