Nintendo Switch Sports, we tried the Wii Sports heir online test

Nintendo Switch Sports, we tried the Wii Sports heir online test

Nintendo Switch Sports

Wii Sports was the killer application of Nintendo Wii, now way back in 2006. Despite its success, it was a game so tied to a particular historical moment and to that particular console, that creating sequels turned out to be anything but simple. After Wii Sports Club on Wii U, a project with little soul and no commercial success, Nintendo is trying again; and tries again by changing its name, from Wii to Switch Sports, in continuity with the mutant nomenclature of the company's consoles, and altering the visual aspect of the work.

This weekend Nintendo organized an online test, albeit limited in the disciplines, in which we participated: we tell you the first impressions in our tried and tested Nintendo Switch Sports.

The graphic work behind Nintendo Switch Sports is undoubtedly valuable: it will be possible to use Mii, but as in Mario Kart they will be an option of the user's choice. The visual canon created is a hybrid between Splatoon, from which it inherits many shapes and a similar eye and hair design, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons (the nose in particular). The proportions of the characters, on the other hand, are much more realistic than in the titles just mentioned, probably for playful needs (it would have been difficult, we imagine, to combine deformed characters with environments similar to the real ones). The final effect is still very pleasant and one wonders if in the future this line cannot become the main one, replacing the Miis: these characters are certainly more beautiful and consistent, but also less iconic and more difficult to customize.

Right in the avatar personalization page, not explorable in the online test, we noticed that the choice of biological sex has been eliminated. Of course there are hairstyles and eyes that can be immediately associated with one or the other gender, but it seems that there is not - unlike with Miis - a clear separation between the two. The sex will therefore not be specified, and you can mix the components in total freedom, including clothes (we suppose). It was pleasant to note that particular care was taken on the selection of the dominant hand: not only can you choose, but you can also change it for each individual discipline. A feature perhaps incomprehensible for a right-handed, but left-handed people are often inclined to ambidextrous everyday life, and it is not uncommon that, for example, you can use a racket with one hand, and throw objects with the other. Here, it is possible to memorize these choices in the character profile.

Nintendo Switch Sports: the graphic style is really pleasant One last note, which we have taken for granted: the control system is based on motion controls and, a apart from special cases (such as the double sword in the chanbara), everything is managed with a single Joy-Con, which should not be held as in Arms, therefore with the narrow profile facing us (in tennis jargon it would be called "hammer"), rather like playing traditionally, therefore with the buttons arranged towards our face (a "western" handle, always talking about tennis). Due to the focus on motion control, the game will not support the Lite version of Nintendo Switch.

And here we are with our impressions of the three sports available in the online test, to which volleyball, badminton and football (and, in the future as downloadable content, golf) will be added in the final game. Unfortunately, the beautiful table tennis of Wii Sports Resort has not been revived, and we will evaluate the choice of preferring badminton to it in the review phase, when Nintendo Switch Sports is released on April 29th.


Nintendo Switch Sports: tennis could not be missing Let's start from the end: we expected more from tennis. Both because it was the iconic sport of Wii Sports, and because fifteen years have passed since that title, motion controls have become more precise, and we were hoping for a much better experience. Instead they are very, very similar. The racket now moves with your movement while waiting for the opponent's serve, but it is mainly a (welcome) visual issue: the impact with the ball is still determined more by timing than by the direction and intensity of the hit. The effects, compared to the past, are a little different: it is easier to make a cut (therefore a backspin, that is, from the top towards the back), and the lob is recognized with more precision and greater variations, but the overall experience it is not that different from Wii Sports.

Even the setting of the clashes, in the online test decided by a tie-break (whoever arrives first to seven points wins, to be clear), is the same as the 2006 game : we do not know if things will change in the final title, but for reasons of playful balance we imagine not. Basically, one-on-one matches are not contemplated: there are only doubles. Therefore, both the character on the net and the one at the baseline are controlled: and when we write "control" we are referring to the shot, because the movements of the "athletes" are automatic. If you swing while the ball is close to the net, the more advanced player will hit it; if you wait, you'll use the headland one. Serving is rather unnatural: being an operation that in real tennis is carried out (basically) with the hammer grip, it is alienating to do it with the "face" of the Joy-Con facing us. But it's probably a feeling that will only affect those who play tennis in real life. Although we expected more, it still remains a very fun experience, which will have to be evaluated in the long term: in this case, the possible absence of individuals, and the (presumable) impossibility of controlling the character, could limit the depth of the mechanics. , and compromise the desire to compete online.


Nintendo Switch Sports: we enjoyed the chanbara The chanbara proposes duels between swordsmen, on a raised, circular platform, under the which there is a large pool: the goal is to hit the opponent until he falls into the water. There are three types of sword: a normal one, one that is charged by parrying the blows of others (to then carry out greater damage, with a single blow) and finally the double weapon (which we have not had the opportunity to test, neither in first person nor as opponents). The game recommends holding the Joy-Con with both hands, to simulate the heaviness of the weapon, and we must say that the effect is successful: the movements of the sword are very sensitive, and to attack it is necessary to make a decisive blow ( not that you struggle, but a slight movement of the wrist is not enough).

The game, predictably, is divided into phases of attack and defense: there is no clear cut between the two and, on the contrary , the dynamism in alternating them is the basis of the experience. When you are in a defensive position, the goal is to parry the blows of others: if the opponent offends with a vertical blow, you must resist by placing the sword horizontally (and vice versa). More precisely, the shot is effectively parried if the defender's weapon is placed perpendicular to that of the attacker: if the parry succeeds, the offender is stunned for a few seconds, and at that point you will have your chance to attack. . In the online test, the games had a time limit, and who won the contest was whoever won two matches first.

Chanbara is a very well done discipline, it is fun, and it is perhaps the most meritocratic of the three available, in the sense that the randomness factor seemed rather low to us. Also in this circumstance, the longevity will be evaluated based on the depth of the mechanics, but also with respect to the variety and quantity of swords proposed.


Nintendo Switch Sports: online bowling is open to many participants Bowling is definitely what we enjoyed the most, not so much for the realization, but for the setting of the fight. Sixteen players were chosen in the online test, and the game consisted of three elimination phases, with the competitors becoming fewer and fewer, up to the final with the five surviving contenders. Each phase involved three shots, but - not being bowling experts - it is likely that, with a series of strikes, it is possible to extend it further.

If we liked the setting of the game a lot, and we hope that it will be applied to other disciplines as well, mechanics in and of themselves have left us with some doubts. Sure, bowling will work great in a local multiplayer game with friends, and will also bea> able to involve casual gamers, but we have some uncertainty about online competition, simply because it seemed too easy to strike a strike. If in the first match we reached the final, in the second - in which, presumably, even the opponents were already beyond the first test - we were eliminated in the first round. With very similar scores, and also quite high: we all made spares, so in each shot we knocked down each pin, even with two separate throws.

Basically, even just to pass the first round, it was necessary to achieve at least one strike: if the trend had continued, after an hour of play there would have been games in which it would have been anomalous to "not" make one. strike. The commands, on the other hand, are good, you have to choose - before throwing - the position of the shot and the direction of the same: subsequently, by clicking on the backbone with the index finger, the ball is thrown, imparting intensity and rotation to the ball with the movement.
Our hour with Nintendo Switch Sports has amused us a lot: tennis, bowling and chanbara, with their strengths and weaknesses, have been able to thrill us. Furthermore, the graphic style is fully successful. We are also sure that this work will be perfect, as per tradition, to unite experienced, novice and casual players. At the same time, we have doubts about the depth and longevity of the title: in bowling it was too easy to make good shots, tennis is very similar to that of Wii Sports (therefore based on doubles, and focused on the timing of the shot rather than the execution of the same), while the chanbara is valuable, but how long will it last? All doubts that we will not be able to dispel until the review, with the game out on April 29. Aware that more than fifteen years have passed since Wii Sports, and that motion controls alone no longer amaze anyone.


Great graphic style Perfect for casual gamers Precise controls A lot of fun and immediate DOUBTS How deep will it be? How many variables and options will the disciplines have? Hasn't tennis evolved enough since Wii Sports? Have you noticed any errors?

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