NES Classic Review
The NES Classic Edition Console is a miniature version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. It started the recent trend of Retro Video Game Consoles from Atari to the original PlayStation. There's not a lot to the physical appearance of the system, the look is virtually identical to the original NES—albeit smaller in size—with the exception of its ports. It contains a single HDMI Out port on the back of the console along with a micro USB DC IN port. The front of the console has two controller ports for the NES Classic Controllers. What's nice about the front controller ports is that they are of the same design as the controller ports on the bottom of the Wii Remote, meaning you could use the NES Classic Controller on your Wii to play Virtual Console games(if you were lucky enough to grab a few before the store was closed). Adding to their versatility, you could also use a NES Classic Controller on the SNES Classic Console or the SNES Classic Controller on the NES Classic Console if you wish to do so.
What's Included: Included in the NES Classic Edition Package is an NES Controller(virtually identical to the original), HDMI cable, micro USB cable with AC adapter(100-240v) and the NES Mini Console. What you're going to notice immediately is that the NES Controller Cable is.. short. It's only 30 inches in length. Unfortunately, you're going to need to pick up an extension cable if you wish to play at a comfortable distance away from the TV(unless you plan on playing on the floor directly in front of the screen like we did as kids). I don't know why the minds at Nintendo did not considered longer cable length during development but at least that lesson was learned for the SNES Classic. If you plan on playing two players, you are also going to need to pick up an additional NES Classic Controller for $9.99.
Games: This is the best part about the NES Classic. It contains a very good selection of games. The games included are -
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda - The Adventure of Link
Castlevania II Simon's Quest
Donkey Kong Jr.
DOUBLE DRAGON II: The Revenge
MEGA MAN 2
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
and lastly, Super C.
All 30 games are arranged on the menu side-by-side and it's easy to navigate through them. I've tried almost every game offered—some for a longer period then others—each of them played smoothly and controlled just as well. I'm not positive if there has been any up scaling via HDMI but the 8-bit graphics are certainly vibrant and crisp. I haven't experienced any glitches or game crashes but that's something I've come to expect from Nintendo being a long time customer, they do not ship faulty products. There are three Save Game slots for each title, making it easy to play in short sessions. Save at the menu and later resume where you left off.
The top portion of the screen contains: Display, Options, Language, Legal Notices and Manuals Icons.
Display: Options for CRT Filter, 4:3 Resolution and Pixel Perfect. Options: Settings for Demo, Auto-Shutdown and Screen Burn-In Reduction. Language: Contains eight languages to choose from. Manuals: Provides a bar-code you can scan with your smart device to view the games manual and other information.
One of the issues I have with the NES Classic is that, once a game is launched, you cannot open the in-game menu to access the save points, change the game or reset the system. You need to press the reset button on the system itself to bring up the in-game menu. While I understand that Nintendo wanted to keep the console as true to its former self as possible, there could have been a way around adding an extra home button to the controller, such as holding start and select while a game is paused. Once you're seated on a couch, who wants to walk across the room every time you want to change the game or save.
It's also worth mentioning the using the included AC adapter and micro USB cable is crucial. I forgot to grab the Nintendo AC adapter when I took the system out and tried using a Samsung AC adapter and cable I had with me and the NES Classic did not like it. The system power light illuminates for a few seconds and then shuts off. The included micro USB cable is also thicker than any other I own showing that it needs to be able to carry the proper amount of power. Use the provided hardware.
Conclusion: It took me nearly two years after the release of the NES Classic Console to finally come across one to purchase and there was one left in the store.. That's been the underlying issue surrounding this console and that's the low supply; not being able to meet demand. But it seems like—at least for now—that's been resolved, seeing that the NES Classic is now readily available on numerous websites and occasionally found at your local brick and mortar.
It's a fun and nostalgic experience for those of us that grew up with the NES and it's nice having a simple way of being able to play the system once again with most of the popular classic games we enjoyed. With these throwback systems, there will undoubtedly be games left off the roster the we would have liked to be included but that said, Nintendo has included virtually every important title from the 8-bit era and even with its short flaws(It was too tempting) It's a retro system worth owning.