After years of anticipation, Nintendo Switch Sports has finally hit the shelves. It's Switch's answer to Wii Sports, refreshing and reinventing an iconic noughties game that everyone knows and loves.
Set in a virtual sports complex called Spocco Square, Nintendo Switch Sports is made up of a series of mini-games that will get you up and moving. You can play volleyball, badminton, bowling, football, chambara and tennis.
Wii Sports was a huge hit after it was released back in 2006. I myself was a big fan so when I heard the game was going to be remade for the Switch, I was eager to see what Nintendo had in store. Thankfully, as you can read in the Nintendo Switch Sports review, I wasn't disappointed.
For the most part, Nintendo Switch Sports gave me the perfect amount of old versus new. There are a few reasons why I think it's a much better game than Wii Sports, but there were a few things I felt were missing.
Nintendo Switch Sports plays better than Wii Sports
As soon as you open it up Nintendo Switch Sports feels a lot nicer to play than Wii Sports. But before you get into the game you’ll need to create your own personalised character, otherwise known as a Sportsmate.
There are way more customisation options for your Sportsmate than there were for your Mii character on Wii Sports. You can adjust face shape, facial features, hair colour, hairstyle, eye shape and eye colour. I loved creating my character and was pleased to see so many different choices.
Like Wii Sports, you will be able to play each game by yourself or with up to 4 friends, as long as you have enough controllers. There’s also a whole new way to play, online against opponents all over the world. You’ll be able to compete with other Switch users you know or against strangers. When you do, you’ll grow through the rankings, winning new outfits and accessories for your Sportsmate along the way.
Nintendo Switch Sports looks a lot nicer because the level of detail hardly even compares to the Wii version of the game. While you're playing there's a lot of hustle and bustle happening in the background, other Sportsmates are wandering around, sitting on the sidelines and visiting the cafes. It goes as far as including ripples in the water of a pond, a lift going up and down by the badminton court and the shadows of clouds passing overhead.
Nintendo Switch Sports polishes old gems
Bowling and tennis were two fan favourites in Wii Sports so I was very pleased to see them make a comeback for Nintendo Switch Sports. They play very similarly in that you need to mimic the action of each sport.
In bowling, you have to swing your arm backwards and then forwards to throw the ball, and to play tennis, you need to swing the controller to each side to hit forehands and backhands.
There are some small differences and improvements in how these sports work. For example, you need to keep a hold of the ZL trigger as you release the ball in bowling, while in tennis, you’ll actually need to use the analogue stick to move your Sportsmate around the court. Both games have been updated with energetic new backgrounds and a few different ways to play so they're actually even better than they were on the Wii.
There are brand new games in Nintendo Switch Sports
The selection of games has been rethought for Nintendo Switch Sports to include badminton, volleyball and football as well as chambara which is a type of Japanese sword fighting. Personally, I enjoyed playing badminton and football the most.
Badminton is super fun, partly because it’s so easy to get the hang of, but also because rallies go on for ages. You have to keep your focus in order to win. By swinging the Joy-Con at the right moment you'll hit the shuttlecock just right and then you can press the ZL trigger to hit a drop shot.
Football was harder to learn because you need a Joy-Con in each hand. Using your left hand, the analogue stick moves your Sportsmate around and the ZL trigger speeds them up. Then you swing the right controller to kick the ball. The more complicated nature of the game made it a bit more challenging but also a lot more fun. In real life, I’m not a big football fan but I got very into football on Nintendo Switch Sports.
As long as you own the leg strap accessory you'll be able to play the Shoot-Out mini-game as well. Once set up, you literally kick your leg to boot the ball into the goal which gets smaller every time you score.
Some of the best Wii Sports games are missing
While I was impressed with the selection of games featured in Nintendo Switch Sports, I was sad to see a couple of the best Wii Sports games get missed out. Baseball, in particular, was one of my favourites. I really enjoyed trying to hit the ball as far as possible to score a home run.
Another Wii Sports game that I found myself longing for was the golf but we’ve heard that it could be coming to Nintendo Switch Sports with a software update later in the year - hurrah!
You can buy Nintendo Switch Sports right now starting from $39.99 / £30.99 / AU$56.