Yesterday, Nintendo released a video on their YouTube channel revealing this month's NES titles for the Nintendo Switch. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Blaster Master will be available through the Nintendo Switch Online service starting January 16. The Switch Online service is similar to the Wii's Virtual Console. Players gain access to new games every month, but must pay a $20 yearly fee for online multiplayer services. This month is somewhat more unusual, with Nintendo releasing only two titles instead of their usual three.
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is the contested sequel to beloved classic The Legend of Zelda. Its nonlinear, 2D sidescrolling gameplay with RPG elements is at odds with other Zelda entries. Much like Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, many fans of the series consider it a black sheep of the family, especially with the RPG elements both titles added. Despite its departure from the series' iconic gameplay formula, it received ports for multiple different consoles.
Blaster Master combines platforming using a tank, dubbed SOPHIA, and top-down action gameplay on foot. Released in 1988, the Sunsoft title used clever techniques to exploit the NES sound chip for iconic DPCM bass sounds. Their tricks allowed for a stronger bass line despite the comparatively limited technology of the NES. Players explore dungeons to acquire various upgrades for SOPHIA to progress to new areas. Blaster Master in many ways resembles an early Metroidvania, requiring backtracking and resource gathering to defeat area bosses. A remake/reimagining of the original game, Blaster Master Zero, was released on the Switch and 3DS in March 2017 to generally positive reviews.
Both games join Nintendo's growing list of NES classic games. Other titles include classics such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Double Dragon, and Metroid. Since its inception in September, Nintendo has released NES games for the Switch every month.
What are your thoughts on the January Nintendo Switch Online Games? Are you disappointed that there are only two? What do you think of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? Let us know in the comments below!