Nintendo Switch Sports - sweaty multiplayer impressions for each event
We've played the six disciplines that will be included at launch and here are our thoughts along with some exclusive gameplay from each one.
Nintendo Switch Sports releases on April 29 exclusively on the titular platform and as the fourth entry into the Wii Sports series, one of the best-selling series of all time. It's more of the "family sports" genre the Wii made trendy 16 years ago rather than your usual party game in that it's slightly more physical and might require a more open space.
With this in mind, Gamereactor was invited by Nintendo to try out the six events that will be included at launch, considering that most of us (and of you) had tried three of them during the Online Test beta (which we couldn't write about), but that this time we got a first taste on the three new sports: Football, Volleyball, and Badminton. Besides, it's worth noting that Golf will come in the future and that leg strap-based Football will be added to regular matches and not just solo shooting.
Before we talk about the experience properly, let us underline that this isn't about online play and single player progression (where you can unlock a bunch of cosmetic items for your character, an ungendered avatar that can or can not be based on your Miis), as this is all based on the casual, fun local play that turned the original into a global phenomenon.
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Badminton puts your reflexes to the test
Where Wii Sports Resort's table tennis was more about accurate wrist moves and the original tennis was slower-paced, Badminton is often more reflex-based this time around. It looks great and there's more than meets the eye in order to move the rival player around. Take a look:
Football is an odd mixed bag
We'd been using Ring Fit Adventure's leg strap for accurate fitness workouts for more than two years now, and here it can be used for solo shot training (and in the future for regular matches). It will also be included with the retail edition of Nintendo Switch Sports, but for now the shots mode looks too-timing based, so other than 'feeling' like you're kicking the ball, there isn't much more to it. Then, matches are hand-controlled, which is weird for football, but it is true that you can feel the freedom of the whole pitch while running with your character and moving the camera with the analogue sticks. Besides, hand gestures are really accurate, so it can be really fun with friends even if you don't use your legs... Both are captured here:
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Bowling is better than ever
One of the best and most popular in the original game is back with an even greater appeal. Now you can decide to split the screen in order to not wait for the other player's attempts, which makes for a smoother experience. The battle royale-like mode and the beautiful environment, together with the most accurate tracking in the whole game for both angles and strength will make for many evenings and nights of entertaining bowling, both off and online. Here's how we beat the Nintendo rep:
Chambara goes Darth Maul-ish
Slightly improved over Wii MotionPlus, it's more about variety this time, with different sword types, charged attacks and twin swords. It takes some training to nail some of the moves, mostly when you want to change angle radically, and some users will still win by shaking like crazy. At any rate, it'll be interesting online versus pro players. Here's two examples:
Volleyball is more than you think
Perhaps the most interesting addition so far as it's about timing, positioning, and communication, and the moves are varied and fun. Yours truly couldn't help but jumping even if it's not needed, and the 2v2 structure gives for great two player online sessions or four player local matches. Looks good too:
Tennis means the return of the king
Same concept as in 2006, but it still feels amazing to play. The added control sensitivity is used for lifted balls, lob balls and some nice effects that will confuse your rival, but all of them, same as with serves, need some good training to master. We'd also like to recalibrate the controller's centre just as a visual clue even though it works flawlessly, but so far it's a brilliant experience we'd keep playing for many more hours. It's fun in 1v1 where each player controls two characters in Doubles, but it really excels in 2vCPU and it will be the most played in 2v2 local or online for sure. Take a look: