SNES Classic Review

SNES Classic Retail Box
SNES Classic Retail Box

The Super Nintendo was my first ever console and it changed the way I think and feel about video games. Ever since the day my Dad brought home a SNES and I escaped to the world of Hyrule, I fell in love. It opened my eyes to a world I could only dream of and so when I heard of the SNES Classic I knew I had to get my hands on it.

The SNES Classic gives you a console preloaded with a library of 21 games from the 90s. This small, cute nostalgic feeling console resonates with my childhood and just reliving some of my early memory brought a smile back to my face instantly.

Whilst there are many other ways to play some of these classic games, none of them will quite feel like this. Some might be a little cheaper, but holding a beautifully recreated, bite-sized SNES console in your hand can only be done one way.

This tiny little box contains 21 classic SNES games, which is fewer than last years 30 the NES Classic had. The console looks identical to the original one, which released in North America, it’s just a lot smaller and lighter.

The Power button functions exactly the same and the reset button brings you back to the consoles the main menu. Annoyingly this is the only way to get there, but it’s nothing to write home about. The Eject and Cartridge slots are purely for show, but it was a nice touch to see them included. There has also been updated to include a HDMI port in the rear and a mini USB port, for powering the console.

Just like the NES classic these 16-bit classics can now be played on your HD TVs in pixel perfect mode and 4:3. There’s also the optional CRT filter for that truly classic feel, with the option of customising the border. The SNES Classic will also upscale games from 240p to 720p.

The snappy menu interface is very pleasing and has a certain level of customisable options as extras. As with the NES, this is both easy to navigate and functions as expected.

All your SNES Classic titles are here and with all their endless charm. Yes, some games might not feel like they used to, with the out date mechanics and all, but it’s nice to revisit some titles. In other occasions you might find a deal of frustration and that a learning curve is in order.

Nintendo seems to have gone for quality over quantity with their selection of titles. With games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid in the library, it was great to play some of the video game hall of fames.

One of the centerpieces in the SNES Classic is the previously unreleased Star Fox 2 inclusion. Whilst I massively looked forward to playing this game, I found I had much more fun with games I had previous experience with. Star Fox 2 was a great inclusion, but ultimately, the choppy frame rate that affects your aiming means it doesn’t quite live up to the feeling of playing a new game, whereas the classic games can be forgiven for their award traits, as that’s how they played.

More than half of the catalog on offer personally appealed to me, and whilst it’s a great collection in its own right, it wouldn’t have hurt to have a few more entries. No Chrono Trigger and no inclusion of a solid sports game would have gone a long way.

Unfortunately, there is no way to load games onto the consoles, so the hole left by not having some of best games from the era is likely to stay there. I feel like Nintendo have missed a trick here and even the option of having a store on the device could have gone a long way.

Like the NES Classic before it, the SNES Classic has been updated for the modern consumer. The Suspended Point List has returned and allows users to save in any game at any point. This is a huge help for people with busy lifestyles and gave the console a much more pick up and play feel to it. Games with pre-existing save mechanics in can have those saves overwritten though with this feature, so be careful when saving in games like Zelda.

There’s also a rewind feature that allows you to go back around a minute or so and replay a part of the game. This helps if you’re struggling or made the wrong move a little while ago. These games are hard, so including something like this will help people unfamiliar with certain titles. Gone are the days when you have to replay the entire level like we used to.

The detail and homage to being the classic console that it was doesn’t come without its faults, however. With no wireless controller, you may find you need to adjust your set up so you can play comfortably. The controller’s cable is somewhat longer than the NES Classic, but at around 5ft it’s still rather short.

You will also have to physically press the reset button on the console if you wish to return to the home screen. It would have been nice to have an extra button on the controller for this. Now I know the SNES controller had no extra buttons, but if you’re updating the rest of the console, why not include something like this too?

The good thing with the SNES Classic is that you get two controllers with the console, so co-op or multiplayer can be enjoyed straight away. The controllers themselves are great on the whole and every bit as classic as the look. Not only do they feel great and comfortable, but also they’re responsive and sturdy.

It really is a joy to play the selection of games on offer. Whether you’re playing them for the first time ever for the one-hundredth time you’re bound to have fun. There’s enough variety in the library that you’ll likely enjoy most of the games here. I say most because that’s what’s on offer here. If there is any criticism I could give it’s that whilst the library is great, it could have been so much better.

Where the SNES Classic shines is in its convenience of having all these great classic games in one easy to use place. It’s just unfortunate that we will never be able to have all the games we want on it.

Constantly threatening to write a book, but always with a story to tell. Tom has a typical northern English soul. He may sound as mundane as Jon Snow, but at least he tries to articulate. Lover of video games, comics, geek pop culture and wishing he could play Dungeons & Dragons.
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