One of the rarest Nintendo games ever is due to be released for free as part of the Nintendo Switch equivalent of PSN and Xbox Live.
It’s clearly pointless trying to work out what Nintendo is doing with retro games on the Switch. Unlike the Wii and Wii U there is no Virtual Console and it looks like there probably never will be, but the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service does offer a number of NES and SNES titles – including one very unusual new addition.
Star Fox 2 is peculiar for the fact that technically it didn’t come out on the SNES at all, because it was cancelled just before launch despite being finished and ready to go.
Nintendo were worried that it was releasing too close to the upcoming N64 console and that its 3D graphics, although state-of-the-art on the SNES, would look embarrassing by comparison.
Leaked versions of the game did the rounds for years, but it was then officially released on the Classic Mini SNES, which is when we got a chance to review it.
Since the Classic Mini SNES is (for no good reason that Nintendo has ever been able to explain) no longer in production Nintendo Switch Online is now the only way to play it.
Nintendo Switch Online is necessary to play most Switch games online, but as well as ‘free’ retro games also gives access to the excellent Tetris 99, cloud saves, and various money-off offers.
Since Nintendo’s online services are not as robust as Sony and Microsoft’s it’s also relatively cheap, at £3.49 a month or £17.99 a year.
Star Fox 2 will be added on 12 December, alongside less storied SNES games Kirby Super Star (known as Kirby’s Fun Pak on its original release in Europe), Capcom role-player Breath Of Fire 2, and boxing sequel Super Punch-Out!!
That will be in addition to incredibly obscure NES games Journey To Silius and Crystalis. Where and why Nintendo dug those up from we couldn’t guess but they’re both third party titles (from Sunsoft and SNK, respectively) so they must’ve put some effort into licensing them.
Now if they’d only go that bit further and just set-up a proper Virtual Console…
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