Here’s proof that Nintendo still hasn’t forgotten their “Switch Online” retro catalog. Next week they’ll be adding four new games to the list: three from SNES and one from NES.
The biggest surprise in the quartet is Panel De Pon, the match-3 block puzzler that was localized in the West under the name Tetris Attack. It was mainly for marketing purposes — it had nothing to do with Tetris at all aside from sharing the same vague genre. The fairy characters of Panel De Pon were swapped out for the cast of Yoshi’s Island, which had been released the year before.
Panel De Pon has been released on several different Nintendo consoles since, and always under a different name….Pokemon Puzzle League on N64, just Puzzle League on GBA. This marks the first time that the original unaltered game has been released outside of Japan. Its characters have only been glimpsed in America as prizes in Smash Bros games.
While the original game has always been a request from fans, it’s more likely we’re getting it because Nintendo doesn’t want to bother licensing the Tetris name just for a free rerelease. Aside from the reskin, Tetris Attack was the same game as Panel De Pon — same music, same stages. You’re gonna need that familiarity to play the original, because Nintendo’s not even going through the effort of translating the menu. Just use the Google Translate app if you’re desperate.
Wild Guns is also in the lineup. It is an excellent arcade shooter from Natsume that was underappreciated in its day and is now worth a billion bucks on eBay — its presence here is very welcome. A revamped version, Wild Guns Reloaded, was released to Switch in 2018 and is still available today.
Rounding out the update lineup are the original NES Rygar, and something called “Operation Logic Bomb.” Enjoy these four games with Nintendo Switch Online starting May 20, and keep begging the Big N for EarthBound.