Nintendo Switch Online - good for NES games, but it's a mixed bag for everything else

Nintendo Switch Online – is it worth it? (pic: Nintendo)

The Monday letters page worries the continued Halo Infinite delays are starting to get too much for fans, as one reader enjoys Moss: Book 2.

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Retro service
Given the recent, less than exciting, update for Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES games I’m wondering if readers could comment on whether the service is good value for money in general? I don’t play games online, so that’s not really a draw, but it does seem as if the selection of NES, SNES, and N64 games is reasonably good.

There’s not that many games, and it seems like they’re already starting to give up, but most of the classics are there and I like the idea that they do add new features, like online multiplayer and these easier SP versions. But then you have the problem with the emulation on the N64 games, which started off bad and now is… okay?

Okay doesn’t seem like a good reason to spend money on anything but I never got the Nintendo mini-consoles and I do feel I missed out a bit there. Looking at the price and the list of games it does all seem to be good value for money, but I’m interested in what others have to say.

No update
Does anyone know why Bloodborne hasn’t had a PlayStation 5 update yet? Heck, it hasn’t even had a PS4 Pro one. That can’t be an accident, and I know From are busy, but have they and Sony had some kind of falling out? To make such an amazing game, that could really benefit from modern loading times, and just leave it in its raw state is a hell of a shame, especially considering all the lesser games they have updated.

Even if From has gone off on a strop surely Sony owns the rights and can update it themselves, in terms of things like frame rate and loading times? Or maybe that’s what the argument is over? Or maybe Sony wants to make a sequel without From? I’m just guessing but the situation to me seems really bizarre.

I do feel that Sony kind of ignore some of its games, if they’re not as big a seller as others, but Returnal got a major free update and they bought the developer, so I don’t understand why the even better Bloodborne isn’t being promoted as a big reason to buy a PlayStation console.

GC: It is odd. Neither Sony nor From have mentioned the game in years.

Growing on you
So I spent the weekend falling back in love with Quill from the new Moss sequel. It’s only really Astro Bot: Rescue Mission that beats the original for my personal favourite PlayStation VR title. Book 2 really is delightful and once you leave the castle and end up in that Disneyesque forest I spent most of my time just marvelling at how… well, just how lovely everything was.

Quill, much like Astro, isn’t a highly complex character but it’s amazing how much you bond with your avatar when VR is involved. Waving at the ever smiling Astro or stroking Quill’s little adorable head seem to give more emotional attachment than most dedicated story driven games.

I also replayed the fantastic Vagrant Story on an old PS Vita, which seemed to trigger the idea of PS1 remakes. Basically, a third person dungeon crawler seems a perfect fit for VR. So would a Metal Gear Solid remake, both using Moss’ diorama style game worlds. Shadow Moses, especially, would be great but a VR Leá Monde would be much appreciated.

No doubt Konami would ruin it all by adding NFTs or something even more obnoxious.

GC: Our review should be ready tomorrow.

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The longest shot
I know this is a long shot but after reading your bit on someone reporting that Sony’s next shopping spree will be big, I’ve got a feeling it will be EA or Rockstar.

I know it’s a long shot, but Sony have got their chip and pin card in their hand and have said they’re not done yet. As has been reported, EA are racking in the cash from FIFA, could Sony be eyeing up a massive purchase? Shouldn’t be long now till we hear something, if there is a deal being done.

GC: Rockstar isn’t even an independent company; they’re owned by Take-Two.

Infinite wait
Does anyone else get the feeling that 343 Industries has dropped the ball with Halo Infinite? I’ve seen a lot of complaints in the last few days, about having to wait for Forge and campaign co-op, and 343 basically admitting that everything is taking too long, including updates to the multiplayer.

When it first came out everyone seemed very understanding and happy with what was produced but it seems that the honeymoon period is over now and players are upset that it hasn’t really changed much since launch.

It seems especially weird that now the Halo TV show is out they’ve done nothing to promote the game again or add anything special to it. More evidence that Microsoft is not managing its developers well?

The 6%
Squeaky bum time. I defeated Isshin the Sword Saint and completed Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice. What do I win?

After having a long gaming lull I found Sekiro punishing yet engrossing at the same time. It’s the closest it has come to bringing back the memories of playing Shinobi and Revenge Of Shinobi for the first time back in the day.

My only complaint is the recycled bosses, at the same time I understand once you git gud second time around it’s like: what was all the fuss about?

At the end credits I unlocked the Xbox Achievement for completing the game, which states only 5.87% of gamers achieved this.

Now I am not sure which is better, Bloodborne or Sekiro. Execution wise, on paper, a ninja game is more difficult to create, in my opinion, so I’m edging towards Sekiro as the best FromSoftware game. Still gotta play Elden Ring…

One or more
With the rumours that Sony is going to make another big acquisition I’ll be very curious to see if it has anything to do with Japan. I see that the one rumour about them that didn’t come true is the one about them setting up a replacement for Japan Studio, which means the only first party developer they have in Japan is the Astro Bot people. That’s crazy for a Japanese console manufacturer, especially given it’s the same number as Xbox.

I don’t particular want them to buy anyone but if they are I hope they do something, at least, to show they have an interest in Japanese gaming and the Japanese industry. Microsoft trying to undermine it I can understand (the old destroy what you can’t have doctrine) but Sony are throwing away what should be one of their key advantages.

Oh brother
The best Retro Format bro is a contest between NES, Mega Drive, and PlayStation 2.

Bro, the NES had the great Super Mario Bros., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game, Batman, and Super Mario Bros 3. Bro, I also enjoyed not so good games back in the day, such as Captain Planet, McDonaldland, and The Simpsons game.

Then again bro, the Mega Drive had a great controller and look to it. It also introduced me to games such as Mortal Kombat 2, Rolling Thunder, Streets Of Rage 2, Sonic The Hedgehog 3, Eternal Champions, Comic Zone, Micro Machines, and Columns (yes, bro, it’s better than Tetris).

Hmmm, bro, the PlayStation 2 was to me the ultimate gaming machine, as it had such a range of quality games but also terrible games. Bro, it seemed PlayStation 2 games were made with low financial risk with the amount of games that were produced. Playing games such as Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, TimeSplitters 2, Unreal Tournament 3, Second Sight, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Jak And Daxter, Spider-Man 2, WWE: Here Comes the Pain, Devil May Cry 3, X-Men Legends, Conflict: Desert Storm, and Shadow Of The Colossus was a real treat, bro.

But in saying that, bro, I think PlayStation 2 did not produce the best games but has lots and lots of good/great games, bro. PlayStation 3 is still too new for me to call it retro, bro, but due to the new/retro games they had on the PSN, plus the output on PlayStation 3 games, bro, it could lead it to be the best.

For now, I would say the Mega Drive is the best Retro format, bro.
Matt Riddle

GC: Are you being sponsored by the word bro?

Inbox also-rans
Games I think about when not playing them hmm… now that’s a short list for me from the past few years. XCOM 2/War Of The Chosen and Zelda: Breath Of The Wild now have Elden Ring joining such magnificent company.
Chevy Malibu (PSN ID)

Total War: Warhammer is free now on the Epic Games Store, until the 7th of April.
Cromwell’s Warts

This week’s Hot Topic
The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what’s your favourite game that isn’t a classic?

It doesn’t have to be a bad game but what title do you enjoy even though you know not many other people think highly of it? Why is it you like it, and does it have anything to do with nostalgia, a famous licence, or the game having some greater meaning to you in terms of when you first played it?

Do you regard it as a genuinely good game or a mediocre one that you just happen to enjoy? Does its reputation, or lack of one, bother you and do you think it is unfair earned?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Weekend Hot Topic: Favourite retro console

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