I'm fairly deep into the game at this point. The general reaction to Sports Story has been highly negative, and while I'm not nearly as down on the game as most, I agree with a lot of the criticisms. There's no question that this game wasn't ready to release. I haven't run into the gamebreaking bugs I've seen reported nor have I been unable to finish any side quests (yet) but this game IS buggy. There are a surprising amount of glitches and they seem to get more and more prevalent as I get further into the game. And there's just an overall lack of polish, top-to-bottom. There are some really frustrating performance issues, namely that the game stutters often during the golf swing bar, which is just unacceptable. Lots of typos in the dialogue. And there have been a few occasions where my character got stuck on geometry and/or went outside the bounds of the level, necessitating exiting out of the game and restarting (there's also no auto-save, so saving often is critical).
A lot of these issues will be fixable via patches (there's already one planned). But even if Sports Story were highly polished and bug-free, the core game is really lacking. Compared with golf - carried over from the previous game - the other sports all feel really half-baked in their implementation, and for the most part aren't very fun. And there's really not a whole lot of it. It's much more of a point & click adventure with a little bit of sports mixed in. Even with most of the new sports gameplay not being very good, this is still disappointing.
And even though the writing is still fairly witty overall, I'm not finding Sports Story to be nearly as charming or as funny as Golf Story. I've chuckled at a few jokes, but that's about it. And the story is really all over the place and scattershot.
This really has the feel of the game that suffered heavily due to scope creep. Like they set out to make a sequel that had all of these other sports with the same amount of depth as golf in Golf Story, realized at a certain point that they weren't going to be able to pull it off, scrapped a lot of the game and cobbled together what was left. This may also explain why the story feels so random and disconnected from chapter to chapter. There are so many disparate parts and it seems they may have run out of time before they could make any of it connect. It's hard to not think they'd have been much better served course-correcting during development and reworking this into Golf Story 2, instead of sticking to a Sports Story concept that was going to fall well short of their ambitions.
I still highly recommend Golf Story, but it's hard to recommend Sports Story. At a minimum, I wouldn't spend money on this until it's been patched considerably. I wouldn't use the word "broken" to describe its current state, but it needs a lot of work. Even with a lot of the technical issues and glitches resolved, though, this just isn't a must-play Switch Indie in the same way that Golf Story was. I'll check back in once I've finished it to give my final thoughts, but it's fair to say this was not worth the wait.
Hit a point last night where I can't progress any further down the Tennis Academy quest (AFAIK not required for finishing the game), something that many others have already run into. It's definitely the most complex area of the game, and unfortunately it's the messiest in terms of glitches. Basically I was exploring the level for the first time, and an area that should be blocked off at the start isn't, and I picked up an item that I shouldn't have picked up yet. This triggered dialogue with an NPC that wasn't present, so I thought maybe it was a quest involving a ghost. Later, once the NPC is in that area, the quest is supposed to be advanced by me picking up that item. But since I'd already picked it up and already got the dialogue that was triggered, I can't interact with this NPC anymore and so...we're stuck.
The good news is that this specific scenario is spelled out in the forthcoming patch notes, so I'll be able to resume my progress after the patch without needing to start a new game. But still... what makes it even more frustrating is that there have been several moments where things are explained so poorly - or not at all - that I thought I had hit a few gamebreaking bugs already. One in particular involved finding a library book, and the solution was to go around the library mashing the "A" button until essentially stumbling on the right pixel. There was nothing in the game that even remotely hinted where you were supposed to look. So in this case I wasted a lot of time searching for the item I thought I needed, before finally giving up and finding out online that this was, in fact, a bug.
All that being said, as a fan of classic adventure game design, I still can't hate this game. Despite its many flaws I'm still enjoying the act of exploring each new area for quests, minigames and secrets. I intend to still finish the Tennis Academy stuff once it gets patched.
Hit a point last night where I can't progress any further down the Tennis Academy quest (AFAIK not required for finishing the game)
Unfortunately this IS required for finishing the game. Did pretty much everything else that I could, and briefly moved on to playing something else. However the patch just came out, so I'll be loading that up soon and hopefully I'll be able to finish the rest of the game. *fingers crossed*
However the patch just came out, so I'll be loading that up soon and hopefully I'll be able to finish the rest of the game. *fingers crossed*
While the patch did allow me to finish the Tennis Academy, later on my main quest progress was stalled by yet another glitch - I believe this is right at the point to initiate the final mission. And my other lone remaining side quest cannot be started either due to an NPC not spawning where he should be.
Basically I'm at the point now where I just can't finish Sports Story, but I've done pretty much everything else there is to do in the game. Putting it down for now, hopefully the next patch will resolve this latest roadblock and I'll be able to at least see the ending.