I never was into Super Nintendo (SNES) growing up. Yes, I have just blasphemed and I’m sure your eyes are bleeding with such an outrageous statement! My only real brush with Nintendo was the Game Boy that I adored. My parents were fine advocates of second hand items “Give it a wipe and it’ll be as good as new again!” So, when it came to game consoles, my brother and I were always years behind the latest gaming trend. When my friends were swooning over the original Nintendo, I was playing Frogger on the Atari. When they advanced to the Sega Mega Drive or SNES (nobody had both! Pick a side!) I was patiently waiting for tape cassettes to load in my ZX Spectrum and then playing Paperboy and Dizzy. So, when my mother bought me a brand-new Sega Mega Drive I cherished it like it was my own child/pizza!
I received the SNES Classic Mini for my birthday last year and of course I was delighted! Any retro gaming console with built in games is going to have me salivating like these! Plus I always had a soft spot for Street Fighter on the SNES after I played against my next-door neighbour when I was about 12 and hammered the shit out of him with Ryu’s dragon punch and hurricane kick!
But I digress...
I unpacked the console and immediately Forest Gumped my way to setting it up without instructions… because instructions are for the weak! I then executed the sitting lotus position on the floor mere centimetres away from the telly and then proceeded to gush out loud. A lot of people are not fans of the smaller reboots of plug and play retro consoles. It’s like ‘real’ DJ’s getting pissed off at other DJ’s who don’t use vinyl because they think they’re bastardising a much-loved skill and artistry. Yes, the old skool ninja ways are still hugely important and the quality is no doubt pure, but I also think that if you’re enjoying it, then why does it matter how it’s produced? Here were my 5 initial thoughts when I set about playing my new SNES Mini for the first time.
“OMG! This is so tiny and cute I can hold it in one hand and not freak out that I’m going to break it for being a clumsy smart ass.” The SNES Mini is very compact and light and feels more like a toy prop compared to the original SNES from 1992. I may have picked it up, waved it in the air a bit and thought, “Wow, this looks like it’s fake!” and “Why isn’t this a Mega Drive?!”
“If this doesn’t have Street Fighter, then I hope you kept the receipt!” The SNES Mini does of course have Street Fighter 2 pre-installed ready to go. It also has 20 other retro games including the classics like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda and Contra.
“Where the hell do I connect the controllers?” The SNES Mini is not an exact functional replica of the original. The main features on the console are just for aesthetic purposes. So, no you can’t use cartridges as the slot is just an illusion of lies! And yes, you might have a few minutes of shouting hysterically that your console is broken, and then realise (with a little patience and deep breathing) that the original controllers ports are also make believe! The new controller ports (Nintendo Wii remote style) are stealthily hidden in a compartment under the pretend ones. Sneaky genius!
“Where is the mains plug or is this so advanced I have to remotely power the SNES Mini with thoughts and prayers?!” The small console does come with a USB lead, but you will need your own plug to connect it to a power supply. This isn’t a big deal as I used my iPhone plug that was kicking about the house, so you will be able to grab one from your smart phone or other generic electrical device to make the magic happen!
“Oh yeah, I forgot how much I actually suck at Mario!” After having irrational meltdowns setting up the really quite simple SNES Mini, it was amazing to relive the memories and give my thumbs a workout! If you just want a taste of good old Nintendo retro gaming, then these handy consoles with built in games are fantastic. However, if you want to immerse yourself in the full Shangri-La of 1990s gaming, then you can purchase a second hand original SNES Classic quite easily online from a specialist retro gaming shop like The R.A.G.E for my Irish peeps and RetroPlayers for my UK pals! You can then buy all the old cartridges your heart so desires!
For me as a part-time SNES lover, the Super Nintendo Classic Mini pushes my buttons!