Play Time 12h 12m
Terry Level 25
Terret Level 20
DReager Level 20
Play Time 12h 12m
Terry Level 25
Terret Level 20
DReager Level 20
No stats this time!
You can’t say that this game isn’t trying to be direct. With a title like Pinball, it’s letting you know up front what kind of game this is going to be about and I can definitely respect that. This was the final NES game on the Switch Online service that I had not completed yet so it felt good to knock it out. It’s fairly basic though so whether you like it or not will depend on if you like Pinball.
That’s because this is the only mode in the game. It’s literally just playing Pinball over and over again on the same field. There are no other levels or bonus features to play. I imagine that I probably would have been a little disappointed if I had bought this opening day but I dunno, maybe it would have been nice. I imagine it saves you a lot of money to play this on the console than to go to the arcade every day. Technically you do have a lot of replay value to try and beat your high score all the time.
Of course for that to mean anything you’re going to need to not use the rewind or access points since then you could create as high a score as you want. Without any extra features though, I can say that this is one of those games I played for 30 minutes or so and then put down. At this day and age there are just other Pinball games I could play instead that have more features and all of that.
Not to say that this is one to be forgotten but unless you’re playing it for free like I did, then I don’t see why you would purchase it. There really isn’t an incentive to go out and buy this game when you could play something like Metroid Pinball instead. Granted, that one wasn’t amazing either. The single best Pinball game would be Mario Pinball because it actually had a story and even took place in the 64 continuity which was a blast. Now that is a Pinball game that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
In terms of the graphics I would say that it looks pretty good. It’s not amazing or anything but you can always tell what is happening which is the important part. Mario even makes a little cameo here during the bonus level where you have to catch Pauline and escort her out safely. This gets you a ton of points so it’s definitely worth doing. Beyond that, just play your hardest and you’ll get great scores in no time.
I always felt like there was a bit of luck in the game with the ball just falling straight down the middle though. Like what can you possibly do in a situation like that? It feels like you’re just out of luck at that point whereas in the arcade as least you could jiggle the table or something. Not officially recommended of course heh heh. There isn’t much of a soundtrack here but the steady music that is around is nice and soothing so it works well enough with the game.
Now if this ever got a remake then I think there’s a lot you could do with it now. Have stages for each of the Nintendo mascots. Like you could have a Mushroom Kingdom stage where you see Mario and friends with the obstacles and bumpers being related to the characters. One for Metroid, etc. At the end of the day it’ll still be the normal Pinball that you know and love but with a lot of visual effects that would be fun. Bumping up the visuals and the soundtrack is the best way to enhance a Pinball game to the next level. Of course adding a story is also great but I feel like that would be rare for the genre so I wouldn’t hold out too much extra hope on that.
Overall, Pinball is a decent game. There just isn’t a lot to do beyond playing Pinball and there are so many free games for that at this point. If you really like Pinball then it’s nice that you have something to play on the console but otherwise I’d say you can give this one a pass. Maybe play it for a few minutes but I don’t think it’s something that will hold your attention in the long run. There’s just too much other competition out there.
No stats this time!
It’s time for a very old school sci-fi shooter. Nintendo didn’t bother translating this one so you definitely won’t be able to get much out of the story but once I was able to figure out the gameplay then I had some fun with this one. It’s definitely not the kind of game that you’re just going to breeze through but with the power of access points and rewinding, there isn’t any game that can take you out forever! I think this one tries a little too hard to be different by adding a bunch of mechanics that don’t actually enhance the game but in the end I’d say that it’s still fun enough.
So, while I don’t know the plot, the goal of the game is to take over 14 planets. Enemies will be trying to take them over as well. The format of the game has 3 main phases. The first is that you start on the overworld and you fly to the planet that you want to conquer. You have to slow down so that you can enter the planet. Planets that you’ve taken over are in blue while enemy planets are in orange. Watch out because they can retake planets that you’ve won so you have to move quickly or else you have to beat a planet twice.
If you do have to fight them directly for a planet, then you enter a turn based ship battle where you both fire off your weapons. This one felt the most random but I only got to play this style once so I probably have to master it some more. I made sure to keep attacking quickly so that I wouldn’t have to play the worlds twice. Finally you get to the heart of the gameplay which is the 2D shooter part. So for this part you control a mech suit as you go through an auto scroll level with a big boss at the end. Before going in, you get to place 3 items on the board. 1 is a full health recharge, one is a rocket, and one is a bomb. You decide how deep into the level they appear.
For example, I set my health refill to appear around 80% through the level so that I could arrive to the boss with almost full health. Strategize and then set your items up accordingly to where you want to have them at the ready. The levels are quite tough though as you get endless bullets and laser blasts being fired at you. It’s hard to see how people did it back in the day, especially with no save feature. You may think there are only 14 levels in the game but that feels like a lot when you are on the back foot the whole time.
The controls are simple as you can only jump and shoot. That’s it but that also means that every movement has to be completely precise or you will be in trouble. Touch the bullets too often and that will be it for you. Then for the boss fights it’s especially tough as you have 6 different weapons being fired at you. The trick is to quickly focus on one and knock it out so there are less things to dodge. You win once you have beaten them all but it won’t be easy.
The graphics have held up rather well for this title. It could definitely pass for being an SNES title if you ask me. This game may not be super well known but it’s clear that a lot of effort was put into it. The soundtrack is also fairly decent. It’s calm enough to suit the gameplay style well enough. In terms of replay value there isn’t a lot for this game. It’s one of those titles where when you beat it, it freezes on the credit screen. So once you have beaten the game, there isn’t anything else to do. That’s just the end of the journey for you.
Overall, This is a game I’ve never heard of before so I’m glad that it made it to the online service. Part of the fun here is playing out a lot of games that I never would have gotten to try normally so that’s pretty cool. I would definitely recommend checking this one out if you have a few minutes. No need to play through the whole game but this way you can get a nice feel for it and just have some fun that way. Until you get the hang of it the game won’t be that much fun but once you enter the 2D levels then you can see the real appeal of the game. It just takes some trial and error.
No stats this time!
After all these years I’ve finally played through the original Legend of Zelda thanks to the Switch Online. I don’t tend to be a big fan of the original games because a lot of them don’t hold up for me but LoZ wasn’t bad. I would put it in the middle. I can’t imagine playing it without today’s modern features though because it seems like it would be an extremely long process without a lot of quality of life features. With the Switch Online enhancements it does help the game to an extent but I certainly am glad that the modern titles have added a lot to the experience.
The general plot is that it’s dangerous to go alone so Link grabs his sword. He has to stop the demon king and save the princess so he’s in for a busy day. To do this he will have to find all of the pieces of the legendary Triforce and only then will he be able to save the world. Don’t underestimate a hero that is on a journey! Link will never give up and never surrender until he has his day. That is why he’s so legendary.
The gameplay style uses the overhead format. For the most part you slice the enemies that get in your way but additionally you can also get other weapons later on like a laser blaster, arrows, and bombs. For the most part you don’t want to waste ammo so you’ll stick to the sword but the laser is an exception as the ammo is limitless. Using your gadgets wisely is the only way you can come out on top here because if you squander them then you will be easy pickings for the monsters. You have to be very careful because you take heavy damage just for bumping into them.
Also it’s easy to miss an item and have to backtrack a lot so watch out for that. This is definitely a puzzle game first and foremost, not to mention that it’s also an unforgiving one. If you don’t watch your step then that’ll be curtains for your time. It definitely took me several hours to beat this game because I would get lost a whole lot. I don’t know how you would be able to navigate the final dungeon straight through. That one is extremely long and filled with shortcuts. There’s no visual indicator of any kind on which walls can be blown up so I just had to try on all of them. Each room had at least 3 corners to try and there could be over 20 rooms so that was a lot of options. I should mention that you can only carry 8 bombs unless you find a secret upgrade so without rewinding to replenish your stock…that would have been absolutely brutal.
The actual combat can be fun but expect to get hit a whole lot. At times the game turns into a bullet hell title where everyone is blasting you at the speed of sound. There’s one particular enemy that is super tough to deal with because he emits a full barrier with a lot of little attack nodes that are super hard to dodge. If any of them hit you then they will deal an incredible amount of damage. I would avoid them when possible but a lot of times you would have to fight in order to move forward.
If I were to take a stab at trying to improve the game it would really boil down to one thing. I would add some kind of indicator that a shortcut was nearby like a crack in the wall or something. That takes the guesswork out which I think is a good thing. Why should you be wasting bombs everywhere when you can just place them tactically? There is a sort of map on the top right of the screen but it’s an empty void that only shows your location. I would put in landmarks and such so you at least know where you’ve been. It’ll be like Link was filling out the map along the way.
These quality of life updates are what I would add to the mix and I think it would work really well. Then you can focus more on the actual combat and just taking out the villains. I’d also say maybe they shouldn’t let you exit a dungeon without taking every key item there. It would help prevent issues like not taking the raft in world 4 and then having to search every dungeon until you find it. That’s definitely no fun because you never want to have to go back. It just isn’t fulfilling. The only time I really enjoyed backtracking is when there is a power up system so you get stronger or the levels are super convenient. Like going back in Shantae is fun enough because you get the ability to fly and do other kinds of things that makes the old levels a breeze. If you’re about the same level of strength then it’s just not quite the same.
The soundtrack really holds up quite nicely though. You hear a lot of classic LoZ themes that are still used to this day. Nintendo really never held back in this area and the graphics also look pretty good for the NES. It’s clear that a solid budget was put into the game for back in its day and it shows. Good effort never goes to waste after all and they can look back on that and be proud. We’ll see if the next Link game can match it in that respect.
Overall, Legend of Zelda ended up becoming a big thing so clearly the game succeeded. I can see the appeal back in the day in that there was so much to do so you could easily spend months playing this game and figuring everything out. That would definitely be a rewarding experience but I wouldn’t say it holds up quite as well nowadays. It can really toe the line between being annoying or being fun at times. Still, you can’t go wrong playing it for free on the Switch Online though. Give it a whirl and see what you think. Either way you get to experience one of Nintendo’s most historic titles so that alone should be an incentive to give it a whirl. That said, if you take the nostalgia goggles off, I would argue that Skyward Sword still leaves this one in the dust.
It’s always fun when the Nintendo Switch Online adds some more games to the service. It’s at a pretty slow feed at the moment but each new game tells a story. This one is apparently a prequel/sequel (Seems to be debates on this) to Solomon’s Key which is neat. I’m not sure why the name was changed for the American version. Needless to say the gameplay is pretty much the same as the original only this time there is an emphasis on a fire vs ice theme. This was pretty nice to see as those two elements are naturally polar opposites and work well against each other.
The game starts with the kingdom calling you in need of some services. Every capable warrior in the kingdom answers the summons but ultimately they choose a magician in training as their chosen fighter. You will have to use your magic scepter to conjure up ice blocks and vanquish the fire monsters in your path. Doing so will allow you to ascend to the next limit of your abilities. More importantly, it will keep the kingdom safe. That’s the general formula of the game. There are 9-10 worlds which each have 10 levels in them. Clearing them all will result in your clearing the game.
The controls are very simple. You can move from left to right and conjure up ice blocks that are one square down and to the left/right of you. You can also cause them to vanish. Additionally you can push individual ice cubes into the enemies in order to take them down. The goal of each level is to take down all of the fireballs. The initial levels are a walk in the park of course but then the difficulty really expands. I was able to beat all of the levels to the first two worlds with ease but world 3 got tricky. I beat around half of those levels and then settled for beating the first level of the remaining worlds. I didn’t go any farther than that.
The difficulty is certainly real and that means if you decide to play this game to the end you will really have to think each puzzle through. There are no easy answers here. You must have a great amount of determination and fire to get to the end. If you can pull this off then my hat’s definitely off to you. The fact that the controls are so simple is also what makes the game impressive because these puzzles are crafted really well in spite of this. It never feels unfair because you know the full extent of the controls from the start. There are no hidden secrets or anything. You just have to think things through rationally in order to proceed.
Graphically the game holds up well. I was happy to see that we had some real cutscenes here. I don’t believe the original game had anything like that so this was cool. Additionally the hub world is great. You have the tree from the Kirby games and the Power Star from Mario. It made you feel like this game was actually part of some secret crossover. The main villain also has a pretty decent design. Ultimately this game looks a whole lot more like a SNES title than a NES one so major kudos to the developers on this. The soundtrack is more on the bland side though. You may even forget it is there while playing through the game because of how subtle it is. That may be intentional but I’d like for the game to have had a little more pop personally.
It’s hard to say how long the game is since it heavily depends on how well you do at the puzzles. With roughly 100 puzzles in the game I went to say this should take you around 3-4 hors to clear the whole thing. If you do 1 world an hour then I guess it would be 10 which would also be very impressive to be sure. Most NES games can’t even come close to touching that level of time. I’m not always a big fan of puzzle games as I tend to have my qualms with the execution but I have nothing bad to say about this one’s. My only thing is it can be a bit repetitive and without a stronger plot it would be hard to incentivize me to play through the whole thing.
Overall, Fire n Ice is definitely a good game. With the entire game being focused on the puzzles it is possible that you could grow bored at some points through. It’s impassive the way the game was developed and the difficulty is legitimate, however you may find yourself just wanting something more by the end. Keeping yourself to 1 world a batch would probably be the easiest way to get through this. If you already have the Switch Online then this is a good title to add to your collection. You’ll be one step closer to having played all of the games on the collection. Hopefully soon we get either some bigger games (If there are any left) or we finally enter the next console. I think it’s about time Game Boy and Gamecube get to jump in.
No stats this time!
We have made it to the final new NES game added to the service by Nintendo. It’s definitely a very complex title with a whole lot of mechanics and such to learn. Unfortunately the idea was a little ahead of the technology in this case. It’s just not easy to seamlessly use your many items and the puzzles just don’t work as well as you would hope. The game isn’t all that fun and I would ultimately have to give it a fairly low score here. I just don’t see it being all that fun even if you were to progress further.
The main plot of the game is that you’re a detective on the trail of a villain. Unfortunately he caught you and tied you to a chair. I will admit that the opening of the game is intense as you literally start out strapped to the chair and have to slowly try to escape. The way to do this is to back up and cause a candle to burn through the ropes. It’s pretty interesting and not really something you see a lot. From there you work on escaping the castle and once you’re in the town it’s time to find where the villain is. I played the game for around an hour as I looked for the elusive villain. Let me tell you, that guy’s not easy to find. There are a lot of areas to explore and items to inspect.
The main gameplay style here is a 2D platformer but you are able to move up and down so I suppose it’s close to 3D. If you press the A button you can move a magnifying glass to inspect all kinds of objects. From there if you have a good hint of an object looks useful, press the B button to take out your other magnifying glass and inspect again. You get a different message that way. At this point if the object is even more interesting then click the select button to take out one of your items and try it out on the object. You can also pick it up if the thing you are inspecting is a loose pipe or something like that.
You’ll have a ton of items at your disposal by the time you finish getting out of the castle. The game doesn’t really explain any of this though so I recommend looking up the guide online for the controls. It makes a big difference knowing what you are supposed to do next as opposed to just stumbling through the levels hoping for the best. Not that’s a scenario that can get pretty dicey pretty fast. So I do applaud the fact that the game crammed so much in but I do think it comes at the expense of the actual user experience. At the end of the day you want these levels to be fun and you just don’t get that feeling of excitement from the game.
There’s even combat elements thrown in and I don’t feel like they were all that fun. It was pretty surprising though as a cop ran into me and then suddenly the game turned into a 2D fighter. The controls are really difficult though. It took me around 20 minutes to beat a female ninja that showed up. Apparently there are combos though so if you master those then that may make a good difference in the long run. Normal blows are easily blocked and countered by the A.I. here.
One more touch that the game added which was pretty nice is what happens when you die. When you lose a life you suddenly find yourself on a conveyer belt with the villain mocking you. Based on how interactive the whole time is I suspect that there is a way to break free but every time I reached for the lever the game told me I was too far away. I figure it was worth a shot at least. Then we get some images of the villain hanging out at a rooftop as some sad music plays. It’s all very atmospheric and works rather well.
When it comes to the graphics I would definitely give this game a thumbs up as well. It’s aged quite beautifully with the character designs being on point and the backgrounds looking quite nice as well. The music is good and so on that level the game succeeded. At least those background elements help to offset the gameplay. I think this is the kind of game that could do really well if it were ever remade in the modern day.
Overall, Nightshade is a very different kind of NES title. It’s a game that wants you to do a great many things. The fact that it originally came out with a part 1 in its title shows you just how ambitious the game was to start with. Clearly the developers had a really good plan in store for the series even if it ultimately didn’t pan out. I wouldn’t recommend this game. It’s just not really any fun and that’s definitely one of the biggest negatives I would hold against a title like this. At the end of the day you have to be fun.