What’s up with the SNES games for Nintendo Switch Online?

…and other observations and lukewarm takes from Nintendo Direct

Yesterday’s Nintendo Direct broadcast left all us fans with a LOT to think about. 

Doom 64 for Nintendo Switch

For me, the announcement that Doom 64 is coming to the Switch on November 22 was the greatest moment of my whole life. The birth of my only child pales in comparison. Okay, not really. But it is exciting!

Doom 64 screenshot
Doom 64 – Nov 22

Doom 64 is the only Doom game I haven’t sunk a gazillion hours into. I’ve hardly gotten to play it at all. The only time I ever played it was when I rented it from Blockbuster, if that tells you anything.

I don’t have much love for the Nintendo 64 with its muddy, stodgy graphics fight me. When I re-purchased one last year I was really disappointed. Those games look nothing like my memory. But I’m sure Doom 64 will look and play like a fever dream on the Switch. And if you didn’t already know, some evidence has leaked that Doom 64 is likely also headed to the PC! Oh hell yeah!

Super Kirby Clash – now available

Super Kirby Clash looks fun. I’m downloading it as I type. The term “Free to Start” is a new one to me, though. I guess it’s the Nintendo equivalent to “Free to Play (but you’ve got to pay money if you want to actually have fun.)” Maybe you just get a limited number of bosses, characters, levels, etc. unless you buy the rest. But then that’s just a demo, right? Not sure.

The only real question is, how much will Super Kirby Clash actually cost?

Super Kirby Clash
Super Kirby Clash

Besides Doom and Kirby (and Trials of Mana and Link’s Awakening and basically the whole 40-minute broadcast), I was super excited to see the big reveal that the Super NES is finally going to debut on Nintendo Switch Online. TODAY!

The Switch SNES starter collection has some gaping holes

They added a lot of essential SNES games, but there are definitely some gaping holes in this starter collection. Nintendo super-fans will no doubt take this list of titles very personally and voice hatred, as fandoms do. but I feel like this lineup—while far from perfect—is still pretty darn good.   

SNES Switch Online lineup
Seems like they missed a few obvious choices, but whatevs.

They’ve included all the obvious, mandatory titles. Zelda: A Link to the Past, is obvious because it’s my favorite game and also the greatest game ever created fight me. Of course Mario World is included, as it was the pack-in game with the system and an incredible game in its own right. Super Metroid, another S-tier classic and absolutely epic. Star Fox, F-Zero, Pilotwings, all great and iconic SNES games. So far so good.

Zelda gif
The pinnacle of gaming.

After the major titles, the games get a little weirder, but I still understand the choices. The brains at Nintendo were obligated to include a few sportsball games like Super Tennis and Super Soccer. Those probably weren’t the best sports titles (I wouldn’t know; I don’t play many sports games), but there just weren’t that many first-party sports titles for SNES. Licensed games pretty much ruled that category, as they still do (NBA Jam, Madden, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball).

And all told, there weren’t THAT many really great 2-player games on the SNES either. There were a handful, but I think that’s where Nintendo had to start figuring out some not-as-popular, but still popular, 2-player titles to include. These are games that you might remember or might not.

Stunt Race FX
Back when Nintendo was in their claymation phase. Such simple times.

Personally, I played and loved Stunt Race FX despite the atrocious frame rates. Stunt Race also counts toward this collection’s 2-player games and sports games, so it’s a pretty solid choice.

I’ve never played Brawl Brothers at all, my favorite SNES beat-em-ups were Final Fight, Aliens Vs. Predator, and Turtles In Time: all amazing game licenses that Nintendo probably couldn’t get or didn’t want to pay for.

Where are all the RPGs?

Where the SNES game choices really let me down is in their ghastly shortage of fantastic Squaresoft RPGs. For me, those games defined the 16-bit era. Breath of Fire is the only one that made the cut, and it’s certainly a great choice.

Breath of Fire
Breath of Fire

I think we all would have loved to see Final Fantasy III (or however you kids number them these days), Secret of Mana or even Earthbound – the most overrated game of all time fight me. I thought for sure at least one of those would have made it, because all three are included with the SNES Classic Mini. 

Stranger still that Super Mario RPG didn’t make it. Seems like an obvious choice. Perhaps they’re saving that one for later.

Where are all the fighting games?

Also conspicuously missing are great 2-player fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter. These also are probably licenses that Nintendo didn’t want to shell out money for, or couldn’t get the rights or something. Who knows what they’re thinking over at Nintendo?

The one I’m most excited for…

Of all these 20 games, the one I’m most excited about is Demon’s Crest.

Demon's Crest screenshot
Looks cool, doesn’t it?

If you’re not familiar, Demon’s Crest is a spin-off of Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (which is also included in this lineup). You play as a demon called Firebrand, on an epic quest to—um… jump on platforms and defeat bosses probably.

Okay, I don’t know what the plot is, but I know an original copy of Demon’s Crest is stupid expensive, so I don’t have it. But I’ve been dying to check it out! And on a Ghetto Gamer’s budget, Switch Online is my best chance! What’s that you say? I could just download the rom? Nah, that for pirates, matey!

Oh, and one more thing ($$$)

Also of note, Nintendo is selling a limited-edition SNES controller for the Switch “as a special offer.”

SNES Switch Online wireless controller
Want Need.

I’m not sure what makes this offer special. I guess they’re making a limited quantity, as Nintendo likes to do. It looks like a real-deal SNES control, but wireless and optimized for use with these games. It’s exclusive to Switch Online members and will sell for $29.99.

Not a bad deal!

Ghetto approved!