Nostalgia. That would be the word that sums up the Super NES Classic Edition for me. For those of us who grew up with the SNES, this console brings back incredible memories. The SNES was arguably one of the best console eras for Nintendo and while you can still play some of the SNES games on nearly all of the newer consoles and handheld systems via the Nintendo e-shop it is an incredible feeling to be able to play them on a mini version of the SNES using the original controllers. But is it worth the price of admission or does it fall flat in its execution? Let’s find out.
The SNES Classic Edition clocks in at 4.5 inches wide and 1.5 inches tall which means it can fit in the palm of most people’s hands. It looks incredibly similar to the original SNES even complete with the game cartridge slot, although this time around there isn’t any physical games to put in it as all the games are digitally loaded onto the console. The console comes with two controllers that look and feel just as great as the originals. While the cord length is slightly longer than last years NES Classic Edition it is still way too short and you will most likely find yourself sitting closer to your TV than you would have liked to. I would gladly have paid more to have these controllers be wireless as it becomes a pain to set-up the console to be at the ideal length to play every time you want to play it.
There are 21 games in total including the unreleased Star Fox 2 game. This game was one of the selling features of this console but truthfully it would have been better if it remained unreleased and replaced with another game instead. The total list of games included are:
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
That is some impressive list! Most of these games have stood the test of time and are still a joy to play to this day. Classics such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid are must play games if you haven’t played them yet and still incredible games to play again. Games that didn’t receive as much attention when they were first released but have grown in popularity over the years such as Earthbound are also nice additions to the list. But of course, with any list of 21 SNES games, there will always be omissions that fans will have wanted to see included. Whether it is for licensing issues or having to choose only one game in the franchise it is tough to see games such as Donkey Kong Country 2, Chrono Trigger or Tetris Attack not included. Being able to download these games through a future software release would have been nice but alas this console does not have that capability and you only get what you get with it.
In terms of the performance of the games, Nintendo did a really nice job of emulating these games for HD screens in a nice 4:3 aspect ratio. This can be changed to CRT Filer or Pixel Perfect if you prefer to make the games feel more retro and you can even choose the type of backdrop you would like to see around the frames of the games. Booting up the console brings you to the menu screen with all the games. While in the game you can even hit the reset button on the console to create a suspend point. This becomes especially useful for some of those games where the save points in the game are few and far between. There is also the ability to rewind a game back a minute to replay parts. This is a nice addition to those difficult parts in games where you need to replay a certain part. While these are nice features I would have preferred to have this capability on the controller instead of on the console as it then becomes a task to get up and hit the reset button on the console to create a save point or rewind. I can understand why Nintendo chose this approach, as they wanted to keep the controller and system as authentic as possible, I don’t think a reset button on the controller would have taken that much away from the feel.
Whether you are a returning SNES player like me or a new player that’s never played any of the games before, this is one console that cannot be missed. At an incredible price of $100CAD ($80US), you get 21 of the best games for the SNES with two controllers included. While there might be some flaws, such as the still short controller cords (why couldn’t they be wireless!) and not having the ability to download further SNES games, this is still a great console to get.