The RetroBeat: Genesis on Nintendo Switch Online isn’t that exciting

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Normally, I’d be super excited to see retro games from a system (especially a non-Nintendo one) coming to Switch. But there is something odd, or at the very least redundant, about seeing Genesis games coming to Nintendo Switch Online.

Right now, you can buy the Sega Genesis Classics collection on Switch for $15. This is a fantastic compilation. It includes over 50 games, including most of the heavy-hitters you expect, like Phantasy Star IV, Gunstar Heroes, Streets of Rage 2, and Shinobi III. Whenever people asked me about Genesis games on Switch, I always said that they already are on there. You just have to buy this collection.

And even some of the big Genesis hits that aren’t on this compilation, including Castlevania Bloodlines and Contra Hard Corps, are available on the Switch via other collections. And, yeah, Genesis Classics doesn’t include Sonic the Hedgehog 3 or Sonic & Knuckles, but those are coming in 2022 via Sonic Origins.

Granted, even though Nintendo has only revealed 14 games for Genesis on NSO so far, we are getting a few that aren’t already available on the console. This includes Ecco the Dolphin and Strider, which I’m actually surprised weren’t on the Sega Genesis Classics collection. We’re also getting the vertical shooter Musha, something I’ve never played before.

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Still some potential

There are also some games that I’d love to have on Switch that aren’t coming in that initial NSO batch or aren’t already available in another compilation. This includes Rocket Knight Adventure, Konami’s excelled mascot action-platformer. Since Konami is already letting Nintendo put its Genesis Contra and Castlevania games on NSO, I’m hopeful that Rocket Knight isn’t far behind.

I’m also hoping against common sense that we get the fantastic Genesis Disney games on NSO. It’s not as crazy as it seems, as Mickey Mouse’s Castle of Illusion and World of Illusion are on the Sega Genesis Mini. Aladdin is already playable on Switch via another existing compilation. If you really want to make me happy, however, give me QuackShot Starring Donlad Duck on NSO.

But I’d be even more excited if we were seeing other Sega systems coming to Switch. Look, I get it. Genesis is always the safest bet. But give me some Sega Master games. Let’s finally give those fantastic Saturn titles a new life. Let’s capitalize on that Dreamcast nostalgia.

Maybe those consoles will come down the road. Of course, who knows how much extra Nintendo will charge us for them.

The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.

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