If you follow me on social media, you know I recently succumbed to my nostalgia and purchased a Super NES Classic, the retro re-release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System that originally made its debut in late 1990.
It’s been 27 years? Holy crap, I’m old.
Anyway, this was mostly simpler than you might expect given Nintendo’s notorious supply and demand issues. I woke up a little early and hung out at Target for an hour before they opened. The other people in line were all remarkably friendly and the whole affair was civil and organized.
Props to Target! And props to Cait for waking up early and ferrying the kids to school for me!
So I am now in the process of playing all of the games that come pre-installed on the system. This is a treasure trove of some of the best video games that have appeared anywhere at any time. Instead of listing them here, I’ll offer some of my thoughts on a few of them, as well as the system itself. Later on down the road, I’ll do a ranking of the best games on the original system … after I’ve had a chance to play some of these classics I’d never gotten around to before.
So here goes:
- The system plays great. These controllers make a difference in the experience, while the emulations are basically spot on. Eagle-eyed obsessives will no doubt notice a few differences, but in practice, these games are the same as the ones you played back in the ’90s. The controller cords are still too short (extension cords ftw!), so that’s a negative, and some people have a real aversion to having to get up to hit the physical reset switch. It doesn’t bother me … it’s an excuse to actually be active while playing, so I like it. This reset function, which allows for saving at any point and actually rewinding to a previous point in your play to replay a point in which you bungled something is VERY welcome. I’ve been utilizing these functions a lot, since I have no interest in replaying wide sections of some of these games over and over and over again. They’re also small things, but I like the menu interface (the music rocks) and the cute miniaturized design of the system. Even the box art is special and scratches that nostalgia bug big-time.
- Do I recommend it? It depends on your personal circumstances. The nostalgia itch/collector instinct can be great things to succumb to in and of themselves, though in my case they wouldn’t have been enough. The process of buying the system and the vibe when thinking of it now are all major positives, but I wanted the games. I had let my parents sell my old Super NES and wasn’t big into emulating on a computer, so I only owned one of these games prior to this purchase (Final Fantasy 6 on the Playstation). Additionally, I had never played a good chunk of these classics before and was highly motivated to do so. Super Metroid, Yoshi’s Island, Super Mario RPG … I wanted the experience of playing these amazing games. And of course I wanted to play some of my previous favorites I hadn’t played in literal decades. So for me, this was the perfect package. If you already own these games, well, this might not be the thing for you (unless you’re a collector of all things Nintendo).
- I’m working my way through Yoshi’s Island currently, after having never previously played it before. It’s really fun. It may not be for everyone, but it’s quickly climbing my list of favorites.
- Of games I’d already experienced, I’ve spent most of my time this go around on Mega Man X and Street Fighter II, beating both. Capcom really had it going back then.
- The first game I played was F-Zero, for nostalgia purposes (it was the first game I played on the original SNES). Shortly thereafter I played some Super Mario World (still holds up) and Star Fox so as to release Star Fox 2. I have virtually no opinion on Star Fox 2 at this point (pretty sure it isn’t my cup of tea, so hard to judge it for others). Star Fox fans should like it though.
- I’m getting the kids interested in the classics! Mario Kart, Super Mario World and Street Fighter II are some of their early favorites. Nate also likes Contra 3 (lol) and I’m happy to report Liv has taken a liking to A Link to the Past.
- This thing has seriously been joy in a tiny box for me. What a time to be alive!