Nintendo Switch Online's N64 Games Need Some Work
Input lag, framerate issues and some more specific problems being reported
Nintendo Switch Online's brand new Expansion Pack subscription has finally launched, giving members who sign up to the service access to a line-up of classic Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive titles.
However, according to some folks online the new service is having some teething problems at this early stage, with reports of input lag and framerate issues among the noise. In addition to these more general problems, it seems some games also have more specific issues.
As reported by our pals over at Eurogamer, Mario Kart 64 is having an issue related to saving Ghost Data, something which required players to have an N64 Memory Pak back in the day and hasn't, it seems, had a workaround implemented in this emulated version.
Super Mario 64 is also missing a rumble feature that appears in the Japanese Expansion Pack version of the game. Rather than being a specific technical issue, however, the Japanese version of Super Mario 64 is the Shindou one which was updated with Rumble Pak support, so if you want that feature it appears you'll just need to grab the Japanese Expansion Pack app - so check out our handy guide on how to do just that!
Sin and Punishment has been reported to have some control issues involving how it's mapped its strafing. In the original N64 release, the strafe left and right actions were mapped to the yellow controller buttons, and in this emulated version these are replicated on the Switch's face buttons. However, the Switch version has you pressing the right trigger to shoot, which then remaps the face buttons at the same time. This leads to the right strafe no longer working on the face buttons, however, you can also use the D-Pad to strafe so besides being a little awkward this isn’t really a huge issue.
Further to these specific issues, there are apparently some framerate and sound problems with Mario Kart 64. We've played the game briefly ourselves and have experienced the soundtrack stopping and starting at random, so that's definitely an issue, but we've yet to notice any framerate problems so far.
Framerate issues are also being reported in relation to Star Fox 64 and Yoshi's Story, and Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are apparently suffering from some controller lag, although we have to say from our - admittedly short - time spent on the games in question, we haven't had a single noticeable framerate issue so far and the input lag... well, we haven't felt that as a notable problem.
In relation to the input lag reports, GameXplain has put out a video addressing the input lag issues which seems to confirm that it's minimal at worst. Our video team are also looking into it and the results suggest input lag in Mario 64, for example, is near identical to that of Super Mario 3D All-Stars.
There's also a very obvious issue with reduced fog levels in some N64 games on Switch. Not so much a problem that's going to stop you enjoying the games, this is more of an aesthetic issue and, as you can see from our images below - with Wii U on the left and Switch on the right - the lack of fog is making for some rather fugly vistas in places. Wii U emulation had its own issues in this regard, so neither seems optimal.
We've also seen a few tweets regarding online performance, but these tweets have then been shot down by other players.
We'll leave you with a few tweets flagging up various issues as being reported by folk online and, as ever, make sure to let us know in the comments of any problems you've been encountering with the new line-up of games as you get stuck into them in the coming days.