A confession: the original SNES wasn’t the console that introduced me to 16-bit gaming. At the time, gaming was still acceptable as a family pastime and we grew up playing Mega Drive games instead. Admittedly, I eventually discovered Nintendo’s machine later on and learned to appreciate the big hits and hidden gems, but I was never really able to make amends until sometime earlier this week. More than 25 years after the release of its big brother, the SNES Classic Mini (sorry, “Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System” according to the small print on the box) is upon us, and I was lucky enough to have my order delivered to me on Thursday. I love Nintendo’s older games, and whilst I skipped the NES Classic Mini I was more than happy to pick up one of these.
SNES Classic Mini – the contents
In the box of the SNES Classic Mini you’ll get the console itself, two controllers, a HDMI lead, and a USB cable. What you won’t get is an AC adaptor for the USB cable – this is available separately from Nintendo – but you can use the one for your old mobile phone or another gaming handheld, provided the output is sufficient. You’ll also get the manual, although if you ignore the pages in other languages it’s about three pages long, and two of those pages contain health and safety advice. The console itself truly is mini – from above, the top is narrower and maybe a bit taller than a CD case, and in terms of height it’s shorter than a DualShock 4 controller – well, if you include the thumbsticks. Meanwhile, it weighs barely anything if you pick it up, and the controllers are as close to the originals as you’d need them to be (even though I missed out on the original SNES, I was playing Super Mario Kart only last week.)
SNES Classic Mini – the extras
In terms of bells and whistles, the SNES Classic Mini has a CRT filer and 4:3 mode, although you can have clean unstretched pixels if you wish. There are also custom borders for your widescreen TV, language settings, and even a “rewind” feature that lets you suspend your gameplay and then view your gameplay up to the point you suspended – so if you feel like you could have tackled a Mega Man X boss without losing so many lives, you can rewind before your failed attempts and pick up from there. If you’re familiar with save states in emulation, you’ll know the feeling of the “bad save”, where you save a split second before death, or accidentally choose to save instead of load after getting killed… so hopefully this is a better solution to that problem.
SNES Classic Mini – the games
The 21 games have classics such as Super Mario World and A Link To The Past, fan favourites such as Earthbound and Secret of Mana, and the first “official” release of Star Fox 2 (Starwing 2 to you and me) on Nintendo hardware. That game probably deserves a feature or review all of its own, but I was never the best Starwing player so I’m not sure when you could expect that. The games I’ve played run well and look great, although some have reported iffy emulation quirks in certain games (the “dizzy” effect in the Yoshi’s Island stage “Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy” is apparently a little different, for example), so it may take some time for players to check out the accuracy of each of the games. As for me… well it has taken 25 years but I’m glad I finally have a SNES of some kind, and the only issue remaining is whether or not I can remember how to get to Star Road…
The SNES Classic Mini is available now at around £69.99
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