Switching to Victory: Nintendo’s All-Star Sports Spectacular


Nintendo’s focus on motion controls has diminished somewhat over the years compared to the Wii era, but one of the first unique selling points of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con was its improved but familiar ability to use real-world movements to control things on the screen. This does not mean that it has been completely forgotten, far from it; Ring Fit Adventure made training fun with the fantastic and effective Ring-Con peripheral, ARMS created an innovative new actioning game experience, 1-2-Switch hilariously pretended to milk the cows, Splatoon 2 brought back the gyro target, and there are a few third-party games that also get players off the couch. Nintendo’s decision to release Nintendo Switch Sports so after in the Switch’s life cycle remains a secret, although playing online and offline with friends and opponents around the world helps breathe new life into something that no longer feels like a gadget.

Offline mode, local multiplayer and Single player

By focusing on offline modes first, Nintendo Switch Sports ultimately does little to offer players a lot of content to play with. Of course, Nintendo plans to release Golf as a free DLC afterr this year, but what is offered right out of the box is all too familiar; bowling is played in the same way as in Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics, and Tennis is, well, very exactly as you remember. In addition, each sport has an extremely limited list of modes available to play, which means that offline solo players in particular can play through any activity in a matter of hours on all three CPU difficulties. There is no way to track your progress and nothing is recorded except the best Bowling scores. In addition, there is no ranking in sight. Admittedly, the processor can be a difficult challenge if you bring it to the maximum difficulty, but there is no reward for smacking it. Even in multiplayer, you can’t find out who the Sports Champion is in the same household. That’s not to say that Nintendo Switch Sports isn’t a lot of fun, it’s just that there just aren’t enough of them.

Something that will divide the players for sure is the new character customization features. Each player can either import their own Mii head, or create a unique customizable Avatar. Thanks to a clear and easy-to-use menu, you can dress your athlete in clothes of different colors, change his hairstyle, eye color, eyebrows, skin color and adjust his age.

Another interesting inclusion is the possibility of choosing a nickname by selecting phrases and names from a Predefined List. Compensation points via the online game also give the player access to even more predefined nicknames; I scored enough points in a simple mini-game on The credit screen that added another selection, for example, so keep an eye out for this easy win!

When you import an Mii saved on your Nintendo Switch console, you are greeted by a dubious Avatar that looks like a shaking head. I also tried to import a Mii by scanning an Amiibo, and in fact one that I created years ago appeared on the screen. Although Mii characters can seem terribly out of place, it’s always fun to play against horrible creations online. The new Avatar designs will also not be to everyone’s taste, but at least there are several options.

Although the sunny location of Spocco Square seems straight out of a holiday brochure in The Splatoon universe, unfortunately you cannot interact with The environment. The Sunny City simply acts as a hub for you to browse the menus to select activities; it would have been nice to have something more interactive. Overall, however, the Nintendo Switch Sports aesthetic is clean, crisp and exactly what you would expect from a proprietary Nintendo game.

Beginners to the game will have no trouble navigating the activity and character customization screens, which means that almost everyone can play because entering a game is done quickly and with minimal effort. The punchy sound effects of rackets hitting the shuttlecocks and the rumble of bowling balls in front of a loud rattling of pegs in one fell swoop also help to make the experience even more immersive. Then there is the familiar but unique theme song that you will no doubt hum or whistle as you go about your daily business.

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