In the most recent trip down nostalgia lane, Nintendo released “Nintendo Switch Sports” on April 29, an update to one of my favorite games “Wii Sports.”
“Wii Sports” defined my childhood — from fighting over who got to bowl first, to trading nunchuks while wrestling. While I was not an athlete, I became a pro whenever I launched the game, determined to feel sweet victory.
However, I may have been blinded by the good memories of my childhood because “Nintendo Switch Sports” did not live up to expectations, and honestly is a lackluster game.
While the graphics are an improvement, that seems to be the only thing that got upgraded. The new elements added did not live up to my expectations, and notably lacks the storylines present in the Wii version.
Six sports came with this initial release: bowling, chambara, badminton, tennis, volleyball, and soccer. There will be an update adding golf to the game in the fall.
Bowling is a classic that you can’t go wrong with. Being able to play in rounds with players “worldwide” is exciting, but it quickly fades once you slowly realize that you are probably playing with bots.
While you can play with COM in solo play, there is the option to interact globally with other players for points that unlock new emotes, outfits, and equipment.
There is something artificial about that element of the game. After a ten-minute tutorial, my opponent was still there ready to battle. It is doubtful that this player also had to undergo the tutorial.
Whether this was an actual person or a bot remains unclear.
Badminton and tennis are similarly formatted in this game. The controls are the same, and most of the time the game automatically moves you places so all you are doing is swinging your arm.
Badminton was not present in the Wii version. Nintendo would have benefited from adding a different sport.
There are many sports out there to pick, and when choosing six, how is it that nearly identical sports got chosen? It was a bad move; baseball would have been a better addition to the game.
They could have even made up another sport, or taken inspiration from another sport and made it their own, as they did with chambara, based on chanbara, a popular sport from Japan.
In the game, chambara is almost like sword-fighting but on an elevated platform. This sport is okay, but the controls are buggy and the attacks are hard to get down correctly, even after doing the tutorial numerous times.
Volleyball also has buggy controls and it seems like no matter what, the ball moves too fast to strike. This, of course, can be a user error but after an hour of trying, success seemed unlikely.
With easy fixes to the sensory controls, this can be improved as this game was enjoyable, for the most part, though the delay was irritating.
And now onto my biggest qualm with the game: soccer. The boost runs out too quickly, most times the players are left walking toward the ball, and the ball does not want to cooperate either.
The time frame allotted is too short, with only three minutes to score as many goals as you can, it seems rushed, as half the time you can’t even run to quickly get to the ball.
The inclusion of the shoot-out is nice, but still buggy. I understand I’m not an athlete, but goodness, I feel like it should be easier.
It may be buggy, but when playing with others it adds something to laugh about. This game is meant to be enjoyed with others, not by yourself.
While all games should stand their ground with solo play, sometimes you need someone else to bring the excitement out.
This game needs improvements, and I am eagerly awaiting golf’s comeback — it was notably missing this time around. The game is quite new, and hopefully this bulky, buggy business becomes obsolete.