As soon as the NES Classic Mini was released last year we set our hearts on a follow-up, after all, the Super Nintendo was a better console and the first that really set our hearts a'flutter.
That's why the announcement of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System was even better received in these quarters. We finally get to play a smorgasbord of 16-bit gems on the big screen once more, including the original Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
To be honest, if you're of the less legitimate persuasion, you could do so already - following our steps on how to build your own Raspberry Pi games machine is one route. But the SNES Classic Mini keeps it simple and provides everything you need in the one box. It also looks cute on the outside.
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Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System review: A slice of the 90s
Designed to resemble a miniature version of the original Super Nintendo - in our case the PAL version released in the UK in 1992 - it's actually smaller than the NES Classic Mini from last year.
There are rear ports for power (Micro USB) and video (HDMI), plus a flap at the front that conceals two controller ports with the new adapter as used by the NES Classic, even Wii devices.
On the top is an on/off slider switch and reset button. That's it. Simple stuff really and similar to the NES version.
All games are pre-installed so you only have to plug the retro console in and away you go. A HDMI cable is included and you get a USB cable in the box to power the device, but you will need a handy USB port or adapter plug of your own.
Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System review: Controller cable caveats
You also get two controllers this time around but sadly they suffer from a similar issue to the NES controller from last year; the lead is still way too short on each. It's a smidgeon longer, but we found ourselves having to sit on the very edge of the sofa to play.
The reset button is still on the box too, meaning you need to get up and hit it if you want to play a different game. Optional third-party wireless controllers with the ability to reset from the pad became available after the NES Classic Mini was released - hopefully it won't be too long until the SNES version gets the same treatment.
Leads and reset niggles aside, it's great that you get a second controller this time. Many SNES games featured amazing same screen multiplayer play - not least Super Mario Kart - so having the ability to play against friends straight from the box is great. It justifies the price increase over the last model for sure.
Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System review: All about the games
The SNES Classic Mini certainly shines over the NES version in the games selection too. 30 NES games were included last time out and we loved them all (mostly), but although they were true gems from yesteryear, the SNES line-up is eminently more playable.
Highlights are undoubtedly the aforementioned Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World and, for us, Super Metroid. There is a stack of amazing games without the Super prefix too. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting takes us back to hard fought battles in the 90s, while Donkey Kong Country provides a stark reminder that games were more challenging on the whole back then.
There is also Star Fox, of course, and, for the very first time anywhere, Star Fox 2. You do have to unlock the latter by beating the opening level of the first game, but that doesn't take long and you get an all-new space adventure to tackle.
There are 21 games in total and with the reset button pausing and effectively saving progress as you flit from one to another, you will enjoy every one of them we bet.
We're impressed with the video upscaling too. Having played the games on a 49-inch 4K HDR TV you would think they'd look awful when scaled to such unprecedented heights. However, they are colourful and sharp, if naturally pixelated. And aren't many new games the same these days anyway?
You can even choose to add artificial scan lines if you like, for that real retro appeal. We're not sure why you would though, as the visual - and audio - output is more than decent and nostalgic enough.
Nintendo surprised us all with the NES Classic Mini and the SNES lacks some of that "wow" factor, but it is still the better machine. It has better games on offer and is likely to be more fondly remembered by a greater number of gamers.
We’re disappointed that Nintendo has only taken one of the former console’s criticisms to heart - the controller cable - and even then still falling short of what is required, but including a second gamepad is good compensation. We only wish there was a better way to reset the machine.
Ultimately, the games themselves sell the SNES Classic Mini and considering it is a devil to find in store, with stock constantly selling out as soon as it is made available, that is proof enough that it ticks all the right retro boxes.
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