Nintendo indicated that the company will continue to work on the Switch Online Service in their latest investor meeting.
It has now been a couple weeks since Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. It seems that the reactions to the service has been mixed, with most of the reviews being negative. Most gamers agree that the convenience of being able to play N64 titles on the Switch is really cool, but the emulation leaves something to be desired. Most gamers probably won’t notice the issues, but there are some graphical glitches in some of the games and input lag on a couple titles.
There are countless articles and videos on the internet addressing the complaints that users have had with the service. And while Nintendo makes some questionable decisions, I’m sure they are aware of user experience issues that gamers are having with the service. The big questions is whether Nintendo will think it is worth it to fix the issues or not. With 32 million subscribers to the service (including both tiers), I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo were to consider it a success in spite of the noticeable problems.
However, in Nintendo’s latest investor strategy meeting, the company indicated that they will continue to improve theonline service. Nintendo wrote, “Going forward, we will continue to improve and expand both Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack striving to provide services that satisfyconsumers.”
It is nice to know that Nintendo hasn’t forgot about their customers, but I think they will really have to prove it to their user base. Nintendo has such an amazing legacy, but they have lost faith with some of their customers in recent years. Let’s hope that Nintendo will fix the issues with emulation on the Switch and continue to listen to their customers as we move further into the Switch’s lifespan.
The Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack launched last week and customers have not been shy about voicing their opinions. The N64 emulator that Nintendo built for the Switch has been having a lot of issues. The games are all playable, but are experiencing graphical glitches and slowdown at times. Not to mention the strange button layout that the application forces on you without providing a way to remap the buttons.
But in spite of all of that, we are all still curious about what other games could be added to the service down the road. There have already been some great titles confirmed. Among them are Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask and Banjo Kazooie. The inclusion of Banjo Kazooie surprised people because Rare, the studio that developed the game, is now owned by Microsoft. People have been under the assumption that either Nintendo and Microsoft wouldn’t be willing to work together or Nintendo wouldn’t be willing to put the effort in work something out with Microsoft. Needless to say, Banjo Kazooie is a welcome addition, and it has people excited about other possible additions from Rare.
The thing about the N64 library is that there are a lot of good games made by other dev studios like Rare, and there a lot of good games that would run into heavy licensing issues if they were to be rereleased. The big game that everyone wants to come to the Switch Online Service is 007 Goldeneye. This was a great game that was not only made by Rare, but also based on a movie. There are multiple actor’s likenesses used in the game. Typically that would mean that its more trouble than its worth to release the game again and have to deal with all the licensing fees. It is for this reason that everyone has assumed that Goldeneye will not make its way to Switch Online.
However, there is a recent clue that suggests that we may all be wrong. When Goldeneye was released, it was banned in Germany. It was placed on a list of Media that is considered harmful to minors. Generally, after 25 years, these pieces of media are subject to automatic review. It was just announced that Goldeneye is officially unbanned in Germany. The thing is… that its only been 24 years since the game’s release. This would lead us to believe that Nintendo requested a review of the situation. The only reason they would do that ahead of its automatic review next year is if they are planning on doing something with the game.
We don’t really have any idea what Nintendo could be planning for Goldeneye. Is there a remaster in the works? It is probably safest to assume that Goldeneye may end up coming to the Switch Online N64 library after all. Maybe that is why the Expansion Pack price was priced higher than everyone expected. Maybe Nintendo is paying licensing fees. This is no guarantee, butit is potentially a good sign.
I really love the Switch. Despite being underpowered, I think it’s a great console with a great concept and game library so far. One of the annoyances that I have with it is how often development studios port games to the system only to have a digital download code in the case. Most of the time it is totally reasonable to fit the game onto a cartridge. Studios likely do this to cut down on costs and increase profit. This way they don’t have to pay for any physical media to put the games on.
The new GTA Trilogy: Definitive Edition is set to release next month on console e-shops and then in December for physical media. Looking at the Switch game case that is already listed on Target’s website, you can see that it says there is a download required. This is a major bummer. At this point, I have to delete games anytime I want to play something new because so many games require massive downloads. Or I could spend money on another SD card, which I also don’t love the idea of.
There’s no word yet on how big of a file will need to be downloaded. If I had to guess, I would say that the physical cartridge will have one of the three games on it, and then you will have to download the other two. We will likely have to wait until the official release to see how much of the trilogy needs to be downloaded.
When you look at what Saber Interactive did with the port of The Witcher 3 to the Switch, you can’t deny that Rockstar could’ve fit all three of these games on one cartridge. The Witcher port featured all the DLC. On PS4, this is a file size of about 70 GB. Saber Interactive managed to compress that down to 32 Gigs on the Switch. Of course you are going to have make some sacrifices to make the file size that much smaller. But the sacrifices would be even less significant with the GTA Trilogy. I would’ve loved to see all three of these games on one cartridge.
The new Switch Oled was released on October 8th. It was not quite the ‘Switch Pro’ that people were hoping for, but the reception seems to be decently positive. In general, the display looks better and the bigger screen is a nice addition, but whether the price is worth it or not is still up for debate.
However, as with all hardware launches, there have been some defects popping up. Some Oled users have taken to the internet to ask about a strange green tint that is appearing on their fancy new Oled screen. It is still uncertain how widespread this issue is, but it is definitely affecting some users.
u/BassyDave on Reddit detailed that at low brightness, the green haze is appears on the left edge of the screen. During gameplay it doesn’t seem to be as noticeable, but on a uniform color as shown below, the tint is especially bad.
u/yuri_hime commented on the thread and shared that this may not be a defect. This may be happening just due to the nature of how an Oled display works.
If you take the time to research this phenomenon, you find that all oled displays run the risk of having this problem. There are countless forum posts about oled tv screens and phone screens that experience the exact same problem. This is probably getting more attention because of the fiasco with the Switch Joy-Cons having drift issues. People are quick to assume that Nintendo is releasing another piece of hardware that has major potential for a defect.
The GTA Trilogy: Definitive Edition was recently announced by Rockstar. Today we finally got a release date. The remastered trilogy will come to all major platforms for digital download on November 11. A physical release will be headed to Playstation, Switch, and Xbox on December 7th.
What we know so far is that these games will have certain quality of life improvements. There will be some improvements to textures, models, and overall resolution. We are finally able to see these visual improvements in the trailer that Rockstar shared this morning.
Rockstar has said that the games will control like GTA 5. That alone will be a massive improvement. On top of that, the aiming and lock on system will be improved. The Radio station selection system will also resemble the wheel that is used in GTA 5.
The Switch will have some exclusive controls with the addition of gyro aiming and touch screen camera controls. I’m sure if you don’t like the gyro controls, this is something that can be toggled off in settings.
We still haven’t heard anything about the radio stations and if any songs were removed or added. I speculated about this in a former article:
Last week, Sora from the Kingdom Hearts franchise was the added to the Smash Ultimate roster. According to Nintendo this concludes character additions to the game. Yes that means that the eager fans will never see Waluigi in Smash Ultimate.
Super Smash Bros. has been through a lot of changes over the years. But while the games have gotten faster paced, the core gameplay hasn’t experienced any radical changes.
With the aptly titled Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s chapter finally coming to an end, it really begs the question, where can Nintendo take the series after this? In the next game will they just continue to expand the roster and focus the gameplay on online play? Will they expand the game modes and offer more robust single player experiences?
Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai has been with the series since its inception. In a lot of ways Ulitmate feels like Sukarai’s magnum opus. Will he continue to work on the series or will he pass the torch and work on other projects?
Its hard to imagine a Smash Bros. game without Sakurai, but that may eventually be a reality. One thing for is for sure. The next installment needs some changes. It feels like the whole series has led up to this game. It feels like there shouldn’t be another game coming, but when it inevitably does, I hope that it is different enough to feel like it own game and not just a bigger, crazier version of Ultimate.
The only thing sure in life is death and taxes… and Nintendo scalpers.
Pretty much anytime Nintendo announces anything, scalpers start rubbing their hands together with dollar signs in their eyes… I’m mostly joking. The latest victim to fall into the hands of these scalpers is the new Switch Oled.
Scalpers already have the new Oled model of the Switch listed at over twice its retail value. This situation is undoubtedly helped by the pandemic and the resulting supply shortage. Less of these units on the shelf means a higher price that these scalpers can sell at.
Really the only thing regular customers can do to counter this is refuse to buy these models at such outrageous prices. The problem is that anything Nintendo holds its value really well. So even after buying a Switch Oled, worst case scenario for a would-be scalper would be to resell it at a incredibly small loss. This is a risk that they will continue to take…
The only thing sure in life is death and taxes… and Nintendo Scalpers.
There’s really no way around the fact that at $49.99 annually, the Switch Online Expansion Pack feels really expensive. This is based on our experience with Nintendo’s online service on the Switch up to this point. However, there are things that could be done to make this price feel more appropriate.
Here are 4 things we want for the N64 Collection on the Switch Online Expansion Pack:
The N64 doesn’t have a very big library of games overall. In North America, there was only 296 games that were released. The Playstation had more that 4 times that many. However, even with its smallish catalogue, the n64 has a lot of really fun games.
This means that it should be no problem to actually put quality games on the online service. When the NES and SNES services were launched, the lineup of games was decent at best. Even with a few important games still missing, the game selection has improved a lot.
Here are all the N64 games that have been announced:
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Super Mario 64
WinBack: Covert Operations
Dr. Mario 64
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards
Sin and Punishment
Mario Kart 64
Star Fox 64
This is a solid lineup of games. Its a great sign that Nintendo was able to work something out with Rare to get Banjo-Kazooie added. If there was any way that Goldeneye could find its way onto the Switch Online service, that would be amazing. However, I bet that we will have to “settle” with Perfect Dark, which some people prefer anyways.
This is a good start for the N64 lineup. Here is my personal list of games I would like to see added down the line:
Toy Story 2
Snowboard Kids 2
Shadows of the Empire
Diddy Kong Ramsey
Harvest Moon 64
Road Rash 64
Space Station Silicon Valley
There are some other solid games that could be added in addition to these, but this would be a good start to making the price of the Expansion Pack more worth it.
When the NES and the SNES collections were first launched on the online service, the games were regularly updated. As time has gone by, the games have been coming less and less frequently. So not only are the games not always among the best of the system, but we rarely get new games. It begs the question: What exactly are we paying for?
We have already talked about how important it is that the N64 collection has quality games. But it is just as important for those games to come on a consistent basis. Nintendo has been very vague about the interval at which new games will be added. Ideally new games would be added once per month.
Anyone that has played online games on the Switch could tell you that it suffers from lag a lot more than Sony’s or Microsoft’s online services. Nintendo has never really used their online service as a big marketing point to sell consoles. Apart from Super Smash Bros, they don’t really have any huge online multiplayer IPs.
For that reason, Nintendo has probably not invested as heavily into the infrastructure of their online platform. That fact of that matter is, if we are going to be paying the same amount for Nintendo’s online subscription as we do for Sony’s or Microsoft’s, they need to invest more into improving the online experience.
The last thing that would make the retro game selection that Nintendo has brought to their online service more fun, would be for them to implement proper match making. Especially with the N64 games coming to the system.
Playing with friends is fun, but once your an adult it can be hard to always sync up with your friends to play. I would still like to be able to hop on and play Mario Kart 64 online, even if it’s with strangers. Being able to play these classic games with a modern matchmaking system would be an awesome experience to offer the fans.
These are the things that I think would help to improve the experience of the Switch Online Service. If these things were implemented, maybe the $49.99 price point wouldn’t feel so expensive.
What would you add to the service to make it a more appetizing purchase?
I commonly hear that the N64 only has 5-10 good games. I couldn’t disagree more. Of course the first party titles and the Rare classics are the really heavy hitters, but there are so many hidden gems on this system.
In this article, I’ll be talking about 5 of my favorite under-the-radar games on the N64. This is just a wish list and I will be ignoring any potential copyrite issues that would prevent Nintendo from adding these games.
5. Gauntlet Legends
Gauntlet Legends is an arcade game by Midway and Atari that launched in 1998. It was ported to the N64 in 1999 and later to the Sony Playstation and Sega Dreamcast in 2000. One of the things that made the N64 great in the eyes of fans was the possibility of 4-player local multiplayer. And this game makes the most of this feature! Couch co-op is always fun, but 4-player co-op makes it even better!
Getting to choose between 4 classes, players get to be a Warrior, Archer, Wizard, or Valkyrie to recover 4 runes to banish the demon Skorne back to Hades. The gameplay is really simple, but cutting your way through enemies with 3 friends is an absolute blast. This would be a great addition to the Switch Online Service and would be perfect to play with friends online.
This is definitely a bit of an oddball on this list, but I remember renting this game from Hollywood Video as a kid and it has always stuck out to me. In this game you play as a personified glove named “Glover”. Through many worlds of platforming levels, you are meant to retrieve crystals and help to restore the crystal kingdom is under threat.
This is a fun game with really interesting and unique level design. The environments are all really vibrant and there is plenty to explore. The glove gimmick lends itself to really interesting gameplay. As a big fan of platformers, this is a fun and unique game. I would love to see Nintendo add this to the Switch Online service.
3. Body Harvest
This is really where things get good. Body Harvest was developed by DMA Design which is now Rockstar North (a studio of Rockstar Games). In this game you can see plenty of ideas that would find their way into the Grand Theft Auto series. You play as futuristic super solider named Adam Drake. You are tasked with defending earth from invading aliens that are here to harvest the human population.
There is much more than just an action-adventure game. There are elements of mystery and puzzle solving. One of the things I really love about Body Harvest is the atmosphere. There is a cold and lonely ambience that emanates from this game and it really adds to the experience. This game would be perfect for the Switch Online service. I would love to revisit it.
2. Rogue Squadron
Of all the games on this list, Rogue Squadron is probably the most well known. You could argue that it doesn’t even belong on an “Underrated Games List”, but I rarely see people hold this game up with the best of the system so I am including it here.
Rogue Squadron is an arcade-style flight game. It takes place in the star wars universe and follows the the story from the Star Wars X-wing: Rogue Squadron comic series. The gameplay is presented in a third person view as you pilot different crafts from Star Wars. You collect powerups and complete different objectives in each stage.
The flying in this game still feels really good and the dogfighting is super satisfying. Of all of the Star Wars games on the N64, this is my favorite. This game spawned a trilogy of games that are all really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game ended up on Switch in a similar manner as Star Wars Episode I: Racer, but I wouldn’t bet on in being added to the Switch Online Expansion. Lets hope I’m wrong!
1. Toy Story 2: Buzz Lightyear to the Rescue
This game first launched on N64 and Playstation in 1999 and later appeared on a number of other platforms. It follows the familiar plot of the movie with some added content (and new henchman to beat up).
There was a time when movie licensed video games weren’t consistently terrible and this game proves it. This game is such a fun mix of familiar characters, platforming, collecting, and fighting bad guys.
Similar to the ‘Army Men’ games, the level designs are fun to explore because you get to play around familiar spaces through the eyes of a toy. Boring locations like a child’s bedroom or a construction yard become massive environments to explore.
I know that we aren’t likely to see this game on the Switch Online service because of the licensing that would be required, but I can dream right?
What games would you like to see added to Nintendo Switch Online?
Rockstar recently announced the release of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. This was sure to make fans of the franchise really excited. This month marks 20 years since the release of Grand Theft Auto III so this is a great way for Rockstar to celebrate the anniversary and reintroduce these great games to us.
To this day, I periodically will pick up GTA: Vice City and play through it. Some of the gameplay mechanics are dated, but is still a really enjoyable experience fueled by the awesome atmosphere of neon saturated Miami nights.
The Definitive Edition is sure to contain quality-of-life improvements and hopefully modernize the controls. This will be a welcome change and will make these games even more approachable for a modern audience.
The difficult thing about remastering old games, apart from the technical work required, is dealing with the licenses that the company originally paid for. I think I’m not alone when I say that one of my favorite parts of Vice City is THE MUSIC. The music in this game adds so much to the 80s atmosphere.
This is purely speculative, but I would venture a guess that the licenses that Rockstar originally purchased have expired by now. This means they would have to buy the rights to use these songs again. I’m not sure if that makes financial sense to repurchase these licenses just for a rerelease of older games.
I hope I am wrong. I am excited for the Definitive Edition release and will definitely pick it up. But I would love to hear that same old soundtrack.