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How Nintendo Switch Sports Compares To Wii Sports | Screen Rant

Nintendo Switch Sports has brought back the classic Wii Sports for a new generation of consoles. Older players who got the original game with their Wiis back in November of 2006 and younger players who have never touched a Nintendo Nunchuk in their lives both get to celebrate the return of fun, sports-based mini-games. But there have been many changes to how the Nintendo Sports formula works that have modernized and refreshed the mechanics of the original Wii Sports.

This is to be expected, of course. Two home console updates, a sequel in the form of Wii Sports Resort, and 16 years have passed since the release of Wii Sports, so the new title should take advantage of all of the new technology that the Switch has to offer. After all, Wii Sports was designed to demonstrate the motion sensor capabilities of the Wii.

Related: Best Nintendo Switch Co-Op Games To Play With Your Kids

However, it is the difference between the purposes of Wii Sports and Switch Sports that make the identities of the two games distinct from one another. While the original title functioned as something like a demo for the Wii, the sequel is its own game. The Nintendo Switch has already had its demo game in the form of 1-2-Switch, and that was back in 2017. Switch Sports is meant to be a complete, self-contained game whose sole function is for players to enjoy it. Consequently, new mechanics and even future expectations have set it apart from its predecessor.

Nintendo Switch Sports has brought character customization into the Nintendo Sports series. Not only will players get to create avatars within the game itself, but they will also get to dress them in different pieces of clothing. Switch Sports starts players off with only a few cosmetic items, but more can be unlocked by competing in online mini-games.

This is in stark contrast to Wii Sports, which simply used preexisting Wii models on one’s console for in-game avatars. Depending on the sport and gender of the Mii, they would dress differently: A male golfer would wear a sweater and pants, while a female boxer would wear shorts and a sports bra. Regardless, character customization was limited to Mii customization outside of Wii Sports, even when it came to the color of clothing one’s avatar might wear.

But perhaps the biggest difference when it comes to character customization in Switch Sports is the design of the in-game avatars. Switch Sports‘s avatars look nothing like Nintendo’s Miis, as they have more detailed, three-dimensional faces and more realistic bodies, while Miis looks like geometric shapes combined together to resemble the human form. For players who prefer the design of Miis, they can still use their Miis in Switch Sports, although only the face of the Mii remains: Its body will resemble the other character models in the game.

Switch Sports also has new sporting options and has even removed a few from the original game. The activities currently available on Switch Sports include classics like bowling and tennis and new activities like Chambara (Japanese-style sword fighting), soccer, badminton, and volleyball. This means there are only six sports mini-games currently available in Nintendo Switch Sports.

Related: All Wii Sports Games Missing From Switch Sports

This can feel underwhelming when compared to the much older Wii Sports, which came with a modest but impressive-for-its-time five mini-games. What is notable about these mini-games is their diversity – Wii Sports had bowling, tennis, boxing, golf, and baseball. All of these sports are significantly different from one another and share almost zero overlap. Meanwhile, three of Switch Sports‘ mini-games center around volleying a ball over a net, while only Chambara, bowling, and soccer feel unique.

Nintendo Switch Sports makes up for its lack of mini-games and diverse playing experiences by adding different modes into the mini-games. Chambara has a mode where players can use two swords instead of one, for instance. Soccer even has a shoot-out mode in which players mimic kicking the ball. These changes show that Switch Sports seeks to offer a more immersive experience that both sets it apart from the classic Wii Sports game and showcases the advancements in video game technology since 2006.

Another distinction between Switch Sports and Wii Sports is that Nintendo intends to update the more recent title by bringing in new mini-games. Nintendo has already promised to bring back golfing in a 2022 Summer update that is only just around the corner. Thus, the future of Switch Sports could be a long one with many more sports coming to the game in the future.

This is a much different attitude than seen in Wii Sports. Despite that game’s success, Nintendo chose not to update it but instead released a sequel in the form of the Mii-populated Wii Sports Resort. While this was perhaps a good financial move – Wii Sports Resort is the third best-selling game on the Wii behind Wii Sports – it’s possible that a similar move today wouldn’t be met with a positive response, as many players would expect either free updates to what is a small game or at least paid DLC.

Related: Mario Sports Games Deserve A Remastered Collection On Switch

Nintendo Switch Sports looks to meet the expectations of modern consumers by updating the game rather than planning for a sequel. Indeed, after golf is added, many expect a wide array of other sports to make their way into the game. This is because of the map of  Switch Sport‘s new setting Socco Square. Many fans have noticed in Switch Sports‘ trailer that Socco Square has open spaces like docks and even a green diamond. Thus, water sports, baseball, and other athletic games will be added to Nintendo Switch Sports in the future.

While the original Wii Sports was a modest and unexpected classic in the history of video games, Switch Sports has shown that it is time for a reimagining of it. The clunky and minimalistic style of Wii Sports makes it what it is, but trying to recreate that on a next-gen console like the Nintendo Switch would only come across as forced and inauthentic. Thus, the differences between Wii Sports and Nintendo Switch Sports should be welcomed, as most of the changes are only meant to add to the experience of the game.

Next: April 2022 Video Game Releases

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