In the mid-2000s, I played a lot WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Nintendo Wii games were the best local multiplayer experience on the scene at the time. Whether I was hanging out with some friends at home or playing some casual games at a college party, it was a social staple for at least two years. This was thanks in large part to Wiimote’s heavy use of motion controls, which turned the sessions into a slapstick comedy routine. I have fond memories of a room full of friends playing hot potatoes with a Wiimote, attempting to complete minigames in seconds.
When Nintendo first unveiled the Nintendo Switch, I thought we were going back to that era. While the Wii U’s two-screen setup was too high-concept for casual party games, the Joy-Cons presented a lot of potential. The gyroscopic controls and IR sensor seemed ripe for many wild party games, which would be perfect given the console’s portability. In the first Switch trailers, we saw “Karen” taking it to a rooftop party and handing out Joy-Cons to her friends. I really wanted that absurd scene to happen.
But four years later, the Switch is still lacking when it comes to party games. I, for one, blame the switch light for this.
Look at the Nintendo Switch’s first two years in the market and it’s clear that the unique features of the Joy-Cons were a major part of Nintendo’s strategy. launched with console 1-2 switches, a mediocre (but effectively absurd) party game that took full advantage of the controllers. This is actually one of the rare games to use IR sensors, which were quickly abandoned. Nintendo followed the following year with games like hands And super mario party, which placed a heavy emphasis on multiplayer motion gameplay.
Consoles quickly achieved a turning point in 2019. That’s the year Nintendo released the Switch Lite, a cheaper model designed only as a portable console. The Lite can’t dock to a TV, but more importantly, its Joy-Cons can’t be detached. If you’re playing on one, you can’t use the motion controls at all, rendering some older titles not playable on it.
Since then, the Switch’s library has been very light on games that take advantage of the Joy-Cons’ technology. prefer heavy hitters Animal Crossing: New Horizons And Hyrule Warriors: Age of Disaster Don’t use any of its gimmicks, no matter what version of the console you have, making them particularly friendly. even The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword The game was remastered for its HD remaster, adding a non-motion option, with mixed results. It’s a necessary change, but one that has forced Nintendo to back down on one of the console’s defining gimmicks.
That philosophical flip has claimed a casualty when it comes to the party game genre. Consoles are sorely lacking in that department, a far cry from the Wii’s heyday. This is most noticeable when playing WarioWare: Get It Together! – what business smooth movements‘ Smooth motion for a weak character-swapping gimmick that requires only a single button and a joystick. This makes the game playable on the Switch Lite, but cuts out all the absurd multiplayer charm of its best predecessors.
to come Mario Party Superstar taking a similar approach, ditch super mario partyThe Joy-con is completely dependent on silliness. Nintendo listing for games Goes to deliberately emphasize the lack of motion controls: “All minigames are played with button controls, so you can stick to the Joy-Con controller or bust out the Nintendo Switch Pro controller or Nintendo Switch Lite system.” “
Motion control has always been a polarizing experiment with varying degrees of success. Their forced implementation in some Wii games disappointed them, but they were perfect for party games. In particular, the minigame collection had a field day coming up with creative ways for players to wave around Wiimote. There is a unique joy in such a room in which everyone laughs together as they make a fool of themselves.
Currently, the Switch lacks that experience and is a truly missed opportunity. whereas 1-2 switches Not a great game, it showed the console’s potential as a party platform. I had a blast playing with a room full of friends when they patted the Joy-Cons on my chest like a gorilla. By comparison, my recent multiplayer session WarioWare: Get It Together! Was a very tamer experience. We sat on the couch pressing the buttons until we got bored. whereas 1-2 switches There could be a worse game, I’ll remember the joy of playing it more clearly.
It’s hard to say whether more Switch games should make better use of the Joy-Cons, because there are so many positives for Nintendo depriving them of features. As long as the Switch Lite exists, no one will have to miss out on a game because they have opted to buy a more affordable model. Motion controls can also limit who can actually play the game, posing accessibility challenges. It’s important to be selective with special controls and to offer options for those who don’t want to engage with them (as in games Mario Golf: Super Rush)
Still, I find myself missing the best part of the Wiimote era. I desperately want to be Karen, pulling out my Switch at a party and loading up an absurd minigame collection. I want to see my friends swinging the Joy-Cons back and forth. I wish Nintendo was as much on the weird quirks of the Joy-Cons as I am.