Big news for Nintendo Entertainment System fans from last week’s Nintendo Direct: Not only are we getting 20 classic NES games on the Switch’s new online service, but there will be special controllers available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.
At $59.99, the controllers cost as much as an NES Classic Mini!
#NintendoSwitchOnline will feel even more authentic by using the new wireless NES style controllers with the classic #NES games, available for purchase exclusively for paid Nintendo Switch Online members!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 13, 2018
I’m a bit on the fence about buying them. As much as I love the NES, the only reason I can think of for purchasing these is nostalgia. NES controllers were always a bit uncomfortable to hold. The Switch itself has a more ergonomic and comfortable controller design, much more conducive to long periods of game play.
That said, I’ll probably buy them anyway at some point.
Speaking of the NES, did I mention that there will be 20 games available at launch on Sep. 18? Per our friends over at the Nintendo Times, the list of NES titles available at launch are:
- Soccer (ugh, sports games)
- Tennis (double ugh)
- Donkey Kong (OK, classic arcade action in glorious 8-bits … I’d buy that for a dollar…)
- Mario Bros. (another arcade classic, though it’s much more fun with two players)
- Super Mario Bros. (a true classic…)
- Balloon Fight (this one is fun, and I love the music that plays when you beat a level…)
- Ice Climber (classic 8-bit action, with a few puzzle elements…)
- Dr. Mario (paging Dr. Mario…)
- The Legend of Zelda (another classic…)
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (ditto…)
- Double Dragon (this is more like the arcade version, and another personal favorite…)
- River City Ransom (I’ve never played through this entirely, so I’m looking forward to doing so…)
- Ghosts ‘n Goblins (tough, but a blast…)
- Tecmo Bowl (football…)
- Gradius (one of the best shooters of all time, from Konami…)
- Pro Wrestling (admittedly, this one is fun…)
- Excitebike (Racing a dirt bike on your own tracks? Sign me up!)
- Yoshi (another puzzler, in the vein of Wario’s Woods & Dr. Mario…)
- Ice Hockey (for a hockey game, I would have preferred Blades of Steel, but this one isn’t bad…)
- Baseball (I don’t much care for THE SPORTS…)
There seems to be an emphasis on NES puzzle and sports titles, which makes perfect sense given the online multiplayer functionality built into the service.
In October, Solomon’s Key arrives for the online service, offering colorful puzzles of increasing difficulty. Its sequel, Fire & Ice, is better, but it’s a great puzzle title on its own. I’m disappointed with the other two October selections, NES Open Tournament Golf and Super Dodge Ball (because, THE SPORTS).
We must wait until November for Metroid (but we also get the amazing shooter Twinbee and puzzler Mighty Bomb Jack). December will see the release of one of our favorites, Ninja Gaiden, along with two fantastic NES puzzle games: the original Adventures of Lolo and the final licensed NES game from the system’s original run, Wario’s Woods.
What? No Kid Icarus or Zelda II?
With the Wii and Wii U’s Shop Channel’s end effectively freezing the old Virtual Console service, this looks like the new normal for Nintendo nostalgia.
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