Super NES Classic Edition review: Finest curated selections

Nintendo's new mini-system collects 16-bit essentials into a stylish, well-executed package.

The second in what we hope will be a long-running line of Nintendo-made mini-consoles arrives this week: The Super NES Classic Edition. As the name suggests, it looks like a tiny Super NES console (or Super Famicom, if you get the Japanese model) and contains no less than 21 classic games, all rendered in high-definition and friendlier to play on modern televisions than actual Super NES hardware... not to mention a lot less expensive than trying to get ahold of all these old cartridges, or even to build this set of games on Virtual Console.

As with last year's Classic NES Edition system, the Super NES mini comes with its share of frustrations and minor nitpicks to accompany its strengths. The question, then, is whether or not the strengths outweigh the nitpicks. That's the question I have explored over the past few days and which I hope to answer in this week's Super NES Works video. Yes, Super NES Works is normally a retrospective series, but just this once it's shifting over to a review series instead. (Actually, it'll be a review series twice; look for a full Star Fox 2 review in a couple of weeks, once I've had sufficient time to attempt to complete it… it's a tough game.)

This is a pretty lengthy review, and my hope is that it addresses all the salient points you need to know while showing off ample footage of the system in action. I've been impressed by the Super NES mini, despite a few minor issues I've noticed. I can honestly say that most of its problems are so minor that the only reason I've even been able to notice them is because I spend a great deal of time trying to coax the best possible quality video from real Super NES hardware and had reference material conveniently at hand. I feel quite confident that the vast majority of people who pick up a Super NES mini won't notice negligible details like minor audio discrepancies or spot the three-frame missing background graphic in Yoshi's Island (which may be a deliberate exclusion anyway).

So, again, I hope you'll find this video review informative. Please enjoy, and don't worry — Super NES Works will be back to its usual looking-way-back-into-the-past shenanigans in due time. It's not like Nintendo publishes brand new Super NES content in the year 2017 very often, after all.