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SNES Classic Review
This past Friday the SNES Classic was released at midnight. The NES Classic was released last year, but it's release was one shrouded in mixed opinions. There was a shortage of consoles, partly because Nintendo didn't anticipate the popularity of its release and partly because of scalpers. Scalper has become a buzz word and refers to someone who 'out buys' a product, then sells it to consumers in order to make a profit because they've helped to diminish the availability of the product (making it more in demand).
Nintendo promised things would be different this time around. True to their word, they sent additional copies of the SNES Classic to stores (compared to the numbers released to individual stores and online relators last year for the NES Classic). Stores and online relators took additional measures by limiting the amount of consoles a person could purchase (often 1 person per system). Those who ordered multiple copies early on have their mass orders cancelled at many online relators.
Regrettably, I missed out on preordering a SNES Classic. I was left to the thought that I wouldn't get onto until the second run, reportedly in December. As fate would have it however, two friends snagged an additional copy for me. Holding it in my hands, I reminisced about Christmas morning all those years ago when I got my own SNES.
List of Games
Below is the complete list of 21 games on the SNES Classic
- Star Fox
- Star Fox 2
- Super Mario RPG
- Super Mario World
- Contra III: The Alien Wars
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
- Kirby’s Dream Course
- Final Fantasy III (you mean 6?)
- Kirby Superstar
- Super Metriod
- Super Ghouls and Ghosts
- Earthbound (Mother 2..)
- Secret of Mana
- Mega Man X
- Donkey Kong Country 2
- (Super) Castlevania IV
- Super Punch-Out
- Street Fighter II: Turbo
The SNES classic is a mini version of the SNES, right down to the power and reset push tabs. There is no need to put in a cartridge in the SNES classic and instead all games are pre-installed inside the system. Hooking the system up to a TV is simple and takes only seconds to do. The controller port in the front folds down to allow for 1-2 controllers. The thing that may throw gamers off the most is the small size. It'll fit in the palms of your hands, even if you're an adult with small hands.
One thing worth noting is that the plastic material used on the SNES Classic, compared to the original SNES feels lower quality. It is to be expected since the SNES was released over 20 years ago and at the time retailed for more than what the SNES classic does. This gamer couldn't help but question just how well made the SNES was upon feeling it, that being said.
The game selection screen is inviting to players and features all 21 games (with Star Fox 2 being unlock able after beating the first stage of Starfox). Inidivudal games have the exact port, graphics wise as their original counterparts. There is some blurring and the quality can vary depending on your TV to some extent. As expected, some games have aged well, but some have not aged as well as you'd hoped.
SNES games aren’t played because of their graphics, but there are those who may find the colors to be somewhat straining. Nothing a little color tuning or lighting can't fully remedy, however. Overall, the graphics make optimal use of the color palate of the SNES and every game is graphically inviting.
The SNES has one of the most impressive libraries of games on any console ever released. In fact, many of the games released on it continue to be featured on top video game lists and for good reason. Several long running game series started on the SNES such as Mario Kart. Some long running series that have games on the SNES have their SNES game considered to be one of the best, if not the best in the series. For example, Super Castlevania IV. The SNES didn’t just have great games, it had fantastic games.
That being said, many of the above mentioned games are available on the SNES classic. Games such as Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Earthbound and more are available on the SNES Classic. These AAA titles alone make the SNES Classic a worthwhile purchase. There are some titles notably missing such as the Donkey Kong Country trilogy, Earthworm Jim and Chrono Trigger, however.
Many of the SNES games featured on the SNES Classic are known for having spot on (or ‘tight’) controls. This carries over into the SNES classic from the SNES. Playing through Mario Kart again for the first time in years, it only took seconds to remember where the controls were, because they were the exact same. The fact that I did not play Mario Kart as well and skidded through most of the races is beside the point. Actually, I'm realizing as an adult that games controls might be broken, but I digress!
Outside of specific games, navigating the game selection screen is a breeze. Players simply move right or left to select the game they want to play.
Playing through any of the games on the SNES classic will harken back to days of old. Which is good considering the phenomenal soundtracks that several of the games possess. Some games will have instances of lower quality sound that may drive you up a wall, however. During my play of Super Mario Kart, I had to pause it because the sound had a high pitch in places that the volume couldn't control. This will not phase some people, but it is something to keep in mind.
Can we talk about how fantastic the scores of several SNES games were though? Looking right at you Final Fantasy 6 (III is listed, but we know what Final Fantasy it really is).
At a base asking price of $79.99, is the SNES classic worth it? If you were to ask this gamer, the answer would be a firm yes. It is lower than the asking price of modern consoles, even if the option to get more games doesn’t (legally) exist, you’re getting 21 games off the bat. Excellent games at that. The cost of buying the actual games on the SNES classic would cost more than double the asking price. Heck, Earthbound still sells for over $100 itself! To summarize;
+Stellar collection of games
+Connivence and ease of use
+Reasonable asking price
+Gameplay is smooth and fluid, exactly as fans remember
+No way to add more games in the future through online downloads
+Some gamers may have qualms with the sound quality
Whether you’re a long-time gamer or buying it for the gamer in your life, the SNES Classic is worth the coin.
© 2017 Alexis