After weeks of checking stock alerts, constantly refreshing pages and battling against robots on the internet, I finally managed to secure myself one of those elusive, seemingly non-existent SNES Classic Mini’s (thanks to my amazing, ever so wonderful fiance!)
Granted, I got it from eBay, and I paid quite a bit more than the regular retail price, and what hurts even more is that immediately after securing my purchase, Amazon UK decided to restock the bloody thing exclusively for Prime members, so I could have gotten one for the regular price.
So yeah. Despite all my complaining on Twitter for the past 2 or 3 months, I became a part of the problem and the scalpers won. But regardless, I got myself a SNES Classic, and after a painstaking journey of constant hurdles and insurmountable levels of frustration, I’m just relieved that I now have one to call my own.
And every single step was absolutely worth it.
It’s no secret that I’m sucker for nostalgia. Pretty much all of my favourite games are from over 10 years ago, and a significant chunk of my gaming time is dedicated to either going back and playing classic games from my childhood or playing remakes or HD remasters of those games on newer consoles. I still play modern games, but with the exception of Nintendo, I’d generally consider myself to be heavily detached and disinterested in the modern gaming scene. I guess I just prefer the aesthetic and design philosophies behind older games. There’s a reason I’ve beaten the entirety of Sonic Mania, Chaos Emeralds and all, 3 times in the last week and a half and have never even remotely cared about owning the latest up to date tech to play my games on.
For someone like me, the SNES Classic is perfect. Not only are many of my all-time favourite games on this device, but the Super Nintendo was the first console I ever played a video game on. I still own one, and all of the games I had for it, to this day and I regularly dig it out from under the bed to relive my childhood memories. But it’s old and it’s dusty, the controller is covered in bite marks from the many deaths my 3 year old self experienced while tackling the Vanilla Dome in Super Mario World and the games themselves look pretty bad on a modern day 42 inch HDTV, because high definition killed retro gaming forever.
It’s also been my dream to collect many of the Super Nintendo games that I missed out on when I was a kid, such as Super Metroid and Super Mario RPG. But have you seen how much these games go for nowadays?
So when Nintendo decide to release a new version of the Super Nintendo with 21 classic games built into it, along with replicas of the original controllers and HDMI support, it’s a no brainer for someone like me. I need this in my life.
There’s not much to the system itself. It’s essentially an emulator box in the shape of miniature version of the original Super Nintendo, complete with HDMI support and pre-loaded with 21 games. The controllers themselves are also replicas of the original Super Nintendo controllers, right down to the shape, size and general feel. Playing the system feels no different from playing on the original console, aside from the graphical upscaling and the lack of needing to switch game cartridges, or blow into them should they not run correctly.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that this system isn’t worth the hassle, due to its rarity and the fact that you can emulate the very same games, and more, on a PC or build a Raspberry Pi, but I completely disagree with such claims.
I hate emulation on the PC. It’s messy, it’s cumbersome, games can crash for seemingly no reason because computers are garbage, and unless I buy an adapter for a SNES controller, I need to use a keyboard or a bloody 360 controller. I also like playing games on my TV, and I don’t fancy needing to haul my laptop or the giant gaming rig that I don’t own over to my TV to play some games on. It doesn’t feel authentic, and it’s a far cry from the experience I’d get playing on the original hardware, or in this case an exact replica of it.
Furthermore, I don’t know how to build a Raspberry Pi, and I don’t care to learn how to build one either. I want to play old Super Nintendo games. I don’t want to take time out of my day to learn how to build something that I can just buy. I don’t have time for such nonsense. It’s an inconvenience, it’s a waste of my precious time and it’s boring.
And sure, these are just weird hang-ups that are likely exclusive to me and a small handful of people, but they make all the difference. I want to play games, not build things. This isn’t Lego.
With the SNES Classic Mini, all I need to do is plug it in, turn it on, and the games are right there and they work. There’s no “setting things up”. There’s no “extra steps”. There’s no guide to follow. It’s merely plug and play, and for someone like me, it works like a charm and is absolutely worth the effort to find and the money to spend.
But in the end, it’s the games that really matter, and thankfully the SNES Classic has a fantastic selection of titles built into it. Not every classic I would have asked for is there (Chrono Trigger is missing), but there’s more than enough fantastic games there to keep my retro-loving self occupied for months. Be it my first ever video game, Street Fighter II, my favourite 2D platformer, Super Mario World or the cult classic, and arguably my favourite video game, Earthbound, the sheer variety of titles on here is outstanding. There’s also plenty of games that I’ve never had the opportunity to play before, such as Super Metroid and Kirby Super Star. The system even has a previously unreleased game on it: Star Fox 2, the original sequel to the first Star Fox game that was cancelled due to the Nintendo 64’s imminent release. What a treat!
And as for the games that aren’t on the system… Let’s just say I’ve already modded the thing so I can add whatever games I happen to feel should have been included. I’ve already put Chrono Trigger, Plok! and Donkey Kong Country 2 onto my system, and it took me a whole 5 minutes to do so.
So is the SNES Classic Mini worth it? If you’re a lover of the original system, and want to get the most authentic experience, at an affordable price, then yes, it’s absolutely worth the hunt and the potentially higher than original selling price. It’s the best gaming related purchase I’ve made all year, with the exception of maybe my Nintendo Switch, and I absolutely do not regret spending over £100 on the thing.
If you’re given the chance to get one, do so. It’s worth the investment. Go dive back into the 90’s and have a blast.
As for me, that’s precisely where I’m going.