Playing with the New Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack

I’m a thrift shopper through and through. When buying clothes, I always start with the clearance rack. I love shopping at discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx. I even visit an online auction site and bid on random items that have been returned to the store or damaged in transit. So needless to say, I also enjoy scrolling through the My Nintendo Store to find free and highly discounted games. Some notable free “games” are really software apps from the Nintendo64, Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and Sega Genesis.

Sky Fox 2

Another important tidbit about me is that I love to look and plan and dream, but the execution is a different story. You should see my studio. It’s packed full of too many books for me to ever read and craft supplies I’ve kept with me since high school that I just keep around just in case I’ll want to make something with it later. So, it should not come as a surprise that while I downloaded each of these applications to my Switch well over a year ago, I’ve only opened them once to glance through the games. I didn’t even launch a single game from any of the old system ports.

But somehow the stars and the moon aligned perfectly last week, and I decided to open the apps again. First game I see? The original Pokémon Snap. I excitedly try to launch the game…and hit a paywall. Nintendo requires a Nintendo Switch Online account for access to the NES and SNES games and an Expansion Pack add on for the Nintendo64 and Sega Genesis Games. I grew up on Pokémon Snap, so I immediately called my husband to let him know I was switching our account over to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Streets of Rage 2

The game libraries for these older systems are not all inclusive. In Nintendo’s defense that would be ridiculous. Having said that, the libraries are fairly packed. Notable titles on the NES include Super Mario Bros. (1, 2, and 3), The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Metroid, and the Original Donkey Kong (original, Jr. and 3). The SNES offers additional Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Donkey Kong games as well as a couple Star Fox titles. Nintendo claims that they offer over 100 games between the two systems.

With the additional Expansion Pack, you get access to Sega Genesis titles such as Streets of Rage 2, Contra: Hard Corps, Shinobi III, Castlevania Bloodlines, and three Sonic games. In addition to Pokémon Snap, Nintendo64 titles include several Mario games, Star Fox 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Pokémon Puzzle League was just recently added as well. The Expansion Pack also includes access to DLCs for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Splatoon 2.

Splatoon 2

Nintendo has also added some new features to these classic games. Most notably, players can compete online or play co-op for several of the titles. Nintendo also claims that all of the classic game libraries will continue to grow. I definitely noticed a difference when I relaunched all the apps recently. Several dozen titles have been added since I first downloaded the software.

The price increase for the Expansion Pack is steep at a $30.00 more per year for an individual membership and $45.00 more per year for the family membership. If you split the cost of the family membership amongst eight members, the maximum the family membership allows, then each member is only paying $10.00 a year. That’s not bad at all, but I highly doubt this is a set up most Nintendo Switch Online members have access to.

Mario Cart 8 Deluxe

So, is the Expansion Pack worth it? It ultimately depends on how much you like the available titles and extra perks. Honestly, I’m a little on the fence about it with the current selection, but I don’t regret upgrading. I will probably try to get my siblings on the family plan to help divide the cost though.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried any of the retro games offered by Nintendo, and what games you would like to see added next. Until the next time, stay cool, be you. Bye!

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