A Super Nintendo still exists somewhere in my brother’s house. Years ago, I requested it returned to me so I could play my favorite video game of all time, “Super Metroid.” However, it seems the console had become a casualty of a move, packed away in the attic among dozens of boxes.
Fortunately though, Nintendo announced recently that they were releasing a special edition of the console that came with a collection of classic games that debuted on the original system. The new miniature versions, called the Super Nintendo Classic, is already touted as one of the top holiday gifts this year.
On a recent quest to refill my stock of Cherry Dr Peppers I wandered over to the electronics section to look (and wince) at the Nintendo Switch. Astoundingly, sitting right next to the company’s newest console sat three SNES Classics. A few minutes later I was rushing out of the store with one in-hand eager to play the iconic 16-bit masterpieces from my childhood.
“Zelda: A Link to the Past,” “Super Mario Kart,” “Super Mario World,” “Super Punch-Out” and “F-Zero” are among some of the most popular games in the library. However, Nintendo includes some of the more obscure titles as well, such as “Super Ghosts and Goblins,” “Mega Man X” and one of my all-time favorites “Secret of Mana.”
As soon as I hooked it up to my giant TV, I found myself testing out various games. I won a circuit in “F-Zero” despite learning how terrible I still am at the futuristic racing game. Then, I tested out “Super Punch-Out.” I had beaten the game several times in the past but ducking and blocking didn’t seem to be my forte anymore. Although my character took far too many blows to the face, I ended up (barely) getting through the first batch of opponents. Yes, it’s apparent I still need more practice with the old school games.
In the past, my brother and I devoted hours into “Secret of Mana” because it was one of the only role-playing games that allowed more than one person to play. Although the original version allowed up to three players at a time, it seems the SNES Classic version has been restricted to just two. That’s OK since the game looks like a pretty direct port from the original. And really, it’s rare to have more than two players invested in such a long game.
Finally, I made the mistake of loading up “Final Fantasy III,” my favorite game in the series. A defining RPG, “FFIII” set the formula for the hundreds of games in the genre that followed. Players are introduced to a number of memorable characters, each with their own special abilities. But the story is what makes “FFIII” worth another playthrough. As characters are introduced, each explores his or her own personal quests. For instance, Shadow (a mysterious ninja) must come to terms with his past and chooses to help the group at a key moment in the game. The twins, Edgar and Sabin decided to flip a coin to see who would take over their kingdom.
And let’s not forget one of the best villains of all time, Kefka. The main antagonist is loud, short-tempered, maniacal and destructive and cackles every chance he gets. The more despicable the act the more he laughs at you and your companions.
I intended to play for a few hours but when I looked up, I was surprised at what time it was.
Overall, the tiny system has a pretty awesome collection of games to invest time into. Fortunately, the system comes with two controllers so you and a buddy can play. Speaking of which, many of my friends are already asking for me to bring the console over so they can quell their retro-gaming fix.