Nintendo Switch Sports Review – Going Back to Basics

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Nintendo Switch Sports on Switch

In 2006, Wii Sports established itself as an important piece of video game history when it was released alongside the Wii – this collection of five sports games was Nintendo’s way of showcasing motion control technology of their new console in a way that is accessible and fun for families and gamers of all ages and skill levels.

Three years later, Nintendo builds on this winning concept with the Wii Sports Resort game. The sequel had a total of 24 modes across 12 different sporting events and used the Wii MotionPlus accessory to capture the most complex motion controls possible.

Now, in 2022, Nintendo Switch Sports is trying to capture the magic of those first two games in the series. His efforts to do this aren’t inherently bad, but they’re extremely basic and don’t build on previous concepts in any groundbreaking way.

Nintendo Switch Sports offers six sports at launch. This includes volleyball, badminton, bowling, football, chambara (sword game) and tennis. Golf is expected to be added in a free update later this year.

In each sport, you can choose the strength of CPU players with Normal, Strong and Powerhouse options. Normal seems most appropriate for younger children and more casual gamers as it doesn’t pose much of a challenge. Strong feels like an “easy” difficulty for anyone who regularly plays video games, and Powerhouse is the only skill level I felt like I really had to try.

There really isn’t anything too surprising about Nintendo Switch Sports. New sports that were not available in previous games are volleyball, soccer, and badminton. The first two are the sports I had the most fun playing in my time with the game as they required the most strategy to win.

Volleyball has several distinct ways to use the Joy-Con motion controls in order to hit the ball, from bumps and serves to spikes and blocks. Even on its highest difficulty, Powerhouse, the game tells you what kind of move you need to prepare for your next move.

nintendo switch sports football four on four against screen

Football has the most rule sets of any game. You can play one-on-one, four-on-four, free practice, or shootout, the latter of which requires the leg strap attachment. The ball is much bigger than regulation size, and in the two main football modes you can run freely around the pitch kicking the ball in multiple ways to score.

The third sport I had the most fun with was bowling. The standard mode is exactly what you would expect with ball rolling to knock down as many pins as possible. The special mode is similar, but there are obstacles installed in the lanes that make it a little trickier.

Playing any sport offline in single player mode gets old really fast. There are no customization items to unlock offline (this relates to online mode where the customization items you can unlock rotate on a weekly basis). There is also no leveling or any sort of progression or offline log keeping. With no friends or family to play with, it gets pretty boring.

Nintendo Switch Sports also doesn’t seem to have the charm or quirkiness I remember from Wii Sports. I found myself missing the ridiculous little things from the original game, like dropping the bowling ball behind you and seeing the crowd of Miis jump up in surprise, and watching the legless Miis bounce around a pitch.

There are no workout or fitness modes or really any other offline modes. The online game promises a pro mode that can allow you to climb the ranks as you win.

nintendo switch sports chambara battle screen

Nintendo Switch Sports’ interface and menus are simple, fast and clean. The more complex games have easy to understand tutorials. Motion controls are well implemented; I never had any issues with the controls or the mechanics and felt like the game always read correctly what I wanted to do. It’s important to know that no handheld mode is supported (Switch Lite users beware) and gamers must use Joy-Cons (no Pro Controller support).

The game looks so basic. It’s not much better than 2006’s Wii Sports, which shipped with the console as a glorified tech demo. While it’s true that golf will be added for free later, I can’t help but feel that Nintendo Switch Sports is incomplete, especially when comparing the lineup of games to Wii Sports Resort’s massive offering in 2009. I expected more, not less.

Nintendo Switch Sports is ideal for families with young children or for groups of friends as a local board game. I think even kids won’t find too much longevity here, and there are far better board games currently available on the Switch.

Nintendo Switch Sports isn’t a bad game, but it certainly doesn’t offer anything radically new or revolutionary, and it doesn’t provide much to keep me playing for more than a few hours on occasion. I think there’s a lot of potential here, so hopefully Nintendo plans to update it regularly with additional content to keep players coming back for more.

Nintendo Switch Sports Reviews Review

Reviewer: Rebecca Stone | Copy provided by the publisher.

Advantages

  • The controls are good and reliable.
  • The new sports have a bit more depth and complexity.
  • Have fun with friends or family.

The inconvenients

  • Nothing revolutionary or surprising.
  • Lacks the charm and eccentricity of Wii Sports.
  • Customization items are locked behind online play.
  • No offline progress or upgrades.
  • Boring single-player experience.

Release date
April 29, 2022

Developer
nintendo

Editor
nintendo

Consoles
nintendo switch

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