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Friday, October 21, 2022

Re-Evaluating Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack Given Mario Party and Pokémon Stadium

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think that's the tipping point.

The last thing I noted in the September 13, 2022 Nintendo Direct was that KoopaTV might have to reconsider our valuation of the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. A year ago, when it was first released, I asked the KoopaTV staff if we wanted this (it's an $80 per year subscription, up from $35 a year for the basic membership), and no one said yes. Not even Paper Mario or Zero Wing have swayed us.

But it turns out that a combination of Pilotwings 64 (already out now), the first three Mario Party games, Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Stadium 2, and GoldenEye 007 is what has tipped the staff over the edge to ask me to go for the Expansion Pack. (Note that all of those aren't happening until sometime in 2023.) It helps that list includes games that we actually want to play online multiplayer with one another. While Mario Party 2 certainly has been re-released before, the likes of Mario Party, Mario Party 3, and both Pokémon Stadium titles have not. ...And GoldenEye 007 has its own history, but... I've never actually played GoldenEye 007 before. And given my dislike of the genre, I don't really have any wish to.

But I do love Mario Party 3 and Duel Mode. Reminder that KoopaTV's whole seven-year anniversary article is based on the Mario Party 3 story mode. There are lots of interesting character interactions and partnerships thanks to Duel Mode, and there are some very nice minigames throughout the first three games. As for the minigames in Pokémon Stadium, I think they're overrated by nostalgia, in that they tend to be roughly equivalent in quality and effort as a Mario Party minigame, but there are quite a bit less.

People are quick to notice that you'll only be able to use Rental Pokémon in the two Stadium games, because unlike the Nintendo 64 originals, there isn't any compatibility with Game Boy Pokémon games. However, the best mode in Pokémon Stadium 2 is Challenge Cup, which gives you a randomised set of six Pokémon, and you get to choose three of those six to enter into battle versus your opponent's also-(semi-)randomised Pokémon. Challenge Cup probably caused my lifelong problem of disliking team-building and preferring randomly generated metagames. It's the best part of Pokémon Online, and Pokémon Showdown still can't do challengeable Challenge Cups in that format. Just remember... it's using Generation 2 mechanics, which aren't...good, and that means there's no Physical/Special split yet.

Pokémon Stadium 2 Challenge Cup milTANK Kimono Girl Emiko choice happy pose
At least the animations are very nice. And Miltank is amazing and would be MY choice.

Anyway, I can totally see us playing online Challenge Cups or some rounds of Mario Party 3. Would it be worth $80 per year for all of us? The more I write $80 per year, the less I feel confident the answer is actually yes. But I think we're gonna dip into it because folks are asking for it.

The prize for Round 46 of the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program happens to be a one-year membership into the KoopaTV Nintendo Switch Online Family Group, meaning that if KoopaTV upgrades its group subscription to the Expansion Pack, the winner will also get to experience that upgrade. You probably want that.

The first Pokémon Stadium came out on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack in April 2023.


  1. Considering I'm paying for the upgraded version on my own, yes if I win I wouldn't want a downgrade. I wasn't expecting an outright confirmation when you reevaluated, so I do very much appreciate that you did.

    Now all I have to do is actually win. Which involves not having someone come out of nowhere with a bajillion points in the 2nd half of a Rewards Program season like the last time I thought I was gonna win. So uh, don't do that, guys! XD Especially you, Captain Stitch!

    1. No promises! ;) But i'd watch out for Kody B, he used to be the king of this round and we haven't seen him for a while. What could he be planning?

    2. Yeah, by now I saw that you kind of already did.

    3. Well unlike last month, the spreadsheet of scores is actually up-to-date.

    4. That is indeed what I meant. At least, when I looked at it, it was up to date up to the 20th. As of this writing I haven't checked if it's been made further up to date.

  2. I for one LOVE all Mario Party 64 games and am very excited to confirm my answer as yes in this case.

    1. I'd love if y'all helped pay for it. :)

      Or at least do that NFT article request from the beginning of the year. <.<

  3. Another thing to mention--I hope this article being out means *that* certain article will be published here soon? I was very pleased when I checked the spreadsheet and saw that you'd given it 14/15 points.


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