Basketball on Nintendo Switch Sports is lovely mean-spirited fun

Basketball on Nintendo Switch Sports is lovely mean-spirited fun

Basketball Nintendo Switch Sports

Image credit: Nintendo

Basketball’s just arrived on Nintendo Switch Sports. A new sport means a new arena, so the most important question is: what’s the new restaurant like? Reader, it seems lovely. Behind the court there’s an elegant arc of a building, a kind of restrained Zaha Hadid number. Trailing plants hang down from above and at one end there’s a glass-fronted cafe lit by glowing amber overheads. At the other there’s a deck with seating exposed to the balmy skies. Sure, you risk getting a Spalding Size 7 in your cortado, but them’s the breaks.

And basketball itself is just as pleasant, to be honest. I love a free update to a game I already own, and this one’s a treat. The main event is two-on-two, which you can play alone, with friends, or online. Each team is split between offence and defence, and the most surprising takeaway so far is that defence might be the plum role of the two.

Offence is pretty fun, of course. Shake the Joy-Con to dribble, squeeze the trigger and raise it to ready yourself for a shot and then a flick of the wrist sends the ball home – or bouncing off the backboard. It’s fast and responsive and the physics are just gorgeous. It’s surprisingly fun to simply watch a ball bouncing around before deciding not to go in. Failure has never been so appealing.

Basketball in Nintendo Switch Sports.Watch on YouTube

When you’re in offence you can also pass to your partner, so long as they’ve made space, and then they can dribble and shoot or pass back. All fine. But when you switch to defence, basketball suddenly opens its eyes and also shows its teeth. It’s a bitter delight to be in defence.

This is because – and there’s no nice way of phrasing this – defence is all about ruining someone’s fun. Flick up to block a shot, shake down to race around and mark someone who’s about to take a pass. All good. But the best is the side-shake, which gives you a petulant little swipe to knock the ball from someone’s hands. Great stuff when they’re dribbling, but even better when they’re about to shoot. It’s a full-stop in the middle of a sentence. It’s delicious or infuriating depending on what side you’re on.

Two-on-two is a treat, and I’d say it’s a little stop-start, but I once saw a basketball game at Madison Square Garden – the Celtics were not on form, and yet the Knicks still lost – and so I’d say the pace is about right. Outside of two-on-two there are other delights, anyway, and they may well end up as being the true stars here.

They’re all varieties on three-pointers. In the three-point challenge you simply play solo and try to make as many shots as you can within a set time limit, grabbing the ball, shooting, and then grabbing another. It’s lovely arcade fun with plenty of potential for hi-score chasing.

Beautifully, though, you can do it with friends, either as a three-point contest, in which four of you stand in a row and you all throw at once, or the five-streak battle, truly the Elden Lord of basketball, in which you need five baskets one after the other with no misses.

This is tricky enough by itself, but the wild joy of the game is that you’re all throwing at once, so that’s four differently coloured basketballs vying for the same basket, knocking each other away, colliding, knocking each other in, straight-up missing. Stand back and it looks a bit like fireworks. Fireworks! And really, that was all Nintendo Switch Sports was missing by this point.

Read More

Zaļā Josta - Reklāma