Folks, I’m a broad. A lady, if you will. Not only that, but I’m also a total wimp, and I’m bad at video games. Combine these things and chuck me into the online lobby of a popular shooter in the noughties, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. That’s why, in the now, I love Nintendo Switch Sports.
Nintendo Switch Sports came out and I was ready to flail my arms around and shift into Sports Guy Mode. I completely forgot that the game, outside of local play with your friends (who could become your enemies), is online only if you’re playing alone. The thought suddenly came to me: What if I beat somebody at bowling and they suddenly reveal that they’re currently making sweet smelly love to my mother? What if my football skills are sub-par and one of my teammates puts a wretched curse on me, forcing me into a life of my bones being made out of worms? And then I remembered something.
Nintendo doesn’t support native voice chat outside of games like Fortnite.
It was a joyous day for me, the village idiot. The fear was eradicated, but then a new feeling arrived. What fun would an online-only game be if there were absolutely no way to communicate with the people you’re playing with? At least that’s how I feel about it. Journey is a great example to me of an online game making use of minimal comms, your only option to make little noises at another person in the game. Nintendo Switch Sports’ version of this is the emotes, and I love them.
There are four starting emotes that you can use while playing Nintendo Switch Sports online: happy, sad, clapping, and thumbs up. These all make for the perfect responses to situations if you are a Polite Little Lad. To me, that’s what playing this game feels like: polite. If you’re playing with someone else and they make a good shot against you in badminton, you can do a little sad emote but then clap for them after, and they might just send you a thumbs up. As you continue to play, you can also unlock new emotes, similarly to Mario Party Superstars.
A new way of communication that I also saw the other day was very wholesome, and came in the form of being able to wave at your opponent in badminton.
VERY IMPORTANT NEWS
YOU CAN WAVE HI TO PEOPLE IN SWITCH SPORTS BADMINTON pic.twitter.com/uXi58vFToC
— eric pointcrow (@PointCrow) April 29, 2022
Isn’t that sweet? Isn’t it nice when things are nice? Obviously, times have changed, and we’re seeing a lot more respect within the online gaming scene than we have in the past. Not to brag, but it helps that I’m actually pretty good at Nintendo Switch Sports (even though it is fairly easy). But sometimes it can just be a relief to have very minimal contact with strangers in a game, and only have the option to be a Polite Little Lad.
Outside of the minimalist communication methods in playing Nintendo Switch Sports online, the game is a lot of fun both on your own and with friends. I feel like I’m part of a minority when I say that I actually like the new character designs, but I think they’re very cute and I love grinding through sports to get new accessories and outfits. While I am of the opinion that like Wii Sports, Nintendo would’ve benefitted from this game being a launch title, I’m having a whale of a time being the bowling master despite being a real stinker when it comes to real bowling.
Maybe someday I will play a game with native voice chat, and maybe I’ll even have my wholesome and polite moments there, but for now, I’m having a ball furiously clicking the clap emote to let people know they did a great job and I love them.