Playing with Power: Guide to the SNES Classic

Oscar Flores, Copy Editor

The recent surge in 80s and 90s pop-culture continues with the return of a beloved console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  The classic iteration of the console, released on Sept. 27, brings back the 16-bit era of video games – the era responsible for genre-defining games such as Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.  With the return of this console, it is time to play with power.


Nintendo’s recreation of the SNES is significantly smaller in scale, but features a total of 21 games featuring the never-released Star Fox 2.  The controllers are near-exact replicas of the original controllers with only the cord-length acting as the major difference.  After the backlash the NES Classic controller received for its 30 in. cord-length, Nintendo corrected its previous mistake and extended the SNES cord to approx. 4.5 feet.  While a minor step forward and a feeble length compared to the 7 feet cord of the original, it is a step in the right direction for Nintendo’s line of classic consoles (and a sign of change in the company’s reaction to fan feedback).


The true essence of a console doesn’t come from its design, nor its technology for that matter, but rather, it comes from the games – and the SNES Classic has no shortage of games.  The line-up of games includes some of the most beloved in Nintendo’s repertoire, some of which are Super Metroid, Super Mario World, Star Fox, Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and EarthBound.  That is not taking into account other hidden gems like Mega Man X and Final Fantasy III.  Each game emulated onto the SNES Classic runs smoothly with little to no problems present during gameplay; this, however, does not mean that every game will translate perfectly to modern times.  Star Fox and Super Mario Kart are subject to unstable controls and disorienting images due to the rendered 3D images.  Despite minor critiques, each game on the list provides constant entertainment.


Given this is a “new console”, the SNES Classic is embedded with new features previously unknown to owners of the original 1991 console.  One of the novelties is the ability to save gameplay sessions at any point in time by pressing the reset button.  A note of warning though as this feature can indirectly erase any saved data if a past saved file is used.  Another feature included is the option of filters.  While simplistic and unnecessary, the CTR, 4:3, and Pixel Perfect filters offer slight modifications to the visuals of the games.


Although unrelated to the core of the SNES and its features, the SNES Classic can be hacked to include games not present in the original line-up.  Using the HackChi2 software enables users to emulate games such Chrono Trigger and Mortal Kombat onto the console’s hardware.  Hacking will void the warranty on the hardware but no signs of viruses or internal damages have been reported.


As of now, the SNES Classic Edition’s stock is limited but more are expected to be restocked in the upcoming months.  The second in Nintendo’s line of classic consoles was met with skepticism from the masses due to complications with the NES Classic and its low stock at launch.  Availability problems aside, the SNES Classic Edition is sold at all major retailers (Amazon included) for $79.99.