×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Konami’s ‘Hyper Sports R’ Is a Bizarre Throwback to Outdated Gameplay

Konami’s not done dabbling with dubious Switch games.

In an unexpected move, the Japanese game publisher announced an offbeat sports title for Nintendo’s hybrid system Tuesday: “Hyper Sports R.”

“Hyper Sports” was an old arcade game first published by Konami in 1984. The Japanese publisher is bringing back the brand as a compilation game where up to four players can face off against each other in a number of sporting events.

The name isn’t the only thing that Konami is resurrecting. The gameplay style of the new Switch game basically mirrors the old button-mashing techniques. The old arcade game cabinets had two movement buttons and an action button. Players rapidly hit the movement buttons before an action prompt, and voila — sports. This style of play has been replicated for the Switch, and it didn’t age too well.

In my E3 demo, Konami showed off three events in playable form and beach volleyball as a computer simulation. I played the 100m dash, the javelin throw, and the long jump.

All of them were played the exact same way. On one Joy-Con, you alternated the left and right buttons on the D pad to get running. For the javelin throw and the long jump, after running, it prompts you to hit the up button once and then you have to reflexively hit it again in sync with a moving a target.

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

I remember playing many games of this kind in my childhood, including Nintendo’s “Track and Field” with the mat and everything. It seems like games should have evolved out of such simple, and ultimately unsatisfying, modes of play. There’s nothing really enjoyable about madly bashing at buttons, unless it’s to tire your kids out. I’ll accept it every once in a while during a “Mario Party” mini game or something, but to base an entire game around those mechanics seems like something from 1985.

Again, beach volleyball was only a computer simulation and the controls for that were not explained.

And it wouldn’t be a game for a Nintendo console aiming for a more casual audience if it didn’t include motion controllers. For my demo, motion controllers could be used in the 100m dash. Instead of rapidly tapping two buttons, the two Joy-Cons are gripped in either hand and you simulate running with your arms. Simply shaking the Joy-Cons won’t do the trick, you really need to give it your all.

I really enjoyed the cartoon-y style that Konami has adopted for “Hyper Sports R.” Characters are colorful and fun, adding a lot of friendliness to the game. Performance, on the other hand, left plenty to be desired. Stuttery animations and sluggishly timed action prompts were reminiscent of a budget game. Since Konami PR said that a price has yet to be set, it very well could be a budget game.

So far, Konami has announced seven track and field events (100m, long jump, javelin throw, 100m hurdles, hammer throw, 400m, and high jump), beach volleyball, and swimming as events in the game. During the demo, Konami PR promised that more events will be announced in the run up to “Hyper Sports R’s” as-yet-unannounced release date. It will also include online support, to be detailed at a later date.

Additionally, “Hyper Sports R” also includes an overly complicated team system that includes player unlocks, coaching mechanics, sponsorships, and quest lines. Teammates will earn in-game currency to unlock content and to complete character milestones. And it’s all based around these extremely simplistic events.

The last new game Konami released on the Switch was launch title  “Super Bomberman R,” which didn’t receive the best reviews. It’s clear that the Konami is willing to invest in Nintendo’s latest runaway success but only on its half-hearted terms.

More Gaming

  • 'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the

    'Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch' Is Still a Fantastic Anime Adventure

    Six years after it’s original release “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch” is coming back with a Nintendo Switch version and remastered edition on PS4 and PC. It’s time for more long-winded, adorable JRPG action. It’s odd since comparing the new version of the Level-5 developed classic with the original game is pointless [...]

  • ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The

    ‘Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot’ Highlights The Mundane Side of The Anime

    There have been dozens and dozens of games based on the popular anime “Dragon Ball Z.” While most focus on recreating the series’s electric fight scenes, very few have explored the more mundane and humorous aspects of the characters’ lives. Fortunately, “Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot” (releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020) [...]

  • 'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody,

    'Empire of Sin' is a Bloody, Strategic Take on the Criminal Underworld of 1920s Chicago

    When Paradox Interactive and Romero Games announced their new strategy game, “Empire of Sin,” a lot of fans were disappointed. They wanted another intensely violent and fast-paced game from John Romero, one of the original creators of “Doom.” They shouldn’t be though as ‘Empire of Sin’ is a deep, violent take on criminal management and [...]

  • 'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct

    'Marvel's Avengers' is Crystal Dynamics' Indistinct Take on a Comic Classic

    After 22 films in the leadup to “Avengers: Endgame,” the culmination of everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe built up towards, you’d think any other take on the classic team of superheroes would fall flat on its face. New faces would be eclipsed by the likes of Chris Evans’ perfect Captain America, Robert Downey Jr.’s dashing [...]

  • The Inner Machinations of John Wick's

    The Inner Machinations of John Wick's Mind

    Many games have you play as a character but very few let you inhabit their psyche. That’s the aim behind “John Wick Hex,” a strategy game that puts you inside the scenarios found by the titular movie character. And if a choreographed action sequence is nothing more than a combination of well thought out punches [...]

  • ‘LEGO Star Wars’ Is Rebuilding ‘The

    ‘LEGO Star Wars’ Is Rebuilding ‘The Skywalker Saga’ Brick by Brick

    There was a lot of chatter about EA’s “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order” at E3 this year, but that wasn’t the only “Star Wars” game on display. Freshly announced at Microsoft’s media briefing earlier this week, “LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga” combines all nine core “Star Wars” movies, including the yet-to-be-released “The Rise of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content