NES Classic Edition

NES Classic Edition Game Review

The NES Classic Edition is as cute as it is very simple to use and also which is to say extremely. You hook it up, power it on, and 30 classic NES titles are available right at your thumb tips. And those 30 games include multiple first installments of series that are still relevant today, like Super Mario Bros, Zelda 1, Castlevania, Metroid, among others. Yes, the NES Classic indeed earns its classic Moniker even if not every game is a home-run. I’ll spare you the full list of games, but no matter how you slice it, the collection is impressive-but certainly not definitive, as there are some notable absences, such as Metal Gear, Duck Tales, and any Mega Man besides Mega Man 2, among others. Crystalis anyone? But seeing as the entire package retails for $60, or $2 per game, that’s pretty understandable.

Selection of Games

Now just as important as the selection of games is how well those games run in ocean of games. And as one who’s generally pretty sensitive to emulator imperfections, I have to say that this might be Nintendo’s best emulator yet,as the games look, sound, and most importantly, played almost exactly as I remembered, with no egregious graphical artifacts, sound clipping, or input latency. But I then decided to hook up my 30 year old original NES just to be sure and as it turns out, although my memory was close, it wasn’t AS close as I remembered,

 With the NES Classic generally appearing much sharper and brighter, but also a little washed out when compared to the original NES, and while the sound was similarly “crisper,” it also sometimes bordered on being just slightly harsh. But look I’m not a super technical guy, so I couldn’t say for sure whether these slight differences are due to the emulation itself, or if it’s simply because the NES Classics digital HDMI signal is clearer and less muddled than the original NES’s analog composite setup. Either way, the differences are subtle and only really became apparent when played back to back-otherwise the games played practically identically.

So just keep in mind that while it may not look and sound EXACTLY as you remember, it’s pretty darn close. Now the NES Classic provides 3 different display options to ensure the games look exactly as you want them to: There’s Pixel Perfect, which displays the games in a narrower aspect ratio, 4:3 which is the same aspect ratio as the games actually appeared in back in the day, and finally CRT mode which adds a filter on top of the 4:3 ratio to mimic the appearance of an old-school TV. And it’s surprisingly effective, giving the games a softer look, and is closest to matching my memory of them–even if it does look a little odd at times, such as when scrolling vertically in Super Mario Bros and also this game is available in 2.Besides the Display options, the system arguably improves on the original games in one major way: you can now Save at any time with up 4 Save States per game.

Yeah that’s pretty huge, considering you couldn’t save at all in most of those games originally. And you can even “Lock” those Save States so you don’t accidentally overwrite them. The presentation in general really couldn’t be much simpler…you choose a game from the list–which you can sort in all kinds of ways, such as alphabetically, by release order, or even which games support 2-Players and then you just–get this–play it! It’s so simple! Almost too simple, because there’s little else to the NES Classic beyond the bare necessities.

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