A Different Sort of Review – The NES Classic Mini

Sometimes, we review weird things, but these things are mostly just games and the occasional visual novel or movie. Me in particular, I am not the sort of person to review anything Nintendo related. But for my dad’s birthday, we got him a Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Mini.

My dad grew up with games like Super Mario and all that. Mostly just Super Mario to be honest, but Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Double Dragon were also there. As he grew older, he moved onto the FIFA football games and the Tekken series. These days, he sees even games like Minecraft to be too complicated.

So when Brother found the NES Classic Mini for €60 in a random tech store, he called mum and asked if dad would want it. Then he called me. Then he called Sister. Then he called me and mum again. Finally, he bought it.

When dad opened it, he was thrilled. He’s always been impossible to buy things for, and he loved this genuinely surprising gift. First thing we did was set it up and play Super Mario.

The NES Classic Mini is a tiny weeny, updated version of the NES, that comes preloaded with thirty games. It comes with an original design controller, a USB power cable and a HDMI cable. Annoyingly, it doesn’t come with an AC adaptor, so you’ll need a phone charger adaptor or a computer with a free USB slot to power it. There are two slots for controllers, but the cartridge slot is purely cosmetic.

The games are as follows:

Super Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Kirby’s Adventure, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros 3, Pac-Man, Metroid, Mega Man 2, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, Punch-Out, Super Mario Bros 2, Galaga, Balloon Fight, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Ghosts n Goblins, Ice Climber, Excitebike, Mario Bros, Kid-Icarus, Dr Mario, Donkey Kong Jr, Bubble Bobble, Gradius, Tecmo Bowl, Super C, Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest, Startropics and Double Dragon II:  The Revenge.

Honestly, for €60, that is a lot of games, especially since one Nintendo Switch game costs €40+ here. These are all the normal games, I assume with at least some of the original glitches and bugs fixed.

You pick the game you want to play from a Wii-like menu, which scrolls through all thirty games. Each game has its original title screen and single player and two player versions, with the standard controls. If you’ve played the original Super Mario Bros, you’ve essentially played it on the Classic Mini. But at least you don’t need to worry about blowing on cartridges and stuff.

The controller is probably the best thing about it. It feels like an original controller. Heck, it weighs about the same as the Classic Mini itself. The only downside is that the Classic Mini only comes with one controller, meaning you need to buy a second one if you want to play two player games.

Really, the NES Classic Mini is an emulator console, designed to look like and play classic NES games. But it’s a good emulator and it’s an official Nintendo emulator, an NES for the 21st century.  Considering how much a proper, working NES can be, as well as all 30 games, with a really easy setup that anyone can do, €60 is a good deal.

But that is assuming you can get one for that amount. Apparently the NES Classic Mini was discontinued, probably to make it seem exclusive and rare. A quick look on Ebay gives me prices of €140 and up. So I guess we were lucky to find this thing randomly in a shop.

Still, it’s a giant nostalgia rush. That is what you expect from the NES Classic Mini, and that is exactly what it delivers.

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