Nothing since has set the world alight quite like Wii Sports did. Nintendo’s debut Wii title introduced the mainstream to the world of motion-controlled gaming, and in doing so made a pretty convincing argument for the existence of what was, at the time, Nintendo’s most adventurous console.
But, despite the Nintendo Switch launching with full support for motion controls, Nintendo hasn’t seen fit to return to Wii Sports.
In its absence, Konami has stepped up to the plate with HyperSportsR, an arcade-like sports game which includes good old fashioned button mashing alongside its more modern motion-controlled goodness.
At its core, HyperSportsR revolves around its mini-games, which fall into three key categories: track and field, beach volleyball, and swimming.
But surrounding these games, which can each be played with either motion controls or by mashing buttons, Konami is building out a full featured career mode in which you’ll assemble a team of over twenty other characters, unlock coaches, and earn sponsorships that grant you cash to make future purchases (don’t worry, a Quick Play mode is also available)
Each of these characters will bring their own specialities and skills, and having them on side will let you tailer your team’s strengths and weaknesses to the challenges ahead.
But the big advantage HyperSportsR has over Wii Sports is multiplayer. Each of the mini-games we played was designed to be played with just a single Joy-Con, which means that it should be easy to get a second person playing with you without having to buy any additional hardware. Up to four players are supported overall.
HyperSportsR gameplay preview
This unfortunately wasn’t available for the build we got a chance to play for ourselves at E3 2018. Instead, we were treated to a selection of three minigames; 100m sprint, long jump, and javelin.
The 100m sprint was the least complicated of the three. We selected a character, and after they got themselves settled in the starting blocks, we waited for the starting pistol before we gan to manically wave our two Joy-Cons up and down to get our character to the finishing line.
I say ‘manically’, because speed was the name of the game here. In our demo, HyperSportsR differed from Wii Sports in that the speed at which you waved the motion controllers was far more important than the accuracy.
That’s not to say it was a process completely devoid of skill. Quickly we realised that long arm movements were far more effective than short, sharp, twitches, and pretty soon we had our characters speeding to the front of the pack to take victory.
Next up was the long jump, which was only available to play with button presses in this build rather than motion controls. This began with a button mashing segment that was very similar to what we imagine you’d do in the sprint events, but what differed was that as it came time to jump you held a third button to to select the angle your throw yourself into the air at.
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This more timing-focussed aspect of the game brought the Wii Sports comparison to the fore, and we’ll be really interested to see how the motion-controlled version of this game works.
Finally it was the turn of the javelin mode. This was structured very similarly to the long jump, but the difference was that the timing aspect at the end featured a reticule spinning wildly across a target, forcing you to release the button when the aim was at its best.
Like the long jump event, motion controls weren’t yet enabled here, but again we’ll be interested to see how this is integrated.
It’s not the most strategic or tactical of titles, but HyperSportsR brought enough colourful action to the table that we couldn’t help but smile as we waved our arms madly towards victory.
The challenge, as Konami reveals more of the events, will be to keep each of them feeling individual and unique. If it can provide enough variety, then this could well become the closest thing we’ll get to Wii Sports on the Switch.