Why New And Old Gamers Alike Should Look To The SNES For Their Gaming Needs.
With all the choices gamers have out there, I find it interesting that time and time again the SNES almost always comes out on top. Only the original NES comes even close. So when I first began my SNES revival after a gaming hibernation, the first question I asked myself was “Why SNES?” It is a fair question to anyone looking to buy a new system in today’s world. Here is what I came up with…
It’s Just Right…
It seems to me that earlier systems such as the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System had the solid gameplay fundamentals that I cherish, yet at the same time lacked the hardware to fulfill the developer’s visions. There is no denying games like Super Mario Brothers and Pitfall are eternally fun, but as time goes on these 8-bit games will age worse and worse, especially to newer gamers who are used to HD visuals.
Likewise, early 3D systems like the Nintendo 64 and Playstation have aged even worse, with blocky 3D visuals, awkward camera angles and gameplay. This is also where many gamers failed to move on with the industry due to all the beloved franchises making an unneeded transfer into 3D(Contra, Mega Man). Those are some of the reasons why this is where my gaming train stopped for the most part…though there are exceptions.
The Super Nintendo is much like the Baby Bear’s porridge; Just Right. The SNES strikes the perfect balance between old school design sensibility and artistic and technological capability. The gameplay here has an eternal feel, and the graphics and sound age like fine wine. I can state with honesty that I have never found a system that is overall more fun.
But all of the above is just opinion, so perhaps I should bolster it with some facts.
The Rising Cost Of Modern Gaming.
One of the biggest barriers to gaming going mainstream is the ridiculous buy-in prices they expect consumers to pay. A brand new Playstation 3, Xbox 360, or Wii will cost you at least $200 dollars, not counting warranties and internet plans. Another thing to consider is the cost of new games which will generally cost you $60, not counting the downloadable content you usually will want to buy in order to get the “complete” experience. And if you are looking for PC gaming…forget about it!
Compare that to the cost of a $50 Super Nintendo and great games that will only cost you an average price of $25 dollars. That translates to a SNES and a dozen games for the same price you would pay for a PS3 and one game!
Reliability is a serious concern with seventh-generation systems. The Xbox 360 runs so hot that some systems actually melt parts, turning that expensive HD console into a brick. On top of that, there are numerous reports of disc-drive errors and problems with the system opening properly. I myself had three such problems before giving up.
While the Playstation 3 may fare better in public perception, it is not immune from the same problems, notably system crashes and security issues. It even has an equivalent to the dreaded RROD, a “Yellow-Light-Of-Death” if you will. You simply cannot pack this much tech into a box and expect it to work flawlessly.
Compare this with the Super Nintendo, which has nothing to break. It has no Blu-Ray Drive or HD graphics chip. It has a slot and levers! This means that by virtue of their simpler design they are almost eternal. My SNES is over 20 years old and still works like it did back in 1991. And any problems that might arise can be fixed with relative ease.
Something For Everyone.
There is some appeal to non-gamers. This is huge to many people who agonize how to get their significant other to share their hobby with them. If you have ever wondered why your non-gaming spouse or child has such a hard time playing new games, perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that the average video game controller has twelve buttons, two joysticks and a D-Pad! That is a lot to take in for someone who has never even played a video game before! Look at the SNES for a quick comparison. Four buttons, a D-Pad and two triggers that are rarely used! This makes it much easier for non-gamers and the new gamers to adapt.
As a tie-in, game content is also significantly different from the new generation systems. Why would a concerned parent want their child playing Gears of War or Grand Theft Auto? That is not to say that there is not some modicum of family friendly content to be had. The Wii has made great gains in this regard, as has the X-box 360 Kinect and Playstation 3 Move. These devices are offering more content that can be enjoyed as a family. But you can tell that many of these games come as an afterthought and do not get the budgets or care that they deserve. Compare that with the SNES. It does not get any more quality than Super Mario World! I have yet to see a man, woman, or child that cannot enjoy that game!
The Best Damn Library In History!!!
I am not kidding when I say that anyone who has not at least experienced the best that this system has to offer has missed out! I can point to over 100 must play games for this system, and many genres and franchises saw their finest hour on this system. Many people missed out on SNES gaming because they were too young or due to the fact that they only had a Sega Genesis. To these folks exploring the SNES is like having a brand new system. To those SNES veterans who think that they have seen it all, have you looked across the ocean to the Japanese only library? Some of the greatest games released for this system never saw release in North America and Europe, and many of them can be played with ZERO knowledge of the Japanese language.
Train Kept A Rollin!
Ultimately just the fact that a reasonable argument can be put forth for purchasing a Super Nintendo in this era of HD Graphics and online networking speaks volumes for it’s greatness! Indeed, even with the advent of services such as the Wii’s virtual console and numerous re-releases of these games on portable systems, people are still choosing to pay more to experience these games on the actual hardware.
Meanwhile, the SNES is embarking on a revival. New hardware like the Hyperkin Supaboy is allowing SNES enthusiasts to experience a way to play their SNES games on a handheld! In addition, Super Fighter Team is releasing the first brand-new commercial SNES game since 1998! The SNES is no longer the realm of the past; It is the future as well.
One things for sure: The SNES will be a factor to infinity and beyond!