The NES Mini was, in all seriousness, a dream unit for old school gamers. A plug ‘n play machine that had nearly three dozen NES classics brought to life through visuals that took advantage of the units HDMI cable, Nintendo gave younger gamers a chance to try a plethora of titles from the 80’s and early 90’s, while giving old school gamers a chance to relive their childhoods on their modern televisions. While Nintendo’s complete lack of foresight in seeing the demand of such a console provided nothing but shortages and next to no bulk fulfillment to stores around the country, those who were lucky enough not to pay a scalper over $140 for a unit were definitely more than satisfied.
It was revealed recently that Nintendo would cease production of the NES Mini. An almost facepalming move, as the demand has far outpaced the supply since its release. In fact, it’s a crying shame that the plug was pulled from this plug ‘n play unit so quickly, as even if they released double what they’ve sold already, they still wouldn’t meet the demand, but would make a considerable bank, but I digress.
Hot off the news of the NES Mini’s cancellation, rumors have began to spring about that Nintendo is planning the releases of the SNES Mini. After the tremendous success of its predecessor, a 16 bit plug ‘n play of Nintendo’s Super Nintendo was the next logical step. Boasting nearly the same number of licensed titles in North America, the Super NES had a significant presence of certain genres that were mostly in their infancy on the NES, namely the console RPG and beat em up genres. Some may argue that pound for pound, the Super NES had a much stronger line up of games throughout each genre when compared to its 8 bit brethren.
With such a robust library of titles, there will be be some definite inclusions, while there will be a myriad of games that may or may not be a part of this unit for various reasons. Lets take a look at five games that are all but guaranteed to be making an appearance on the SNES Mini, as well as five games I’d love to see added in and their plausibility.
(there will be some obvious omissions on the sure bets list, since we all know Super Mario World and A Link to the Past will be a part of the line up):
Nintendo’s Mode 7 racer is one that has found quite a following since its initial release. F-Zero is one of those timeless racers that even 25+ years later remains an engaging and exhilarating drive down memory lane.
While the Star Fox franchise never really soared to much success after the Nintendo 64 version, the franchise still remains an important piece of the SNES puzzle. Utilizing a special Super FX Chip to produce 3D polygons on the 16 bit platform, Star Fox was a memorable on rails space shooter that was more than just a visual gimmick. It’s hard to see an SNES Mini not include such a landmark title in its library.
Super Castlevania IV
With the first two Castlevania games appearing on the NES Mini, it’s all but certain that what many argue is the finest installment of the franchise, will whip its way onto this 16 bit plug ‘n play unit. With one of the best soundtracks in the franchise, as well as a multitude of improvements to the gameplay over its predecessors, Super Castlevania IV would be one game players will be sinking their teeth into early on.
Contra III: The Alien Wars
While Konami has more or less started to slowly abandon video games in favor of pachinko machines, they did have a strong presence on the NES Mini. This will continue with the third installment of the Contra series on consoles. This side scrolling shooter is another SNES game that has stood the test of time, and being a two player game will also add to the multiplayer line up for some couch co-op gaming.
While I was never the biggest fan of Super Punch-Out!!, there’s no denying its appeal. A visual beauty, Super Punch-Out!! one upped just about every aspect of its previous incarnation. With a lot more strategy and moves at Little Mac’s disposal, this can fill the arcade sports niche of the SNES Mini line up quite nicely.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Turtles in Time was one of the best beat em up titles on the console, and remains a timeless classic even today. Two player gameplay added even more thrills to the action, with some Super Nintendo exclusive stages and bosses added in. As much as I’d absolutely love to see this Konami title make it on the list, licensing issues would be the biggest hurdle to leap, and it doesn’t seem like that would be happening. Stranger things have happened, but the likeliness of TMNT IV appearing on this console are very minimal, and that’s a shame.
Final Fantasy III
Arguably one of, if not the greatest roleplaying games ever, Final Fantasy III set the bar for the genre, which has rarely ever been met even to this day. A memorable cast, strong gameplay and numerous memorable moments, this Squaresoft gem would be one of the best third party additions to the SNES Mini. It’s questionable whether FFIII would make the list, as Square Enix seems to enjoy re-releasing the game on mobile devices and PC’s, and may scoff at the notion of offering a premium title with little compensation. They did have Final Fantasy IIIj released on the Japanese NES Mini, as well as Final Fantasy III being on the Virtual Console already, so it’s definitely not outside the realm of possibility to see this one being added.
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Capcom’s balls to the wall difficult platformer was an early SNES release that still manages to sit near the top of the food chain in regards to visuals and audio. With the gimmick of needing to replay the entire game after reaching the final stages adding a considerable length to the title, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts has a nostalgia value and a fanbase that would merit its inclusion to the SNES Mini. While licensing issues held back numerous Capcom NES classics from appearing on the 8 bit unit, there’s a deep catalog of titles on the SNES that don’t run into Disney licensing problems. Combine that with the fanfare with Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, it seems highly likely we’ll be seeing this added in.
Secret of Mana
Squaresoft’s multiplayer action RPG is yet another title from the 16 bit era that stands the test of time. An enjoyable story, addicting gameplay and some of the best 16 bit music out there, Secret of Mana was a hit in every sense of the word. As with Final Fantasy III, Square Enix seems fixated with bringing a number of its older titles to mobile platforms and the PC. Having the option of multiplayer in such a game would add a tremendous amount of value to the SNES Mini, but it all comes down to whether Square Enix wants to allow another one of its classics onto the device or make more money off re-releasing it elsewhere.
Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
The Super Nintendo had its lions share of beat em up titles. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers was one of the many, where the action took place strictly in a side scrolling manner, with no background or foreground movement. With strong visuals and competent gameplay, MMPR was one of the more notable releases on the SNES. With the Power Rangers licensing appearing a lot more often since the recent movies release, it’s a realistic bet that this may end up being selected as one of the Super Nintendo Mini’s titles.
The such a robust library of classics, I’m sure there are dozens of games that others would love to see included on the SNES Mini. Leave a comment below with your wish list of games!