Retro re­born

NIN­TENDO’S FIRST HOME VIDEOGAME CON­SOLE RE­TURNS... AND BRINGS WITH IT ALL THE GOLD, GLITZ AND GRIT OF THE ‘80S. [ JON PORTER ] Nin­tendo Clas­sic Mini: Nin­tendo En­ter­tain­ment Sys­tem

TechLife Australia - - WEL­COME - STUFFED WITH 30 GLO­RI­OUS GAMES.

THE ORIG­I­NAL NIN­TENDO En­ter­tain­ment Sys­tem (aka the NES) was re­leased way back in 1983, but the Ja­panese videogame gi­ant has re­cently de­cided to bring it back, along with 30 of its best games, in the form of the $99 Nin­tendo Clas­sic Mini. Given its 33-year age, you might ex­pect the Clas­sic Mini to suf­fer from some nos­tal­gia-re­lated is­sues — and it does — but what’s per­haps more sur­pris­ing is how well many of the games hold up.

If you’re fa­mil­iar with the de­sign of the orig­i­nal NES, then you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the Clas­sic Mini looks, but nat­u­rally a cou­ple of changes have been made since the mid ‘80s. This new con­sole doesn’t have a car­tridge slot for ex­am­ple (all the games run off in­ter­nal flash stor­age), and the de­vice uses HDMI rather than the orig­i­nal’s an­cient ae­rial con­nec­tion. The big­gest change, how­ever, is its size and weight. The con­sole it­self is only 13 x 10 x 4cm and ba­si­cally fits in the palm of your hand. It’s also sur­pris­ingly light, but thanks to some non-slip rub­ber feet, you’ll find it sits snugly wher­ever you put it.

Thank­fully, while the con­sole has been slimmed down, the con­troller re­mains full-size, and is func­tion­ally ex­actly the same as the NES orig­i­nal. You get just one con­troller in the box, with the op­tion of buy­ing an­other sep­a­rately, al­though you can use a Wii Clas­sic con­troller if you have one spare. The con­troller is equipped with an ex­tremely short ca­ble, and this is the sin­gle big­gest is­sue with the whole con­sole. At just over 75cm, it’s one third of the length of the orig­i­nal con­sole’s con­trollers, mean­ing you’re ei­ther go­ing to have to sit un­com­fort­ably close to your tele­vi­sion or place the con­sole in the mid­dle of the liv­ing room.

Once you boot up the Clas­sic Mini, you’re greeted with a list of 30 NES games to choose from, in­clud­ing the likes of Don­key Kong, The Leg­end of Zelda, Castl­e­va­nia, Fi­nal Fan­tasy, Metroid and Su­per Mario Bros. It’s a pretty ex­ten­sive list that omits rel­a­tively few of the NES’s clas­sics, al­though we would have loved to have seen the abil­ity to bring more games to the con­sole in the fu­ture. Un­for­tu­nately, this lit­tle white and grey gem is off­line-only, and doesn’t ac­cept an SD card. What you get when you open the box is what you’ll have for­ever.

The front-end of the sys­tem, which you use to se­lect games to play, is re­ally nicely de­signed and fea­tures dis­play op­tions that let you fine­tune the ex­pe­ri­ence. Apart from the smooth de­fault ‘4:3’ mode, there is a some­what harsh ‘Pixel Per­fect’ mode and a retro ‘CRT Fil­ter’ which adds scan­lines to the dis­play.

The con­sole has a mod­ern save-state func­tion with four save slots per game; how­ever, you can still use the orig­i­nal game’s save points as long as you don’t mix and match the dif­fer­ent schemes. The only is­sue we have with this save sys­tem is that the ‘Re­set’ but­ton, which is used to ac­ti­vate the fea­ture, is lo­cated on the con­sole it­self rather than the con­troller. Above all else, the Nin­tendo Clas­sic Mini is an au­then­tic retro gam­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. There’s no in­ter­net con­nec­tiv­ity here, no on­line leader­boards, no down­load­able ex­tras and no patches. It’s a warts-and-all ex­pe­ri­ence, and it means that, if you want to re­live the glo­ries of 1980s gam­ing, then this is a great way to do it.

WHILE THE CON­SOLE HAS BEEN SLIMMED DOWN, THE CON­TROLLER RE­MAINS FULL-SIZE, AND IS FUNC­TION­ALLY EX­ACTLY THE SAME AS THE NES ORIG­I­NAL.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.