Su­per Nin­tendo Clas­sic Mini

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - FRONT PAGE -

(€90) HHHHH Age 12+

Nin­tendo should know bet­ter. Af­ter dras­ti­cally un­der-es­ti­mat­ing the de­mand for its nos­tal­gic re­vival of its NES con­sole last year, the Ja­panese have re­peated the car­di­nal er­ror again with the SNES Clas­sic Mini. The shelves are bare of stock in even Nin­tendo’s own store, mir­ror­ing the drought in other re­tail­ers.

It’s not as if it’s a sneaky mar­ket­ing strat­egy. It’s not as if the clam­our couldn’t have been an­tic­i­pated. The SNES is one of Nin­tendo’s great con­tri­bu­tions to gam­ing and the Clas­sic Mini per­fectly recre­ates its 1990s bril­liance in a scale-model ver­sion loaded with 21 ti­tles, many of which are bona-fide mas­ter­pieces.

The SNES Mini smooths over a hand­ful of flaws that marred the NES Mini (chiefly, the crim­i­nally short length of the con­troller ca­bles and some vis­ual/au­dio glitches). It repli­cates the el­e­gant case de­sign in minia­turised form and in­cludes two con­trollers, HDMI out­put and a USB ca­ble (sup­ply your own plug).

In soft­ware terms, it ac­knowl­edges the dif­fi­culty level of many of the bun­dled games by en­abling a time-rewind func­tion — the abil­ity to skip back­ward by a minute to a point be­fore los­ing a life, for in­stance.

But it’s the col­lec­tion of SNES smash-hits that jus­ti­fies hunt­ing down the con­sole. Many of the games still hold up in­cred­i­bly well to­day and the re­main­der of the list isn’t too shabby ei­ther. The likes of Se­cret of Mana, Zelda: Link to the Past, Don­key Kong Coun­try and Su­per Mario World re­main spell­bind­ing in their orig­i­nal­ity and in some ways have never been bet­tered.

FIFA 18 (XO/PS4/PC/Sw/PS3/X360) HHHHH Age: 7+ Press a but­ton, wait half a sec­ond, watch player on-screen even­tu­ally re­spond. FIFA 18 has tin­kered with many as­pects of its foot­ball this year but tack­ling lag was high on the list.

Now the re­sponse time to your in­puts has been shaved thanks to im­proved an­i­ma­tions and smarter coding. It’s not per­fect and is un­doubt­edly sub­jec­tive ver­sus the mer­its of Pro Evo Soc­cer 2018. But it’s the key to why you might buy FIFA 18 if you al­ready own the 2017 edi­tion.

Cer­tainly, in other ar­eas, FIFA re­tains and en­hances its crown as the most beau­ti­ful, most com­plete ver­sion of foot­ball. A sec­ond help­ing of ‘The Jour­ney’, FIFA’s celeb-laden story, is pleas­antly di­vert­ing (although it’s not in the Switch ver­sion) while the ‘Ul­ti­mate Team’ card-col­lect­ing mode is as deep as your pock­ets al­low it to be.

Over­all, the dif­fer­ences seem min­i­mal, none­the­less, and it’s that zip­pier pace on the pitch that de­ter­mines whether you pick this up in­stead of PES 2018 or stick with FIFA 17.

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