After Wii Sports, the next generation of family games is called Nintendo Switch Sports. Scheduled for release on April 29, 2022, the title marks the return of a major flagship license.
After almost sixteen years, the time has finally come to put on your straps again to dive back into a legendary license. Sold in tens of millions of copies worldwide, Wii Sports had established itself as an icon of its generation. Today the next generation promises to be ensured by Nintendo Switch Sports, a family sports program combining great classics and new disciplines. Will it, in turn, become essential for its platform?
A taste of nostalgia
Spocco Square, a sprawling sports complex established in Nintendo Switch Sports, is home to a handful of courts. Some are still unoccupied. Chambara, bowling and tennis, already known to Wii players, are close to a few new ones: football, badminton and volleyball. Golf will be added next fall to this relatively varied program. The content will be free and is part of a formula that benefits from gradually expanding in order to maintain a well-oiled machine. Before starting your first sports session, it is essential to dress your avatar. Exit the traditional Mii and their angular period faces, the new heroes put forward adopt more rounded, softer features. For now, customization is limited in its proposals, but the result is quite charming. If it is not to your liking, note that it is nevertheless possible to swap your brand new sportsman against your good old Mii created beforehand on your console.
Once your outfit is on, it’s time to try your first games alone or with others. With its always catchy music and its supercharged decors, Nintendo Switch Sports exudes a particularly welcoming aura. Put aside the classic aliasing of the hybrid machine and a few framerate drops and you get a very nice and warm rendering. From the outset, Switch Sports pulls on the heartstrings of nostalgia and that’s what we love.
An experience for all
Wrist strap, the first activities can begin. Each discipline has its own tutorial which dictates all the movements to be assimilated. The step is essential to interpret the moves. Handling is generally easy. The player can choose to draw very simple gestures or perfect his style by releasing a few lifts and cuts with his tennis ball, for example. The experience easily adapts to all ages, even equipping itself with three fairly well-balanced levels of difficulty. Naturally, badminton is one of the easiest disciplines to master. And we quickly understand that the timing of the strike is essential. If it fails, the avatar stumbles and finds itself unable to get up in time to return the steering wheel. A slightly frustrating mechanic. But the activity, like the other five, is perfectly fun. And that’s basically all we ask of him.
With more than two players, tennis like volleyball, more technical for its part, will also be very good entertainment. Regarding the latter, however, a certain discomfort is felt when you go to three in split screen. The action becomes much less readable, and we find ourselves squinting to follow the match correctly. Not easy also to do without some worries of inaccuracies: the motion gaming can be improved, a point observed on certain approximate throws. Perfect shots are hard to come by, even when concentrating all possible efforts.
Classic and new
Perfectly combining the disciplines that we dreamed of finding with some new features, Nintendo Switch Sports even enriches some classics with nice variations. Let’s talk about the chambara in particular, these duels that appeared in Wii Sports Resort which consist of ejecting the opponent from the platform by giving him saber blows and parrying. The activity is as fresh as it is quick and lends itself perfectly to sessions lasting less than five minutes. It comes with several types of accessories for very correct replayability: a sword, a charged sword, or two swords. Finally bowling also goes to the next level. In addition to the honorable possibility of being able to play all at the same time, the sport now offers obstacle courses. A very good idea to spice up an activity that is usually quite conventional. Online, it even has a survival mode for up to 16 participants.
Some fantasies are also to be found on the football side. Discipline offers a unique gameplay and invites us to use the joy-con sticks a lot more in order to move the characters on the screen. The leg strap, a great addition for the episode, is currently only compatible with penalty shootouts. Until this summer, traditional matches are only played by hand with huge balls. In the vein of a less nervous Rocket League, players compete for a gigantic ball on a large field. And despite a good dose of fun, there are a handful of flaws: Here, if passes are allowed, tackles are not. Shame. We also note that the vastness of the area serves a too limited sprint gauge. The player spends too much time chasing his ball, which inevitably generates small moments of floating. Finally, the allied AI tends to stay a little too hidden in defense. And yet, difficult to complete a match without letting out a few bursts of laughter.
- An experience suitable for the whole family
- Always so fun together
- The perfect formula between novelties and classics of the license
- Fun variants of the classics (bowling, chambara)
- A colorful and very warm rendering
- Some inaccuracies on the motion gaming side
- Split screens sometimes hard to read
- An unbalanced sprint gauge for football
Nintendo Switch Sports is probably the new must-have for family gaming. The formula works with all player profiles. The experience is fun and accessible from top to bottom despite the small flaws it can’t escape: split screens that make certain actions difficult to read, slight framerate drops, lack of precision and unbalanced sprints in football games. But the fun remains constant and Nintendo Switch Sports serves up a varied sports program that will appeal to the whole family and that we can’t wait to see expand in the coming months.
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By TiraxaJournalist jeuxvideo.com