In an article about the new 'Nintendo Switch Sports' game, two people discuss the pros and cons of the game
Illustration by Morgen Dutil, Montserrat College of Art

Nintendo Switch Sports Brings Back Some Old Favorites

The arrival of the system’s newest sports game offers some nostalgia for fans of the classic Wii Sports collection.

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In an article about the new 'Nintendo Switch Sports' game, two people discuss the pros and cons of the game
Illustration by Morgen Dutil, Montserrat College of Art

The arrival of the system’s newest sports game offers some nostalgia for fans of the classic Wii Sports collection.

Over 15 years after the release of the beloved Wii Sports, Nintendo has finally come out with a new take on the classic game — featuring some old favorite sports, some revamped ones and of course, some brand-new ones!

History of Nintendo Sports

In 2006, Nintendo released Wii Sports for the Wii console. This game allowed users to play any one of five sports — tennis, baseball, bowling, golf or boxing — either solo or local multiplayer. The games only required users to use the system’s Wii remote, with only boxing requiring the additional Nunchuk.

Wii Sports became wildly popular and even as Nintendo went on to make new systems and more updated games, Wii Sports continued to hold a special place in gamers’ hearts. By March 2009, a little less than three years after its release, Nintendo had sold 45.71 million copies of the game. In March 2021, 15 years after the game’s initial release, Nintendo reported that they had sold a whopping 82.9 million copies, further proving how the game has withstood the test of time.

In 2009 Nintendo revisited the hit game to make a sequel, Wii Sports Resort, which included new games such as swordplay, wakeboarding, Frisbee, archery, basketball, table tennis, power cruising, canoeing, cycling and air sports. In addition to that, Wii Sports Resort also included two games seasoned fans would be familiar with: bowling and golf. The sequel received critical acclaim and went on to sell over 30 million copies as of March 2020.

The third installment of Nintendo sports games came with the release of Wii Sports Club for the Wii U system. Wii Sports Club was released in September 2013 as a local and online multiplayer game, much like its predecessors. The new game featured tennis, bowling, golf, baseball and boxing, making it more like the original Wii Sports game rather than Wii Sports Resort.

The most recent Wii Sports release has come out for the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo Switch Sports was released in April 2022, and features six mini-games for players to play both locally and in online multiplayer mode. Similar to the previous game, it includes modes from both Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, along with three never-before-seen games.

Nintendo Switch Sports

With six games available, fans have plenty to pick from. The games include bowling, tennis, chambara, soccer, volleyball and badminton. Fans have never been able to play soccer, volleyball or badminton before, so these three are fun new additions for those who might be getting tired of the same old options.

In Nintendo Switch Sports, players have the ability to play locally against friends, the CPU or online against other Nintendo Switch Sports players worldwide. The game also includes a ranking feature that allows online players to be rated so they can compete against other online players of similar skill. Additionally, this means that dedicated fans can play frequently to climb the ladder and reach the “A Rank” standing in any given sport. By reaching A Rank, gamers will be playing against the best of the best from all over the world.

To first make it into a Pro League, a player must simply play 10 online matches within one sport. After these 10 matches, they will receive a ranking. All players will start off in rank “E,” the lowest possible, with an additional 10 rankings between “E” and “A,” which is the highest one can go. Players must earn their ratings individually, without playing online with friends, and must earn them separately within each different sports category. For example, you could be an A Rank player in golf, but a D Rank player in volleyball.

All six games are capable of being played with just the system’s joy-cons, however, there is an optional leg strap that can be purchased separately and used for the soccer mode. The leg strap sells for $9.99 USD through the Nintendo website, which isn’t very expensive. But if you aren’t a major soccer fan, then the purchase might not be worth it. Although you can play soccer with just the basic joy-cons, the leg strap does unlock the “shoot-out” mode mini-game.

Reviews

After the initial release of the game, Nintendo Switch Sports topped the gaming charts around the world, staying there even longer in countries like the UK. But while game purchases might have been high, there has been a bit of discussion on whether the game is actually all that good.

The game received a 7/10 on IGN, a relatively high score, especially in comparison to a game that came out around the same time for a similar audience, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which received an 8/10. Many find that while the quality of the game is good, it can easily become repetitive. This criticism can be attributed to the fact that video games have evolved in many ways within the last decade, and simple games that used to be fulfilling and fun can now seem monotonous and boring. Regardless, the game has received enough positive feedback (and financial profit) for Nintendo to continue to put time and effort into updating and expanding the game for fans to enjoy even more.

What’s To Come

Nintendo has confirmed that a seventh sport will be added to Nintendo Switch Sports in the fall of 2022. This game is one that long-time fans have experience with and may be extremely excited for — golf. Leaks have also led some to believe that basketball and dodgeball may be added at a later date, although none of this has been officially confirmed by Nintendo.

Additionally, although Nintendo released the leg strap for its soccer game, it is only usable in the “shoot-out” mode. This means that players with a leg strap gain exclusive access to a mini-game that others cannot play, but on the flip side, they cannot use the leg strap in the regular soccer mode. However, Nintendo also announced that this summer there will be an update that allows users with a leg strap to use it in the regular mode, which might just change the outcome of some of the score lines.

Whether you are an old or new fan, Nintendo Switch Sports offers some wholesome family fun that can liven up a party or just give you something to do in your room when you’re bored. With Nintendo’s recent updates and announcements, it is clear that the company is listening to what the fans want in order to create the best game possible, while still drawing on the nostalgia of the classic favorite Wii Sports so many remember.

 

 

Writer Profile

Janey Schmidt

Columbia College Chicago
Bachelor of Arts in English

I have always been an avid reader no matter the format. I am especially eager to read, write, and talk about all things fantasy!

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