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NES Online: Is the service worth it?

I'm going to confess something somewhat peculiar about my gamer habits: I like to play with the Nintendo Switch on Sunday mornings. Yes, as you read it. My favorite time and day is Sunday, very early, although there is sunshine, with a warm coffee and some toast with Nutella on.

I think the cheerful and colorful nature of many of Nintendo's games makes it feel good to play them in broad daylight, which is not the case with PS4 or Xbox games, which I refuse to play until the sun goes down.

Another habit I have is, on Sunday mornings of Switch, to play several classics that I have with the NES Online service. Some time ago I talked here about Nintendo Switch Online, what it brought and how it worked, and today I want to delve into what this part of the package we receive when we pay for our subscription means to us, happy customers.

NES Online: What is it? 

For veterans on Nintendo consoles, they can consider this service as the new version of the Virtual Console. In fact, I hope that NES is only the beginning and soon we will see SNES Online (Update: WE GOT IT!), N64 Online ... it would be a dream come true and, in my opinion, far superior to what we have today with Games with Gold and PSN Plus. Regarding this I read, just last night, that it seems that a SNES bluetooth joystick was leaked for the Nintendo Switch ... so it seems that this possibility is just around the corner (again...you were right, Geek Gourmet from the past!)!

As I said, it is very similar to the Virtual Console: A collection of NES games (known as Family Game in my beloved Argentina), which is growing month by month with two new titles almost always. Some classics, others more unknown and even some that never left Japan at the time. You will find the original Mario, Mario 3, the bizarre Mario 2 (known as The Lost Levels in some places), Double Dragon, Kid Icarus, Punch Out, the first Zelda, Zelda 2, Excitebike, the glorious Tennis, Hockey and Soccer. ..all games that, if you have more than 30yo, you will remember with great affection to have played them.

In addition to offering the games, we have some extra things so that it is not a mere emulator and that's it. Many games have an option to be played through the internet with other people. This is not crazy polished either, you know how special Nintendo is with online features ...We will be able to play with friends online both simultaneously on some games and the classic "one life each" on others. We will also be able to use a hand to give clues or point things on the screen, something that I am sure NO ONE ever used so far.

In addition, we will have some Special Editions of games with a couple of things changed to increase the challenge, as is the case of Zelda SE and others.

One thing to clarify: Games like the Tetris 99, which recently came out for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, are not part of the NES Online catalog, but an Extra thingie that is given with this service. To get an idea, NES Online is considered a game on the console. You will access it as if it were a game, with its icon in Home. From there, it will be like, for example, the collections that companies like Capcom made for their classics: An interface showing the catalog with the covers of the games.

Something to note is that the games will be able to be played with the Pro Controller and, also, we will be able to communicate with those of us who are playing online through the Nintendo Switch mobile app that, let me tell you ... it is not so bad as everyone says! Another post will come about this.

Is NES Online for you?

This is a complex question that I will try to answer in the most neutral way possible. First say that if you were a user of the Family Game back then, the value of nostalgia is there to hit right in your face and have you like a kid saying "nooo, I remember this!" and bringing unforgettable moments to the present. They are also a reminder of how much more difficult games were once compared to now!

Another thing that indirectly offers you and I liked is to return to couch co-op. We have spent good hours playing the original Mario Bros at home, 1 life each with Mario and Luigi and seeing who made the best score or went further with my wife and daughter.

Many children who were not yet consumed by the fever of the 4K and 60FPS graphics are going to love games that did not require knowing a story in advance and that all you need is just playing them. Without going any further, my daughter got hooked on the least-thought game in the catalog: Double Dragon. He loves it and every time he plays on the Switch he dedicates a few moments to that game.

NES Online is NOT for you if...

As I was telling you, if you are going to wait for a current generation AAA game each month, look the other way. The 20 bucks a year of the subscription are not going to bring you anything like that and you will get frustrated. I saw many compare what PSN Plus brought the last months with what NES Online brought. They are two different ideas, both valid and with their value to their audience, do not compare oranges with apples.

The online, at least in my case that I am in the Oceania region, was the same as nothing: Matchmaking never found anyone. So if for some reason your dream was to play Excite Bike online with friends, forget that idea.


Currently what is offered is a bit of nostalgia, in a good way. The current value is not much, but if we start thinking about the potential of the service, especially when adding other consoles to the catalog, everything goes to AWESOMENESS exponentially.
Nintendo being Nintendo, you should take this potential with a pinch of salt, like ... SNES Online and that's it. But many paradigms are changing lately with how they are handling business and I have faith that it can be a reality to have N64, GameCube and SNES games (already happened wooo hooo) on the Nintendo Switch!

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