Long read: What might the ultimate character creator look like?

Baldur's Gate 3, Street Fighter and Lost Ark developers discuss.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Nintendo just dropped a surprise in its Switch Online update

Destroy the core.

Today sees a new suite of NES games being added to Nintendo's Switch Online service, with Metroid, Mighty Bomb Jack and Twinbee all joining the service - and there's a surprise 'fourth' game in the shape of Gradius SP, a new spin on Konami's classic shooter.

It's not exactly an all-new take - Gradius SP simply grants you a fully powered-up Vic Viper ship and puts you straight into the fifth level of the game. It's a neat way of getting you properly into the thick of things, and an excellent way of getting acquainted with Gradius at its brilliant best.

The Japanese Switch Online service also gets an SP version of Mario Open Golf, which joins the original Legend of Zelda in getting a slight makeover by Nintendo - though what changes have been made there remains a little unclear.

The Nintendo Switch's Online service launched somewhat belatedly back in September, bringing with it the ability for subscribers to play a selection of NES games that's slowly grown in the months since. I was initially a bit sniffy about it all - and the feature set for actually playing games online remains threadbare - but have to admit I've piled hours into playing through the likes of Mario Bros 3 and Gradius since - and now it looks like I'm about to play through the latter all over again.