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Nintendo Switch Online adds 3 Sega Genesis classics, including Sonic’s pinball game

Switch owners now have access to 25 16-bit Sega games

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers who pay for the premium Expansion Pack tier got three additional Sega Genesis games as part of their subscription on Thursday: Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball, Shining Force 2, and Space Harrier 2. That fresh injection of 16-bit Sega software brings the number of Genesis games available through a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription to 25.

Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball — colloquially known as Sonic Spinball — is an adventure in which Sonic flips, bounces, and launches through Dr. Robotnik’s pinball table-themed fortress as he collects the Chaos Emeralds and saves the people of planet Mobius from enslavement. Sonic The Hedgehog Spinball was developed by the American arm of Sega, at Sega Technical Institute, and was inspired by the popular casino-style levels of earlier Sonic the Hedgehog games.

Shining Force 2 is a fantasy-themed tactical RPG adventure, in which players, as the squire Bowie, lead the team known as Shining Force against a group of powerful demons known as ... Gizmos. It’s better than it sounds. Released stateside in 1994, the events of Shining Force 2 are largely disconnected from the original Shining Force, which is also available on Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Finally, Space Harrier 2 is the Genesis sequel to Yu Suzuki’s classic arcade third-person shooter and was a launch title for Sega’s 16-bit console. It boasts some sick music from composer Tokuhiko Uwabo, who also composed Phantasy Star 2 and Columns for Sega, so check out that BGM Test menu if you have access to it.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack costs $49.99 annually for an individual user, and $79.99 annually for a family plan (for up to eight users). The higher-priced tier of Nintendo Switch Online also grants access to Nintendo 64 games, the Happy Home Paradise add-on for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, DLC courses for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and as of Friday, Splatoon 2’s Octo Expansion.

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