Unlike its predecessor, I find the SNES to be very cool looking. I love the purple horizontal sliders that control the power and reset functions and the top-loading style it shares with the Genesis. Seeing the game and its art while playing is a pretty cool accidental feature. I’ll give examples and details during the game reviews but overall the sound and visuals are excellent. Side-scrollers and fighting games showcase nice, crisp and clean sprites and graphics. This is most evident in first party gems like Super Mario World and Donkey Kong Country. Games that have many more hours of gameplay, like Chrono Trigger and Earthbound use a different style of visuals in order to save on memory and make room for their hours of RPG elements and overworlds. But even making those sacrifices they still manage to look great, just in a different style. My favorite thing about the SNES is the controller. The layout of the four buttons and two shoulder buttons is ideal and comfortable. If you think about it the SNES controller is the first layout we’ve seen that very closely resembles our current gen (X Box One and PS4) controllers and there’s a good reason for that. Its ergonomic and the buttons are laid out as such that they’re easily reached by your fingers in quick succession.
Once again we’re reviewing a console that still uses cartridges and once again they’re a pain in the ass. The cool retro factor that cartridges have is completely overshadowed by the difficulty of making them work. Its not bad enough that I have to try these games almost a dozen times before they’ll work, you also have to be paranoid that they’ll stop working randomly during play.
Aside from dealing with cartridges and the worry of the console yellowing the SNES is a fantastically designed system. It performs well where it counts: graphics, sound, controller design and game library. Buy yourself a SNES and some of the best games of gaming history. If you only want to invest in one 16-bit system I would recommend the SNES over the Genesis, but you can’t go wrong with either.