Nintendo has struck gold with an idea so good that it’s a wonder they didn’t try to do it years ago. Releasing miniature versions of their past consoles, jam-packed with a greatest hits a collection of the best games of the era has proven a recipe for success with last year’s release of the NES Classic Edition (full review here) and it looks like lightning has struck twice with the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. And while the system does feature nine games less than its 8-bit predecessor, the titles featured here are (nearly) all fantastic games and showcases why the SNES may just have had the best lineup out of all Nintendo systems and is a must own for any fan of classic games.
In terms of functionality, the Super Nintendo Classic Edition is practically the exact same as the NES Classic Edition. As soon as you boot the system up your greeted with 21 SNES titles that you can jump right into (though you have to beat the first level of Star Fox to unlock Star Fox 2). The user interface is exceptionally clean and well designed and after just a few seconds you’ll know how to find your way around the menus. And while everything is basically the same here as from the NES Classic Edition the addition of colored borders, in-game rewinding and pixel perfect mode do make the SNES classic a technically superior product in terms of just the offered features. You also get access to digitized versions of each of the included game’s manuals, including the EarthBound player’s guide that came bundled with the game which is a nice addition though a bit odd that you have to scan QR code on your mobile device to access them.
The build quality of the SNES Classic Edition is top-notch. The system feels both small and solid and the on Power / Reset buttons feel as close to the original as you can get. However the best part of the package is the replica SNES controller which feels incredibly close to the original from 1991. The buttons all have the right ‘feel’ and aren’t too squishy or hard, even fresh out of the box. The D-Pad especially is a delight as it feels just how you remember it and that;s an important fact since the NES Classic Edition’s controller, while decent, didn’t have the right feel on the buttons especially the D-Pad which is so critically important to these older 2D games. Now when the NES Classic Edition was released a lot was made about the ridiculously short length of the controller cord and it seems like Nintendo was listening when it came to designing the SNES Classic as the cord length has been improved quite a bit but is still much shorter than what we got on the original console.
Aesthetically the SNES Classic Edition is almost as well designed as the NES Classic. I say almost because of two very small caveats that had to be made for the system that while not deal breakers do sort of ruin the look of the system somewhat. The first, and most glaring is the controller ports are hidden behind a small door on the front of the system, which is understandable seeing as the shape of the ports are completely different between the NES and the SNES but it does take away from the system’s look somewhat. Another thing that’s a bit underwhelming is that the cartridge slot is empty. Yes I know it’s a very small thing to complain about but it just looks like something is missing from the system. A small, cake cartridge, maybe with SNES or Star Fox 2 art would have been a nice visual touch and help the system look more like it did when we crowded around our TV’s back in the 90’s.
If you happened to read our Preview of the SNES Classic Edition (and we really hope you did) you’ll know that we hold the lineup of games included in extremely high regard. Picking up this console nets you a treasure trove of some of the best games to have ever been released, some of which aren’t so cheap if you were looking to pick them up on the original console like Final Fantasy III (USA), Mega Man X, Super Mario RPG and of course EarthBound. And that’s not to mention that this time around Nintendo included two controllers with the system (which is nice because the NES Classic’s controllers were harder to find than a Marth amiibo). Simply put the value you get out of this package is second to none.
Anyone who considers themselves not only a fan of Nintendo games, but gaming in general owes it to themselves to pick up a Super Nintendo Classic Edition. The amount of care and love that went into this package is unrivaled in the industry and considering what systems still haven’t gotten a ‘mini’ version (Nintendo or otherwise) its unlikely to be topped any time soon. While it has some nagging omissions and quirks, there’s simply no denying that this is a special system and one that is at home in any gamers collection. A retro-must own.