Nintendo Switch Online NES Games: Shag, Marry or Push off a Cliff


Last year, Nintendo made the slightly uncontroversial and in line with what competitors have been doing for decades business decision to start charging for the service to play games online with the Nintendo Switch. In order to sweeten the deal somewhat a paid membership gets you access to online play, exclusive offers (such as cosmetics in some games and those stupid but cool but stupid but expensive but worth it NES Switch controllers), sometimes cloud saves and most controversially gives you access to a growing library of NES games playable as long as you're subbed up.

Some vocal gamers, however, did not like this decision at all because they either already own and play the NES games on offer (lies nobody ever intentionally bought Super Dodge Ball let alone played it on the go) or they didn't want the NES games but wouldn't mind free N64 games or SNES games perhaps? Like winged monkeys with neckbeards they took to social media en mass to whine about it. This level of entitlement we've never really understood. We'd love a crème brulée made from Jamie Oliver's own nipple milk topped with gratinated Marilyn Monroe tagnuts, but we're not going to get it from Kamil's Fried Chicken for £1.49. We're going to get dog cock in a pitta because that's what KFC is actually selling. If you don't want to play free NES games for signing up to an online service. Just don't. Just don't and don't tell anybody you didn't want to whilst you aren't. We do admire the optimism of disgruntled gamers STILL responding to every Nintendo Twitter announcement with:

And we're struggling to understand. What's the mentality here? Are they mistaking a regional social media marketing account of a multinational electronics company with the Make A Wish foundation? If they were is that really the wish you want to run with all things considered?

However, the entitled little so and so's do have a point. In a very Nintendo way, not all of the NES games currently on offer are stellar nor does there seem to be a rhyme or reason to the selection of games or the order they are being added. FRET NOT because here's our essential guide with each game either rated: worth a try, all-time stone cold classics or games that should have stayed unplayable.

Adventures of Lolo Play as a face and collect the hearts until the angry skulls run after you. Defend yourself by turning them into bubble gum eggs?
Our verdict: Once we worked out the controls, quite enjoyed this one.

Balloon Fight We feel really sorry for the people out there whose first experience with video games was Balloon Fight because they don't play games anymore. They've avoided them ever since 1986 because this game is about as fun as Joust which everyone knows was not and never will be fun.
Our verdict: Push off a cliff but make sure you pop both balloons first. Just in case.

Baseball Like all sports games if you don't have a [name of team sport] game then this one has you covered. Seriously. They're all the same. Unless it's an American sport in which case it's worse.
Our verdict: Alright if you like this kind of thing.

Donkey Kong You too can pretend to be a sad middle-aged hot sauce salesman and/or professional loser by playing this infuriating game. BUT DAT MUSIC THO.
Our verdict: Good for a quickie in the kitchen every now and then.

Double Dragon Like River City Ransom but good.
Our verdict: That these early games spawned entire genres is sometimes very surprising.

Dr. Mario It's Dr. Mario. There's never a good time not to Dr. Mario. You want to be the one to be out here pretending Dr. Mario ain't all that? Who hurt you in the past?
Our verdict: Marry.

Dr. Mario SP For those not good enough at germing the other germs, a quick skip to a sort of end.
Our verdict: A one night stand only but make sure you play safe because there's no knowing what diseases you might get.

Excitebike If you can tolerate the awful SFX this Drive 'Em Up is mildly challenging.
Our verdict: [HORriFiC EngInE NOiSe].

Ghosts'n Goblins Like Half Minute Hero except that half minute is spent being constantly attacked by enemies which come out of the ground then you die.
Out verdict: We've never gotten past the first screen to be honest.

Gradius Like TwinBee but horizontal. Tough to boot.
Our verdict: Dark Souls but in space.

Gradius SP Made almost playable starting the game powered up until you get hit that is then it's back to buggery.
Our verdictBloodborne but in space.

Ice Climber Like QWOP but for jumping upwards and less fun.
Our verdict: Climb up a cliff just to push this off.

Ice Hockey Like all sports games if you don't have a [name of team sport] game then this one has you covered. Seriously. They're all the same.
Our verdict: Alright if you like this kind of thing.

The Legend of Zelda Confession time! This half of TGAM never played this game originally. I assumed from the bits of it I'd been exposed to from WarioWare and both NES Remix games that there was more to this game. There isn't.
Our verdict: It is a secret to everyone that this game is a bit shit.

The Legend of Zelda SP Confession time! This half of TGAM never played this game originally. I assumed from the bits of it I'd been exposed to from WarioWare and both NES Remix that there was more to this game. There isn't.
Our verdict: It is a secret to everyone that this game is a bit shit. Warmed up.

Mario Bros. Before they were super and before jumping in NES games felt nice this is what the Mario brothers did. Flushing giant flies, angry crabs, turtles and ice blocks out of the sewer. For coins.
Our verdict: Fun to co-op but lacks the stamina to really smash your back doors in.


Metroid One of the best retro Metroidvanias ever. Although younger gamers weaned on the mother's milk of Dark Souls and the like might need a pen and paper to draw a map as they go.
Our verdict: Put a chuffing ring on it.

Metroid SP Like the above but super racist against Ridley.
Our verdict: For those who want to feel a big man but just don't have the capacity.

Mighty Bomb Jack Remind us why were jumping on boxes as the mummies turn into coins?
Our verdict: They don't make them like this anymore. Probably for good reason.

NES Open Tournament Golf Like all sports games if you don't have a [name of team sport] game then this one has you covered. Seriously. They're all the same.
Our verdict: Alright if you like this kind of thing.

Ninja Gaiden Like River City Ransom but hard.
Our verdict: Try if you like BDSM.

Pro Wrestling If this is Pro we'd hate to see the amateurs.
Our verdict: Ring out!

River City Ransom Like Double Dragon but worse
Our verdict: Push off a conveyor belt to the void.

Soccer Like all sports games if you don't have a [name of team sport] game then this one has you covered. Seriously. They're all the same.
Our verdict: Alright if you like this kind of thing which is definitely Soccer.

Solomon's Key What is this game about? Make blocks to touch the bell and liberate fairies? Nuts.
Our verdict: Who knows?

Super Dodge Ball We thought dodge ball is what you play when the weather's too shit to play a proper sport and all you have is a ball. Let alone an actual game. With actual rules. And an arena. And a video game version.
Our verdict: No. Just no.

Super Mario Bros. Yes, you may have played the original on the NES and again with Super Mario All-Stars and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe and the virtual console releases and the Wii Super Mario All-Stars re-release. And Super Luigi Bros. on the Wii-U. You may have even remade and remixed it on Super Mario Maker on more than one platform. But it's fucking Super Mario Bros. It's like pizza or Marmite. Everyone loves it.
Our verdict: Get down on one knee for this one.

Super Mario Bros. 3. Do us a favour before even trying to pretend you have an edgy opinion about how it isn't that good. Get or buy a friend. Give them the second Joy-Con and play Super Mario Bros. 3 together. If you don't enjoy yourself just end it. End it now.
Our verdict: Worth committing bigamy* with a friend for.

Tecmo Bowl What is this? Is this some kind of war thing? Not into it.
Our verdict: Off the fucking cliff.

Tennis Like all sports games if you don't have a [name of team sport] game then this one has you covered. Seriously. They're all the same.
Our verdict: Alright if you like this kind of thing.

TwinBee Like Gradius but upways
Our verdict: Okay, what both this platform and Sega Mega Drive Classics need are some decent fucking documentation. Here's what the user guide says for every. single. game:
Not exactly helpful is it? What's strange about this shoddy aspect is that the Virtual Console on the Wii-U had whole manuals viewable from within a menu.

Wario's Woods Worth a try but not for everyone. Think Tetris lacks platforming? This may be for you.
Our verdict: Go for coffee and see how you feel.

Yoshi Crack with Bloopers.
Our verdict: Marry but with constant shagging.

So there we have it, all rated and up-to-date as of this blog going live. Any way you look at it, it is something special to have a museum of NES games at your fingertips with some upgraded with online play should you be inclined. With Tecmo, Konami, Capcom, HAL and KOEI games already on the system there're stacks of potential titles making their way to a Switch near you. 

*How Mario describes himself when he has eaten a Super Mushroom.

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