The NES Classic was a surprise hit for Nintendo last Holiday season. What was thought to be a product that would have a niche audience ended up exploding, and everyone wanted one. Due to poor planning on Nintendo’s part, the NES Classic was impossible to find unless you wanted to pay a high scalpers price, and many people who wanted one didn’t get the chance to have one. It’s a shame really, as the NES Classic was a fun system that contained a lot of solid NES titles in a simple Plug-n-Play style box. Nintendo then announced the SNES Classic, and once again, people were worried. Nintendo swears that production of this unit is much higher though, and those who want one should be able to get one. With 21 built in games and retailing at $79.99, how is the SNES Classic?
First and foremost, the design of the system is very simple but effective. Taking the same approach as the NES Classic, the SNES Classic is a shrunk down SNES console with 2 standard size SNES controllers, HDMI out, and a power supply. The unit itself is pretty light, but does feel a bit heavier than the NES Classic. The controllers feel pretty much like an exact replica of the original SNES controller, but the cable length is a bit short at 4 ½ feet long.
One thing worth noting for collectors: if you are looking for a box protector for your SNES Classic, the systems box is the exact same size as the NES Classic.
All in all, the aesthetic of the system gets the job done, and at the very least can act as an interesting conversation piece if you have visitors over. Plus it doesn’t have that disgusting yellowing that many SNES consoles are facing, so that’s a plus as well.
When you boot up the system, you are greeted with a language selection menu, and then thrust into the interface of the SNES Classic. It’s pretty similar to the NES Classic, scrolling right or left to see the games offered. Thumbnails of box arts of the title are shown here, along with the ability to create a save state for the game you are playing with a simple drop down menu. You can even have the console organize itself to showcase the 2 Player Games first, so that way if you have a friend over you will know what games you both can play.
The SNES Classic offers a couple different display modes: CRT mode which has scanlines, 4×3 which is the default option, and Pixel Perfect. All 3 of these modes were available in the NES Classic. The SNES Classic does add one new feature: the ability to add borders to the screen. It’s a nice touch, and some of the borders actually interact with the game you are playing by changing colors.
The game selection on the SNES Classic is fantastic. While some people may miss games like Chrono Trigger, I think the blending of Nintendo first-party classics like Super Metroid and Link to the Past with the added force of third-party games like Super Castlevania 4 and Final Fantasy III really add a great variety to the console. There’s no filler here, every game on the platform is a must play.
Of course one of the selling points of the platform is the first official release of Star Fox 2 (which we will be reviewing as well.) Star Fox 2 was nearly finished but at the last second was cancelled due to Nintendo wanting to focus 3D efforts on the N64 and the SNES phasing out. The game is very interesting and unique, and probably not what you are expecting in a Star Fox game, but I think it’s fantastic and look forward to talking about it more.
So is the SNES Classic perfect? Well, not quite. There still isn’t a Home Menu option on the controller, so unless you plug in a Wii Pro Controller (or 3rd party SNES Classic controller) you have to literally get up and reset the system which is highly annoying. The controller length is better than the NES Classic, but still leaves a good bit to be desired.
All in all though, Nintendo hit another home run with the SNES Classic. The emulation is spot on, the games look and play great, and having 2 controllers bundled in with the device is a huge plus. As long as Nintendo can keep up with demand (which hopefully they will), between the SNES Classic and the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo is going to be having a very successful Holiday season.