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Nintendo Switch Online: Find out if it is for you or not!

What is this? I have a blog? Ahh ... yes, now I remember! I was so involved in Shadow of War, Cadence of Hyrule and a brutal competitive Rocket League that I forgot to write about a lot of things I have to talk about!

In today's post I want to talk about Nintendo Switch Online. Especially my experience after almost a year of using it. Shall we? 

What is Nintendo Switch Online??

To begin, let's clarify what is Nintendo Switch Online. It is nothing more than a subscription, similar to PSN Plus and Xbox Live Gold, through which Nintendo enables us some things for a monthly payment. 

One good thing is that the payment is not at all exorbitant. It's 20 US dollars per year. What is included with this subscription? First of all, the classic: Being able to play online. That's right, without this active subscription in your account, you won't be able to play anything online. 

It also offers the possibility of having your saves in the cloud, which without the subscription you can not do and means that, if the Switch breaks, you lose all the saves of your games in the blink of an eye.

Finally, it offers the substitute for the Virtual Console that had been around for a long time on Nintendo consoles. In this case, for now, it is NES Online. We will receive 2 or 3 games from the NES library (Family Game in Argentina), which we will be able to play from a kind of emulator with its own menu and options. Some of these games offer the possibility of being played online with randoms, which can give a new dimension to classics. 

Speaking of classics ... yes, you can expect to meet the mythical original Mario Bros, the infamous Mario 2, Zelda 2, Zelda Original, Double Dragon, Excite Bike, Dr Mario, Punch Out original and many more, some less known than others. 

So, in summary, this is what we have when paying the subscription, whether we do it monthly, for half a year or annually:
  • The possibility of playing online games in the Switch
  • NES Online with 3 new games per month, all of them at the moment of NES. 
  • Be able to save games in the cloud to have backup in case the console catches fire by throwing all the magics together in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. 

And how well is the online working for me?

Well, this is relative. Relative to what? Probably your connection and that of those who are playing with you online. Dedicated servers is something that seems not to exist in the Nintendo dictionary and, generally, the online experience is going to be P2P, that means ... with someone hosting the game.

This makes the online experience depend on how good your internet connection is, how far you are from your region, your connection being wifi or physical and sometimes the weather. Yes ... the Switch does NOT have an Ethernet connection and goes only by WiFi, unless you buy the dongle (expensive if you ask me), to connect to the internet by cable and enjoy a more stable connection. 

The tragicomic thing about this is that Nintendo Switch Online works exactly the same before it was a paid service than after the subscription model was introduced. That is ... I as a user did not see a substantial improvement in how the online works before and after paying, which is half assed since you feel that you are paying for nothing. 

And be careful, don't get it wrong! The online is going great for me, I don't know if I have a motherfucking fantastic fiber optic connection or if it's because I play mostly with people from the region (I'm in Oceania), who usually have good internet too. Although it is true that many times in the Smash or Mario Kart I play with people from all over the world and it still goes perfect.

I also got a not so pleasant surprise when I tried to play online with my Switch, using the 4G connection of the cell phone, as you will see in this video. Honestly, I don't know if it is the fault of Nintendo and its console or how the data network is managed here in New Zealand for my provider.

NES Online: Worth it?  

This is another relative question. If you are a nostalgic old man like me, you will find a lot of joy in being able to play those jewels that made you so happy as a child in your console. But the truth is that if you are someone outside that generation, you will find the games that are given for free per month well below what could be a current generation game from those given with Xbox Live Gold or PSN Plus. Again, it is a perspective issue...

Watchout, sometimes Nintendo throws some extra magic with the games it offers online, as was the great Tetris 99. But it's not something that happens often. 

In the experience some of these points that I mentioned were opposite. For example: My 8-year-old girl was hooked a lot playing Double Dragon. Something that had never occurred to me. We also usually do Mario challenges with my wife, playing alternately with Mario and Luigi and seeing who goes further ... as in the old days! 

Tetris 99 is a game that I am NOT tired of playing, and is here to stay. As you can see, the value of the software offer that is associated with the Nintendo Switch Online subscription can be very subjective, so I will let you answer whether it is worth it or not. In my case, it was worth it, and it will surely be worth! 

I do not rule out that as we have NES Online, they launch also SNES, N64 Online ... I would lose it!

So who do I recommend Nintendo Switch Online for?

While the question may sound subjective, I think there are a couple of guidelines that we can follow to see if it goes or not. 

First of all, Nintendo is characterized by very strong single player experiences, such as Mario Odyssey, Zelda Breath of the Wild, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Fire Emblem 3 Houses now, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Yoshi ... And those who have multiplayer usually give priority to the local multiplayer before the online one, such as Mario Party 8. Moreover, in some cases Nintendo seems to complicate the online on purpose, as in the case of Mario Maker 2. 

But we also have very interesting warhorses in the online arena: Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Mario Tennis Aces are the best examples. So what you should ask yourself is what kind of experience you aim at: If you are one of those who have a Switch for the Nintendo classics, which are usually single player, then I would tell you that maybe it is not worth the subscription. 

If on the contrary, you like to play the games I mentioned online, this is already a safe bet. And beware, because those online games, except Splatoon 2, are also ideal games to play at home with friends, which will also take away the importance of going online to enjoy them. 

It is also true that the price factor is important. We are not talking about an investment as big as Playstation subscriptions and Xbox, so that should influence when deciding whether or not it is for us. 

Do not forget that Microsoft announced that the Game Pass will be present on Nintendo Switch, which is not known exactly what that means at the level of monthly games, services and other herbs.

And you? What do you think of Nintendo's service? You had problems? Do you use it? Would you recommend it to someone who starts on the console? Leave your comments below.! 

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