The Legend of Zelda SP eases Switch owners into a classic

It's dangerous to go alone! Take everything.

The mysterious, recently-announced “SP” titles in the Nintendo Switch Online NES Classic line-up have received their first showing, as The Legend of Zelda SP has been added to the service alongside Super Dodge Ball, Solomon's Key and NES Open Tournament Golf. At a glance this appears to be a somewhat rudimentary “saved state”, simply placing the player at the start point of the original The Legend of Zelda but with a clutch of items and a wallet full of rupees – like an easier mode to help new players ease into the game. There's been a little pushback against this, but I personally think it's a great idea. I felt much the same about Nintendo's first foray into accessibility, the Super Guide as introduced in New Super Mario Bros Wii. In fact, using this SP edition I'll probably be able to make some actual progress in the game, which has defeated me at the first hurdle many times.

Link contemplates his newfound freedom and is briefly moved to tears.
Link contemplates his newfound freedom and is briefly moved to tears.

It's not without its issues, particularly the presentation – it just boots you directly into the saved state without even showing the title screen, which feels messy and unpolished. For future SP editions – some of which, such as Double Dragon SP, Gradius SP and Super Mario Bros 3 SP, have been announced – I'd like to see some more full-featured changes. The confirmed Metroid SP, for example, would be much-improved with the addition of an automap feature ala Super Metroid. I would expect Mario 3 SP will start you off with the post-game inventory full of P-Wings, but it remains to be seen.

More, please, Nintendo! More efforts to make your back catalogue accessible to potential newcomers! And also people like me who are bad at your games!