When Nintendo announced the SNES Classic Edition earlier this year, there were two reactions from the gaming community. First: “The SNES had some of the best games of all time; this is going to be awesome!” And second: “Oh no, I’m never going to be able to get a SNES Classic without paying $300 for it on eBay.”
While the SNES Classic Edition won’t start hitting store shelves until Friday, some publications already got their hands on the device, and based on early reviews, it looks like Nintendo has built another winner.
If you’re still on the fence about picking up a SNES Classic Edition (providing you can find one, of course), these four reviews should give you an idea of how Nintendo improved on the NES Classic Edition and should help explain why Nintendo is charging an extra $20 for the SNES Classic Edition.
According to Polygon’s review, the SNES Classic Edition won’t exactly blow anyone away who picked up an NES Classic last year, but the selection of games is incomparable for a retro device like this:
The new SNES Classic, which launches this Friday, continues the tradition with near-perfect renditions of the company’s greatest hits from the 16-bit generation. For $79.99, you get a time capsule of 21 classic experiences both expansive and frenetic. It’s far from perfect — in fact, most if not all of our issues are identical to those in the NES Classic — but even its flaws serve as a reminder of an important, highly transitional era in gaming.
IGN’s review notes that features like suspend points and rewind are perfect for classic SNES games:
Playing these games on the SNES Classic is arguably even better than on the original hardware thanks to the same modern conveniences introduced in last year’s NES Classic, including suspend points that allow you to save at any point in any game. That’s a huge help when real life intrudes on gaming time in long RPGs like EarthBound and Final Fantasy III where saving opportunities were originally few and far between. Likewise, the Rewind Feature allows you to skip back a minute or so — the exact time depends on the game — to replay particularly difficult sections.
Kotaku was impressed by the emulation of the games, which have the same quirks as the originals:
As far as I can tell, all of these games are emulated perfectly. Nintendo chose not to make changes or enhancements to any of the ROMs, which means you’ll get the same quirks, glitches, and frame-rate drops as you did in the 1990s. (This is a good thing.) You can switch between standard, “CRT filter” (with scanlines!), and “pixel perfect” modes as you play, and you can also add borders to spice up the parts of your screen that aren’t covered with delightful 16-bit sprites.
Finally, Engadget wasn’t quite as enthused with the device (but had some nice things to say about it):
Tying the reset button to the console is still an idea best left in the past. The emulation isn’t as good as playing the original thing with dedicated upscaling hardware. And the rewind feature, perhaps the big addition over last year’s console, is poorly implemented. But despite its flaws, the SNES Classic is a competent machine with some great games. I’m not going to grab one for myself, but I will pick one up for my 10-year-old. Hopefully I can pry him away from Minecraft long enough so we can play some of the games I enjoyed when I was his age.