Online Features: Yay or Nay? [Debate]

Debate Online Features | Nintendo | Video Games | Gaming |

Online capabilities and features have become pretty staple when it comes to video games nowadays. All of the current generation of consoles have some sort of online network that allows you to link up and play with friends not only in your own living room but around the world. While there are certain features that I would like to see expanded when it comes to online capabilities, I believe video games as a whole have become better with online access.

Online features are a huge step for gaming. Gaming is, after all, about connectivity and getting to know other gamers. However, while it’s great to get to be able to play games with my long-distance friends, I think I could do without the online features. I like being able to play through the game on my own and have friends beside me to play some local co-op so we can talk to each other in person.

Sometimes local co-op isn’t that feasible, though, but online lets you still play together. It’s best when there is a decent chat system or you’re able to talk through microphones, of course. Being able to play online with others does promote community and being social. Another perk is games being able to be patched if there’s an issue with them. Companies are able to directly send the fixes to games via the Internet and, while they may take some time to download, it’s better than trying to get a cartridge of the game fixed.

Playing together in-person isn’t always doable, but neither is playing online sometimes. Most often than not, when we play online, we have a hard time getting the volume just right. I remember when we had tried to played Minecraft online with our brother-in-law on the Xbox. Our headsets didn’t work even though we just bought them. Which is another thing, it’s super expensive to buy the headsets and mics just to be able to communicate with your friends. And don’t even get me started on the lag – when you spend a while setting everything up and then you don’t even get the chance to play.

Well, yes, but our WiFi can be special that way, haha. As for the headsets, we probably didn’t set them up right because we had no idea what we were doing back then, especially when it came to the Xbox. In the majority of cases, online gaming is pretty smooth since the Internet is such a huge part of everyday life. Depending on how you play, it doesn’t have to be too expensive to play with online friends as well. Discord has plenty of options to talk and hear each other while playing, usually on PC but you can also have it set up with the laptop’s integrated webcam while playing console games.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Our WiFi is special, yeah, but lag is everywhere and happens to everyone. Take Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, for example. The online features for that game are awful with the lag and that’s not just us. Smash is such an awesome, universal game, and we can only play in local co-op without wanting to rip our hair out.

I think Smash Bros. Ultimate is an exception rather than the norm since Nintendo, for as awesome as they are, haven’t quite figured out the online capabilities for that game. With that said, we’ve had good luck with Mario Kart and battling and trading Pokemon with the Let’s Go titles. You also can’t forget about the phenomenon of games like Overwatch and Fortnite, not to mention World of Warcraft and other MMORPGs that wouldn’t be able to function without online. New genres came into existence thanks to online features, and being able to share those games with friends everywhere is such a big positive outcome thanks to online networks.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Fair enough. Though those are all games we don’t play. Having online is great and all and I have done it here and there, but I could do without it.

Which side are you on? Let us know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.

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Readers Comments (9)

  1. #teamkris with the slam dunk on this one! Online has its quirks, but the advent of patches, being able to play with friends who are far away *cough*, to my life not giving me the opportunity to play locally with others 99.9% of the time, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

    • Thought you’d be on my side. 😉
      We both definitely understand the benefits of online, but it’d be so much nicer if online play was as smooth as local co-op. Do you use the Nintendo Online network often? I don’t think we’ve used that since we played together, in all honesty.

      • Inconsistently. Mostly cause I’m not playing online games on the Switch that much. That said, I look forward to cracking some skulls online in the next Power Rangers fighting game on Switch next month.
        When you move to the #doublejumpmansion and get that gigabit internet, it’ll be just like you kicking my butt in Pokemon while we’re in the same room 🙂

  2. I can’t decide which to side as both points laid out here make sense.
    Online is great if I want to play games with people from around the world but this can only work if you can access the internet.
    Local co-op makes sense if the people you’re playing games with is just near you. This is good option if you can’t access the internet.
    Today, we have games that offer both of these features which is great.
    Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Mario Kart, Overwatch, and Fortnite are awesome games.
    You girls really know your stuff.
    I’ve had a great read.

    • Thanks, as always, for the kind words!
      I think it’s best when games have both online and local co-op options. While online seems to be the way the future is going, I certainly hope that publishers in the future continue to remember those who prefer local co-op, too.

  3. Had been toying with this issue recently. Personally this generation i’d probably argue it’s swung entirely in the favour of online only content and perhaps this is the direction gaming is going ala fortnite. Certainly contrasts to the end of the last generation that had a good balance of local co op play mixed with online features.

    • That’s what I’m a little worried about, honestly. Rachel and I have a built-in gaming buddy in each other to enjoy local co-op, and sometimes our Internet gets wonky, even in this day and age, so local co-op is great for us. Online is fantastic when it works and we’ve met and played with some great friends who are not local at all, but I hope the option for local co-op stays open.

      • Its positive to see Nintendo bucking the trend and continue to develop local co op games but if you were relying solely on xbox or playstation not a positive state of affairs at the moment

        • It’s probably a reason as to why we’re mainly Nintendo fans. Nothing personal against the Xbox or Playstation consoles — we have the former, actually, but not the latter — but Nintendo consoles definitely have more options for people to play together locally.

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