The Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES for short wast the first proper Nintendo gaming system I had growing up. I did have a NES for a short period of time but it kept breaking, probably due to overuse by me. Alas, I can remember when my brother and I first got our SNES. Technically it belonged to my brother but I was literally never off the thing. We didn’t have many games for it but I was obsessed with Super Mario Allstars. Since I was a child and couldn’t afford to buy my own games, there were a lot of games that I missed out on. But now I can enjoy them all with the release of the SNES Mini. A miniaturised version of the SNES console, the SNES mini contains 21 games in total. That’s a whole lot of gaming and at £69.99, seems like a steal. But are the games on offer actually any good? Let’s find out.
The first thing I can say about the SNES Mini is that it is miniscule. Not small, not tiny but miniscule. It’s about the size of an average hand and is as light as a feather. I was actually surprised by how small it was. I know it’s called the SNES Mini but it’s just so teeny, it’s adorable. Along with the console, you get 2 SNES controllers, a HDMI cable and a USB power cable. Missing however is an actual plug for you to connect the power cable to. Thankfully, I have a USB iPad plug which works with it but it’s kind of lame for Nintendo to leave this out and create this additional cost for some. While this may be a mini console, the controllers are still the same size as they have always been. It’s funny seeing a controller the same size as the console itself.
Now that we’re all set up, it’s time to switch it on and dive into some games. There are 20 classic games pre-built including 1 never released title. The interface is super simple to navigate with the games listed side by side for you to scroll through. Nintendo have done a really great job of choosing games that cover a range of genres from the side scrolling brilliance of Mega Man X to the addictive Super Street Fighter 2.
Of the games, I’ve only played 6 of them before – Super Mario World, Street Fighter 2, Yoshi’s Island, Mega Man X, Super Mario Kart and Star Fox. Replaying these, most of them are just as I remembered. Mega Man X is still as difficult as ever and Super Mario Kart is still just as addictive. I did however notice some frame rate issues when playing Super Mario World. In sections of each level where a number of enemy sprites appear, there is noticeable lag. Now maybe it’s just because it was such a long time ago but I don’t recall there ever being a frame rate issue. I haven’t played all the games available but this issue did also happen when I played Donkey Kong Country. It’s not enough of an issue where it affects gameplay, it’s just a little annoying.
And what about the new game that’s on offer ‘Star Fox 2’. A game that was practically completed only to be cancelled before release. This is the reason why I bought the SNES Mini. And to be honest, I’m a little disappointed. It’s quite different from the original game with new control schemes and gameplay. I think it’s great that they wanted to try something different and if it had been released when it was supposed to, it may have been okay but it just feels…wrong. The control schemes are difficult to control to the point where I didn’t even know what I was doing. It’s a shame as I think it would have been okay if it had been released at the correct time. A time before all the other Star Fox games came along and improved on the original.
At the price of £69.99, I personally think the SNES Mini is an absolute steal. Even if you have your SNES from the 90’s, this is worth it just so you own Star Fox 2. I know I just said it wasn’t great but it’s a big part of gaming history that any Nintendo fan should own. It’s also an amazing Xmas present so if you see one, snap it up before it inevitably sells out.
The SNES Classic Mini is available to buy from the official Nintendo Store. Please watch out for knock offs being sold on sites like eBay.