Reviews - Updated on April 11, 2022

Relevant for platform: NSW

After the deafening failure of the Wii U, major publishers seemed to have lost faith in Nintendo, and therefore not only did not prepare exclusives for the Switch, but they are in no hurry to drag the multiplatform there. Electronic Arts is limited to the FIFA series, Activision is in no hurry to port Call of Duty there, but at least they moved the Crash Bandicoot trilogy. But Ubisoft does not forget about the console – they released the wonderful Mario + Rabbids and prepared exclusive content for Starlink. And then comes mediocrity like Sports Party…

a little bit of good

The company chose the most inopportune time for the release of such a game, because Super Mario Party has recently appeared on the Switch. It is also designed for a group of friends and offers many modes, although the content of these games is still different – one is a set of hundreds of mini-games that can be played individually or in board mode, and the other consists of six sports disciplines. Ubisoft’s kit is pretty sparse, but the entertainment takes longer than any of the mini-games in Super Mario Party, and quality is always more important than quantity. However, Sports Party has trouble with quality.

As a big tennis fan who still occasionally launches Mario Tennis Aces, the first thing I did was go play beach tennis. First, you are asked to choose a mode (1v1 or 2v2), and then decide whether you want to control the buttons or swipes. In any case, tennis will look very strange due to the fact that the character moves around the court on his own, you only need to react to the ball flying in your direction. If the control is buttons, you just need to lazily press a single button from time to time, which becomes boring after a couple of hits.

The swipe control is implemented even worse – as soon as I tried to swing my arms, the game still read the movements one time out of five. When the ball was very close to the character, I tried to swing it like I would in real life, but nothing worked. If I straightened my arm completely and kept it parallel to the floor, sometimes the game understood my actions and still allowed me to hit the ill-fated ball. Yes, and the character moves by itself, which is why it is not always obvious from which side you have to wave. After losing five matches, I decided to give up trying to master this control and spent about an hour on golf.

Sports Party game review

The graphics, of course, are so-so, but the characters’ appearance settings are enough.

Everything is a little better with him: it’s convenient to control with the help of buttons, and the game perfectly understands the swings. The rules are standard: there are several holes (the number is set before the start) and the player must drive the balls into them, making as few hits as possible. This is not a full-fledged golf simulator, but the basic components are present here. You can make a trial hit before the real one, change the club (choosing between driver, wood, pitching wedge and iron), the wind direction is indicated at the top of the screen, and the mini-map helps you understand which direction is better to hit and with what force.

Unfortunately, the number of unique golf courses is catastrophically small, and the existing ones are too similar to each other. It is clear that Ubisoft did not create a game about golf, but about different sports, so they did not pay too much attention to individual entertainment. But it’s still a shame – if the fields were at least a little more diverse, fans of hitting balls with a stick would probably want to spend more than one evening in this mode. And so all this will quickly get bored, and the potential will remain not fully disclosed.

It only gets worse

Although against the background of the rest of the content offered in the Sports Party, golf still looks advantageous. There is a skateboarding competition where the participants just drive along the road and accelerate with the help of decomposed accelerators, but this is completely idiotic fun – you need to quickly press the same button and periodically turn, which will get boring even before the end of the first lap. Racing on jet skis is not much different from this, only in them it is almost impossible to control the movements – even if you follow the instructions and tilt the joycon correctly, the character will not react.

The fifth discipline was frisbee throwing, where participants throw discs into the fields with bonus points. Here, as in tennis, the game does almost everything for you – no matter how hard you wave your hand, the disc will still reach the goal, even if it is close, even far away. There is no point in this, it’s even a shame to offer this to friends.

Sports Party game review

Driving through the nitrous oxide badge is sometimes tricky due to bad physics.

But basketball turned out tolerable, although the animation of the characters leaves much to be desired. For several matches in which you will furiously hit the balls from opponents and desperately try to throw a three-pointer, you will probably have enough. If the process is very captivating, normal basketball arcades are already on the Switch.

That’s all – there are no more entertainment on the menu. You can run these fun separately, or you can organize a tournament in which the participants have to fight for points, and the leader will put a crown on his head after the first game and will play tennis and ride a skateboard in this form. Interestingly, the menu offers tournaments of three, six and nine rounds, while there are only six disciplines. Whether Ubisoft wanted to offer more content, or the developers were not particularly worried about the repetition of mini-games within the same championship.

To keep the interest of those who bought this misunderstanding longer, the authors came up with dozens of simple challenges: you need to win each mini-game, be the leader throughout the entire race on a skateboard, throw a Frisbee into several score multipliers, and so on. For this, bonus clothes are unlocked in the character editor, including T-shirts, t-shirts, jackets, shorts, sneakers, and even glasses with caps. Some things are unlocked upon reaching certain levels, which are earned by victories in any disciplines. There are eight characters in total, whose appearance allows you to customize at any time without restrictions, but their wardrobe depends only on your success.

Sports Party game review

In golf, movements are read much better than in other disciplines.

***

But the entertainment in the Sports Party is criminally small, and they will have time to get bored long before you unlock everything. By and large, there is nothing to play here except golf and basketball – the rest is so primitively done that even a “casual” player will lose interest. And in the same golf, in my opinion, it is more comfortable to spend time alone – this is not the most fun fun for a company. In general, it’s better to take Super Mario Party if there is a need for something like that.

Pros: tolerable basketball and good golf, although the latter has a depressing number of fields.

Cons: in half of the games, the movements are read very poorly; not enough disciplines; in tennis and frisbee throwing, the game does almost everything for you; the races are devoid of any depth.

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