Wednesday 28 June 2017

Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES with Star Fox 2

Many video game enthusiasts (myself included) missed out on the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) due to severe stock shortages last November.

So, when the company announced it was following up with the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) this September. I was determined to secure a pre-order from The 16-bit console represents peak Nintendo.

The successor to the NES captured my imagination whilst flicking through the pages of defunct games magazine Mean Machines. The sleek-looking console was released in its native Japan in 1990 with Super Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings. When the machine reached UK shores in 1992 it did not disappoint. Featuring Super Mario World as a pack-in, the 16-bit powerhouse had pride of place under the TV that Christmas. Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 remain my favourite franchise installments.

The "SNES", as it was pronounced on Bad Influence! a weekly tech magazine show hosted by Andy Crane and Violet Berlin in the early 1990s, introduced me to the wonders of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. A game I treasure to this day.

Whilst last year's NES included 30 games, the SNES will feature 21 and it represents a stellar genre line-up including the unreleased Star Fox 2:

Contra III: The Alien Wars
Donkey Kong Country
Final Fantasy III
Kirby Super Star
Kirby's Dream Course
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Mega Man X
Secret of Mana
Star Fox
Star Fox 2
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls'n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Metroid
Super Punch-Out!!

From ALIEN³ (loaned to a friend and never returned) to Super Star Wars, Nintendo's 16-bit console never failed to delight with Mode 7 and Super FX technological trickery. That said, the cartridges were expensive. Street Fighter II Turbo cost £70!

I took my machine to university where it played genial host to Super Mario Kart tournaments with housemates and friends until the PlayStation was launched in 1995. Without the SNES there would be no PlayStation. Sony's console began life as an aborted SNES CD-ROM add-on in 1988. However, Nintendo shunned Sony and partnered with Philips in 1991. The rest is gaming history.

Nintendo is putting the "n" into nostalgia with these classic mini consoles featuring childhood callbacks for fans.

"Our long-term efforts are focused on delivering great games for the Nintendo Switch system and continuing to build momentum for that platform, as well as serving the more than 63 million owners of Nintendo 3DS family systems. We are offering Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition in special recognition of the fans who show tremendous interest our classic content."

In a statement to USgamer, Nintendo said: "We aren't providing specific numbers, but we will produce significantly more units of Super NES Classic Edition than we did of NES Classic Edition.

"Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition is currently planned to ship from 29th September until the end of calendar year 2017. At this time, we have nothing to announce regarding any possible shipments beyond this year."

Pre-orders sold out within minutes on Monday. I secured mine after following a link on Eurogamer.

Nintendo's 16-bit era arch-rival Sega has recently launched Sega Forever for iOS and Android devices. Sega plans to release games from the Master System to Dreamcast. However, it's off to a stuttering start and there isn't a first-party classic console product of the calibre offered by Nintendo. Personally, I'd love a mini classic Genesis/Mega Drive comparable to SNES with excellent emulation.

Did you manage to pre-order a Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo? Which games are you excited for? Is it bittersweet because of stock shortages? Let me know in the comments below.

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