Nintendo followed up their string of positive press earlier this week with the announcement that they will be releasing the Super NES Classic this September 2017. Instead of celebrating this good news, the right thing to do is nitpick this announcement because that’s what we, the people on the Internet, do to achieve happiness – so that’s what I’ll do right now!
But seriously though, the SNES Classic (or the SNES Mini, as some folks have been calling it) is awesome and I’m glad that Nintendo listened to some of the fan feedback, addressing some of the issues that it’s predecessor (the NES Classic) had (stocks and controller cord length). The SNES Classic lineup of built-in games is actually very strong, either having versions of it’s franchises that have improved on the problems of their prequels (e.g. Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Earthbound) or having the first entries in their other franchises (F-Zero, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart). The SNES Classic also has entries from third party heavyweights of the era like Konami, Square, and Capcom. And if that isn’t awesome enough, the SNES Classic is the only way to play a legitimate version of the never-before released Star Fox 2!
But hardly anything is perfect, and the SNES Classic’s “library” of games is no exception. Whether it be because of licensing issues or technological issues (Nintendo couldn’t fit more than 21 games in this device? Really?), there are some glaring omissions – titles that the SNES Classic should have had. Here’s a list of five such titles that I think Nintendo should have included with the SNES Classic:
Since Super Mario All Stars is just a compilation of the three Super Mario Bros. titles that came out on the NES (plus Japan’s version of Super Mario Bros. 2), I’m not counting this among my five picks. But I do think this title deserves a mention – not only is the inclusion of this title essentially adding four different games to the SNES Classic’s selection, this is also an opportunity to have all of Nintendo’s 8-bit and 16-bit Super Mario games all on one device.
And not just that – the visuals of all four Super Mario Bros. games in All Stars have been revamped for the more powerful SNES, so they look much better than their original NES versions. And Super Mario All Stars never got released in Virtual Console form, so the only way to play the improved versions of these titles is to play the original Super Mario All Stars cartridge. Including this title would have increased the value of the SNES Classic, in my opinion.
Final Fight 2
One video game genre that was really popular during the 16-bit era is the beat ’em up genre, and I was surprised that this was not represented in the SNES Classic’s lineup of games. The NES Classic had Double Dragon 2 and there were plenty of beat ’em up titles released on the SNES (you’ll see another one later in my list) so I don’t understand why this is the case.
I chose Final Fight because the franchise is still relatively popular today (note Guy’s and Cody’s inclusion in several Street Fighter installments), but couldn’t really pick the original Final Fight due to the limitations of it’s SNES port (no two player co-op, either Cody or Guy was missing). So I had to choose the second Final Fight, following the same rationale of Double Dragon 2 making the NES Classic cut over it’s prequel and sequel. Final Fight 2 would have given players options for two player co-op play, something that the SNES Classic does not have enough of.
Super Street Fighter II
Yes, the SNES Classic has a Street Fighter title, but is Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting really what we want? I guess this is more of a personal preference. Essentially, we either have a faster incarnation of Street Fighter II or the most updated version of Street Fighter II to be released on 16-bit consoles which has four more characters, new moves for most of the fighters and additional game modes. All that lost, traded in for faster gameplay? Again, personal preference – I want the additional modes and fighters of Super Street Fighter II over the faster speed.
Mortal Kombat II
Can you really talk about Street Fighter and not mention Mortal Kombat? The SNES was at the height of it’s popularity at the same time that the rivalry between the two fighting franchises was at it’s hottest, and Mortal Kombat II arguably is the best version of Mortal Kombat to come out on Nintendo’s 16-bit console. Aside from being one of the more popular fighting game franchises of that era, the fighting mechanics of Mortal Kombat II significantly differs from Street Fighter, justifying it’s inclusion. And it features the controversial Fatalities too.
Now that I think about it, Mortal Kombat II would have been rated for mature audiences only, so including this title among the SNES Classic selection may have been problematic. But I’m still keeping this on my list – this is one of the best fighting games available on the SNES and should be in anyone’s SNES games collection.
The next two titles are the most glaring omissions – both games were the first to come to mind when I first saw the SNES Classic’s games list:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
TMNT IV: Turtles in Time is in my opinion, the best beat ’em up game to ever be released on a 16-bit console. Everything about it is awesome – from the music and the sound effects, the controls, the game mechanics, the graphics and how it stayed true to the property. A port of an arcade game, the SNES version of Turtles in Time even had some additional features that made it stand out when compared against the original, despite being technologically inferior.
Storyline-wise, on the surface it seems pretty straightforward: Shredder and Krang are up to no good once again, and the Turtles have to act to stop them. The twist in Turtles in Time is that Shredder uses a time machine to warp the Turtles through different time periods – from prehistoric ages, to the Wild West, to a futuristic setting. This results in a wide variety of stages and themes.
Turtles in Time was remade several times over the years, but always based on the original arcade version rather than the SNES classic. Right now, the only way to play the SNES version is to buy the original cart or download a ROM and play it illegally. If this game were only part of the SNES Classic library, we’d have another chance to play the SNES version of Turtles in Time
When I first saw the SNES Classic’s list of games, I was surprised to see Super Mario RPG and Final Fantasy III and not Chrono Trigger. Chrono Trigger is one of the best RPGs of all time PERIOD. It has everything you want in an RPG – a good storyline, good plot twists, great characters (both the heroes and the villains), good game mechanics, great graphics and sound.
While I love Final Fantasy III (and I like it more than I do Chrono Trigger), I can’t deny that Chrono Trigger would appeal to more people primarily because it doesn’t require as much grinding and it also has a shorter length without sacrificing the story (both titles are epics). Battles also look much better, happening right where the encounter occurred rather than the typical characters-in-a-line approach of most turn-based RPGs. And finally, if the box art didn’t make it obvious, Chrono Trigger was visually designed by the Dragon Ball Z legend Akira Toriyama himself.
I can understand why the other games on this list wasn’t included, but I can never fully understand why Nintendo wasn’t able to include Chrono Trigger on the SNES Classic selection of games. The SNES Classic is a great novelty item and it has an even stronger collection of games than the NES Classic, in my opinion. But when I see it, my mind keeps saying “Too bad this doesn’t have Chrono Trigger”.
And there you have it, five SNES titles that would have been included in the SNES Classic collection if I were in charge of Nintendo. Again, the SNES Classic is already an awesome item as it is right now, but it would have been perfect had it included these titles as well.
What do you think about the SNES Classic? Is it missing any SNES titles that you would have wanted it to include? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment or two below!