Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for May 8th, 2018, where we’re covering the latest in Nintendo Switch news, releases, and sales. The big news of the day is the reveal of Nintendo Swtich Online‘s price, NES games, and features. $19.99 per year will get you the ability to play online in games, including ones that are currently free to play online. So, you’ll need to pay to keep wrecking squids in Splatoon 2, welp.
#NintendoSwitch Online launches this September with Save Data Cloud backup and 20 classic NES games, with more to come, that have newly added online play!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) May 8, 2018
While the membership will be required for online play and using the online app going forward, let’s talk about the features being added to the service. 20 NES games with online play and voice chat will be available to subscribers, and here’s the first 10 games:
- Balloon Fight
- Donkey Kong
- Dr. Mario
- Ice Climber
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- The Legend of Zelda
These will not just support online play in the games with multiplayer modes, but you can share the controller in The Legend of Zelda in case you get stuck and want your friend to help out. Hopefully more games, and more Nintendo platforms, roll out to the service.
The Save Data Cloud Backup feature might be a lifesaver. Right now, there’s not a way to backup save files, or to transfer them between systems. The cloud-based saves should make that far easier. It helps out a lot on PS4, when I started playing Sonic Mania on a loaner PS4 and eventually transferred to my own PS4 that I bought down the road. Users might finally be able to have multiple Switches, or to be able to share multiple systems between family members instead of being tied just to one system. No concrete details on this are available yet, but I wouldn’t try to transfer systems or break your Switch in the next few months.
Also, the addition of a Special Offers feature will be really cool, especially since Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus offer discounts and freebies to owners. There are certainly developers and publishers willing to hand out freebies, if you pay any attention to how often games go on sale on the eShop.
The one thing that kinda stinks about the deal is that games that were previously free to play online are now behind the Nintendo Online paywall. Which, Nintendo has mentioned before, but will it harm the online scenes for Splatoon 2 and ARMS in particular? Granted, online paywalls are industry-standard practice now, and Nintendo’s is cheaper than Sony or Microsoft. I just can’t get over that it kind of stinks. Oh well, just take my money, Nintendo.
Also, Nintendo confirmed in a statement to Kotaku that “There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems."
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be classic games. It’s just now going to fall on the holders of the rights to different systems to release their classic ports, though there is less incentive to do so now that there isn’t a specific section, and that they can’t just theoretically release it in a high-quality emulation wrapper by Nintendo. Still, I’m sure HAMSTER is willing to do the work for anyone that wants to keep making money off of their games thanks to incredibly lax copyright laws! Or maybe the Switch hacking efforts will let us run RetroArch on the Switch and solve this whole “no Virtual Console" problem.
I’d say that Nintendo is throwing away a potential money-printer here, but if I understood what they were doing with their library of classics, it’d be the first time. But I’m just disappointed that without an easy system for publishers and developers to re-release their classics, they might otherwise not see official re-releases, as many might be unwilling to go through a publisher like HAMSTER. Oh well. Guess you’ll have to go play those games some other way!
Death Road to Canada ($11.99)
Rocketcat Games’ game of zombie survival finally comes to consoles, including the Switch! After a short delay, you can now make your way to Canada, with your motley crew that’s sure to include a dog at one point. We’ll have some lengthier impressions of the Switch version soon (the Nintendo Online news took up most of today’s column) but you should probably just read our review of the iOS version and then instabuy. Make sure you restart your system before playing this one, it might have some slowdown issues otherwise. The launch version is based off FEMUR Apr-15-2018.20.53 in case you’re curious.
Raging Justice ($13.49 launch sale)
If you miss the old age of beat ’em ups, this is the game for you, as the Team17-published Raging Justice features side-scrolling action where you beat up all sorts of enemies. The aesthetic seems peculiar, as the animations resemble something you’d see on the SNES or Genesis, but the graphics are all in 3D. It kind of looks like if Final Fight was ever released on PS1, maybe. It’s not the prettiest aesthetic, but it’s unique! Also, they should’ve gotten Yuzo Koshiro to do the music. His Streets of Rage soundtracks hold up so incredibly well to this day.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition ($29.99)
Yes, this has already released for the Switch, but this version goes along with a physical release from Xseed Games. This version of the game adds in all the DLC, game modes, and costumes that previously came to Half-Genie Hero but in one release. That means you can play as Risky Boots in Pirate Queen’s Quest, the Sky/Bolo/Rottytops trio in Friends to the End, and play as Ninja Shantae, Beach Shantae, Officer Shantae, Blue Shantae, and Classic Risky, as well as unlocking the Tinkerbat Transformation. If you’ve never played a Shantae game, they are Metroidvania platformers where the half-genie protagonist can shapeshift to get around the world. Also, there are a lot of skimpy costumes. The series started out on the Game Boy Color (after the GBA released!) and the series has somehow survived all these years!
Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers ($19.49 from $29.99 until May 21st)
I’m only including this game again because I want to mention that Steven Universe bombshell last night. If you watch the show, but aren’t caught up, stay away from anything and anyone that talks about the show until you’re caught up. It’s yuge. Show creator Rebecca “I think crying is really funny" Sugar has done it again. What happened will beat you up the way that Steven is able to beat up hordes of enemies in this game! Ayyyy, we brought it all back around again.
Axiom Verge ($17.99 from $19.99 until May 9th)
You might want to pick this up while you still can, if you want that discount! The sale ends on May 9th, but that doesn’t necessarily indicate which time it will end! It might end at 11:59 PM Hawaiian time on the 9th, or sooner! Choose wisely, and choose now!
Raw Fury sale ends soon
Similarly, you’re running out of time to pick up these Raw Fury games at a discount. They’re all pretty good, so if you need a new game, or these have piqued your interest at some point, go for it now:
- Dandara ($11.24 from $14.99)
- GoNNER ($6.49 from $9.99)
- Kingdom: New Lands ($9.74 from $14.99)
- Uurnog Uurnlimited ($9.74 from $14.99)
Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!