Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct had a handful of exciting announcements, like confirmations for Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Animal Crossing coming to Nintendo Switch as well as a slew of Final Fantasy ports. What left a lot to be desired, however, was the Nintendo Switch Online portion of the presentation. It’s as bad as we feared it would be; players essentially have to pay Nintendo a fee in order to use the Internet connection they’re already paying for, with very little additional features added (Sony’s paid service, for example, at least allows friends to voice chat with one another regardless of what games they’re playing — Nintendo Switch players have to use… Discord). It looked like Nintendo spent more time on the CGI video that featured Mario characters than they did on the Online service itself.
Included in this bare-bones service is access to a slew of NES titles (and, eventually, one day, SNES titles). Three new games are added per month, and Nintendo has already revealed the next nine titles to be added. It’s a slow-drip that reminds me of the slow Wii VC rollout — only this time it’s much worse because we’re only getting one platform’s 30-year-old shovelware instead of several’s.
What games could Nintendo add to make this service worth it? For the sake of this article, we’re only going to look at NES and SNES titles since Nintendo has made no indication that other platforms will be added.
With online multiplayer enabled, Goof Troop would be the Four Swords style game that Nintendo has neglected to give us.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 2 always gets overlooked, whether by fans or by Nintendo themselves. It’s secretly the best 2D Mario game (and would be a lot of fun to play with a friend online).
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Much like Super Mario Bros. 2, the second Zelda title gets a lot of hate for being too hard. This really only has to do with how the game sends you all the way back to the opening area after a game over. Restore points solve this issue, giving the game a more modern save system and making it much more manageable as a result. Give Zelda II a try!
Donkey Kong Country
Donkey Kong Country is another one that would be fun to play with a buddy online, especially given how challenging the game is. It’s also superior to Super Mario World.
Tecmo Super Bowl
We’ve already got Tecmo Bowl coming as part of the NES titles, so why not a better version?
Lufia II: Rise of the Sinstrals
Secret of Mana, Final Fantasy, and Chrono Trigger are the obvious JRPG choices, but I don’t think we’re going to see anything from Square Enix on this service. Lufia II is the next best turn-based JRPG and it’s been criminally under-recognized.
Terranigma is an incredible action-RPG that was never released in North America. I would pay for this service just for Terranigma.
What about you?
What games might make Nintendo Switch Online worth it for you? Let us know in the comments below.