Super Nintendo Classic Mini review: A nice trip down memory lane
The device will appeal to retro gamers who manage to get their hands on one
Super Nintendo Classic Mini comes loaded with all the expected original games and characters such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and the Legend of Zelda
Product name: Super Nintendo Mini Classic
Where to buy: smythstoys.com
Remember all the hype about Nintendo’s NES Classic Mini? If the compact retro throwback didn’t satisfy your desire for all things retro, maybe the SNES Classic Mini will.
Like its NES sibling, the updated version of the iconic console has the same style as its 1990s inspiration, just in a palm-sized form. Even the controllers are retro styled.
It comes with 21 games pre-installed, giving you a healthy dose of 16-bit gaming to work through before you get bored.
In the box, you get the aforementioned console, two retro-styled controllers – yes, two – and the cables you need to set everything up. Well, almost all the cables; the one omission is the power adapter. It’s a simple USB plug for a micro USB cable, the kind anyone with a mobile phone made in the last few years has lying around.
Like the NES Classic, the new console uses HDMI connections, which obviously weren’t around the first time the machine was out. That’s not the only thing that departs from the original source material.
The controller ports on the front of the machine are dummies, with the real ports hidden underneath. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing once the controllers are plugged into it though.
Other than that, the SNES Mini stays fairly true to its inspiration. One thing to note: the cable on the controllers is still a bit on the short side, so if your TV is any distance from your sofa – and we’re not talking palatial mansion-like rooms here, just a standard living room – you may find you have to shift closer to the TV. They’ve been lengthened compared to the NES Classic controllers, as a simple side-by-side comparison proves, but it’s still not quite enough.
The overall attention to detail is good though, and this is carried over to the interface. There’s a lovely retro feel to it, although switching between games requires a tedious reset button.
The games lineup is decent. As you’d expect, Mario features, as does Donkey Kong, Yoshi and the Legend of Zelda. Starfox is there too, along with the previously unreleased Starfox 2.
There’s (mostly) relatively little that’s been touched here in an attempt to improve things, so purists will be happy. Save states are back too, but the SNES version includes the ability to rewind by about 45 seconds, which can be a useful feature when you get into irretrievable trouble. You get four save states in total, so use them wisely.
At the end of the day, the SNES Mini is a nice piece of kit, but with Nintendo’s Virtual Console pumping out the classic games, you have to have a long, hard think about whether it’s worth paying out for the physical console that can’t be easily updated with new games.
The console ships with some of the best-loved classics on board, so it’s a lovely trip down memory lane. Starfox 2, previously unreleased, is on there too. Two controllers in the box means you can get down to multiplayer battling straight away. Nintendo appears to have learned from the NES Mini experience.
The not so good:
Like the NES Mini, what you see is what you get – at least officially. You can, however, crack the system to add more games to it, if you feel so inclined. For the average user though, the games it ships with will have to do.
The version shipped in Ireland doesn’t have a power adapter in the box; the SNES Mini is powered via a micro USB cable, which is probably lying around your house anyway, but it seems like an odd omission.
Good luck getting your hands on one for retail price. Preorders are being fulfilled right now, but there’s no indication if the SNES Classic will be part of Nintendo’s product line for the future. The NES version was sold out everywhere and then discontinued, despite the demand for it.
A great addition to any retro line-up – if you don’t mind paying. Four stars