Nintendo Classic Mini SNES is a charming miniature hello from the distant past

October 12, 2017

Nintendo Classic Mini SNES is a charming miniature hello from the distant past

Super Nintendo - these magical words knew almost every child of the 90's.

A year ago, Nintendo surprised everyone by releasing the NES Classic Mini, and now the company again decided to return to the retro roots with the miniature version of the SNES. The palm-sized console exhibits as much attention to detail as its predecessor, and stores in itself practically all the best games of the platform, plus a pleasant surprise in the form of Star Fox 2, which was not released before. In addition, two gamepads are immediately in the box.

New miniature devices do not just give you the opportunity to play old games on a new hardware, they immerse you in retro-gaming with the help of an authentic console design and the characteristic sound of clatter from using the joypads.

SNES Classic Mini is an ideal replica but on a reduced scale. It is sold in two editions. In this review, we will talk about the version for Europe, Australia, and Japan, with a gray body and red, yellow, green and blue buttons gamepads. Buyers from North America got a larger model with a violet color.

On the top of the console are the same power-on and reset buttons as the NES Mini. This time the power switch is responded by a sliding switch, there is also an Eject button next to it, which does nothing, which is not surprising - the console does not work with cartridges, and the size is not the same.

On the gamepads, we see one decent advantage over the NES Mini. Last year's retro console was universally criticized for the frivolously short 30-inch controller cables. The SNES Mini gamepads are noticeably longer - 56 inches. This is still not enough to reach the sofa, but at least you don’t have to sit next to the TV. For comparison: the length of the cable on the original SNES was 90 inches. You can buy a very long HDMI cable, and put the console in front of you.

So, the gamepads of the SNES Mini are already better, but the wires could still be longer. Maybe, if Nintendo ever releases Nintendo 64 Mini, in this matter it will achieve parity with the original.

It's nice to use the controllers, you immediately feel the quality that models from third-party manufacturers lack. In comparison with the extremely flexible Nintendo Switch buttons, the SNES buttons may seem soft, but they can cope with their task.

People note that the original controllers were more opaque, but the difference can be seen only by direct comparison.

The kit includes two gamepads, so after the purchase you can immediately play with a friend. You can safely call in the retro-pixel adventure of the second player to get together in, for example, Super Mario Kart, Kirby's Dream Course and Final Fantasy III, no longer speaking about the legendary Contra III and Street Fighter 2.

Like the Mini NES, Mini SNES connects to a modern TV via HDMI. The console supports three graphic modes - a CRT filter (softening pixels similar to a CRT TV screen), 4:3 and Pixel Perfect which allow either to recreate the resolution and aspect ratio of the old display, or make a picture more modern. For some games, one mode fits more, for the second one another, etc.

In total, 21 games are included, and this, on the one hand, is a solid set of retro hits, and on the other hand, a good coverage of gaming impressions. For example, platformers are represented by games like Yoshi, Super Mario, Castlevania IV, Super Metroid and one of the most difficult titles of all time - Super Ghouls' n Ghosts. For the RPG in the list of Mini SNES, an imperishable classic like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Secret of Mana, with which the controversial Super Mario RPG and the eccentric parody of Earthbound are adjacent.

The Mini SNES there is also Star Fox 2- probably the most brilliant pearl of the local collection. This is an amazing relic, which combines a decent simulation of cosmic battles, versatile gameplay (later appeared in N64 games), as well as strategic elements and class mechanics of the "co-pilot", thanks to which after death you can switch to another character.

Conclusion and final words

Pros:

  • Two gamepads in the kit
  • Wonderful selection of classics
  • Bonus in the person of Star Fox 2

Cons:

  • Controller wires could be made even more authentic
  • The library of games is not extensible
  • The plug-in connector of the controllers does not fit well into the appearance
  • No power adapter included

One cannot but rejoice at the two gamepads in the box, the collection of games covers almost all of the classics, and the rewind function makes it possible to master even the most impregnable of its representatives.

Considering that there are only 21 games, somebody will inevitably be disappointed, but the presence of Star Fox 2 among them is a definite plus.

We have a few nitpicker’s remarks, two of them concerning the controllers. First, the plastic plug of the connectors. To connect the gamepads it must be removed, which spoils the appearance of the console. Secondly, the length of the wire still leaves much to be desired. Yes, it's not as bad as the NES Mini, but since Nintendo acknowledged the problem, it's strange that the cable length was not left original. And thirdly, the kit does not have a power supply, but any USB-charging from the smartphone will do.

In the rest, SNES Classic Mini offers everything you expect from a retro console: authentic design, classic games, and modern functionality. SNES Classic Mini is a great opportunity to remember the games of childhood or to get acquainted with the hits of the past for the first time.


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