After 9 years, the union Nintendo e Sports is renewed and finds a home within the Nintendo Switch title park. And after the initial Online Play Test in February, last week I visited the Video Games Party in Milan to participate (by invitation from Nintendo Italy) to an extended trial of the latest title in the series sports-party Nintendo Switch Sports, the next one coming out April 29 2022.

Less Sports, More Substance

Once you have accessed the Spocco Square, you can immediately notice the abysmal difference between the disciplines of Nintendo Switch Sports and the other incarnations of the series: they are few. 6 disciplines unlike the 12 compared to chapters like Resort, a game that at the time featured a quantity of sports and activities capable of sucking up hundreds of hours of play. To offset these legitimate concerns raised by the public since first official announcement, Nintendo has well thought of pplace a best of of the three most famous disciplines of the series (Chambara, Tennis e Bowling) and placing them side by side with three "new entries" (Soccer, Badminton e Volleyball).

And if on the one hand, Tennis and Bowling remain a "more of the same" of the previous versions, aiming to be the centerpiece of the whole nostalgic element for those who grew up with Wii Sports, the gameplay of the remaining disciplines played during the test session seem to be the most suitable for online competitions, with the game taking a few minutes to teach the player their mechanics when first started.

Volleyball is on balance a sports rhythm-game, and in which the timing and the perfect execution of the commands through the Joy-Con will affect the speed of the ball; Badminton and Soccer revolve around the positioning of the player; Chambara finally, repeats what was seen in Wii Sports Resort, adding some variety to the usable weapons, allowing the player to choose between a traditional sword, an energy sword able to capitalize on counterattacks e the double blades ready to deliver a devastating special blow.

Bored Mii Sports Club?

Given the focus on a 360 ° multiplayer experience, Nintendo Switch Sports has a editor dedicated to creating your own avatar, editable to your liking and according to different aesthetic canons. An idea that basically has potential - above all from a "social" point of view, but which for many it represented a betrayal towards the avatars that made the series famous: the Mii.

Do not worry, you can use your Mii as the face of the avatar in Nintendo Switch Sports, but with results that continue to gravitate towards the area ofuncanny valley. We will see what happens in the final release of the game, but it is clear that the avatars "Not so much Nintiando" (at times they seem to come out of the old games Kinect for Xbox 360) are here to stay and, but here we are talking by hypothesis, to make Nintendo Switch Sports as close as possible to a sports social network.

A legacy to consider

Despite its technical flaws, the idea behind Wii Sports opened Nintendo's doors to the world of casual players, becoming in all respects one of the most iconic titles of the Japanese company. And after a crazy sequel like Resorts and a failed experiment like Wii Sports Club, Nintendo Switch Sports has the potential to achieve the entertainment offered by Wuhu Island above all played in multiplayer (whether it is online or within a classic family bean bag), but at the same time it will be up to Nintendo to support the game in order to allow it to reach the goal.

16 years have passed since the release of Wii Sports on that fateful November 19, 2006 (year of birth of our lord and savior Matt Mii), the videogame world has evolved and today multiplayer titles are based on continuous support and a constant involvement. Will this game meet these standards? Will there be new disciplines in addition to the Golf scheduled for Autumn? Theme events? Whatever?

At the moment it is not possible to answer this question. One thing is certain, we will have to talk about it in other places.