Story by Mark Beresford
As Nintendo discovered when they announced the initial run of the NES Mini late last year, they’ve essentially created a licence to print money.
Not to let the golden goose sit too long, we’ve now been handed the next incarnation from the Nintendo Entertainment System lineage with the SNES Mini, but how does it stack up to its original?
To start, the console is almost comically small, fitting into the palm of your hand and running from 1A Micro USB power. Given the console has just a single operating card inside with no moving components and only a HDMI and two controller ports to deal with, it’s not surprising it uses so little energy. The bonus of this being you could tuck it away in a drawer of your entertainment unit without risking it overheating in a hurry.
Visually, it looks near identical to the units of old, and while the top cartridge slot and front controller ports may be aesthetic only panels, it’s still a solid recreation. The controllers too look near perfect to the originals; the classic design has not been modified and they feel every bit as capable of being thrown at your brother’s head in a tantrum as the old ones were.
After near instant booting, we get to the meat of this prized pig with the game selection menu. Packed with iconic Nintendo titles such as Mario Kart, Super Metroid, Super Mario World, and The Legend Of Zelda: Link To The Past. Even being nine games short of the NES Classics 30 game release, the bulk of the 21 on the SNES are big hour eaters.
There are some extra features built in to boost the gaming experience like viewing filters to replicate the CRT feel, a screensaver that can use your own game footage and an in-game save function.
The system isn’t without fault, though. With no extra buttons added to the joypad, the menu has to be reached by hitting the reset button, the joypads themselves have a slightly stiff feel in the buttons and D-pad and the framerate recreation still causes issues in games like Starfox.
It would be nice to see a slightly wider scope included in the game list, as there are notable absentees as genres such as sport/ fighting, which are populated entirely by Super Punch Out and Street Fighter II. Unfortunately, as there’s no ‘official’ way to update the console firmware, this is likely to never be rectified.
Ultimately, this one is for players of the original and lovers of the 16-bit format, while a lot of emulators have been able to deliver these games for years now, none of them quite give the feel that this unit does.
We can now all start counting down till the N64 Mini so Mario Party battles can kick off once again.
Pic via Nintendo