Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscribers can play 2000’s Pokémon Stadium starting April 12th! This fan-favorite Nintendo 64 title will feature online multiplayer for the first time, enabling players to battle with their friends using the series’s original 151 Pokémon. Ten-year-old me’s head just exploded!
Players can battle it out with up to three friends in Free Battle mode and enjoy some very Mario Party-esque minigames in Kids Club, which I recall being far more challenging than its name suggests! Stadium includes a boatload of single-player content: your chosen party of six can face off against Kanto’s elite trainers in Stadium mode, and you can take on Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow’s gym leaders in Gym Leader Castle.
Pokémon Stadium‘s return is disappointing in at least one significant respect, though. Unlike in the original game, you can’t transfer your own Pokémon to the game. I have countless hours of cherished memories of sending my Red, Blue, and Yellow favorites on a trip to Pokémon Stadium and watching them battle in 3D glory! Of course, you can borrow rental Pokémon in Pokémon Stadium, but I always found that far less satisfying than playing with my own brawlers.
Pokémon Stadium‘s arrival on Nintendo Switch Online marks the service’s 23rd Nintendo 64 game. Other available titles include The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pokémon Snap, GoldenEye 007, and many other classics. In its September 2022 Direct, Nintendo announced that Pokémon Stadium 2 was also headed to the service, which costs an individual subscriber $49.99 USD per year.