Review: The SNES Classic is a solid way to play a handful of great games

In 2017, the acclaimed Japanese video game corporation Nintendo unleashed a limited-release “plug-and-play” edition of their renowned Super Nintendo Entertainment System (a.k.a. SNES) console unto the world.

This decision was a follow-up to a similar “plug-and-play” product that Nintendo had produced for their original home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (a.k.a. NES).
This console was branded as the NES Classic. Priced at $59.99, the product acted as a miniature look-a-like to the original. It came bundled with a number of hit games that had been released on the console in the 80s, as well as a controller that could be used with Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U home consoles.

The NES Classic was met with waves of enthusiasm, not only from active fans of Nintendo, but aging fans who grew up with the classics, as well.

Unfortunately, the limited availability of the product made it impossible for Nintendo to meet the, then unexpected, demand. The company quickly discontinued the product to shift focus onto producing the SNES Classic, and their new console, the Switch. Nintendo has stated that the NES Classic will return to store shelves this summer.

With the release of the SNES Classic, Nintendo tried to avoid the supply-and-demand issues that they had endured with the NES Classic. However, despite producing more SNES Classics upon release than they had for the last Classic device, raving fans still had a difficult time getting their hands on the product. Nintendo has since addressed this issue by promising to keep the SNES Classic on store shelves throughout 2018.

Regarding the quality of the SNES Classic as a product, many fans have regarded it as a step-up from the NES Classic, as the library of games provided contains a number of gaming gems, and is sold at the reasonable price of $79.99.
I was able to get my hands on a device for review, and found myself agreeing with the fanbase’s enthusiasm for the device. The console contains 21 games, 1 of which had never been released before due to development issues.

The games included within the SNES Classic are as follows:
Super Mario World
Secret of Mana
Star Fox 1
Star Fox 2
Kirby Super Star
Kirby’s Dream Course
Super Punch-Out
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Super Mario Kart
F-Zero
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Donkey Kong Country
Yoshi’s Island
Super Metroid
Final Fantasy VI (initially released as Final Fantasy III in the U.S.A.)
Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
Mega Man X
Super Mario RPG
Super Castlevania IV
Earthbound

There are many fantastic titles to play, especially for fans of Japanese Role-Playing Games (a.k.a. JRPGs). However, a few games, such as Super Mario Kart and Star Fox, do not hold up very well due to the way modern games have evolved.

On the hardware front, the device is, indeed, miniature, and can easily fit in the palm of a hand, but as a result, the product feels a bit cheap and lightweight.

The console comes packaged with two controllers, and they feel great. In fittingly retro fashion, the controllers must be plugged into the console directly, which is a bit of a nuisance in the world of today, where sitting far away from a 50 inch television, or bigger, is commonplace.

Nintendo did increase the length of the cord from the NES Classic’s 3-inches to 5-inches for the SNES Classic’s controllers, but players should still expect to sit very close to the television when using this device.

Overall, the SNES Classic is a great buy for collectors and casual gamers alike. The games provided can be played elsewhere, but the novelty of the retro presentation is effective.
Retailers should be receiving SNES Classic consoles for sale periodically throughout the year, so calling around local stores is a good idea for interested buyers.