“Nintendo Switch Sports” plays on nostalgia
Nintendo’s “Wii Sports” video game series is fondly remembered by many for the physical exercise and fierce competition it would create among family and friends. Those who played it will likely enjoy the recent release of “Nintendo Switch Sports” on April 29. The latest edition in the “Sports” series includes three new sports and several cuts to the game’s line-up, leaving six total (until a free update adds golf in late 2022). And, while one of the major appeals is fun and easy exercise, the game does not actually require much effort to play.
The game is, of course, heavily nostalgic of its predecessors, while still maintaining a fresh look and new features. The new sports added to the game are soccer, volleyball, and badminton, which honestly do not add much. Soccer is fun, but badminton plays almost exactly like a single-player tennis. Volleyball is mostly annoying; requiring too much set-up and the need for frame-perfect timing, which mostly just leads to a long, drawn-out game. In soccer, the player can freely move using the joycons, and the large teams can lead to tense and competitive moments.
Most of the fun comes from the legacy sports. Tennis, chambara (sword fighting), and bowling are the first games to return from the original series, and they have held up to the passage of time. Chambara has three different types of swords which can drastically alter the fun and strategy of gameplay. The basic sword, the charge sword (which can release a powerful attack after blocking enough hits), and the twin swords have different playstyles and counter plays to win a match. Tennis plays similar to the original game, but it is still fun. Bowling gained an extra “special” game mode, with three levels of difficulty, wherein one has to play around different obstacles, somewhat like mini golf.
The character customization feature has potential, but as it stands, is annoying. The base options are severely lacking, and players can only gain more via what is essentially a lottery. Players gain experience by playing online matches, and, after leveling up, can play to win one random accessory, clothing, tag, or emote. Furthermore, these lotteries only last for a limited time before the reward pool changes.
Despite the limited features, “Nintendo Switch Sports” is still a fun play, one that I recommend to keep players entertained for a very long time.