We here at All Things Quite Nerdy finally got our hands on a SNES Classic last week and I promise we didn’t have to pay a scalper an exorbitant fee or rough anyone up in a line outside of a brick and morter location. How does it stack up? Read on below.
This thing is tiny! Let’s just get that out of the way now. Just like it’s predecessor the NES Classic it is an almost exact replica of the original. I say almost because for starters, size but because the controller ports flip open to reveal Wii remote style plug-ins. The back is slightly different due to different charging and TV hook ups obviously. This guy runs off of micro USB and HDMI. I would have liked to see USB C instead only for the simple fact of having share the same connections as my Switch, but it’s in no way a deal breaker. I would have also liked a way to play physical cartridges but again not a deal breaker. The controllers felt amazing. They are exactly as I remember and I was instantly flooded with nostalgia the second I gripped it. They are very responsive and suit the retro theme well. My only 2 grievances are the cords are way to short and there is no way to get back to the main menu from the controller itself. While in my living room I had to have it stretch out as far as the HDMI would allow me and then still sit in the floor in front of my TV. Now granted this is how I played as a kid but I’m in my mid 30’s now and this kind of set up isn’t ideal. It did help a bit with the other issue of going back to the home menu because I was closer to the console to hit reset but again body aches from sitting on the floor made this not ideal. When I moved it to the bedroom however it was a lot easier to deal with as it’s on the nightstand next to my bed and is a lot more comfortable to use. I’m sure my wife is thrilled 😀. This can all be remedied by purchasing a Bluetooth controller that gives you a further reach and most 3rd party controllers support a way to go to the home screen by holding down and select. I just wish Nintendo had built these options into the unit itself.
I’m going to be real honest here. The game play is exactly as you remember, for better or for worse. That’s not to say it’s the console’s fault. Some of these games just haven’t aged well. This isn’t a design flaw since we’ve come a long way in the last 25 years but it does point out the flaws in the original design. Mario Kart isn’t anywhere near as responsive as its modern day counterparts and I found Starfox to be almost unplayable by today’s standards. While games like Super Mario World and Secret of Mana held up fantastic. As for control on the console itself I found it to be top-notch and very responsive and I cannot hold it responsible for mistakes of the past.
There isn’t going to be too much to say on graphics. It’s just ports of 25-year-old games and some haven’t aged as well as others. Not to make a martyr out of it but Starfox is ugly. The same can be said for F-Zero and Mario Kart. I remember as a kid being impressed by the power of the Graphics FX chip that Nintendo taunted but always noticed the games looked kind of off. Today as a grown man I cement the fact they do not look good at all. However if these were your favorites as a kid feel free to put on the rose-colored glasses and dive in. Maybe that’s what I did with my favorites because Mario World, Final Fantasy 3, Link to the Past and Secret of Mana looked just as good as I remember. The system does give the option to change between adding CRT lines or playing Pixel Perfect and it’s a nice addition to add or filter out nostalgia. The games all play in a 4:3 aspect ratio so there is a border around everything unfortunately. However Nintendo was nice enough to let us customize it so it isn’t as bothersome as you would think.
Nintendo really built an eclectic collection here. They put a little something for everyone. The system is definitely RPG heavy but so was the original SNES. I loved the inclusion of some of my favorites such as Link to the Past, Earthbound and Secret of Mana. In fact I’ve spent the most time with the latter so far. I look forward to going through Final Fantasy 3 again as I still believe it to be the best one. I am eager about making my through Super Mario RPG as I never got to it the first time around. Super Mario World is just as fun as I remember and my 9 year old has already started making his way through it himself. Mario Kart is still fun for a little multi-player goodness despite it showing its age. Super Metroid, Super Ghost N Goblins, Super Punch Out, Super Castelvania 4 and Contra 3 all make swell additions. Donkey Kong Country and Yoshi’s Island yes please! Mega Man X is timeless but I wish they would have included the other X titles in the console. That’s the thing with it though, there’s a lot of why didn’t they put that in here moments. Some of the selections are just kind of baffling. Street Fighter 2 is a must of course, the problem is that they included the Turbo edition and not the Super Edition so we get jipped out of 4 characters, better graphics and refined controls. Super Mario World is great and a no brainer to include but why not add the ROM that had Super Mario Allstars included. It’s clearly not a licensing issue and the port process would have been roughly the same. Speaking of licensing why just Final Fantasy 3? I would have liked to see the inclusion of FF2 or at least Mystic Quest. They clearly had Square on board since Secret of Mana and Mario RPG are there. For the love of God where is Chrono Trigger? Kirby is a necessity too and I get including Kirby Super Star but why Kirby’s Dream Course? I feel we could have gotten something else in place of this. Where are Illusion of Gai, Actraiser or Breath of Fire? This just feels like a bit of a letdown to only include 21 games and make some puzzling inclusions when the Super Nintendo had one of the best lineups in gaming history. If you’re interested in adding more games and don’t care about legal ramifications then there is a way to add more but you run the risk of bricking your console and again it’s definitely not legal so be warned.
- Wrap Up
All said and told there is a lot of disappointment with this system but it is easily outweighed by all the positive that is brought to the table. Nintendo brought a great package at a decent price point. For 80 bucks you get a replica SNES with 2 controllers and 21 games including the never beige released Stardock 2. The cost of going out and buying all that from online and piecing it together would cost way more than that so I definitely would call this a bargain. It instantly resonates nostalgia the second you open the box and keeps oozing it while you play. I finally got to live my childhood dream of sitting around in my boxers eating junk food and playing Super Nintendo, don’t judge! I highly recommend picking one of these bad boys up, if you can find one that is. Demand is high but Nintendo has stated they will keep up with it this time around. A must buy if you’re a child of the 80’s and 90’s. For some of us out there the Super Nintendo may have been the best part of your childhood and the SNES Classic reminds you of just how much you loved the original, warts and all. Trust me, you know you want one.