Here we are again Retro Gamers!
Hot on the trail of the C64 Mini review, today I am going to talk about another great console remake.
In this Super Nintendo Classic Mini review, I am going to explain why this console is every retro gamer’s dream. Nintendo fans will find that this console is exactly what they have been waiting for from the game giant. While two years ago, NES Nintendo Classic Mini was all the rage, the SNES system definitely gives retro gamers an even more appealing selection of games.
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20 classics and an eagerly-awaited sequel – way to go!
The console comes packaged with heavy-hitting titles like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Star Fox and Final Fantasy VI.
As for the latter, it is listed as Final Fantasy III, but it is the game featuring Terra Branford, one of my favorite Final Fantasy female characters.
Anyway, these are only a few of the great titles that are available.
Nintendo also listened to critics of the NES Classic Mini and made additional well-thought-out hardware tweaks. Like its predecessor, the SNES Nintendo Classic Mini is a tiny, re-imagined replica of the original Nintendo hit console.
The inclusion of the previously unreleased, Star Fox 2 – which was originally scuttled due to the release of the N64 console – has hard core Nintendo fans chortling with delight (in theory, I will discuss this more a bit later). SNES fan have been clamoring for this game for years, so Nintendo believed it would be a massive hit.
Even those fans nonplussed by the inclusion of Star Fox 2 have plenty to be happy about.
Actually, this brilliant addition to the Nintendo line of consoles’ only problem is/was finding one available for sale.
Fortunately – because of overwhelming demand – Nintendo decided to extend the production of the system until the end of 2018.
Retro gaming reimagined – learning from criticism
There are two versions of the unit. One is a “cosmetically challenged” US version, but everywhere else gets the Japanese model which is actually pretty (and for this reason I decided to buy this one lol). It is a great deal smaller, lighter, and more compact than the original that it is modeled after. It is powered by a USB port or a mains adapter.
It is sturdily built, with a matte grey moulded plastic unibody, and with the same speckled texture of the original SNES machine. While there is no flap on the cartridge slot, and a fake eject button and the controller ports are a front to conceal the real controller slots, I can safely say that it deals with a quality replica of the original.
When gamers criticized NES Mini two years ago, Nintendo took note and chose to address their concerns. This Mini comes bundled with two controllers (instead of one), and with longer cables that now measure 1.5m. Some still consider these to be too short, but it is still an improvement over the previous 70cm cable.
The included pads are the same ones released via the Club Nintendo shop in 2012 for the Wii and the Wii U Virtual Console. These actually feel very similar to the original SNES pads. The D-pad and buttons may feel spongier, but they are the same size and gamers will be comfortable during long play sessions.
Not just stunning, visually appealing games – when Nintendo wants…
But why opting for this machine over a Raspberry-Pi powered solution or an Android TV box? If you are asking yourself this question, then this console is not what you need or are looking for.
Even setting nostalgic reasons aside, the SNES Classic Mini plays the best SNES games in the best way. No other retro game emulator runs these games as smoothly as the Nintendo virtual consoles, period. All the games were meticulously tested in order to assure that they run perfectly on the Mini in HD, in all of their original glory.
The colors are sharp and vibrant, making this a glorious way to play your way through all of your fond memories. There is even a CRT filter to use if you want the ultimate retro experience.
In addition to that, the new integrated “Save” feature allows you to drop out of any game and resume right where you left off. There is no reason to even save in-game any longer. This is a massive boost for anyone who only has a few minutes to play.
Nintendo has also included a nifty “Rewind” function that will allow you to skip back 45 seconds and resume from that spot (just about the Rewind ability in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, lol).
Seriously, it is a great feature for when you get to a tricky spot in any game. If only it had been available 20 years ago…
More About Star Fox 2 – Not the stellar sequel fans were anticipating
Some users have dubbed this game “Star Flop 2” due to its inclusion behind a one-level “playwall” that you are required to complete prior to gaining access to the game. On one hand, this is a smart move, because it gives players the opportunity to experience the original Star Fox before delving into the sequel. This provides a refresher/reminder of just how tricky the moves are in this title.
But on the other hand, it serves to remind gamers just how fun playing the original was, and sadly, they quickly realize that playing Star Fox 2 is just not that much fun. Sad, but true, the game is just not that enjoyable and should not be justification for buying the console itself.
When Nintendo announced that the Snes Mini would feature previously unreleased content, that should have been the first red flag. If the game had been worth releasing in the first place, it would have been done long ago.
While Star Fox 2 has its share of cool ideas, such as being a real-time strategy game rather than following a linear storyline, the game’s combat sequences leave a lot to be desired. Done from a first-person perspective, the limited graphics capability of the Mini simply make it a mess, but with other great games on tap, you will have plenty of entertainment available to spend your time on.
Super Mario Kart has not aged all that well, but other titles like Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country and many others are still fantastic. Even some of the lesser known titles, such as Secret of Mana and Earthbound are worth exploring and getting lost in their worlds.
Final Impressions – another gem in the Nintendo crown
This console is a knockout punch when it comes to the console revival market. From a price perspective, it is a no-brainer when compared to the Ataribox (although the Atari will play more than just the classics). Plus, having been released well over a year ago, the console will be easier to find, without all those exorbitant markups that occurred during its debut holiday season.
The list price makes this a steal for anyone with fond memories of the time they spent playing the multitude of SNES titles in their youth. Its appeal decreases a bit when you realize that you cannot add any new titles to the mix, but the sizable bundle of top quality games takes out the sting a little bit.
The annoying bits are that Nintendo has yet again decided against packaging it with a three-pin to USB plug adapter and the new 1.5m controller cables are still too short for most players. Luckily, that is all I have to say against this retro console. It is a truly brilliant block of moulded plastic.
Till next retro review!