Game Boy and GBA games available now on Nintendo Switch Online + Nintendo Direct February 2023

You can now play Game Boy games on the Nintendo Switch but Game Boy Advance titles will require an Expansion Pack subscription.

It had already been rumoured, and frankly seemed like an idea long overdue, but Game Boy games are now officially available to anyone with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

It works just like the existing NES and SNES games, with a selection of retro titles that will be added to over time but which currently includes Super Mario Land 2, Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Tetris, Metroid 2, Wario Land 3, Kirby’s Dream Land, Gargoyle’s Quest, Game & Watch Gallery 3, and the peculiarly obscure Alone In The Dark: The New Nightmare.

Game Boy Advance games are also available but, like the N64 and Mega Drive, you have to have the more expensive Expansion Pack subscription for that. Its game selection includes Zelda: The Minish Cap, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames, and Kuru Kuru Kururin .

A standard Nintendo Switch Online subscription, which is also needed to play most games online, costs £17.99 a year but you can also pay for it for just three months (£6.99) or one month (£3.49) at a time.

The Expansion Pack is only available as a 12 month deal though, that costs £34.99. Although that does grant you access to a variety of DLC as well, including the new courses for Mario Kart 8 and Animal Crossing’s expansion pack.

We’ve had a little poke around with the games and they all seems as playable as ever, with a reasonable selection of options including trying to recreate the original screen size and a filter to make the screen look as murky as the original hardware.

With the Game Boy you also have the choice to replicate the OG model, the Pocket, or the Color, while both systems offer the original American or European versions (or the American, French, and German editions in the case of Link’s Awakening).

You also get the save states that are essential for playing most retro games, allowing you to save your progress at any point.

There’s also two-player local or online link options for the Game Boy games, where appropriate, and up to four-player for the Game Boy Advance. None of these games had online options originally but Nintendo often adds them to retro games, including the recent re-release of GoldenEye 007.

There was no timetable for adding other games but if it follows the usual pattern, it’ll be every few months. Game Boy games teased for the future include Capcom’s Zelda: Oracle Of Seasons and Oracle Of Ages, as well as the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Kirby Tilt ‘N’ Tumble (which was never originally released in Europe).

Meanwhile, the Game Boy Advance has Metroid Fusion, Kirby And The Amazing Mirror, Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, F-Zero: Maximum Velocity, and Golden Sun planned for some time later this year.

Nintendo Direct February 2023 – all the news you may have missed

Nintendo provided some release dates, and announcements, and showed off new trailers during the Nintendo Direct this evening.

We got to see a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, we were provided with a release date for Pikmin 4 and Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, and the company shadow dropped Metroid Prime Remastered, but there was more to presentation than that.

Other highlights of the video presentation include Professor Layton and The New World of Steam, Disney Illusion Island, Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster, Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective and We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie.

Here’s what you may have missed:

A new look at Disney Illusion Island was provided. The new cooperative 2D platformer adventure for one to four players, has you navigating Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy through a hand-crafted world. As previously announced, the game features fully voiced, animated cutscenes and an orchestrated, original score. It’s out on July 28.

A demo featuring the opening hours of Octopath Traveler 2 was released after the presentation concluded. Out on February 24, in the game, eight new stories await featuring eight new travelers, each with their own origins, motivations, and unique skills. Which path will you take first? Who will your allies be? And where will your journey lead you?

Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon was also shown off. In this new take on the Bayonetta, you play as Cereza, a young apprentice witch before she comes to be called Bayonetta. The game has you using magic and her infernal demon partner Cheshire to travel through a mysterious and dangerous Avalon Forest filled with puzzles and enemies. You’ll control both Cereza and Cheshire at the same time, and obtain the elemental power of wood, rock, water, and fire from the forest to open new paths and sway battles. The game prowls onto Nintendo Switch on March 17.

The 3v3 footbrawler Omega Strikers comes to Switch on April 27. Duke it out in this free-to-play online multiplayer game which has you battling it out in an arena where you need to score goals. As one of more than 15 Strikers, you’ll sling slime, toss tofu, and rocket boost to victory, air hockey style.

Announced during the Nintendo Direct was the Etrian Odyssey Origins Collection. Releasing June 1, it contains the first three Etrian Odyssey games all of which have been remastered in HD. With a blank map as your only guide, you will draw the map as you explore so that you can progress even further to areas where monsters and treasures await. Twenty-four newly drawn character illustrations are included.

Coming to Switch on August 29 is Sea of Stars, where you combine the powers of the sun and moon to fend off evil in a retro-inspired, turn-based RPG. As you freely traverse the world you will meet characters from all walks of life. You will also use well-timed attacks to devastate foes in battle.

A look at Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe was provided as well. A new story unfolds in the game when Magolor, the interdimensional traveler from the main adventure, loses his powers and must escape the realm between dimensions. You can access this new epilogue after clearing Story Mode. Up to four players on the same system can venture through this realm together, where there are over 20 stages to explore. If you want to try it out before it releases on February 24, a demo is now available in Nintendo eShop and allows up to four players to play this specially arranged demo with select stages and subgames.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3. In Vol. 3, join forces with Masha, the newest Hero, and a refined Lapidarist. Challenge Battles with roguelike elements are also being added, and multiple Heroes and special abilities for your party are included. This volume features a challenge battle mode where you can earn in-game outfits for your main characters. It will be released on February 15. Later this year, Vol. 4 will be released. The final volume features an original story scenario.

Splatoon 3 is getting paid DLC in the form of an expansion pass. It features two waves of content. The first wave includes Inkopolis from the original Splatoon game. Wave 1 also includes Inkopolis Plaza, which has changed over the past several years with some new shopkeepers. The Squid Sisters will perform here during Splatfests, too. In the second wave of this DLC, a new single-player campaign called Side Order will show you what’s become of Inkopolis Square, the central area featured in the Splatoon 2 game. The Splatoon 3: Expansion Pass is available for purchase now in Nintendo eShop, with Wave 1 launching this spring. Wave 2 will launch in the future.

Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass Wave 2-4 was also detailed. Wave 2, which was released today, features newly added Emblems, including Hector, Emblem of Strength; Soren, Emblem of Acumen; and Camilla, Emblem of Revelation, to help the Divine Dragon and their allies in battle. Wave 3 will include its own group of Emblems – Chrom and Robin, Emblem of Bonds, and Veronica, Emblem of Heroes. You’ll be able to tackle additional missions to recruit these Emblems. And in Wave 4, a new story, Fell Xenologue, will be unlocked. The Fire Emblem Engage Expansion Pass, which includes four waves releasing through the end of 2023, is available for purchase now in Nintendo eShop and in the My Nintendo Store on

Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania: Dracula’s Castle is a new paid DLC for the roguelite action-platformer Dead Cells. Venture through the castle’s halls and outskirts alongside Richter Belmont and Alucard, leading up to a showdown with Death and Dracula himself. The DLC is out on March 6.

We Love Katamari REROLL+ Royal Reverie is out on June 2. Roll objects in this remaster of We Love Katamari in places such as a classroom, a zoo, and space as the pint-sized princely son with orders to restore the twinkle to the heavens. New features include playing as the young King of All Cosmos in five new challenges and taking photos with the Selfie Camera. If you want to get your fix before June rolls around, any active Nintendo Switch Online member can play a free Game Trial of Katamari Damacy REROLL starting on February 20.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective returns in HD. This time-bending murder mystery stars you as a ghost with the ability to possess and control objects. Your goal is to uncover your unknown past and help unravel mysteries that occurred during the fateful night you croaked. The game arrives on Switch this summer.

Baten Kaitos I & II HD Remaster is a remastered collection of both Baten Kaitos games, originally released on the Nintendo GameCube system. Out this summer, the games feature a card-based RPG system where split-second decisions edge you closer to victory.

Announced during the presentation was Fashion Dreamer, a fashion game where you glam it up and share your creations on your quest to become a stylish influencer. Choose from over 1,400 design options and connect online to expand your friend circle and grow your brand. It’s out later this year.

Level 5’s DECAPOLICE has you playing the role of a futuristic police detective trying to solve difficult crimes. In the game, you will explore an open world and experience deductive reasoning. It’s out later this year.

FANTASY LIFE i: The Girl Who Steals Time finds you on a mysterious island where a bygone civilization once prospered. While there, you embark on a new life full of adventures. And, as you develop your island with crafting, quests, and combat, you’ll also time travel to the past to uncover secrets and alter history. It will be released later this year.

Professor Layton and the New World of Steam is the newest entry in the beloved series and finds Professor Layton solving new puzzles in a fresh setting. Expect epic riddles as you progress through the story of this puzzle-fantasy adventure. A release date was not provided, and more information is expected at a later date.

TRON: Identity is a narrative puzzle adventure set within the TRON universe where you will uncover dangerous truths and retrieve what was lost as you navigate through the world. Your decisions and the alliances you forge will actively influence the story, with a multitude of possible outcomes shaped by your actions. It arrives on Switch this April.

Have a Nice Death is a fast-paced hack-’n’-slash combat game featuring hand-drawn 2D graphics. This action-roguelike has you assume the role of Death, Founder, and CEO of Death Incorporated. This underworld organization is responsible for processing souls in the afterlife. It features procedurally generated departments of the corporation’s headquarters where you rehabilitate rogue employees who have been snatching up too many souls on Earth. It releases on March 22.

Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE is an offbeat puzzle-solving game that finds a city of rain gripped by innumerable mysteries. Under the complete control of a megacorporation, Master Detectives from around the world, each possessing unique powers, must rise to the challenge of uncovering the truth to save the city. Play as Yuma, an amnesiac detective-in-training, accompanied by Shinigami, the spirit haunting him, as you delve into the ever-changing realm and get to the heart of the case. The game releases on June 30.

In the new narrative experience from DON’T NOD, Harmony: The Fall of Reverie, you’ll play as Polly, a young woman who can travel between our world and Reverie, a realm where the deities live. When a megacorporation threatens the balance of these two worlds, she must use her gift of clairvoyance and choose which path to take to defend her world and save Reverie. Many branching story paths, along with a soundtrack by Celeste composer Lena Raine, set the stage for your journey. Harmony: The Fall of Reverie launches first for consoles on Nintendo Switch this June.

The Nintendo Direct presentation also featured a montage of upcoming Nintendo Switch games, including Blanc, the poetic tale of a wolf cub and a fawn, which launches February 14; Disney Dreamlight Valley – the hybrid life-sim and adventure game featuring Disney and Pixar friends – which is available now in Early Access; 10 classic action-packed games with Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, launching April 14; Tales of Symphonia Remastered returns graphically enhanced on February 17; and Japan’s most-played baseball game series has a new entry – WBSC eBASEBALL: POWER PROS which is out now.

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Stevie Flavio
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