Zelda II, Blaster Master, Joining Nintendo Switch Online

Zelda II
(Image credit: Nintendo)

If you've registered to play online games via the Nintendo Switch's online service, or you just wanted to play classic NES games on the Nintendo Switch, you're in for a treat if you still have your Nintendo Network subscription alive and active. The company announced that two new games have joined the line-up, including Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, and Blaster Master.

The news rolled out via a press release from the Big N, which revealed that, starting January 16th, gamers will be able to get their hands on the two classic NES titles, which are supposed to have online-enabled multiplayer functionality for the games that support cooperative or competitive play. In the case of Zelda II: The Awakening and Blaster Master, the multiplayer aspects really don't come into play since they're both single-player games.

Nevertheless, if you missed out on these titles when they originally released back in the 1980s for the NES, you can get your hands on them now, especially since they weren't included in the NES Classic Edition that Nintendo rolled out a couple of years ago.

Blaster Master is very similar to the game Thexder from Game Arts, which came out a few years before Blaster Master for the PC Engine in Japan. Both games are themed around using mechanized armor to fight against enemies. The big difference is that in Thexder you never got out of the suit, and you fought your way through the enemies either in the airplane mode or in the bipedal mode. In Blaster Master you have the SOPHIA armored tank, which can be played like a traditional 2D platformer, and then there's the isometric top-down mode featuring Jason, when he dismounts from the tank, almost like in Jungle Strike 3 for the Sega Genesis.

The game was also available (like many others) via Nintendo's Virtual Console for systems like the Wii and the Wii U. However, Nintendo has not been keen on bringing the Virtual Console over to the Nintendo Switch. Gamers instead are offered classic NES titles in exchange for a monthly or annual subscription.

Even still, if you missed out on Zelda II during its many iterations and re-releases, you can also grab that game on the Switch starting January 16th. It was the first Legend of Zelda game to feature Link being played from a side-scrolling perspective. The title was popular as a hack-and-slash platformer on the NES, which spawned many clones, such as the highly under-rated PC game, Zeliard.

These games join an ever-growing library of other titles, such as River City Ransom, and the original Metroid, along with other Nintendo exclusives such as Donkey Kong, and Super Mario Bros. There's a complete list of the available NES games on the Switch over on the Nintendo website.

The offerings are still slim pickings compared to the massive library of free games that gamers have accrued through other services like the Xbox Live Games With Gold program or the PlayStation Plus subscription, but something is better than nothing.

You can get your hands on the two new additions of classic NES nostalgia starting January 16th.

Will Usher

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.