Nintendo’s NES wasn’t just the console that defined what to expect from a modern platform. It is also, or even above all, the epitome of nostalgia for geeks who love a somewhat square design, shades of gray plastic and pixels that sting the eyes. A meta-object that does not leave indifferent, whatever the age of the interlocutor, to believe our experience.
Nintendo was not mistaken by releasing a modernized (and limited) remake of its console, in the guise of the Nintendo Mini Classic. A mini NES, for friends, that we presented to you on video on October 20. Since it was released on November 12. The opportunity to make sure that, almost thirty years later, the charm still works.
Let’s face it right away, by its composite status of console (re) born from its ashes and collectors item, it is difficult to review it in a classic way, we nevertheless lent ourselves to the game …
The first thing we notice is that it does indeed qualify as a mini. It’s so small that when viewed from above, you could almost hide it under an NES game cartridge. If we imagined a match of all the recent home consoles, it would win hands down the title of easiest console to carry, slip in a bag, a suitcase or even a pocket if you like your baggy really large. And besides, let’s kill the suspense, we took it apart and we can tell you that Nintendo could very well have made it even smaller. There is a lot of vacuum in this pretty plastic case.
The second aspect that we immediately notice is that we are dealing with an almost perfect replica of the NES. Same gray colors, same design with protruding edges. Nintendo has pushed vice to take over the same controllers, parallelepipeds, whose ergonomics are all relative. If they hold well in hand, do not look for the curves that will spare your fingers.
Ultimately, design and ergonomics side, we regret only two things.
The first is futile: why can’t we open the cartridge door? It was an integral part of the pleasure of playing.
The second is much more problematic. Why did you provide controllers with such short cables. With only 78 cm, we find ourselves really glued to the TV except to place the NES mini, as far as the HDMI cable and the USB cord allow. For the record, the latter is used to power the beast.
The inner adventure
A sparrow should say. We had fun measuring the consumption of the NES Mini, it sometimes displays a peak at 2.1 W when we launch a game and then gently settles at 2 W and does not pick up, regardless of the title. No wonder the TV’s USB ports can power it …
It must be said that the configuration chosen is not greedy and comes straight from our mobiles. There is indeed a quad-core processor Cortex A7, from AllWinner, which can count on 256 MB of RAM and a Mali 400 MP2 for the graphics part. Enough to run the emulation environment and the game in the three types of display available. The original one, the 4: 3 one for beautiful square pixels and finally a third display which simulates a cathodic effect. Do not look for remastered or Full HD rendering here.
Anyway, pair the cathode scan to the short length of the joystick cable and you could have a headache pretty quickly, like after those long afternoons of your childhood, devoted to ransacking ‘a game and a candy store …
A little modernity…
But childhood is far away. The HDMI connection and the size of your TV should be two good indicators that time has passed since the reign of the SCART socket. When you turn on the console, you discover a pleasant interface where large thumbnails represent the games offered. We scroll them sideways and, little tip, we can classify them alphabetically, by publisher or by number of players by pressing the Select key. Of the thirty titles on board, sixteen offer a two-player mode, even if you cannot systematically play at the same time.
It is in any case possible to connect two controllers. The one that is delivered, of course, and another that you will have bought for the occasion (around 10 euros) or that you will have collected in your cupboards, if you had bought a Classic or Classic Pro controller for your Wii or Wii U.
We especially welcome the possibility (as on good emulators) of saving up to four games per game, which will save you from having to keep a notebook to write down the saving codes, for the few games that allowed it …
For a big bowl of nostalgia
And precisely the games, there are thirty and not one more. It will be impossible to add them later, without hacking in any case. So, we give you the list: Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Dr. Mario, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure, Kid Icarus, Excitebike, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Castlevania II Simon’s Quest, Ninja Gaiden, Megaman 2, Balloon Fight, Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Final Fantasy, Galaga, Ghosts’n Goblins, Gradius, Ice Climber, Pac-Mac, Punch-Out !, StarTropics, SuperC and finally, Tecmo Bowl. As you may have noticed, there are a few missing games from the NES. We think in particular of Tetris.
One thing is certain, in front of this avalanche of memories, we can not help but wonder: when will the same thing happen with Super NES?
Anyway, you should find your happiness in this selection, which is an opportunity to return to the sources of some of the great licenses of Big N. It is also and above all an opportunity to remind you how point games were hard and intolerant of error at the time. More than one child from the 2000s has been seen alternately looking at the controller and then at the screen after a non-negotiable death. “Yes, it was that hard back then, now finish your glass of milk and pass the dad controller.”
Ultimately, depending on the titles or the time to devote to the game session, we will hang or flutter from game to game. The fluidity of the passage from one game to another by pressing the Reset button is exemplary. However, unless you want to break an old record or prove that you can still finish this level without blinking, the pixels, the 8-bit sound and the display on only half of your TV may push you to turn off. the NES Mini and move on, more or less quickly.
The verdict of the review
Nintendo Co Ltd NES Classic Mini
As you put your nose in a box of cocoa, in the morning when preparing children’s breakfast, we treat ourselves with the NES Mini a whiff of nostalgia. In this, it is a success.
However, it is quite possible that, over time, it will act more like a trinket on a shelf than a console tied to your television. Despite this, one would be tempted to say that it does not matter. 60 euros for a time travel, it’s not expensive to pay. And finger bulbs are always available.
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