It's Tennis with a twist!
The next game I was able to see will speak to all the air hockey enthusiasts out there which lets be real should be everyone! Fabraz brought with to Pax East their half air hockey/tennis, half magical quest game SpritiSphere DX and you have the option of playing solo or with up to four friends.
You play as Lin in solo mode trying to rescue her sister from the evil Baphomet and what better way to rescue her than by playing tennis with the spirit spheres? Playing story mode gives you the full run down of different game play elements you can interact with during the game such as squash mode or target mode. During the 10 level story/campaign mode you’ll have to tough it out against some tough competition for this Nintendo Switch exclusive. There are quite a few spirit spheres that you can play with during game play and each one does something different, like splitting into multiple for example but you’ll witness the power of the spheres during gameplay too.
One of the more interesting gameplay modes is the Tate mode where you can play the game vertically with each player holding a Joy Con controller. The controls felt a little inverted/confusing but after you get over that initial confusion the game plays like just like on TV. There are other gameplay modes but you’ll have to find those out on your own when you get to play the game in the spring. The solo campaign is built to be played multiple times as I played through most of it during the demo and when you beat it, you’ll gain access to the unlockables, so play and play again to unlock everything. Boss mode is an interesting mode where you play two on one with one of the players controlling a boss character from the game. Some of the levels are simple and some of them have environmental hazards to watch out for.
The forest has shrubs to cut down and at the same time can block the sphere from going in the goal. The castle has a trap area that opens the door on the other side of the field that you will need to open to score a point. Story/campaign mode played to three in the demo and during multiplayer, you can set the rules to pretty much anything you’d like such as how many points you play to, where you play, and which spirit sphere you use. You have simple hits as well as charged attacks that put a little more power into your strike. You also have the ability to put some spin on the sphere and have it move in a certain direction but that wasn’t really working too great for me in the demo so I was just using power shots and simple aimed hits.
There are quite a few characters to pick from, each with that retro flare the game is going for and it reminds me, graphically, of the Legend of Zelda games on the Game Boy. It also has a few tribute graphical turns for Zelda fans, probably not intended, like the way the grass looks and needs to be cut down, the castle level and needing to hit the switch to open the trap on the other side of the field as examples. There are items that you can get during gameplay as well that will help you out like a shield to block spirit spheres and a boot that will make you run faster.
There are plenty of items that you will need to think about when to use them for victory. SpiritSphere DX has that old school charm that Nintendo fans love and will be releasing in the spring. The matches should move quickly so you’ll be able to play many times with your friends and it will be interesting to see if more sports games use “Off-TV” mode in the fashion like SpiritShere DX does. I believe they said that it’s going to have local multiplayer but it’s going to be miss if it doesn’t have online multiplayer, in my opinion. Air hockey/Tennis and magic sound like a good combo to me and Nintendo Switch owners will want to download this when it’s available on the eShop!