E3 2018: Hyper Sports R Tries to Fill the Void Left by Wii Sports

Regardless of how you feel about the Nintendo Wii, there is something special about Wii Sports. Even though I managed to be a worse bowler, which just so happened to be the one sport everyone wanted to play, it was the type of game anyone could pick up and have fun. While Nintendo is doing a lot of great things with the Switch, there isn’t any game quite like Wii Sports. Seeing this opportunity, Konami has resurrected Hyper Sports in hopes of capturing this market.

The main idea of Hyper Sports R is simple. Create a bunch of mini-games, based off a variety of sports, and give multiple people, either on or offline, a chance to prove they’re the best. It’s something that sounds fantastic and worked quite well for Wii Sports, though that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

While Konami confirmed every game will support motion controls of some kind, only the 100m had it. For this event players have to move their arms quickly, similar to running, to propel your character forward. The example I saw was closer to skiing and the type of thing that will drain your stamina rather quickly and not make for the same thrill found in other similar games.

Javelin throw and high jump were also on display with traditional controls. Both of these games involved pushing buttons on opposite sides to run and then, at a specific point, launch a special menu and ideally hit at the right time. While I found high jump fairly easy to master, javelin throw had an incredibly small window to hit the perfect point, one with a fair amount of resistance, resulting in subpar efforts. Not enough to limit enjoyment, but certainly enough where I could see someone opting out of investing more time in it. Some other confirmed but not present events were swimming and volleyball, both of which sound interesting to say the least.

One potential upside is every character performs differently, so maybe I was using the wrong one for javelin but the right one for long jump. Since they weren’t, as near as I could tell anyway, marked, I can’t say for sure how much of a difference these things will make or how they’ll impact the overall experience.

Going back to character proficiencies, Hyper Sports R will have over 20 characters to play as, many of which need to be unlocked through the story mode. Apparently this will be done through interactions, so if X and Y are former teammates it will unlock one path, where as another pair might unlock another, giving a variety of characters. It sounds exciting enough and will be a lot of fun if characters are given compelling stories.

Currently, Hyper Sports R has potential, it’s just hard to say how much. The games, even when I struggled, could easily be fun with an audience of people waiting to see if my arrow flies true or I whiff. Combine a couple more games, implement motion controls to make up some of the issues and possibly an elevated blood alcohol level and this could easily be a fun game to play with family, friends or even at a party.

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