Nintendo Classic Mini: SNES review – fun-sized reboot of greatest ever console
Over the last decade we have become used to seeing Nintendo written off, then returning to the fray with an astonishing piece of hardware. The chunky Game Cube failed in the PlayStation era and everyone thought that was it – until the Wii came out and revitalised casual gaming.
The Wii U was a sales disaster, its Toy Town tablet controller failing to entice developers or consumers – but now the Switch is killing it with a much better implementation of the same concept. This boom and bust model goes back further, though – it began with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
后续机种Wii U成为销售灾难，其玩具城（Toy Town）平板机未能引起开发员和玩家的兴趣，但如今其Switch版，则通过对相同理念的更好实现而大获全胜。这种兴衰沉浮模式还可以追溯到更早以前—— 从“超级任天堂娱乐系统”时代开始。
The SNES got off to a slow start against the scorchingly confident Mega Drive. Sega’s machine, designed with a powerful 16-bit processor capable of handling the company’s brilliant late-80s arcade titles, was marketed with verve and aplomb, lighting up the teen demographic with coin-op hits like Golden Axe and Altered Beast. With a two-year head start, the machine greedily chomped into Nintendo’s 95% market share, then augmented its supremacy with the launch of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991. Industry watchers were panicking while then Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi kept his cards close to his chest.
相对于世嘉MD的炙手可热，SNES游戏机起步迟缓。世嘉开发的这款五代主机配备强劲的16位处理器，可以运行该公司80年代末的多款经典游戏，销售火爆而稳健，以金斧战士（Golden Axe）和兽王记（Altered Beast）等投币游戏点燃了青少年群体的热情。这款游戏机抢先两年面世便狂吞任天堂95%的市场份额，随后，在1991年再推“刺猬索尼克（Sonic the Hedgehog）”进一步巩固霸主地位。业界观察家惊慌失措之际，任天堂总裁山内溥却手握王牌，秘而不宣。
But finally when the SNES launched in 1990, it was clear this was a technical marvel, with a rich colour palette, sophisticated audio and upgradeable graphics processor. After a thundering start in Japan (the initial shipment of 300,000 units sold out in a matter of hours), it took a while for the console to gain ground elsewhere in the world, but slowly, steadily the mega hits kept coming. While the Mega Drive traded on its attitude, the SNES competed on the sheer epic scope and quality of its software.
It was a golden era. The great artists and designers of the veteran Japanese video game houses – Nintendo, Capcom, Konami, Square Soft – reached the peak of their powers with sprite-based graphics, while in the west, developers such as Rare and Argonaut helped push the limits of the hardware via technical powerhouses such as Donkey Kong Country and StarFox. Now many of these seminal titles can be easily rediscovered in one sublime package.
那是一段黄金岁月，日本老牌视频游戏厂商——任天堂、卡普空（Capcom）、科乐美（Konami）、史克威尔（Square Soft）最伟大的艺术家和设计师，在sprite动画显示技术的助力下，尽皆登峰造极，而在西方，瑞尔（Rare）和阿古诺（Argonaut）等开发商则通过“大金刚国度（Donkey Kong Country）”和”星际火狐（Starfox）”等技术聚力项目不断突破硬件极限。如今，在超凡的游戏套件中我们可以轻松发现很多这类创造性的游戏身影。
The Nintendo Classic Mini SNES is a charming little relic of a distant time – with the emphasis on little. This perfectly scaled-down replica gets all the details right, yet fits snugly in your hand. The cartridge slot and eject button are just for show, and the original joypad ports simply flip open to allow you to connect the perfectly recreated controllers, but this is a lovely, convincing reproduction, its diminutive size neatly augmenting the nostalgia factor.