A recent update for Nintendo Switch Sports expands the game’s support for the Leg Strap accessory. We put the boot in.
We put Nintendo Switch Sports through its paces at launch, calling it a polished update of a family favourite. Our opinion of the game has only risen since. Nintendo Switch Sports has taken a regular place in our schedule as a family party pastime and as a single-player workout.
Nintendo Switch Sports is no Ring Fit Adventure, but it’s a decidedly more active experience than Wii Sports. And the most recent update – which adds new Leg Strap accessory modes to Soccer – nudges it further into fitness territory.
Nintendo has never been afraid to accessorise its consoles, and future archaeologists will likely discover a thick layer of Wii accessories embedded in the earth’s crust.
Thankfully, peripheral support for the Nintendo Switch has been slightly more measured. Nintendo Labo was a fun throwaway experiment that could literally be thrown away and recycled. And the Ring Fit’s Ring-Con accessory is much more solid and well-designed than the Wii Balance Board or Wii Zapper. Likewise, the Leg Strap – packed in with retail editions of Nintendo Switch Sports and Ring Fit Adventure – is of a similarly high standard.
The Leg Strap is essential for Ring Fit Adventure but less so for Nintendo Switch Sports. All six games are perfectly playable without it. So what does it add? I cleared the floor on a hot Toronto day to find out.
The Leg Strap was previously limited to Soccer’s shoot-out mode Following Nintendo Switch Sports’ most recent update, it can now be used in Four-on-Four and One-on-One matches.
Set up is as simple as sliding the left Joy-Con into the strap and fastening it above the knee. I’d also recommend clearing some floor space. Nintendo’s in-game warnings might feel preachy, but they are there for a reason. Just ask the vase of peonies I booted into oblivion.
On the pitch, the strap simplifies Soccer, to an extent, but also makes it more active. Directional movement is automatic – although you can use the thumb stick if you wish – with jogging-style Joy-Con movements used to control running speed.
Kicks are executed by swiftly extending your leg out straight. You can perform ground kicks or mid-air volleys, but the physical action is the same regardless. The success of your kick comes down to timing, which, in the heat of a match, is not always easy to master.
So, modest improvements overall, but if you fancy a little more physicality to your football exploits, it’s a fun addition. It’s worth a punt, in fact.
The game’s update also adds new Slide Attack and Rocket Serve moves to Volleyball and a new Pro League rank.
And hopefully, the new content won’t end there. A further update to Nintendo Switch Sports will add Golf later this year, and we’d absolutely like to see more sports justify the inclusion or purchase of the Leg Strap.