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What the Super NES Classic Edition includes and what it is missing

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Nintendo’s worst-kept secret has been confirmed to be true. After being leaked by a retailer over the weekend, Nintendo has formally announced the upcoming release of the Super NES Classic Edition, a handheld version of the original Super NES loaded with 21 titles from the SNES era.

I have always been a loyal Nintendo fan, and I have never given a second thought when it comes to naming my favorite console Nintendo has made. For me, the Super Nintendo holds a special place in my gaming heart. The console was the first system I saved up my allowance for and paid every penny for by myself. It provided me many gaming memories with my best friend from elementary school. The game library was one of the best any console had to offer for years, as far as I am concerned and I feel as though some of the best games still live up to today’s standards. Some of the games released on the Super NES were groundbreaking and set the standard for a number of games for years to come.

Now, Nintendo is giving us a chance to go back and enjoy the Super NES all over again with a stunning collection of classic titles. Nintendo will release the Super NES Classic on September 29, 2017 at a suggested retail price of $79.99. In the package you will get the following:

  • Super NES Classic Edition console
  • 2 Super NES (Classic Edition) controllers (they are wired, and hopefully are longer than the NES Classic controllers)
  • 21 built-in games
This is a terrific collection of Super NES games.

And what are those 21 built-in games?

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Earthbound
  • F-Zero
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • Secret of Mana
  • Star Fox
  • Star Fox 2 (never-before released)
  • Street Fighter II Turbo
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out

That is quite a nice collection of Super NES staples, and the emphasis on RPG titles was nice to see. Including a package that gives you Super Mario RPG, Earthbound and Final Fantasy III is more than enough reason to check out the system if you enjoy RPG titles (and I say this as someone who has not played Final Fantasy III or Super Mario RPG). Getting some of the core Nintendo franchises in their 16-bit debut was a given (Super Mario World, Link to the Past, Super Metroid), and the original Super Mario Kart and F-Zero was pretty much a lock as well.

As far as third parties are concerned, there were more locks confirmed for this system as well. Super Castlevania IV, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, and Mega Man X were atop my short list for third-party titles to make the cut for the system given their legacy and early days on the SNES.

Star Fox 2 and the can of worms Nintendo just opened

One of the main differences between the NES Classic and the Super NES Classic is the 16-bit product will include a game never-before-seen by consumers. That is huge. Star Fox 2 was never released for the Super NES or Super Famicom despite being scheduled for release in 1995. The reason the plug was pulled on Star Fox 2 was because of the timing. With a new Star Fox game in development for the Nintendo 64 and scheduled for a release in 1997, Nintendo thought it would be best to hold off on a new Star Fox game. Maybe that turned out to be a blessing, as Star Fox 64 is widely considered to be a true classic.

Fast forward to today. The Star Fox franchise has had a number of titles released since Star Fox 64, but the franchise has lacked the widespread appeal the first two entries in the franchise have had, although Fox remains a fan-favorite in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Nintendo’s most recent entry to the Star Fox franchise on the WiiU did not fare well for a number of reasons, but Nintendo can give the franchise some juice by highlighting this long-awaited sequel in the upcoming Super NES Classic.

Of course, this brings up a couple of concerns consumers will have moving forward. After such a small supply of NES Classic consoles, there is already concern about supply for the Super NES Classic. Now that the system is releasing with a terrific lineup that includes titles like Final Fantasy III, Super Mario RPG, and Earthbound, throwing on top of the pile a previously unreleased game will only make the demand for this product so much higher.

It sounds like Nintendo will make an effort to provide a much larger supply of the Super NES Classic Edition, and that would be encouraging to hear if it does turn out to be true. But no matter how many units Nintendo makes, getting your hands on one may still prove to be a challenge.

But what about the Virtual Console?

Yeah, we’re still waiting for any news about a virtual console on the Nintendo Switch. It may be telling that Nintendo has shared more information about the Super NES Classic than it has any virtual console on its current home console. That does not seem to be an encouraging sign for anyone hoping for a Virtual Console on the Switch.

Here is my ultimate solution for Nintendo to satisfy anyone who owns a Switch and (eventually) a Super NES Classic. Give anyone who registers the Super NES Classic with their My Nintendo account free access to the games included on the Super NES Classic that are also on the virtual console on the Switch. You’re already paying over $70 for the games on this new Super NES Classic, so why not get them on your Virtual Console library without any extra charge? And by the way, that feature with the NES Classic would be good too.

I won’t hold my breath on this, but it would be awesome of Nintendo.

Being greedy. What games should have been included?

True story. I had a draft of games I wanted to see in a hypothetical Super NES Classic. Obviously, there is no longer a need for that list since it took me too long to put the post together in a state ready to publish. I had a list of 30 games, and most of the games ended up making the cut. Putting aside the fact that I never would have guessed Star Fox 2 being included, I was mildly surprised Nintendo decided to offer two Kirby games. I felt one was a given and I think I would have rather have had a game not included rather than doubling up on Kirby.

I was surprised Pilotwings was not among the games included on the Super NES Classic lineup. It was one of the early launch period titles for the Super NES and is still fun to play today. There is also a noticeable void of shooters. No Gradius III? Or even Super R-Type? That feels like a missed opportunity, although we do get two Star Fox titles, although those are different styles of games.

Sim City was probably a huge long shot to be included, although this Sim City-loving SNES fan would have loved to see it make the cut. There is a clear lack of sports titles (Super Punch-Out is as close as we get), but that was to be expected. Besides, the Genesis has marketed more as the sports console at the time anyway. But Ken Griffey Jr. Presents MLB would have been a real home run.

One game I really wish Nintendo included was Super Mario All-Stars. The 16-bit remakes of all of the original NES titles with the addition of The Lost Levels was a nice addition to the Super NES game library, and throwing that in the mix would have been a nice touch.

What are your first reactions to the Super NES Classic Edition from Nintendo? Will you be trying to get one or will you pass on it entirely? Let me know with a comment below.

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