A lot is associated with the name of Nintendo: today the Switch, the NES, Zelda, and of course Mario, still F-Zero, and much more. To say that this company has had some impact on how we see video games would be to say the least of the year. But Nintendo didn’t appear out of nowhere, suddenly with the NES in hand and Mario on screen. No, she started her gaming and sports career in a more analog fashion. So, here are the top 5 Nintendo sports products and games that have now led to the excellent Switch Sports.
Switch Sport will be available on 4/29/2022 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.
1968: Dynamic Football
In 1968, Japan finished third in the Olympic Games in Mexico, which was an important success for the nation, which was not fond of football at the time, and the reason for Nintendo to release a table football of its kind. At first glance, Dynamic Soccer is reminiscent of games like Tipp Kick, but it works in a much more sophisticated way, even if it is still completely analog. The playing field consists of a series of hollows in the ground in which the players stand. These do not move and are more of an obstacle than the active participants. Instead, there are two air holes in each well, connected by a complex system of tubes under the pitch with a hand pump at each end. This hits the ball in the right direction and continues to bounce, hopefully, hitting the opponent’s goal. Not to be a gamble, the hand pump can only be inserted into one of the 10 holes behind the goal. This means that you have to quickly switch to the right slot where the ball is, otherwise it will explode into space.
Dynamic Soccer is now such a rare item for collectors that only a few die-hard Nintendo fans with deep pockets in the middle of the road will play it. But those who called it Dynamic Soccer, are surprisingly fast, tactical and fun. If you enjoy this history or collect vintage board games, stick to the auctions at Yahoo Japan.
About half a year after Famicom launched in Japan on July 83, the first sports game for Nintendo’s console was released in December. Using the simple name of baseball, you knew what you were up to and the sport made perfect sense. In Japan, baseball is a popular sport, from pitches to rooftops for everyone. It was obvious how important such a sporting title would be for the new console, and SEGA recently released the SG-1000 Champion Baseball as its main precursor. In order to properly go along with the project, only Shigeru Miyamoto was interested in the project.
The result was what you’d expect from a very early ’80s console title: baseball in its simplest form. But this should also have been part of the success, because nearly 5 million buyers found a game very accessible and particularly fun for two and that was all you could possibly want from a sports game in ’83. Baseball is such an integral part of ” Legacy” of Nintendo has been released on dozens of consoles. Today it’s part of the Switch Online Retro Archives, and most intriguingly, it may have been on the Gamecube as it was an add-on in Animal Crossing.
1999: Mario Golf
The N64 was at the height of its power in 1999. Mario 64 showed the world how 3D navigation works, ’98 Ocarina of Time’ is still considered by many to be the best Zelda par excellence, and in 1999 Mario showed that golf can be anything but an old man’s sport. Boring. Haruki Kodera previously worked on SEGA’s Shining Force titles during the ’90s before delivering Hot Shot Golf in 1998. This really introduced some of the aspects that should make Mario Golf so much fun: Instead of being concerned with precise grass length and wind physics, the focus was on accessibility and multiple fun Players and dozens of characters, each with their own characteristics. This could be an approximation of the description for Mario Golf.
With his combination of characters and of course Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and his pals, Mario Golf has eliminated everything that can get in the way of the fun of throwing the ball farther than the others. Golf speed, ring stroke, mini golf, it was all there. Boo’s ghosts blew the ball off the track, and the colorful landscape had its own quirks, but it was all instantly accessible for the whole family and it’s still fun today. You can test it out if you get a large online subscription for the Switch, because Mario Golf can be found right there in the N64 library. Or you can look at the current Mario Golf: Super Rush on the switch. Or play golf at Switch Sports later in the year when you become part of Sports as a free update.
2006: Wie Sports
Nintendo hasn’t had a killer app like Wii Sports since the first Mario Bros. game. As a bundled game with a controller. It’s funny that it wasn’t included with the Wii in Japan, but that shouldn’t be as important as it could be. Then Japanese Wii buyers hit it off, because everyone wanted to play Wii Sports in December 2006. Kids, parents, retirees, and sometimes pets, everyone grabbed a Wii Mote and turned it into baseball, golf, or tennis. How popular is Wii Sports? How about “Conan O’Brien plays tennis against Serena Williams on WE Sports on his show” – popular. More was not possible.
Today’s Wii Motes were almost clumsy when it came to accuracy compared to, say, the more complex Switch Joy-Cons, but since the game’s design doesn’t rely on absolute precision, that didn’t matter. With nearly 90 million units, Wii Sports is one of the most successful games of all time. For once, the argument “of course, it’s up to the controller” doesn’t count either. This was a problem even for Nintendo, because many Wii buyers didn’t care about the presence of Zelda, Mario, and many other great games. They only wanted Wii Sports and that was often their only game. It’s fair to say that Wii Sports redefined what fun multiplayer action could look like in the living room and for years – sometimes still today – the game has brought joy and action into countless homes.
2007/2008: We Fit
With Wii Sports, Nintendo has shown that real action fun and video games can be beautifully combined, and Wii Fit should take that to the next level. Hiroshi Matsunaga, creator of Ring Fit Adventure on the Switch, has focused on yoga and general fitness rather than what you’d expect from a video game with its Wii Fit and balance board. Instead of fast, frantic sprints, you should be constantly working on balancing and improving your overall fitness. This has worked wonderfully well, as various studies have shown.
While fitness fanatics were less fortunate that Wii Fit didn’t get them as energetic as a regular Ironman workout did, Potatoes cheered like an 86-year-old girl with age-related balance issues. The therapy and balance sessions helped her move more freely again. The Finnish Army also saw the benefit of comically encouraging its soldiers to do more exercise during their spare time and placing approximately 400 Wii Fits in the barracks, which seemed to be well received. And for Nintendo, the Wii Fit was another big sports win in its history, with more than 23 million sold.
2019: Ring Fit Adventure
The right game at the right time, Ring Fit Adventure is one such case. When it was released in October 2019, the world was still the way it was, Nintendo’s great action-based game was kindly acknowledged and the world continued to transform. In the midst of a unique pandemic in which many people suddenly had to stay fitter at home because gyms were closed and sometimes they couldn’t even run in the streets. Ring Fit came at just the right time and was at times one of the most sought-after games of all time.
Ring Fit itself takes a slightly different approach to the very serious Balance Board game: in an RPG type, you have to defeat an evil bodybuilding dragon. Don’t ask, just do it, and that includes using the hand the Joy-Con is attached to. The second goes into a strap on your leg, which gives the game a good idea of what you’re doing in front of the TV. The focus is clearly on the drills and moves, and the RPG part remains fairly simple. Never mind, the fun is there, and over 15 million living room athletes have dealt with the steroid-addicted Dragon so far.
2022: Switch Sports
So if you’ve been keeping fit with Ring Fit or its older Wii counterparts for the past few years, it’ll pay off in no time. The next round in Nintendo’s sports history begins with Switch Sports and begins on April 29, 2022. Ball and hit tennis and badminton, compete in kicks and almost hit Chanbara sticks in the face!