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Nintendo Switch Sports review for Nintendo Switch


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Medium: Digital/Cartridge
Players: 1-4
Online: Yes
ESRB: E

In his recently released autobiography Disrupting the Game, former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aimé recounted his fight with Nintendo Company Ltd executives to bundle Wii Sports with the Wii hardware. Thankfully the father of Pizza Hut’s Bigfoot pizza along with others were able to sway Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto to their side and because of the bundle, Wii Sports sold 82.90 million worldwide. The title was the perfect showcase for motion controls and making it readily accessible to anyone who owns the Wii was a vector to market the device. Wii Sports Resort, a follow up which released in 2009 was a showcase for the MotionPlus accessory and while sales did not eclipse the original, it is technically the 3rd best selling title on the Wii. This means Nintendo Switch Sports will have quite the chip on its shoulder as it is releasing on a Nintendo platform with quite the large player base.

Right off the bat, Nintendo Switch Sports features six sports, Tennis, Bowling, Badminton, Volleyball, Chambara (Sword Fighting) and Soccer. Golf will be added as a free update in Q3, but this is a severe downgrade from the 12 we had access to in Wii Sports Resort and the fact there are two racquet sports with similar controls (Tennis and Badminton) it really feels like Nintendo Switch Sports is only offering 5 unique sports. Variety aside each sport controls extremely well, with Tennis and Badminton being the most simple and soccer being the most complex. Long time series mainstay bowling is probably the most enjoyable game with its standard 10 frame game, wacky lanes variant as well as elimination style survival bowling. Chambra (Sword Fighting) comes in a close second.

While these sports titles were great with friends it never felt like there was a justification for repeated single play. The original had a ranking system which would give you some flair in your nameplate, otherwise there wasn’t much reason to play the game solo. Nintendo Switch Sports attempts to rectify this with its Play Globally mode…which is ironic since it technically is an online multiplayer mode. Repeated plays will net you points that can earn you customization parts, emotes from a slate of time limited collections. Dedicated players can even climb up the pro rankings starting from the rank E and take on more skilled opponents as your standing improves. Sadly those without stable internet connection and an active Nintendo Online membership will be locked out of any additional customization options.

 

While the title doesn’t soar as high as it’s predecessors it is an absolutely competent release in this pseudo series. Players of all ages will be able to pick up and play and it even provides hardcore players a hook to keep the game installed/inserted into the console. Given that it is announced that golf would be added as a free addon later in the year, one would hope that some other missing sports can be added post launch (give me back baseball and boxing damn it!). Let’s just hope that Spucco Square can be expanded to something like a rectangle or anything. The foundation is solid, let’s hope Nintendo will build more on it!

Note: Nintendo provided us with a Nintendo Switch Sports code for review purposes.

Grade: B

Nintendo Switch Sports – Nintendo Switch (Video Game)

Manufacturer:  Nintendo
ESRB Rating: 
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