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Nintendo Switch Online: You Get What You Pay For

The reception to the Nintendo Switch online service has been less than stellar. Click here to learn more about the concerns some gamers have.

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Nintendo’s first attempt at a paid online service has had a pretty tumultuous rollout, to say the least. After the initial negative reactions following the January press event wore off and it was announced that the service would be delayed until 2018, the general consensus was “Okay, at least it’s free for now. Let’s just hope they eventually scrap the mobile app idea.”

Fast-forward to May of this year and it was re-confirmed that, yes, the mobile app would still be part of the equation, but that save data cloud backup would also be an added feature. This was something gamers had been begging for ever since it was known that local backup wasn’t an option for the Switch. To top it off, Nintendo also announced that their Netflix-like selection of classic games (a.k.a. NESflix) would feature online play even in single-player games. There was still no word on dedicated servers, when SNES games might be added or even the second half of the NESflix launch lineup, but the future of the service was looking a bit brighter.

Same Old, Same Old

Now that Nintendo has finally laid all its cards out on the table, it’s hard not to be disappointed by what they’re offering Nintendo Online subscribers. Suddenly having to pay for functionality that you’ve been using for free for a year and a half might be annoying to some, but we’ve known it was coming since January 2017. What’s more frustrating is how users will be paying for the same quality of service as before.

In an interview with GameSpot shortly following that same Nintendo Switch press event, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé alluded to servers being one of the reasons why Nintendo had decided to go with paid online this time around. This could’ve made the online experience on the Switch somewhat comparable to that of the PS4 and Xbox One (Microsoft even advertises its number of servers as a selling point for Xbox Live Gold). Unfortunately, there’s no indication that this ever became a reality for Nintendo. Paying for a premium online experience is one thing, but paying for the same iffy quality you had for free it something else entirely.

Save Data That Isn’t Safe?

Of course, the entire value of the Nintendo online service isn’t just tied to the online play itself. Save data cloud backup was easily the most anticipated feature leading up launch, and it arguably still is (especially now that the “Special Offers” have been revealed to be things like $60 controllers and in-game Splatoon 2 gear rather than sales on games). However,  there are two major disappointments here as well.

For one, Nintendo’s online service FAQ page states “Save data stored via the save data cloud backup is available for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.” Unless this is simply a poorly written statement, it seems as though save data accrued and stored while a paying member might be wiped the moment that membership ends. No wiggle room, no time to time to take a month off or readjust due to new financial situations; if you stop paying, your data is gone. We can only hope that this just wasn’t elaborated on enough.

Second, The fact that core games like Splatoon 2 and Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee (not to mention major sports titles like FIFA 19 and NBA 2K19) won’t be supported is simply stunning. Despite Nintendo’s justification that it’s to prevent save scumming, Splatoon 2 will be the reason many players subscribe to the service in the first place. It’s a game that has a growing competitive community and tons of players who have put in hundreds of hours. The fact that playerbase , in particular,won’t be able to backup their gear and rankings feels like a serious misstep.

Switch Online’s Silver Lining

It’s not necessarily all doom and gloom. On a positive note, the launch lineup of NES titles is pretty solid with some grade A titles like Dr. Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Excitebike and Ghosts’n Goblins. What’s better, it’s been confirmed that these will indeed be formatted in a Netflix-style menu selection with the benefit of being hosted locally on your Switch–no streaming required (however, you will need to login online at least once per week to access them).

And, well, at least it’s only $20 per year, right? It’s unfortunate that there’s not much else going for Nintendo Switch’s online service than its retro game collection and its price, but that’s the thing. XBL Gold and PS+ are 3x as much and offer that much more in terms of features: two (four if you count Xbox 360 games) relatively modern games each month, exclusive sales, servers, and party chat. While Xbox Live has always been at the forefront in terms of the complete online package, both offer enough to justify their price tags.

By that measure, then, one might argue that the lack of servers, exclusive sales and forced party chat through an app is due to Nintendo’s service being substantially less expensive. Perhaps Nintendo would offer better functionality at a $40 or $60 price point (and they might do just that, especially if SNES and–dare I say–N64 games are added to the service down the road). Regardless, it’s tough not to feel a bit let down by what feels less like a robust, exciting offering and more like something you need to pay up for to play with others.

Brent became infatuated with manga and anime after randomly stumbling upon Vol. 3 of Yu Yu Hakusho on a childhood roadtrip. Today he has a soft spot for colorful JRPGs, cozy anime, and both games and shows that indulge his innate love of adventure. Find him (im)patiently waiting for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and incredibly fulfilled by Fire Emblem: Three Houses @CreamBasics.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. John Cal McCormick

    September 19, 2018 at 3:48 am

    I’m kind of in a middle ground on this whole mess. I mean, I understand why people are annoyed. Playing online isn’t really a feature when you could play online for free a week ago and there’s barely any online games. PSN and XBL both offer relatively new (or sometimes brand new) games as part of their online service every month and Nintendo are giving away thirty year old titles with some tacked on online stuff. Cloud saves don’t work on some games and their explanation is nonsensical.

    But like so many other people keep saying (as this article does): it’s cheap. Even though it’s cheap, relatively, the service you’re getting here is garbage. This is half the price of PSN or XBL but is the service half as good? I’d argue not. Not yet anyway.

    Is it cheap enough to not really care, though? Yep. If it’s going to cost me three quid a month to occasionally play some NES games I’m going to do it – and I’m literally never going to play an online game on Switch and I’ll likely not be bothered about the cloud saving. All I’m getting out of this is the old games and I’m still okay with it. A month of NES games costs less than a cup of coffee, so I can’t even bring myself to be annoyed about this whole thing even if, when looking at it, the service is probably overpriced and definitely weak compared to the competition.

    • Brent Middleton

      September 19, 2018 at 7:43 am

      Thanks for the comment John. It’s not so much that you could play online for free a week ago–we all knew this was coming. It’s more so that the online experience doesn’t seem to have changed in any way. As I commented to Patrick, the lack of servers is a real disappointment. There are plenty of online games on Switch (relative to its age, of course), and I’m sure those communities would like to know they’re getting a better experience when paying to continue playing those games.

      But yeah, this is incredibly cheap. It’s actually a third the price of XBL and PSN. So when thinking that way, is Nintendo’s service a third as good as those? For the growing NESflix library of games (with the possibility of SNES games coming down the pipeline), it’s certainly possible. Incorporating some better “Special Offers” in there would also be a great way to add more value. It’ll be interesting to see how it looks a couple years from now.

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Watch Ninja On An Episode Of Family Feud

Don’t miss the moment Steve Harvey meets Ninja for the first time.

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is heading up a team on Celebrity Family Feud this weekend, but it’s not the first time the famed Fortnite streamer has appeared on the show.

Long before he reached household name status in the gaming community, Ninja appeared on the televised game show Family Feud in 2015, when he and his family went on a three-day winning streak before losing to the Beams family of Hendersonville, Tennessee.

With Blevins now appearing on an upcoming episode of Celebrity Family Feud, we thought it would be fun to revisit those earlier episodes which have now all been uploaded online.

Regardless if you like Ninja and/or the show, you’ll get a kick out of watching his introduction when he tells host Steve Harvey that he’s a professional video game player who travels across the country and competes, playing video games. The reaction on Harvey’s face is priceless since nobody at the time could have ever guessed how popular Ninja, not to mention streaming video games, would eventually become.

Watch the videos below. Enjoy!

[via Dexerto]

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Check Out the Explosive First Gameplay of ‘Kerbal Space Program 2’

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Kerbal Space Program 2

Gamescom 2019 brought with it a host of surprising game announcements and updates on existing games. One of the most unexpected announcements was the reveal of Kerbal Space Program 2, the sequel to the viral, totally accurate space simulator that first released on PC back in 2011.

Now, shortly after its initial reveal, Gamespot has gone live with the first gameplay of this much-anticipated sequel. Fittingly enough, the footage showcases all the spectacularly explosive spaceships, interstellar exploration, and intrepid Kerbal explorers that the series has become known for.

It should be noted that the footage is pre-alpha, so although the gameplay does show some issues with frame rate and graphics, those should be polished up before the game’s full launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in 2020.

Here’s the full description of the game, courtesy of its official website:

With the original Kerbal Space Program having become one of the most beloved games of all time and now bigger than ever, Kerbal Space Program 2 has been fully redesigned from the ground up to meet the demands of modern and next-generation space exploration, all while maintaining the monumental foundations of the first game. Build a space program, construct powerful spacecraft, design resource-gathering colonies, and much more to uncover the secrets of the galaxy. A plethora of exciting new features will captivate veteran and returning players, as well as usher in a whole new wave of Kerbonauts to the ingenious and comedic world that has entertained millions of players.

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Netflix Releases Teaser for ‘El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’

The Netflix Television Event will launch globally on Friday, October 11

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It was on September 29, 2013, that Breaking Bad came to an end with the final episode of that series, “Felina” in which Walter White evades a nationwide manhunt in order to return to New Mexico and deliver the remaining profits from his illegal methamphetamine empire to his family. Knowing cancer will soon kill him, Walt revisits his former acquaintances to settle his affairs and prepare himself for the conflict and his death. When the credits rolled, audiences believed it would be the last time they would see many of these characters and while we did get a spinoff show in Better Call Saul, one character who hasn’t returned in any other show as of yet is Jesse Pinkman. That’s about to change…

Netflix announced on Saturday that it will release a new Breaking Bad movie that will center on Pinkman (Aaron Paul), who was last seen in the TV series speeding off in a stolen Chevrolet El Camino to parts unknown.

The film, titled El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, was written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, and will be released on Netflix on Oct. 11. The film is also expected to be broadcast at a later date on AMC, the cable network where the TV series was originally shown from 2008 to 2013.

Official Synopsis:

The Netflix Television Event El Camino: Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul).  In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future.  This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad.  The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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Watch the Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’ the First Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ Series

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Thanks to the arrival of the D23 Expo, Disney has revealed the first trailer for its long-awaited Star Wars original series, The Mandalorian.

Created by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), the series is set after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows Pedro Pascal as a mysterious, gun-slinging Mandalorian bounty hunter who navigates the seedier side of the Star Wars universe.

Along with Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian stars Gina Carano, Nick Nolte, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Swallow, Carl Weathers, Omid Abtahi, Werner Herzog, and Taika Waititi. The first season of episodes will be directed by filmmakers like Dave Filoni, Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow.

the mandalorian trailer

Here’s the official description of The Mandalorian:

After the stories of Jango and Boba Fett, another warrior emerges in the Star Wars universe. The Mandalorian is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. We follow the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.

The Mandalorian begins streaming on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Check out The Mandalorian trailer below.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Soundtrack Gets a Vinyl Release

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While we don’t publish music news or music reviews here at Goomba Stomp, we are huge fans of vinyl and since we cover film, we figured this announcement would interest some of our readers.

Back in 2017, Jordan Peele’s Get Out topped our list of the best films of 2017 and while the year isn’t yet over, there’s a good chance his follow-up Us, will land somewhere on our best of the year list as well. There are many reasons why we love Peele’s ambitious sophomore film including for the suspense, cinematography, performances, and direction, but one thing that doesn’t get enough praise is the soundtrack by Michael Abels. And if you like us, love the original score, you’re going to love this bit of news.

After giving his Get Out soundtrack a vinyl release last year, Jordan Peele is now doing the same for the soundtrack to Us.

WaxWork Records announced the news earlier today and if you’re planning on buying a copy, you don’t have to wait since it is now available to purchase through the label’s website.

The soundtrack, which received a digital release earlier this year, features composer Michael Abels’ score, in addition to songs from Janelle Monáe, Minnie Ripperton and the “Tethered Mix” of Luniz’s “I Got 5 on It” that appeared in the film’s first trailer. The album artwork was created by illustrator Edward Kinsella and features an interactive die-cut mirror board back cover, a heavyweight art print and an exclusive essay from UCLA Professor, scholar, and activist Shana L. Redmond Ph.D.

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Goomba Stomp is the joint effort of a team of like-minded writers from across the globe. We provide smart readers with sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering an escape from the usual hype and gossip. We are currently looking for Film, TV, Anime and Comic writers.

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