It’s almost a miracle that this review could be made this early. Aside from the usual ‘plan one month in advance’ rules that come from writing for a magazine, the Super Nintendo Mini is a very hard to find item.
Following up from last year’s NES Mini, Nintendo took the step that we all knew they would and a year later, here we are with the SNES Mini. I’ve personally tried multiple times to secure one since it was announced, but always been unsuccessful; beaten to the punch by people that can refresh pre-order screens every second for hours, if not days, on end, and more problematic-scalpers; people that buy limited items like this in bulk, with the sole intention to resell them at a huge mark up to the genuine fans. This is a problem that has plagued Nintendo and its fans in recent years. Gladly, at time of writing, Nintendo have acknowledged this problem and vowed to produce more units for general sale. This is evident as many shops now have stock on their shelves and the scalper’s price are reducing. 1-0 to the fans!
In any case, I got hold of one with the help of an old friend and it now sits proudly next to the rest of the Nintendo family in my home. The SNES Mini is a miniature version of the almighty Super Nintendo console from 1990. Widely considered to be the best console of all time, it followed Nintendo’s hugely popular NES system and brought us classic games like Super Mario World, Super Metroid, A Link to the Past, Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter 2, Super Castlevania…the list is truly endless. The SNES Mini comes with 21 games pre-loaded, including all of the afore mentioned titles. It’s fair to say that Nintendo got the game selection spot on here (all killer), something that, for the NES Mini, was a bit hit and miss (half filler). With both units, you can’t legitimately add or download additional games although if you don’t mind voiding your warranty, and know your way around a computer, you are able to ‘hack’ the consoles, enabling you to add whatever games you like.
In the box you get two wired controllers, an improvement on the lone one you get with the NES Mini. Another improvement is the length of the controller cables, which are much longer with the SNES Mini. The controller cable of the NES Mini was far too short and required a separate purchase of an extension cord. In today’s wireless controller and big TV lifestyle, if you must use wired controllers, there has to be a decent length to them! The controller is a perfect replica of the original SNES one in terms of size, button placement and feel that allow the games to control exactly as they should.
Onto the games: in short, they all play exactly as you remember them, only this time in stunning HD. You have the option to adjust the screen ratio, and also add a CRT filter so that you can play the games with the effect of an old TV (as you would have in the old days!). While the graphics, of course, remain the same, every game looks crisp and clear with the modern ability of HDMI.
There’s also a nice bonus with the SNES Mini; it comes with a game that has never been released previously, but was made for the original Super Nintendo in 1996. Star Fox 2 was made following the huge success of Star Fox in 1993, which featured cutting edge graphics and the famous Super FX chip. However, by the time the sequel was finished, bigger and better consoles like the PlayStation were out and Nintendo felt that Star Fox 2 looked too primitive for the new set standards, so they decided to cancel its release. Now, 21 years later, it finally got the official release it deserves.
The SNES Mini is a gamers dream come true, and perfect for anybody new or old to gaming. The included games are bonafide classics and no matter how many times you’ve played them previously, it’s a pleasure to go through them again now, in 2017. There are fresh rumors rumbling on the internet about Nintendo working on a GameBoy Mini, or an N64 Mini next. I see absolutely no reason for them to not make these, they’re already guaranteed hits.
And I’ll be there, cursor over the ‘refresh’ button on a series of retailers web pages, trying to get my pre-orders in…wish me luck!