It’s one of the most anticipated games in April and we were able to test it for an hour. How good is Nintendo Switch Sports Joy-Con in hand? Preview.
In a few weeks, Nintendo will celebrate the release of its event game Nintendo Switch Sports. Proud successor to Wii Sports, it’s a game that promises to bring us back to childhood while making us move. While it is expected for April 29, we had the opportunity to test it at Nintendo’s invitation and our first impression is quite good!
For an hour, we were able to try out the 6 sports presented in the game’s announcement trailer, which takes up the torch in the field of sports games signed Nintendo, after the release of Ring Fit Adventure. If the latter is much more intensive, Nintendo Switch Sports is still not a leisurely cruise.
The fans of Wii Sports will recognize certain familiar disciplines, we have named bowling and tennis, the key disciplines of the game, but also Chambara, which replaces the fencing fight of Wii Sports Resort. We also welcome three newcomers: volleyball, badminton and football.
We find all this in a hub that Nintendo calls the Spocco Square and which has the appearance of a sports complex. From this place, you can juggle between the different sports and choose your training à la carte.
Volleyball and Badminton: what are the newbies worth?
Of all the sports on offer, we started our adventure with volleyball, which we think is one of the most promising games. And indeed, we were not disappointed. It’s a sport that requires technique, good observation and a good sense of timing. It is the most complete discipline of Nintendo Switch Sports, with soccer.
In all, there are 4 mechanics to remember like in real volleyball matches: the pass, the headline, the stop at the net and the smash. The competitive aspect is what convinced us the most in volleyball. Even in case of difficulty, which is normal at the beginning, the games remain fun and motivating, so they should be suitable even for beginners.
Same observation for badminton, with which we also had a little trouble, but which we loved in terms of pleasure. It is a sport which uses more or less the same mechanics as tennisbut with a few more subtleties, in particular the possibility of making amortizations, which can always be used to destabilize your opponent.
You can also try to get a smash with the right return timing, and even a super smash with a bit of luck. Otherwise, classic moves also work, for calmer games and long exchanges with your opponents.
Football, a discipline apart
The third new sport is none other than football, THE most popular discipline in the world. It therefore seems obvious that putting this sport on the map of Nintendo Switch Sports should be chargeable, despite its inherent peculiarities. Indeed, it is the only sport that is not supposed to be practiced with the hands.
Attaching your Joy-Con wrist strap to your ankle is out of the question, Nintendo has thought of everything. For classic matches, you have to quickly move your right Joy-Con up, down, or sideways to shoot the ball and take it in the direction you want.
With the left, you control your character’s movements on the ground, but also your stamina gauge which allows you to sprint for a limited time. We therefore do not find the same sensations as during a physical football match, but the whole thing is nonetheless fun, especially with several people.
For the penalty shootouts, however, it’s a bit different. We used a single Joy-Con and the strap that allows you to attach it around your leg, which is basically an accessory of the Ring Fit Adventure but which here comes with the purchase of the game. For this specific mode, Nintendo Switch Sports recognizes the movements of the Joy-Con attached to your leg and therefore allows you to truly shoot, as if you had an invisible ball.
It is clear that the mechanics work very well. A future update should normally apply this technique to classic matches a little later in the year, so we’ll see what it’s worth in terms of movement fidelity on a longer and more complex mode.
Wii Sports Legacy
At last, purists will be delighted to find the famous tennis and bowling, as well as the chambarawhich are some of our favorite disciplines in games Wii Sports. In other words, our expectations are high. Fortunately, Nintendo seems to have respected its commitments, offering us both iconic and modern sports that have nothing to envy to other more recent disciplines.
First of all, tennis is a real return to childhood. As in Wii Sports, the matches are played in pairs, and if you are alone locally, you can take responsibility for both characters, or you can completely ignore the presence of the one who is not convenient for you, usually the one next to the net. En terms of gameplay, we find the same sensations there as in Wii Sports because we simply use the same mechanics, although the playing comfort has been improved.
We will say the same thing for bowling, which has not aged a bit. As usual, you can choose to launch your ball in the classic way while setting the tilt and position parameters, but you can also apply effects to your ball to achieve a secondary goal.
This is often essential in the special mode which puts obstacles or holes on the track. The great novelty compared to Wii Sports is the online mode that completely revisits the classic bowling games. You therefore have the possibility of participating in a kind of battle royale in which the players with the lowest scores are eliminated round by round. If we could not test this feature, the classic bowling was enough to delight us.
Chambara is the only combat sport in Nintendo Switch Sports. In this discipline, the only thing to remember is that to attack, your sword must not be perpendicular to that of your opponent, otherwise the blow will turn against you. In addition to attacking, you can also parry and counterattack, with the ultimate goal being to knock your opponent off the platform.
There are also two other variants of this sport, one where the saber is charged with energy with each successful parry and which grants you a super attack, and another which allows you to play with two sabers at the same time using two Joy-Con. We haven’t tested this variant either, but it allows you to perform new and more powerful combos, although more complicated to master.
Nintendo Switch Sports: the strike in sight
Finally, after a good hour of testing, we had a nice overview of all the sports offered in Nintendo Switch Sports which allows us to say that the game will undoubtedly score a lot of points with the fans of Wii Sports, but not only. Indeed, the disciplines are quite well chosen and diverse enough to reach a maximum of players, young and old, experienced and casual.
Of course, during this preview of Nintendo Switch Sports, there are still a lot of things that we haven’t had time to test, and that we will do during the final test of the game. We are thinking in particular of the online mode, which seems extremely promising, or even more fun variants of certain sports.
However, with our brief experience, we can already tell you that Nintendo masters its subject and that we loved our time spent on the game. In terms of sensations, the movements made with the Joy-Con are generally very well recognized and immersion is therefore there. And even if you only use your hands (and arms), it turns out that Nintendo Switch Sports it’s also a bit of physical training.
After an hour of exercise, we will not say that we are sweating like in a Ring Fit Adventurebut we come out with a slight sore arm, which is logical since we generally always use the same one. Obviously, each sport has its own mastery and you may not be comfortable with each of them. But we are sure of one thing, Nintendo Switch Sports should be a hit.
To find out, you will have to wait for the game to be released on Nintendo Switch, scheduled for next April 29. Until then, you can also watch your preview video which shows you our little session at Nintendo, and which therefore gives you an overview of what the game looks like, and its gameplay in real conditions.