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Zapp Branniglenn

NSO Expansion Pak release and price details - weighed down by Animals?

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From Sept 23:

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The N64 and Genesis expansions to Switch Online might be good, but it's foreboding for them to say "we'll talk about pricing and restrictions at a later date." It definitely feels like they gave us the good news first, leaving the bad news for the press release. 

For the Too Long Didn't Watchers, the launch day for the expansion is October 25th. The price is $50USD a year (80 for Family plan holders). There is no option to buy the Expansion Pak for 1 or 3 month periods, it's 12 month subscription only. And here's a link to check out the confirmed and future to titles for N64 and Genesis. There is no mention of future Genesis additions, and today's announcement didn't tease any more future N64 games then what we already know

The really controversial decision is including Animal Crossing DLC that was also recently announced. Normally that's $25USD to purchase, which accounts for much of the price hike. So non AC players are found wishing for additional price options for just the retro games. Will future first party game DLCs be included in the Expansion Pak? Nobody can say for sure.

Will you guys be taking advantage of the service? I'm a family plan holder, but I feel like only myself and one other person really cares about any of this stuff. He doesn't know anything about emulation, so I think what I'll do instead is shop around for one of those preloaded consoles that have a ton of N64 games and features with no hassle. Christmas is coming up, and those things are more permanent.

Edited by Zapp Branniglenn

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Honestly, I'd rather just pay for the N64 content. SEGA Genesis is neat and all, but we have a Genesis Classic and I'm not such a big fan of SEGA's library that I absolutely must have Genesis titles online, too. And I don't play Animal Crossing, so that's just bloatware outright.

I hope Nintendo will add different plans to the service down the line. I'd be willing to pay $15, maybe $20 yearly for Online + N64 content, but $50 is rather steep considering you could have bought an N64 game for $50 back in the day, and Banjo-Kazooie's the only title I really want (though getting to play OoT and MM on a console again is nice, but I'd rather they get updated releases on Switch).

At any rate, no point in me shelling out until Banjo-Kazooie's been added to the service. I hope Banjo-Tooie gets added down the line, as well. Gotta have the complete B-K experience! Though come to think of it, I'd really love a Banjo-Kazooie collection for Switch that includes not only Kazooie and Tooie but also Grunty's Revenge, Banjo Pilot, and maybe even Nuts N' Bolts.

Edited by Lord_Brand

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I'm glad I play all my old favorite games on emulators. Nintendo's online services were never that good nor did I like buying the same games again every new console generation. Their subscription programs are not any better since all their games with online play besides Mario Kart 8 are not that great.

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I'm definitely not going to be getting it, at least not unless/until they add a lot more stuff to it. It kinda feels as if it's priced for people who are interested in all/most of what's there. For anyone who wants the Animal Crossing DLC and wants to play several of the N64 games and wants to play several of the Megadrive games, then it's probably pretty decent value. But for people who only care about one part of what's on offer, then it comes across as overpriced. This sort of subscription service -- whether it's Xbox gamepass, Apple Arcade, or even something like Netflix or Amazon Prime -- works when you only have to care about a tiny fraction of what's available for them to be decent value. If I only want to watch 1% of what's on Netflix, then that still means I have an endless stream of stuff to watch. For this expansion pack, the library is small and the price is high, so you really do need to want all of it for there to be value.

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Re: Animal Crossing, notice that, per the fine text in the video, you need to have an active NSO expansion pass to access the AC-DLC. So, once your NSO-EP plan runs out, then unless you renew, you'll lose access to the AC-DLC. If you want the AC-DLC in perpetuity, you'll need to buy it on its own (IIRC it's $25). I have Animal Crossing, but I'm probably not even gonna go for the DLC - the game is so content-rich already.

Anyway, I'm not planning to pony up for this service. I never owned an N64 growing up, so none of the titles portrayed feel like "must-haves". Sure, it'd be nice to give Paper Mario 1 a proper play-through, but not at that price point. As for the Genesis, yeah Sonic 2 is cool, but I already have the Sonic Mega Collection for PS2.

What would it take for me to buy this? I'd have to see some games that really grab me, which I can't play any other way. The Pokemon Stadium games are the standout (imagine if they could link up to 3DS Virtual Console...), but also maybe Gex 64 (I had the generally-superior PS1 version, but I'll take what I can get) or Sonic CD. Maybe a DLC that I'd like to try, but that I'm not sure I'd need around forever, would sweeten the deal. Even then, $50 is a fairly big ask.

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$50 is a very big ask for not many games. I don't really care for any of the Sega games, so the only reason for me to get it would be the N64 games, and of those games, most of the ones I'd be interested in are ones that I already have:

I still have my GameCube and Zelda Collectors Edition (and it works perfectly after all these years and multiple moves; the durability of the GameCube is amazing... remember when Nintendo used to make durable consoles and controllers?), so I can use that to play Ocarina of Time.

I already have Mario 64 via 3D All-Stars; speaking of which, putting Mario 64 on Switch Online so soon after releasing a limited-time $60 barebones upscaling is a great way to make fans feel completely cheated. As if I didn't already feel bad about purchasing 3D All-Stars.

Really, the only games on the list that stand out as games I might try (and this is being a bit generous) would be Paper Mario and Banjo-Kazooie, and I'm not going to spend $50 just to play two N64 games.

 

By the way, on the list of N64 games on Nintendo's website, they state the release year of each game, and Sin & Punishment is listed as having released in 2007, even though it actually released in the year 2000 and took place in the year 2007. I honestly can't tell if that's on purpose as a joke or if it's a genuine typo and massive coincidence.

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I expected the expansion pass costing as much as the normal pass (20 $ per year), but hoped for maybe only 10 $. Being more expensive than the regular membership is a joke for me considering it features as many consoles as the regular membership does (both 2). Furthermore I really do not care for Sega. I was only interested in playing Donkey Kong 64 and the Banjo duology, but it's absolutely not worth for me to pay 30 $ more per year for like a handful of games I am interested in. That was a really disappointing announcement I must say.

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I'm passing on it.  $50 is too much for a handful of N64 games I'd love to play, and I don't have any attachment to the Genesis.  Plus I'm not an Animal Crossing player, so that would be paying for something I'd never use.  If you still have your Wii U, you're better off getting some of the games from it's Virtual Console instead (especially if you're the type who's against using unofficial emulators).

Edited by FailWood

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The cost is stupid, perhaps because Sega demanded a hefty licensing fee for the Genesis titles to be added to NSO. Why bother having it then? Just the 64, and maybe throwing in the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance instead, would've been better, with a lower price tag.

 

8 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

By the way, on the list of N64 games on Nintendo's website, they state the release year of each game, and Sin & Punishment is listed as having released in 2007, even though it actually released in the year 2000 and took place in the year 2007. I honestly can't tell if that's on purpose as a joke or if it's a genuine typo and massive coincidence.

Release Nintendo 64
  • JP: 21 November 2000

"It was finally released in western territories through the Virtual Console in 2007"

There is your answer. Both are true, depends on which release you're talking about.

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2 hours ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

 

Release Nintendo 64
  • JP: 21 November 2000

"It was finally released in western territories through the Virtual Console in 2007"

There is your answer. Both are true, depends on which release you're talking about.

Ah; that makes sense. So it's just a funny coincidence that the game also took place in the year 2007.

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I thought about getting the expansion for a while. Its been a while since i've played the old paper mario and sin and punishment looked like a cool game to try out once. At this price point i'm not going to be buying it any time soon though.

I already have 3 of the n64 games on my 3ds and I don't have animal crossing. More then doubling my costs for online for such limited value is just not a good deal for me.

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Animal Crossing is Nintendo's most boring franchise, IMO. So it's just wasted value for me, and there is absolutely no way I'd be able to justify that cost for N64 and Genesis games. Maybe GC and GBA.

Edited by Fabulously Olivier

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Such a big price increase for decade old games you can get through various other means for not cheaper is not a good deal.

Now if they had included gamecube games which are much harder to get your hands on, have higher production values and aged more gracefully than maybe it would be a deal worth considering. But as its stands its just too little for too much money. And they really should have included Gamecube games already. 

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On 10/16/2021 at 7:16 PM, Etrurian emperor said:

Such a big price increase for decade old games you can get through various other means for not cheaper is not a good deal.

Now if they had included gamecube games which are much harder to get your hands on, have higher production values and aged more gracefully than maybe it would be a deal worth considering. But as its stands its just too little for too much money. And they really should have included Gamecube games already. 

That's the $50 question, isn't it? "Will they eventually incorporate Gamecube games? And if so, will they come with the same package as N64 and Genesis, or at an even higher price tier?" I still have a Gamecube collection, and a way to play them, so this wouldn't do much for me personally. But I get that it's desirable for some.

Personally, I'm disappointed at the complete lack of Game Boy (Color) representation. Access to old-school Pokemon, Wario Land, Tetris, Kirby's Dreamland, 2D Zelda, and Donkey Kong Land, among others - on the big and small screen alike? Now, that would be quite the coup! Given their age, I'd like to see them included in the base package (maybe promising eventual GBA support for the higher price point). But if Nintendo held them to the Expansion Pass, then it'd look at least a bit more attractive to me.

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I don't get why adding SEGA Genesis was so important when they could have added more of their own library and justified the price tag a bit more - or better yet, charged a lower price tag since they don't have as many royalties to pay. Really, this has got to be the dumbest move Nintendo's made since Paper Mario: Sticker Star for 3DS.

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3 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

I don't get why adding SEGA Genesis was so important when they could have added more of their own library and justified the price tag a bit more - or better yet, charged a lower price tag since they don't have as many royalties to pay. Really, this has got to be the dumbest move Nintendo's made since Paper Mario: Sticker Star for 3DS.

Adding the Genesis collection comes across like Nintendo T-posing on Sega. Like "that's right, we won the console war, and now we're burying our rival". Of course, this demanded Sega's cooperation, so maybe it's actually the hatchet that they were burying?

But yeah, bringing in Genesis before any of the GB/GBA offefings is pretty puzzling. That said, I wouldn't count on Nintendo lowering the price, even in light of such a change. They're gonna charge what people will pay, and there's a sizable contingent who would pay premium for N64 alone.

Edited by Shanty Pete's 1st Mate
Typo.

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Yeah I don't see Nintendo ever adding an option for people to "customize" which parts of the service they want. Just like how they don't allow you to purchase one or three month periods. Pro-consumer decisions like that are what cuts into Ninties' profits. As for the emulation quality, I'm not surprised at the hiccups. Those who have gamed on emulators for a while probably already know this but the state of N64 emulation has never really reached the level of perfection we've enjoyed for decades on NES and SNES emulators, nor matched the recent years of  Dolphin's mastery of the Gamecube. It is possible to get perfect performance of a N64 game, but it typically requires you to "shop around" for which individual emulator is best at imitating that particular game, or at least extensive tweaking of settings or plugins. Nintendo can only have one configuration to run all of the games, so some of them are going to have to suffer.

Shame that it's Ocarina of Time though. The fog effects are so wrong that it reminds me of the infamous Silent Hill HD collection ten years ago. You should not be able to see Ganondorf in full view after pulling the master sword. The Dark Link room is upsetting to hear about. I'd like to see what it looks like in action, but nobody on youtube has footage of it, only the screenshot. It doesn't just look weird. The missing reflections hinder the visual trickery of that encounter. When you walk in, Link has a reflection like everything else in the room. But when you reach the far side, the reflection disappears and is waiting for you back at the middle of the room. That's a cool effect! And it wasn't an issue on previous ports. 

Mario kart 64 not implementing Ghost Data is unfortunate, though as far as I know, the virtual console ports omitted that feature too. You know what always bugged me was Mario Tennis. It has exclusive courts and characters you can only access via the transfer pak and a copy of Mario Tennis GB. Couldn't they just flip something in the code and have that stuff pre-unlocked? That always bothered me, since there's obviously no way you can unlock it the intended way on these emulated ports. 

I haven't heard a single word on the genesis games. But I'd reckon there's not much to tell. There have been a lot of genesis collections over the years, and they're all better deals than this service. Right now on steam you can get almost 60 of them for thirty dollars - permanently. Cheaper if you wait for a sale. And you even have the option of buying individual games. That's perfect for people like me that already own most of them on some other format.

As for the placeholder slots people are finding in the code for more N64 games, keep in mind that the exact number isn't final. To use an apt example, Smash Ultimate had 30 placeholder slots for DLC characters. Which sounds ludicrous, but they didn't know in 2018 how long DLC would go on for. In the end we got 12 dlc characters, if you count Piranha Plant. And as for more system categories, note that back when it was just NES games, there was four extra emulator types referenced in the code according to data mines. We now can account for three of them: SNES, N64, and Genesis. Only one of those four ended up being a free addition to the existing service, so I wouldn't cross your fingers that the still unknown system will be included in the Expansion Pak at a later date. My money is on it being a scrapped idea, since it was planned all those years ago and still hasn't surfaced by now.

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If Iwata were in charge, we'd still have a Virtual Console. I bet you Furukawa from accounting stepping up to fill Iwata's shoes is a major factor in why Nintendo's pulling this BS now. We got a bean counter instead of a game designer at the helm now, so I have a bad feeling Nintendo's about to take a steep nosedive - and seeing as I'm not interested in supporting Microsoft (directly) or Sony at this point, if that happens I'm just going to give up on the established video game IPs altogether and focus on my own. A bummer really, I'd hoped I might be able to bring at least one of my creations to the Switch during its lifetime, but if Nintendo's going to become just another soulless cash factory, then count me out. I'll stick to Steam and digital distribution platforms. Hell, if need be I'll even brainstorm my own video game console and become a competitor. Figure out a marketing plan that'll undercut the giants and give the people an alternative that's affordable and pro-consumer.

Iwata was the kind of man who could marry artistic and business interests. I strive to be that kind of man.

Edited by Lord_Brand

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16 hours ago, Lord_Brand said:

If Iwata were in charge, we'd still have a Virtual Console. I bet you Furukawa from accounting stepping up to fill Iwata's shoes is a major factor in why Nintendo's pulling this BS now. We got a bean counter instead of a game designer at the helm now, so I have a bad feeling Nintendo's about to take a steep nosedive - and seeing as I'm not interested in supporting Microsoft (directly) or Sony at this point, if that happens I'm just going to give up on the established video game IPs altogether and focus on my own. A bummer really, I'd hoped I might be able to bring at least one of my creations to the Switch during its lifetime, but if Nintendo's going to become just another soulless cash factory, then count me out. I'll stick to Steam and digital distribution platforms. Hell, if need be I'll even brainstorm my own video game console and become a competitor. Figure out a marketing plan that'll undercut the giants and give the people an alternative that's affordable and pro-consumer.

Iwata was the kind of man who could marry artistic and business interests. I strive to be that kind of man.

Yeah; Nintendo wasn't perfect under Iwata, but it was a lot less anti-consumer, and it was obvious that he actually cared about the products rather than just profit.

You're an aspiring game developer? That's cool. I hope that goes well (and if you ever have any advice for me, since I'm also trying to make my own game, please don't hesitate to offer it).

As for making a console, these days, the only way a console can survive is by offering something substantial that PC can't provide; Sony and Microsoft's wars over exclusive titles are only postponing the inevitable. Nintendo found this out the hard way with the Wii U: they never found a reason why the second screen would be a substantial benefit compared to what it cost in terms of performance, whereas the Switch actually offers convenient portability.

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5 hours ago, vanguard333 said:

You're an aspiring game developer? That's cool. I hope that goes well (and if you ever have any advice for me, since I'm also trying to make my own game, please don't hesitate to offer it).

The biggest pointer I can offer is to start with a general macro plan of your game. That makes it easy to plan out how many levels, bosses, enemies, etc. that you want your game to have. From there, you want to figure out major plot points if your game features a story, as well as major and minor characters. You also want to sort characters by function and purpose: playable protagonists, supporting NPCs, antagonists, etc., keeping in mind your game's themes and messages if it has any.

The Spyro games are one of my favorite examples of this principle, Spyro 2 in particular. Last year, one of the Spyro 2 devs found long-lost design documents for that game that shone a big light on its development process. We saw how the number of levels were figured out, what their working names were, what each stage's purpose was, and even the fact that there were going to be four additional Talismans in the Winter Tundra worlds that Spyro would get after Ripto apparently stole the other 14 Talismans. It's all quite fascinating and helped refine my own game design paradigms.

I'm aiming at a digital release to start with, probably through Steam. I would love to offer physical releases at some point, but if the Big Three lose my support completely, I'll be looking for alternatives.

I can't provide many details yet, but I currently have concrete ideas for two IPs that I've been developing using my paradigms:

  • A 3D action adventure series starring anthro characters, with a heavy emphasis on pirates and treasure hunting. This series features a core crew of six protagonists who each serve a different role both as part of the crew and as playable characters. Mechanically and thematically, it draws inspiration from Donkey Kong Country, Crash Bandicoot, Banjo-Kazooie, and Sly Cooper, while aesthetically it's inspired by Western animation, particularly Disney animation. I'm thinking of making this one episodic in nature, allowing for parts of the game to be developed and released at a time.
  • A 2D platformer series heavily inspired by Mega Man and magical girl series like Sailor Moon that focuses on a mostly-female cast of characters. In contrast to Mega Man's sci-fi trappings, this series is geared towards fantasy, a decision I made to give it a more distinct identity.

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I definitely wait to purchase the Expansion Pack to get till Banjo & Kazooie gets released in the N64 Online. I do want to play Musha and Rinstar since none of those two are on Sega Genesis Mini as well as Dr. Mario 64. I did got a few Nintendo 64 games from the Wii Shop Channel through Club Nintendo years ago as well as Wii U eShop.

I do think Nintendo should add some more Nintendo 64 games in the Nintendo 64 Online such as Pokemon Puzzle League, Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2, Cruis'n USA, Cruis'n World, and maybe other Rare games like Banjo-Tooie since Banjo & Kazooie managed to happen.

Edited by King Marth 64

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Even when they add Banjo-Kazooie to the expansion, I don't think I'm going to pay for it until they lower the price and/or offer a trimmed package that's just the N64 games. Not even Banjo-Kazooie is worth $50-$80 yearly. Just let me buy the damn game.

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