It’s like finding an old friend after years of distance, or rekindling an old flame after hearts have been broken and mended. True love never fades away regardless of how long you’ve been apart or how many other suiters you take. As prospective paramours boast about their new-and-improved specs and vast oceans of variability, I often find myself longing for the beautiful simplicity of my first love. As anyone who has ever heard me rant could tell you, I’m a bit of a sucker for nostalgia. I grew up playing Nintendo, Sega, Atari, spending countless hours in arcades shooting down Galaga ships, and collecting hordes of memorabilia. Needless to say, my life is filled with love of all things video game related, but the ones that have stayed closest to my heart (and wallet) are the many loveable characters from the Nintendo roster. The company has its issues, mostly stemming from negative fan reactions to questionable decisions, but nobody can deny the fact that their characters are some of the most recognizable Intellectual Properties of all time. To this day the original NES titles are hailed as some of the greatest video games ever made. They are sold as downloadable games on Nintendo’s Virtual Console, emulated by rotten pirates across the web, and even turned into HD Remasters for a newer generation of gamers. Bottom line is this…in a world of PS4s, Xbox One’s with X’s and Virtual Realty gaming, Nintendo still manages to cause a national frenzy over 30 year old consoles.
Last year Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, also dubbed the NES Mini, causing happiness as well as chagrin to its fan base. A tiny version of one of our favorite consoles, jam packed with 30 of Nintendo’s most popular titles and characters. A dream come true…if you were able to get one. Well, this week Nintendo shook up Twitter again with the announcement (more of a confirmation) that 2017 will see the release of the Super NES Classic Edition!!! Pause for heavy breathing. The Super NES still remains my favorite Nintendo console of them all, and that is not an easy list to top. Every generation of Nintendo’s home console has had something special that gained the love of gamers across the world. I feel I spent the largest portion of my childhood with the SNES, and several of its games are amongst my all-time favorites list. With the confirmation of the next Classic Edition console, it already has people in a frenzy hoping not to make the same mistake they did with the NES Classic.
Launching September 29th 2017, The Super NES Classic Edition comes packed with 20 plus 1 of its classic games. Is that an odd way to say it? Well…not really. Any Nintendo fan can tell you that one of the most exciting bits of news regarding the new collectable is the inclusion of Star Fox 2. Star Fox 2 was developed during the good ol’ days of 16-bit gaming, but never had the chance to be released to consumers. The new Classic marks the first ever release of the game, which reportedly has to be unlocked through Star Fox’s first level on the console. This is a big deal for us Star Fox fans who hoped the original would show up on SNES Classic, but to get a chance to own and play a brand new release is insanely hype! Nintendo seems to have come through, for the most part, with the lineup of games, featuring some of the most popular and requested entries in the console’s massive library. Unfortunately, there is a limit on how many games could be included, so no matter what Nintendo gives us, there will always be someone who doesn’t have their favorite game represented. Before getting ahead of ourselves, let me drop this exceedingly impressive list right here for you:
- 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 Metroid
- Super Punch-Out!!
- Yoshi’s Island
Whew. That is Super. Stalwarts like Super Mario World and Super Metroid were sure to make the list, but we got some surprises with Star Fox2, Yoshi’s Island, and even Super Mario RPG. The titles are an outstanding follow up to the lineup on the NES Classic, and feel like a great representation of some of the console’s most loveable experiences. Some fans reacted poorly to the inclusion of Donkey Kong Country without DKC2 which is arguably a much better game. You know what? Not arguably. Donkey Kong Country 2 IS a better game, but I think the representation of the franchise on the console is the most important thing. As many exciting things as they have given us lately, naturally people have to scour for a way to complain about what Nintendont. Many of these games, and more, can be purchased elsewhere and enjoyed by other means, but the point of these “Classic” releases are more for collectability and novelty. Many people boast that they already have libraries of classic games on emulators, but I’ve played those versions, and they never feel quite the same. Something about the experience is just off. With the NES Classic, from the moment you launch a game you feel right at home and blasted with your childhood. It just feels good. I can only imagine that the SNES experience will be just as magical, but I’m suspecting it will be even better.
Unlike the NES Classic, the SNES comes with two wired controllers right out of the box. The extra NES controllers were even more difficult to get than the NES Classic was, if you can believe that, so it’s nice to know that will not have to be a priority this time around. Super Nintendo brought us plenty of great games that featured a better two player experience than the NES offered, so it’s great that the spirit of playing together is brought back with the SNES. Here’s hoping that if the GameCube Classic ever comes to light we will get at least 3 extra controllers (Blind, unrealistic optimism is rarely followed by disappointment!).The console retails at $79.99 USD which is a $20 markup from the NES Classic, but the inclusion of an extra controller, the library of significantly larger games, and the release of a never before seen title is well worth the extra Jackson. Like the recently discontinued NES Classic, it will not be capable of playing cartridges so don’t go into it thinking it offers more than the 21 games that it boasts. Although, we will ramp that number up to about 29 since Kirby Super Star is included. It will also come with its own HDMI hookup for HD play and will be small enough to fit in your moderately sized hand.
Nintendo has addressed the need for a larger production of Super NES Classics, as opposed to their last outing, and promises to up the production “significantly” this time around. It is still pretty clear that this will be a limited item, since they state they will have stock through the 2017 calendar year. That sounds similar to the lifespan of the NES Classic, so if this is something you must have; plan to act early or never. Stay on top of preorders, check Amazon which already has a placeholder listing or be ready to camp on September 29th. There will likely be several shipments of stock intermittently after the initial release but it will probably be difficult to lock a unit down on the fly. Don’t be one of the many disappointed people who wake up Saturday the 30th and decide they want to waltz into Wal-Mart and pick up a Classic. I expect the demand for this particular console to be considerably higher due to Star Fox 2 and the general hub-bub that the NES Classic caused last year. Good Luck fans, and try not to miss out on this glorious piece of gaming history.
Leave it to Nintendo to conveniently omit one of its most important announcements from the E3 event. Three weeks later, and Nintendo is STILL winning E3.