NES vs Famicom Switch Online apps – November update

With the latest update of the NES and Famicom applications on Nintendo Switch, the first noticeable difference has actually appeared. Previously, most of the differences were just in the language. This time, though, the Japanese application got one more game that is not available on the NES application.

The November update for the NES Nintendo Switch Online included the following games:

  • (SP) Gradius: Gradius but, by default, it loads a save state in which you are fully powered up and start on stage 5 (if I recall correctly)
  • Metroid: Regular NES Metroid, password functionality works the same way to the point that you can crash it with the right code.
  • Mighty Bomb Jack: Another regular NES game.
  • TwinBee: Regular NES TwinBee.

You can see each of the games in action in the video below:

In Japan, though, they got the following:

  • (SP) Gradius: Same special version as above, just in the Japanese release.
  • Metroid: The Famicom Disk version of Metroid. This includes enhanced music and a save file system similar to The Legend of Zelda.
  • Mighty Bomb Jack: Same as above, just in the Japanese release.
  • TwinBee: Same as above, Japanese release.
  • (SP) Mario Open Golf: A special version of the Japanese release of NES Open Tournament Golf. This version starts by default with a save data where everything is already unlocked.

As you can see, the Famicom Nintendo Switch Online application actually got one more game in the latest update compared to the NES version. The biggest reason why this happened is because Mario Open Golf is quite different to NES Open Tournament Golf in its contents.

The first difference and main reason why there’s no SP version is that NES Open Tournament Golf has everything already unlocked by default. In Mario Open Golf, Japan is the only course available at the start and the rest need to be unlocked. There’s also the fact that the Japanese version has a few more courses available and the overall game is harder. Similar to Super Mario Bros. 2, it was one of those games that Nintendo thought it would be too hard for players outside of Japan. In this case, they did release the same game but with a simplified and lower number of courses.

Mario Tennis Aces keeps being amazing

And yes, that’s a sarcasm. The following video was recorded from the latest version that was just released. (v 2.0.1)

Yes, the Boo co-op challenge is over now. But instead of getting an in-game error telling you that the event is over, the game just crashes. 🤦

How to play (part of) Super Mario Party in handheld mode

First of all, I want to point out that this is not a way to enable some sort of secret handheld mode. This solution is more of a “think outside the box” solution and it only works efficiently for a few minigames. The trick is the following.

This is what portable mode normally looks like:

So what you need to do is the following:

Take out only one of the joycons from the Switch. You can choose any side that you prefer.

And that’s it. So while you keep holding the Switch with the joycon that is still attached to it, you can use your other hand to play with the free joycon. By the way, this also works for Mario Tennis Aces Swing Mode (or, I guess, any other game that requires using the joycon this way)

Of course, this trick wouldn’t be needed if NDcube had implemented a way to only play the minigames that only use buttons when it detects that the system is being used in handheld mode. But well, we all know that probably won’t happen, even though they did disable the rumble based minigames if you have controller rumble disabled at system level.

Mario Tennis Aces still fails at offering game options

At least the characters and mechanics are getting worked on, though.

I finally decided to start up Mario Tennis Aces again to check the last update they did to the game. As expected, they have not fixed the biggest problems with the game menus and options available.

Besides the much needed gameplay balance, one of the things that Mario Tennis Aces really needs are new game options, specially when playing offline. Like I said in my Quick Review a while ago, the game barely has any content and it depends mostly on the replay value of its simple online multiplayer. And the little content that it has is quite complicated and confusing to configure the way you want. Sadly, the rushed updates clearly indicate that the game was released incomplete, similar to how it happened to Mario Tennis Ultra Smash.

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Example of how Shantae HGH’s bad localization could be improved

Based on what I’ve read, Shantae games have always been translated badly. No need to even review the localization when the basic translation is already bad. While I can’t confirm that it’s always been bad, I know it’s not good in both Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse and the last entry, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. And the Ultimate Edition of Half-Genie Hero doesn’t change the translation at all, so it’s still really bad. This seems to apply to every language available since I read reviews from Japanese users stating that, while the gameplay is good, the text has issues.

To show how bad the current translation is and how the localization could be improved, I decided to copy two parts of the game’s original (English) script and then translate and localize them to Spanish myself. After that, I decided to copy the current Spanish translation just so that it can be compared with my translation. I also translated the current Spanish script back to English to compare it with the original English script and also so that people who know English but not Spanish can see how bad it is.

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Assault Android Cactus needs to be available on Switch

Several weeks ago, I was able to play Assault Android Cactus thanks to the Xbox Live Gold free games program. I was really surprised that the game isn’t better known since it’s actually a really good game. It’s a twin stick shooter where the focus isn’t in knowing how to survive but instead is in knowing how to defeat your enemies as efficiently as possible. Survival is just part of it as it’s obviously always more beneficial to be actively attacking the whole time than having to be waiting until your character reactivates.

Before I go on with this post, I want to clear up that this isn’t a review (or a Quick Review). While part of  it can be taken as a review, this will focus more on why I think the game would be great on Switch.

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How not to promote the Nintendo Switch Online service

Aka, Nintendo of America’s recent tweet foolishness.

Nintendo of America recently posted this on their Twitter to promote the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online service:

So their telling us that, with the new Nintendo Switch Online, we’ll be able to play Super Mario Bros. 3 online. A game where the two player mode is not simultaneous but instead is by turns.

Checking the full list of the first 20 titles that will be available, they could have selected either:

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Mario Bros.
  • Balloon Fight
  • Ice Climber
  • Dr. Mario

All of those games have simultaneous multiplayer mode which would actually show the online service much better. But instead, they go with a game that goes by turns when switching player.

The only way NoA could have made this worse would have been if they had tweeted about playing The Legend of Zelda online.

(Btw, if you look carefully at Nintendo’s screenshot, the game isn’t even being played online but in single player mode, as noted by the player icons on the left. An actual online screenshot is at the bottom of this page.)

Moments when MMX Legacy Collections block screenshots and videos

It was expected but I hadn’t really experienced it yet. There are moments in both Mega Man X Legacy Collections when the screenshots and video recording are blocked. Once it happened once, I knew all the places where it would happen. Btw, I’m guessing these features are also blocked in a similar way in the Xbox One and PS4 versions.

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The forgotten Ultra Smash website

Here is the sad truth of what happens now when you try to access the regular site for the Mario Tennis franchise.

The page is now completely empty and just redirects to the site for Mario Tennis Aces.

It seems that Nintendo wants to make people forget that Mario Tennis Ultra Smash existed. (The site still exists but at a different URL that’s harder to find. )

Mario Tennis Aces Online Tournament Demo was just an ad, not a stress test

While the Online Tournament Demo was going on and a few days after it finished, I noticed that a lot of people were commenting and excusing the connection issues by saying that this was supposed to be a network stress test and not a demo of how the game really would be. Actually, though, the Mario Tennis Aces Online Tournament Demo was just an advertisement. It was never intended to be a stress test and probably never used as one.

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