So, who else tried the Online play test for this game?
It was fun! Tennis seems similar, except spin works way better. And it seems kind of laggier, at least in the online mode. I had to swing way early to get a power-serve. It seems like they also added a Drop Shot move with a button modifier? But I couldn't get it to work.
Bowling feels about the same, although it's been tuned to be less sensitive to spin, I think. It's a bit too easy/predictable to throw it straight right now. The new 16P Battle Royale style is great, though. There are eliminations after every three rounds. And the level of competition is pretty high! If you miss a spare, it's pretty much game over. I kind of hate the sport of bowling, since it's so static, but I like the goofy side modes. I'm looking forward to trying out the weird Ramp challenges shown in a video.
Chambara (Swordfighting from Resort) seems WAY better! Really fun and responsive. And you get a choice of three sword types: Normal, Charge, and Dual Blade. Pretty cool way to add depth and variety. Is it balanced? I dunno! If not, though, you can use it for handicapping.
Those are the sports that were in the demo. I've gotta say, the level of competition really went up from the first session to the last (at 5 a.m.). The final product is supposed to have skill-based matchmaking, though.
As for the other sports, Badminton looks oddly similar to Tennis. Will the motions be different? I dunno!
I'm pretty excited about Volleyball. Seems like a natural fit, with the bumping motion, setting/blocking motion, and spiking motion.
Soccer seems almost like Rocket League, with a big, floaty ball. They're going to add the ability to kick with a Joy Con leg strap (similar to Ring Fit's), which will come with the retail version. So get the retail version if you don't have Ring Fit! Seems like you can move freely with the analog stick in this one. How will it work in 2P? Splitscreen? I dunno!
Nintendo's going to add Golf later on. I didn't love the earlier versions. Power control was too difficult, particularly for short shots (the paradox of video golf). I'd rather you set the power beforehand, and just have motion determine your hook/draw level. We'll see.
I hope they keep adding sports. I definitely want to see Baseball (with Motion Control catching, as in Wii Sports Club), Basketball, Frisbee, Archery, Ping Pong, and that Wave Race clone. Hell, I want to see everything return. Including Pilotwings Spocco Island!
The presentation is great, overall. The whole game has a nice vibe and a real sense of place. Also, Miis are apparently back, but they're taking a backseat to a new avatar style: Sportsfriends! Although they weren't customizable in the demo, I assume that they'll have similar or greater customization options to Miis. And you can be animals! Become your Fursona! But will the editor be flexible enough to allow you to make unholy creatures from hell? I dunno!
Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this game. Seems like a solid update. It just might be a worldwide sensation. Local play and side modes should be fun, too. Here's Gamexplain's Analysis Video!
I played in the first 2 sessions. Had my youngest son play along for a bit on the 2nd session as well. Since we were 2players/1 console, we'd be on the same team for tennis, or we'd have split screen bowling. If it went to Chambara, it'd round robin which of us got to play.
Tennis - like Anad said, very familiar. That's not a bad thing. I didn't notice any lag.
Bowling - they removed the "release the trigger button" to let go of the ball. I played multiple games before I figured that out (it still worked sometimes, I just thought you had to wait longer for the release). It was definitely frustrating (especially for my 9yr old son) since it was timed, and half the time the ball would just drop, and you'd have to throw it again.
Chambara - Fun. I only tried the charge sword and dual wield once each, but the standard sword was nice and responsive.
While I'm not a fan of the new avatars, the game looked great! I've seen quite a bit of people online saying "bring back Mii's!" I'm curious to know if Nintendo has seen this backlash too. Mii's are now synonymous with Nintendo, and it's weird to think Nintendo went out of their way to make a new avatar. I'm just glad they're back, even if they're not the default characters.
But reviews are out! Mainstream reviewers seem just as out of touch and unsuited to judging this game as they were originally, talking about depth and comparing it to VR, and such. I do respect the outlets who are waiting for online to be activated before rendering their verdict, though.
One interesting sign is that every outlet seems to have different favorites in this package. Each sport that one outlet thinks is a waste of time is another's favorite. So that's ... good?
I'm also looking forward to trying out the HD rumble. It could really enhance the immersion.
However, it appears that a lot of the offline content (stamps and side modes) from previous games has been minimized or removed. Or at least changed. Nevertheless, we won't see the return of, say, every bowling side mode from the history of the series. That's kind of sad. Stamps, I dunno. They were cool in concept, but do we really need them?
Even though online seems to be the priority in this package, it does seem that the local multiplayer options have been beefed up, with splitscreen bowling, and such. Although soccer and badminton are apparently just 2P local? Volleyball forces three-four splits for 3-4P, rather than one screen per side a la Mario Tennis Aces? And this game still retains Nintendo's modern 60fps 1-2P, 30fps 3-4P splitscreen constraints. Whyyyy?
But I need to see more details on... the robustity of local multiplayer. Specifically, can 2 or more people go online together? Can you play 2v2 locally on two Switches for 60fps? Can you bowl in twos for 60fps? Can you bowl in teams??
Anyway, that's my preliminary review, based entirely on skimming other reviews. I'm still looking forward to trying this game out for myself. Especially the new stuff. Switch Sports is my kind of drop-in, drop-out arcade multiplayer experience. Hopefully, Nintendo continues to add more sports (a la the upcoming Golf) and enhance/refine each sport over time (a la Soccer).
Will Switch Sports be able to once again hit the zeitgeist of a society that is reacclimating to physical socialization and seize the imagination and free time of normos everywhere? Like a reverse Animal Crossing? I dunno. I don't think the reviewers know, either. But it'll definitely be a welcome game to spice up my multiplayer sessions on the ol' Switch. It's a party machine!
I think for me it just feels a little underwhelming next to what Resort had. It had like 13? sports. And some were kind of play once or twice then never touch again, but a lot were gems. Also, my favorites are bowling and golf, which we have already gotten twice now, and bowling isn't a sport that changes much. Soccer and volleyball are the only ones that seem that new, and I never really feel like team sports is where Wii Sports shines.
I might still check it out eventually but I can't say I'm super hyped for it.
This is where I am as well. I think every now and then Nintendo revives a dormant franchise, and it comes across to me like they feel that the appeal of that dormant franchise coming back alone is enough to warrant a sequel. But in terms of numbers, it's just bizarre to me that Resort had a dozen sports (most of which were fun) and we're back down to half that number. Same deal with Mario Party Superstars, which touts 5 boards compared to the first Mario Party's eight.
@Zero As far as the team stuff, this game seems to have a pretty good mix of solo/team sports. Different crowds would probably call for different sports. Hopefully, it has a good suite of cooperative online multiplayer options, like Mario Kart, Smash, Mario Tennis Aces, etc. That's always a fun mix of cooperation and competition.
A lot of people reference Resort's quantitative advantage in terms of activities, but, to be honest, it was kind of bloated. In both good and bad ways.
But I definitely want to see the return of Baseball, Basketball (with dual Joy Con support), Frisbee, Flying, and maybe Boxing and Table Tennis. And Jet Skiing, what the hell!
If this game is successful, I think that Nintendo will keep it going with new sports, like a live service game. It would be a good way to bolster a Nintendo Direct!
So I've played a couple sessions! 1P online only (gotta do mah dailies (weeklies)). Impressions...:
Let's just go sport-by-sport.
Tennis - Still good. Very similar. Maybe a little better? Wii Sports Club Tennis had online play, but the controllers lost calibration very easily. The Joy Con seem better. Putting topspin and slice on the ball is really intuitive and reliable. And lobbing actually works now! (Did Club even have lobbing?) The demo seemed to have a little lag, but it feels better now. The timing on Returns seems a bit more tight and demanding, too. But I wish the matches were either 1v1 or 2v2. Canadian Doubles is never fun. Just matchmake a little longer!
Bowling - Pretty similar. Except the spin in this one feels LESS responsive to me? Even when I try to spin to the left, it goes right. Weird. Feels good, otherwise. You can't drop the ball at any point in your swing anymore. And I feel like it's too easy to get strikes/spares, in general? I like the idea of the Battle Royale mode. But it still takes a loooong time. Confession: I kind of hate this sport, even IRL. And the motion control in this one feels like a downgrade. I hope they tweak it to make it way more sensitive and variable.
Chambara - Now this one feels way more refined. They added just enough depth with the three sword types to provide a good balance of mind games and twitch response. Getting a successful block feels gooood. The motion control is really nice on this one, too. It does lose calibration, but re-centering is fairly easy.
Badminton - Too similar too Tennis? Nah, it actually feels pretty different. And it's 1v1, rather than 2v2. I'm still coming to GRIPS with this one, motionwise, but it feels really nice. It somehow does feel like Badminton. And it has a nice flow. There's a good balance between the big, arcing shots, the fast shots, and the drop shots.
Volleyball - I was especially excited for this. It's pretty fun! The timing on the bumps and sets is very intuitive. I still need to figure out the spiking, though. Like, how to just pop the ball over the blocker's head, instead of spiking it. It seems like q good blocker has a LOT of power to determine the point. I like the way you can reposition both characters with the stick when recieving a spike. I wish you could do that when the ball is on the other side of the net in tennis. But I wish you could choose to just hit it over the net on the first or second hit. For mind-games. And I dunno if there are any serving techs. But there should be!
Soccer - Okay, this one is pretty awesome. It is basically a more grounded version of Rocket League, but maybe that's what I've always been craving? Rocket League is really fun, but the techs of aerial shots and such are a bit TOO crazy for me. Soccer strikes a really good balance. You can't do too much superhuman shit (so playing goalie is actually difficult - it would be cool if the first defending player to enter the goal area could double-jump, or something), but you have a TON of options with regards to the direction of your kick. I didn't know if it would be fun and intuitive to kick with your arm, but it really is. So much better than stupid FIFA. I'm sure that they delayed the ability to use the leg strap in full games because it wasn't anywhere near as reliable and functional as using your arm. (source: my ass) Anyway, soccer is freaking awesome. Lots of great team dynamics, and it just feels GOOD. Do we even need Strikers anymore?? I did have one weird online glitch, where it was so lagged out that the ball appeared to just teleport into the goal.
But that might have been an issue with my router, because the tv lost connection at the same time. Overall, the online works pretty well. Fairly smooth, not as much of that Wii Sports Club hank, and the stickers are a fun, fast way to interact. That's about all the communication that I'm looking for online. The more team-oriented sports, like Volleyball and Soccer, are a hoot. It's just good, clean fun. This is exactly the kind of jump in/jump out online kind of experience that I like. It can get tense at times, but not like Call of Duty. More like Splatoon. "Well, I guess my team sucks this round!"
Online play could have less friction, though. I love that you can select up to three (or all six) sports to randomly search for, but it kicks you back to that Online Menu after every match. I'd rather just keep going until I opt out.
I like that the weekly unlockable tchotchkes are tied to online play, since my lizard brain will be compelled to actually play online to get them all, and this kind of game shines when you play against others.
Wrap-up!! It may have seemed like I was ambivalent about Switch Sports at points, but I'm actually pretty happy with this game! 40 bones well-spent. Golf is coming soon and data miners have unearthed Basketball and Dodgeball, so that's cool. I do hope that they address some of my quibbles and keep adding more sports (Baseball and Disc Golf, pls) and modes for each sport. This would be a pretty exciting service-type game to spool out over time. Keeping the online servers packed could become more challenging as more sports get added, but this game seems has a lot of potential to be another massive evergreen in Switch Forest. Let's see how long it can dominate the Switch Best Sellers chart!
Anyway, Nintendo seems to have hit that balance of accessibility and depth pretty well. The games are simple, but the multiplayer options are fairly robust. I'm excited to give both local multiplayer and 2P online a shot.
I actually did try out the beta test or test fire or whatever wacky term they came up with to try to sound different, but I forgot to post about it at the time. I've never played Wii Sports Resort so the link between the original Wii Sports and this new game is missing for me. Because of that however, I don't think I need this new game since I can just go bust out the Wii and play Resort and whatever other similar games I have, if I'm ever in the mood for this sort of experience.
If I remember rightly, my experience with the test play went something like...
I'm kind of surprised this game doesn't use Miis, especially since the Switch still has them. I would have preferred it stuck to them, as the new character designs lean too close to the Xbox's avatars.
The first match to pop up was Chambara! I had no idea how any of this worked let alone what would be good strategies, but fortunately neither did my opponent. The two of us basically just flailed around wildly until somebody tripped off the platform. I actually won this 2-0 but it really could have gone either way. The second match was... still Chambara! I had the least interest in this one so I was hoping something else would be showing up. This person did know what he was doing, however he basically stuck with the same strategy of blocking sideways and swinging vertically. After losing the first round I figured him out and managed to come back for the 2-1 win.
Next up, finally some bowling! I was playing in the second time slot so I get the feeling there were some people here who had some experience already. I like how this one has more of a tournament setup with a lot of players going at once, certainly more interesting than if it were a simple 1v1 like the other two sports on offer. It took me a while to get used to the changes from Wii Sports, notably how you aren't supposed to release the B button this time - and the game is oddly punishing about it! I didn't make it past the first round, but it was at least enough to figure out the controls.
After this was two rounds of tennis, I won both of them but I forget the scores at this point. It feels similar to Wii Sports, or at least what I remember of it. The biggest problem here, I felt, was that it's tough to not swing too early and have the front character dive at the ball instead of letting the back character get a better hit on it. Both opponents seemed to struggle with this more than I did, which is mainly how I won. Though I did still remember how to do the jerky movements for the power serve.
A last match of bowling rounded out the time period. I did a lot better but still don't feel like I yet figured out the way curves and such work. I made it to the finals but placed third, however only a few points separated the three of us.
I don't think I'm interested in buying this, but I am curious how this type of game will sell in today's landscape. I do want it to be successful since I'd like to see motion-controlled games continue to exist and evolve.
Still keepin' up with the ol' weeklies. If you needed to unlock emojis on a phone, I'd be texting all of the time!
Gotta get that Squirrel.
I'm still enjoying the game, too. Now that I've entered the Pro League in all sports, I prioritize the ones that I wanna play. Soccer, Tennis, and Volleyball, with an occasional Chambara and Badminton. Hopefully, I'll never have to bowl again...
@Mop it up Supposedly, it's doing really well. It has captured the Zeitgeist that Wii Sports Club totally failed to*. Poor Wii U!
Anyway, you actually can use Mii heads in the game. On Sportsmate bodies.