Nintendo Switch Sports Review – Plain Old Fun

Nintendo Switch Sports is the sequel to Wii Sports everyone was waiting for. Switch Sports can become a game changer for parties and game nights like its predecessor was in 2006. The fun and rivalries in the motion control sports games are back on Nintendo Switch with some new additions and some familiar features. After the announcement of its release everyone that played Wii Sports at least once was hayped about the new catalogue of sports games on the Switch. Considering the success of its predecessor, can the Nintendo Switch Sports rise to the expectations?

Let’s dive into our review of Nintendo Switch Sports!

Gameplay

The gameplay is maybe the most important feature of this game. Players had a lot of fun back in 2006 on Wii Sports with the smooth motion controls and with the simple and interesting design of each sport. All Nintendo had to do was to copy that formula and use the improved technology we have today to create a game that looks new but feels familiar. That is exactly what they did.

Switch Sports has a catalogue of six sports that you can play alone or with your friends to see which is the true athlet. Those sports are: bowling, volleyball, football, tennis, chambara and badminton. Some of them we know and love such as tennis and bowling which, despite some mintor changes, are pretty much the same. Volleyball, football, chambara and badminton are new additions to the list, but they aren’t that different in terms of controls and you get the hang of them quickly.

Let’s get it started

Tennis in Switch Sports is pure nostalgia when it comes to the gameplay. Not much has changed but an improvement is in the accuracy of the shoots offered by the Joy Con. The tennis champions from Wii Sports are sure glad they can show off their skills again.

Bowling is as much fun as it gets. There are two changes that improve the previous expericence from Wii. Now you can play simultaneously, meaning you don’t have to take turns while playing, and the other addition is the special mode, where the bowling track has obstacles.

Volleyball is maybe the least intuitive sport out of the six. You need to learn a seris of specific volleyballs moves on how to hit the ball. Those moves are: strike, bump, block and set. The moves of the characters feel sometimes slow and unnatural. Because of that it is hard to time your moves and to get into a proper rythm.

Football feels and looks a lot like Rocket League at first glance. You can play 1v1 or to 4v4 and you need both Joy Cons in order to have full control on moving the avatar. This sport feels sometimes tedious and looks like it was meant for competitive online play. It is fun and all but not as fun as the other games. You also have the shootout mode where you use the leg strap accessory that comes with the physical edition of the game. This mode is not that interesting, you just shoot the ball at an open goal.

Chambara is a sword fight in an arena suspended in the air surrounded by a pool. Needless to say that you have to knock down your opponent in the water through sword combat. You can choose from three types of weapons, which are: single sword, charge sword and twin swords. Each type of weapon is used for different approaches to the fight. It is about strategy, figuring out the opponent’s moves and striking when the time is right.

Badminton is a back and forth battle to catch the other character of balance with specific strikes and a drop shot feature. The matches can take more time than you expect while testing your endurance a bit.

Graphics

In terms of graphics Nintendo doesn’t fail to deliver all the elements that we are used to in their games. The arenas of each sport are colourful and vibrant giving the feeling of playfulness and approachability Nintendo wants to showcase for the game.

Down we go

At the same time, the desing of the environment and the characters feel nostalgic and similar with the ones on the Wii Sports. The combination of vibrant colours and friendly designs gives a sense of peace and good time. While playing these kind of party games is important for every player to feel good and to enjoy the experience. Nintendo manages to create a strong connection between that feeling and the designs and graphics of the game.

The graphics are nothing too special or flashy, but they manage to capture the identity of Nintendo and the nostalgia of the Wii Sports.

Sound

The soundtrack in Switch Sports does a great job in pumping up the players during matches or relax them while browsing the menu. The same as it is with graphics, the sound of this game should make the player feel good and confident playing one of the six sports.

Split them

The graphichs and the sound create the perfect chilling atmoshpehere during a game night with your friends when you want to see who can get the most strikes in bowling, who’s the sword master in chambara or who can get the most aces in tennis. Also, the sound effects for each sport feel very realistic and natural.

You will find yourself waiting for the track to finish before starting a new match of football or dancing on one of the many energic tracks before hoping into a volleyball match.

Atmosphere

It is true that the motion control games don’t feel as revolutionary as they did in 2006 with the launch of the Wii Sports, but the same feeling of plain old fun is still present in this new game.

The atmosphere is enjoyable and keeps you on the tip of your toes because you are very invested in the outcome of the match. Switch Sports doesn’t bring a lot of new features to the table, but it doesn’t need to. As long as we can compete with our friends again in tennis and lunch ourselves across the room to catch a ball even though we don’t need to. That was the magic of the Wii Sports and that should be the case with Switch Sports too. Moving your hand and body desperatly while playing with your friends is what makes these games special.

Haikyuu

You can play alone and still have fun, but the way these sports are ment to be played is in a room full of your friends where all of you play against each other while having a good time. Also, these kind of games are known to ruin friendships, so for those of you that are a little too competitive take the L with dignity.

Conclusion

Nintendo Switch Sports succeeds in capturing the essence of Wii Sports by remaining true to the same formula and adding some new features that still feel familiar. When it comes with these kind of games the atmosphere is a very strong factor. A room full of friends playing all those games and having fun is when the Switch Sports shines. It is an excellent game for parties or game nights and brings the nostalgia from all those years ago when Wii Sports came out.

All in all, Switch Sports is plain old fun and who doesn’t want that from a game, especially when you can compete with friends to see who’s the best and have a laugh. It is all about that moment when we all move desperately to catch the ball, when we prepare a throw in bowling like in real life or when we think we are a sword master showing off our skills. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Our criteria at Games Row for rating games are as objective as can be. Of course, reviews are influenced (also) by personal experiences. So our ratings may not meet everyone’s expectations.

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