Nintendo Switch Sports: Pre-Order and Where to Pre-Order

Even if you’re not a big gamer, you may have fond memories of rolling your hands around while bowling, golfing, or playing tennis at the mega-popular Wii sports. After more than 15 years, Nintendo is finally bringing that experience to the Switch, aptly named Nintendo Switch Sports, which packs a mix of old and new mini-games while throwing in some promising modern features.

I got to spend an hour playing all six games in the collection ahead of their April 29 release, and I’m already itching to pick up the Joy-Cons for a few more rounds. You can currently pre-order the Nintendo Switch Sports for $49 physically or $39 digitally. And if you’re on the fence, here are some initial impressions to help you decide.

The Switch Sports launches on April 29th and is available in two forms: a $49 physical version that comes with a Joy-Con leg strap, or a $39 digital version that you can buy on the Nintendo eShop or from various retailers. If you already have the leg strap from Ring Fit Adventure—or can live without the soccer shoot-out mini-game that uses it—you’re better off saving some cash and getting the digital version.

Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Sports immediately captivated me with its presentation, which adds a more modern sheen to the colorful, colorful aesthetic you’ll remember from Wii Sports. The game’s many areas — from its outdoor bowling alley to an elevated sword field surrounded by water — are gorgeous, vibrant, and look on par with modern Switch classics like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I particularly enjoyed the game’s new customizable avatars, which are more detailed and distinctive than the limited Mi characters from previous games.

That said, you can still use your Mi in Nintendo Switch sports — and Nintendo has made me a pretty accurate one even before my play session. Once I selected my beard, hat-wearing digital doppelganger, it was time to play.

Nice mix of old and new games

Mike Andronico/CNN

I started my Switch sports season with a football to take advantage of the Joy-Con leg strap, a new addition to the series and a game in the package (you’ll get a strap in the physical version, or you can use the one you have). Might already be from Ring Fit Adventure). We kicked things off (no pun intended) with a shootout contest, which was a very rudimentary experience of kicking a giant ball into a goal as it came my way. I found it easy enough to time and aim my kicks with the leg strap, and even managed to score a win against a Nintendo rep.

But Soccer really opened up when we switched to a traditional full game mode, which offered an exciting mix of controller-based gameplay and satisfying motion controls. With two Joy-Cons in hand, I guided my avatar up and down the field as I would in most video games, but attacking the ball using a variety of arm swings – as well as a Superman-like Head dives that both my teammate and I got a kick out of. I felt like I was playing a modern game like Rocket League, but with the added excitement (and exercise) of physically moving around to hit the ball. I already want more.

Nintendo

Another major standout during my time playing was Chambara, a sword-fighting game that may be familiar to those who played 2009’s Wii Sports Resort. You can’t run around casually here, and reading your opponent properly is the name of the game. I felt like a Jedi Knight when I defied my enemy’s attacks and followed with big swings of my own, and I was satisfied and happy every time I won a round by knocking my opponent overboard. The Nintendo staff here complemented my skills; This must be all the fighting games I’ve played.

I had a good time with volleyball, which allowed me to bump, set, and spike the ball using natural hand movements. However, while these moves were satisfying and easy to make during the tutorial—there’s even a handy on-screen prompt indicating the optimal time to hit—I found them very difficult to implement in the actual game. I mostly chalk it up to forgetting what moves to use in the heat of the moment, though the fact that we were playing high-difficulty AI opponents played a role as well. My teammate and I still had some exciting volleys (a moment in which I set him up for a big, powerful spike), but I’ll definitely need more practice time with it.

The same can be said of Badminton, which plays like a simpler, more intense version of Wii Sports Tennis. Swinging felt comfortable, and you’d get more powerful shots if you consistently hit left, right, and overhead. I had some quick and funny exchanges with my opponent, but like volleyball, I was beaten very easily, and would need some more play time before I was ready to take part in an online competition.

Nintendo

However, when we turned to bowling, I felt right at home, which is how I remember it from the days of Wii Sports. Using the Joy-Con to wind-up and roll the ball now feels just as comfortable as it did with the Wiimote in 2007, and I especially liked the way the simultaneous play gave me and my three Allowed opponents to knock faster without a pin. wait for each other. Tennis was equally familiar, and I got up to serving, slicing, and smashing effortlessly during some fun back-and-forth with my group.

Promise of online play and customization features

Nintendo

It’s great to pick up and play the Nintendo Switch Sports, but I’m impressed by how complete the package is.

Not only do the new customizable avatars look great (and offer some hilarious mid-game facial expressions) compared to classic Miis, but there are also a variety of cosmetic items that you can unlock for them as you play online. can. Yes – Switch Sports finally brings online games to the series, with support for up to eight players for some titles. This should be great for running a quick bowling or volleyball session with faraway friends, or if you want fresh competition after constantly beating your family members.

Speaking of which, there’s even an online pro league that will allow you to work up the ranks and take on equally skilled players, which is a level of competitive depth I’ve historically been a part of. Don’t expect anything from a casual party game. And if you miss hitting the links in Wii Sports Golf, don’t worry—a golf mini-game is coming this fall as part of a free update.

Nintendo

Once I put on my Joy-Cons and grabbed the complementary Mango smoothie waiting to be out of my way (after all, it was a workout), all I wanted to do was try and get more Nintendo. Switch sports. Every game in Nintendo’s latest game collection felt instantly intuitive, and I understand there are plenty of hidden tricks to be discovered by competitive players.

It’s the first title in a while that gamers and non-gamers in my life are universally excited about, and I look forward to taking on them all, both locally and online, as the best Wii bowler in the world. I am reclaiming my throne. We’ll have more to say about the Nintendo Switch Sports when it launches, but those already ready to bring home a copy can pre-order the game now.

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