Nintendo Switch Sports is a nostalgic blast for fans looking to relive the glory days of Wii Sports, but also for people looking to introduce a new generation of gamers to its storied greatness on Nintendo Switch.
Switch Sports is one of the best options available for gamers seeking another party game to add to their library. From a single-player perspective, competing against the CPU, which has different difficulty options, is fun in small bursts or to practice, but the true appeal of Switch Sports is to compete against friends, family and gamers online because those laughs and the competitive aspect is what carries the experience for such a game.
Switch Sports is a great follow-up to Wii Sports, even with just six sports to play at launch. Volleyball, badminton, bowling, soccer, chambara and tennis are great choices overall for launch. Badminton, soccer and chambara allow for a maximum of two players, while volleyball, bowling and tennis allow for up to four players.
It would've been ideal for a sport like baseball to take the place of badminton since it's fairly similar to tennis. However, considering golf will be a free update later this year, perhaps Nintendo will surprise fans by introducing more sports as DLC in the future. It would make sense as a way to keep people coming back to the game and also since they have a template with so many games from Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.
The menu screen with the venues to select sports will likely get people dreaming about possibilities as there appears to be open venues, plus water. Wii Sports Resorts included water sports, like power cruising, canoeing and wakeboarding, so those would be welcomed additions to boost the variety of Switch Sports.
Beyond the selection of events, the most important aspect for this type of game to be successful is the control options.
Similar to Wii Sports, most games can be played with a single Joy-Con, with minimal button prompts as there's a focus on motion controls. Thankfully, the controls are intuitive and the Joy-Cons are extremely responsive (and there's leniency with the input commands, especially for games like volleyball).
Part of the fun is seeing how Nintendo implements the controls for different sports and encourages ideal form, especially for events like volleyball, chambara and bowling.
For volleyball, the game encourages the player to hold the Joy-Cons just like they would in real life trying to bump and set the ball. To spike, the controls are simple. It may take a bit to get the timing down to bump, set and spike perfectly, especially when navigating through three different control schemes in one event, but playing a few games back-to-back should ease things.
However, volleyball and chambara are definitely the two games that most require a tutorial run because of the control schemes, so players should take that into account for future game nights, especially with young or casual gamers.
There's a leg strap accessory available for a game like soccer, but it's not necessary, as playing with both Joy-Cons feels good enough. It's cool how in a game like bowling, the console and controller is able to detect movement speed when "rolling the ball" with the Joy-Con and the player can see the difference in the ball speed on the screen. Chambara is a fun addition and replacement for boxing from Wii Sports because it's a swordplay game, which requires attacking and blocking in certain directions, so the strategic element involved makes it a bit more compelling in a one-on-one setting.
From a graphical perspective, this is everything expected from a successor to Wii Sports and fits that same vibe. There isn't anything that will stand out, as it's not the objective. What's more important than graphics for a game like this is that it runs smoothly with no input lag or technical glitches, which is key for a fun party experience, especially one that will likely involve casual gamers.
Switch Sports is a brilliant addition to the console's library, perhaps one in hindsight that shouldn't have taken five years to release after the Switch's introduction, since Wii Sports sold nearly 83 million copies.
However, Switch Sports could be a way for Nintendo to put another rocket booster behind the Switch to maintain its incredible sales trajectory by reaching the casual market again. It's easy to envision establishments promoting the game as a way to bring in customers for game nights because it's such an easy-to-play game for all ages.
Despite just six sports to choose from, Switch Sports is already among the very best party games available for Switch upon its release. From a multiplayer perspective, it will always have the potential to be one of the most fun games to play, depending on the person's friend or family group.
Like Wii Sports many years ago, Switch Sports will surely be a staple at upcoming holiday parties and is the perfect way to bring together people of all ages for a competitive and more active gaming experience.