Nintendo have released another little box of nostalgia in the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Mini. Last year we had the NES Classic Mini, which was a great little box of gaming memories, so how dose the SNES hold up?
I have so many memories of playing my Super Nintendo as a kid, whether it was taking Mario on a new adventure in Super Mario world or shooting aliens in Super Metroid. So when Nintendo announced they were releasing an SNES Classic Mini, I was thrilled. The biggest question I had was: “What games were they going to include this time?”.
With the NES Classic we got a collection of 30 games, but with the SNES Classic we only get 21. While there might be less games, the quality of the games is better, in my opinion. Here’s a list of all the games included:
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy III
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ’n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
So let’s start with the console itself. It’s about the same size of the NES Classic, and it’s really light. It looks just like the original console (without that faded yellow look that eventually happens with most old SNES consoles). You have the on and off switch, of course, a fake eject button, and a restart button. Much like with the NES Classic, the restart button is used to take you back to the man menu. It was a pain at first having to get up and down every time I excitedly tried out each new game, but in reality, it’s no different than having to get up and change a cartridge back in the day.
This time around you get 2 controllers in the box. The main criticism about the NES Classic was the length of the controller cables; looks like Nintendo have listened to their fans and increased the cable length. It still feels too short, but the extra length definitely helps. The controllers themselves feel great, they are just like their original counterparts and feel just like they used to so many years ago. My one main gripe with the console is where you connect the controllers. On the front of the console are 2 fake ports where the original controllers would go. Now you have to flick out a little panel to find the controller ports. The reason for this is due to the new connections, and the controllers just ruin the look of the console when they are plugged in. The one advantage is that the SNES controller can fit into a Wiimote, meaning it can be used on the Wii or Wii U for Virtual Console.
One of the most delightful things is that as soon as you turn the console on and select your language, you’re ready to go. No installing or downloading updates. The main screen is the same as the NES Classic’s, you scroll along the original box arts left or right to choose your game while listening to some charming retro music. You can sort games by name, number of players, how recently they were played, release date, or publisher. You have a choice of 3 display options that include the original 4:3 aspect ratio, a narrower “Pixel Perfect” mode and the CRT filter, which puts an old-style CRT screen effect over gameplay.
The save feature from the NES Classic is back again with the SNES Classic. At any point in your game, you can hit the restart button to go to the home screen and save your game, and each game gets 4 save slots. This is great for games where save points may be far apart or are simply not around when you need them. If you leave your SNES unattended for too long, Mario pops up on the screen and goes through an assortment of your save points, playing footage from the last minute or so before you saved.
Nintendo have added a new way to help us through these old school games. This time around, they have added a rewind feature. Simply go to any save state and hit X, and then you can scroll back through your gameplay to pick a moment to retake control. This is a welcomed feature to help out with some of those more unforgiving games (I’m looking at you, Contra).
Finally, let’s talk about the games. Some may find only having 21 games disappointing, but this is not a console in which you can play every SNES game in existence, it’s a greatest hits collection (although some classics are missing, like Chrono Trigger). The emulation is great, and the games run just like they used to back in the day. Games like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, and Zelda are still amazing games that look and feel great to play, and it’s easy to see how they helped spark the franchises that they have become today. Of course, the big surprise game we got was Star Fox 2, an unreleased sequel that was lost in gaming history till now. The game was originally cancelled due to the pending release of the N64, so it’s truly great to get a chance to play the game after all these years.
Release Date: 29th September 2017