SNES Mini Review

So a few weeks ago I managed to get my hands on SNES Classic Mini. This console is already quite a hit as seemingly – even with bigger stock – it’s sold out quicker than the NES Mini Classic. At least the first batch did. This piece will be my SNES Mini Review, as I take a look at the machine, what it is like to play, any problems as well as where to get it.

For the unaware, SNES Classic Mini is Nintendo’s second foray into the standalone consoles. These are official machines with the sleek design, but rather than the games being on a cartridge, they are instead on a chip within the console. There’s 20 SNES games on here (we’ve reviewed 3 of them here, Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart & Super Punch Out), as well as one game never released for the SNES – Starfox 2. This was the main selling point for me.

From unboxing the console I was incredibly surprised the size of it. It is tiny. Even the box itself is very small but with the classic look of it. Thankfully the controllers (which you get two) are big enough for the mitts of your average 30 year old – the target market for this. One thing that is missing from the box is a USB plug. You simply get a USB power cable – so you will need to get a USB plug off Amazon. However, I’ve managed to get it powered and running off my laptop successfully, so it doesn’t need much power to run.

When you switch it on, you are taken to a screen with all the games, as well as option panels. The options cover display (whether you wish to play in 4:3, pixel perfect or instead play with a CRT filter for old school gaming), manuals, licence as well as general options on how the games play. All very simple.

One change that significantly changes the games is the new save states. Each game has access to 4 save states meaning you can have up to 12 save states on something like Super Mario World. Furthermore, if you reset you can rewind the gameplay, so if you die you can rewind just a little bit to land a jump you may have missed.

So what of the games? Well, overall it’s a pretty good library of SNES games from the top publishers on the system. Squaresoft, Capcom, Konami and Hudsonsoft all make appearances here as well as Nintendo, and there are some cracking games there. However there are some notable games missing. From my opinion, it would have been great to have 5 or so more games, including Pilotwings, Donkey Kong Country 2 and Chrono Trigger. But the list of games is quite impressive. Some games don’t quite stand up today – Starfox doesn’t really stand up (though it is still fun) and I’m surprised how hard Secret of Mana is too. But many of the classics are still exactly that…classic.

So the games are (mostly) all there and complete, and the tiny machine packs some punch when it comes to additions with it’s simple to use interface, but it isn’t perfect. One such problem is the controller wire. Yes they are longer, but they are not quite long enough. I live in a two up, two down semi-detached house and my lounge is not huge but fairly big. I have trouble with the wires reaching the end of the sofa and have to perch awkwardly on the end of my couch, or move my couch a bit closer.

Sure it’s not a huge thing, but it prevents me from playing too long a stretch. Furthermore, the supposed beauty is because you would try and evoke some memories of sat, cross legged, in front of the table, but to be honest this machine isn’t really aimed at kids, but instead aimed at the mid 20’s-30’s demographic who grew up with the Super Nintendo. Many of these people have moved out and have houses of their own and probably would rather play sat on the sofa in a lounge. So really if the wires were about 30cm longer, it would be perfect.

All in all though, that’s the only real fault with the controllers, they play wonderfully and are robust, and the console itself is a nice little machine. Sure you can get a Raspberry Pi and acquire all the games like that, but this is a great gift for the SNES loving fanboy (or girl!) in your life.

You can buy the SNES Mini from Amazon here, or I’ve listed some (more expensive) eBay auctions below.

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