SNES Classic (Hardware) Review

Ken McKown

Reliving my childhood.

This feels like the one I had been waiting for. When Nintendo launched the NES Classic last year, it was a novel idea. Bring a collection of their classic lineup in a small box anyone could play with. It was inevitable that they continue the trend with their follow-up console. The SNES Classic is the exact same idea, but it mimics what I consider the ageless console. Games from the Super Nintendo era have stood the test of time. This box brings 21 titles into 2017, and outside of a few obvious omissions and a couple unnecessary additions, it feels like the perfect box.

Let’s start with what’s in the box. The artwork is glorious, mimicking the original SNES design, complete with a poster inside showcasing the included titles. The system comes with two controllers and the exact same hookups the NES Classic used. This means I could switch between the two systems using the same wires. It is also worth mentioning that the SNES Classic controllers work on the NES Classic. I enjoy the ergonomic design of those controllers a lot more, so goodbye classic NES pads.

MSRP: $79.99
Price I’d Pay: $79.99

The main menu remains fairly similar to the NES Classic. Games can be arranged by release date, alphabetical, and by how many players. Save states are available for all the games, but the original save functions in games that support it are still present. There is also a rewind feature baked into the console. Sadly the way it works is not ideal. Instead of simply pressing a button, I had to hit the reset button on the machine, then rewind using the save state. It is not ideal and kept me from even bothering with the feature.

Also worth noting is that once again there is no way to reset back to the main game select screen without pressing the button on the console. This continues to feel like a missed opportunity. Sometimes I just want to check out five minutes of different games without having to get up. Sure, first-world problems, but it is something that should have been considered.

The controller cord is longer this time around than the NES Classic. It is still much shorter than the original SNES cord though. I am also not a fan of the drop down flap on the front of the console to plug in the controllers. I feel it is only a matter of time before I break it off.

Everything else feels great though. The power button clicks into place, the reset button bounces back upon pressing it. Feeling a brand new SNES controller in my hands after 26 years is nostalgic. This is easily one of my favorite consoles of all-time, so there are a lot of memories attached to it.

So let’s talk about the games. There are 20 unlocked from the start with the never-before-released StarFox 2 being locked away until players finish the first level of the original game. There are some genuine classics here. Super Mario World, Super Castlevania IV, Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart; all of which hold up extremely well. F-Zero is still fast and fun, while the Kirby games included give players a look at the origins of this pink mascot. RPG fans will be pleased with the inclusion of Earthbound, Final Fantasy III, and Secret of Mana, however the clear lack of Chrono Trigger is perplexing.

This box also includes the first Donkey Kong Country, Super Punch Out, and what I consider the greatest game ever made: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Yes this box is packed full of incredible games, oh and also Super Street Fighter II. Kidding aside this game feels like the weirdest inclusion out of the entire set. Hey, at least we get two controllers to play it against friends.

It is hard for me to believe that this machine launched over 25 years ago. The games here still feel as great today as they did back when. There is a ridiculous amount of great gaming packed into this tiny box. Anyone who is able to find one of these devices should not hesitate to snatch it up. Some of the best games ever created are included, and it has been wild introducing my son to the games I grew up with.

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Great assembly of titles
  • Games have aged well
  • SNES controller still feels great

Bad

  • Cords are still too short
  • Flap cover for controller ports
  • Rewind feels poorly implemented
9

Excellent

Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.
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