Nintendo Switch Sports has been out for over a month now, continuing Nintendo’s 16-year tradition of creating action simulation games for those looking for casual fun with motion capture technology. For many, it’s the perfect answer for those who longed for a newer, shinier version of Sports Wii but for others it is far from Sports Wii‘old glory.
Many players have expressed disappointment with how the minigames don’t include side content or alternate game modes. This can decrease the replay value, especially when compared to previous iterations like Wii Sports Complex which contained double the contents. Currently, Nintendo Switch Sports comes with six activities, although golf is on the way in a future free update. These games include tennis, bowling, chambara (sword game), badminton, volleyball, and football, although only the latter three are new to the Sports series. Surprisingly, the 2v2 volleyball mode explains what makes these sports simulation games so appealing, and seems to be the most attractive feature for the $40 price tag.
Gameplay is kind to casual gamers
For those who want to learn or play volleyball casually, it’s not a bad starting point at all and is an adequate teaching experience. A tutorial explaining the mechanics shows players how to pass, place, sting and block. All of these seem very intuitive as to how one would do these moves in real life, since volleyball is usually about keeping the ball above the ground and swapping the ball back and forth through a net . The heart of what made Sports Wii so beloved can truly be felt in Change sports‘simple controls.
Playing on the simplest setting, “Normal”, against computer-controlled opponents is the best way to get comfortable with these actions. This is probably the most casual or family version mode, similar to Mario Golf: Super Rush Where Mario The Aces of Tennis. The hardest part of the learning process is just getting the timing right, which isn’t exactly the same as how a person might time the ball in real life. Fortunately, the tutorial is repeatable, and “Normal” mode is very forgiving with imprecise movements and timing errors.
While players could just sit down and swing their arms slightly to play the game, it can be much more enjoyable to really get your whole body into the motions and really swing the arm around to simulate a spike. As players become more comfortable with their games, naturally progressing to the next two levels, “Strong” and “Powerhouse” will hone those skills until players are ready to compete against real people. The “Powerhouse” CPU mode is frankly comparable to playing against real people, if not more difficult.
Online play is immersive and fun
On the other hand, for experienced players, Change sports feels like a decent alternative to an actual volleyball game. Timing is much more critical against teams that intentionally dash in specific directions, launch quick attacks, and easily block blows. Of course, players can always be faced with players who are more relaxed with their gameplay and who may not be doing anything advanced at all. Unfortunately, Change sports does not come with Nintendo Switch Online, which is necessary for those who want to play online against strangers.
For those with an annual subscription, the game pits players against other players around the world. Players earn points by playing matches, winning, etc., which in turn unlock outfits, accessories, and emotes in Nintendo Switch Sports. The emoticon to communicate with other teams can be a source of entertainment in itself, as players can support each other. On the other hand, a perfectly timed crying face after the other team misses a point can be kind of fun to tease without actually being toxic, since there’s no chat or way to really communicate.
The Pro League is the place to grind
Like the other modes, the first team to five wins, with one point leeway that caps out at seven. For those who want to get a bit more intensive, Pro League matches are available for competitive play after you have Completed ten Play Globally solo matches. Proving your mettle on the leaderboard can prove to be a fun challenge for those who are up to it. Ratings range from A to E, but keep in mind that ratings above A are available but will still show players at an A rank title.
It’s almost surprising how much effort seems to have gone into the volleyball mode, as players are able to do more than the basics taught in the tutorial. It resembles old versions of Wii tennis, which allowed for fun gameplay and perfection in timing.
For example, a quick attack can be performed by “jumping” at the same time as the setter passes the ball, resulting in a faster hit to an unsuspecting opposing team. Serving from a certain side of the court doesn’t have to be random either, as the direction the Joy-Con is facing after “hitting” the ball will send it to a specific person. If a player on the enemy team appears to be proficient at hitting, the strategy to combat this might be to serve the ball to their friend, which means the correct attacker will have to set up and not have the opportunity to hit. The same technique can be applied for kicking, as aiming can become important to get around blocks and get the ball to places the other team is not close to.
The best part of the game that really makes Nintendo feel like it stood for more advanced games is the ability to cover a block, which not all developers think about. This means that if a player kicks the ball and is blocked by the opposing team, their teammate can still win the ball and keep it in play. In more casual volleyball games, this is usually not seen, and this blocking would usually result in a point for the enemy team.
What Nintendo’s Volleyball Mode Misses
What Change sports‘The volleyball mode and other games could benefit from the addition of even more complex games, which could improve longevity and keep players coming back for more. Currently, players are unable to hit the ball out of bounds, even if there has been drastic bad timing in play. A badly timed shot will still be in bounds, which seems confusing. Not every badly timed hit should be out, but if the timing is truly awful, it should be.
In addition, games must have three hits on each side of the net. If Nintendo added the ability to only do two, it could make room for more sneaky games like setter dumps: when the setter points or tips the ball over the net instead of giving it to the batter, usually to confuse the other team. An action like this could easily be added by having the poser raise their Joy-Con as if to set it, then quickly follow it with a downward motion. Games like this would be harder to master, but still remind what Sports Wii allowed players to do with enough practice.
Nintendo may add updates to Change sports‘ volleyball mode and other games in the future, although this is unconfirmed. Although the game of volleyball is great fun at the moment, if Nintendo wants to keep players around, it should consider focusing on both complexities to avoid repetition for its player base and give them more side content to enjoy. enjoy.
Nintendo Switch Sports is now available for Nintendo Switch.
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