Last Friday, I was lucky enough to snatch up a SNES Classic. We all have our horror stories of how we attempted and thus either succeeded or failed in securing one of these heavenly little devices, so I will share mine: I happened to catch that first initial wave of “preorders” Wal-mart exclusively launched on a random Friday night at about 11:37 pm EST. I slept like a baby that night. A couple weeks later, information trickled in that these orders would not be honored, with customers receiving emails from Wal-mart confirming it. I still hadn’t received one such email and thought I may have slipped through the cracks, but, fat chance. It came a week or so later. I then missed the official preorders, and was unable to secure one anywhere. I gave up and hoped Nintendo would be truthful about a larger inventory than the NES Classic.
Last Thursday, one day out from release, I had a surge of determination. At first I considered staying up til midnight and trying to order one online, but the thought of being dog tired at work with (probably) nothing to show for it didn’t have a lot of appeal. I NEVER try the route of waiting outside a store before it opens, but this seemed like the surest option. Target was the only brick-and-mortar location that would open before I had to be at work, and many articles pointed out that they would be employing an organized ticketing system, but to call ahead and confirm their plan. The two Target stores closest to me had no such plan that employees were aware of, and gave the impression they didn’t have many calls. One employee told me my best bet was call as soon as they open, and they would set one aside for me. Not trusting this, I asked her opinion if I showed up an hour before opening and waited, do she think I would get one? She assured me they had never had a line at their location, not even for Black Friday, and I certainly would if I was there at opening – no need to wait, in her opinion. They had 44 in stock.
Going against my better judgment, I became very over confident and thought, maybe I can just show up at opening and snag one. Then the morning came, I was up in plenty of time and just waiting to leave, and arrived maybe 25 minutes before the store opened. I counted a line of 14 people ahead of me (SO MUCH FOR “WE NEVER HAVE A LINE”), became very happy that I was at least equipped with the information that 44 were held inside, and jumped in line. By the time the store opened, the line was probably around 30 deep. Tickets were indeed handed out (ANOTHER FALSITY! Really though, I’m just kidding here. If I was in high school working at Target, I wouldn’t be bothering myself learning whatever the plan was for some product release the next day… I can’t fault the kid I spoke with for that), and I walked away with my treasure.
Anyway, enough of all that! You know how it works, you know the cords are small, you know the reset button is a minor inconvenience in lieu of a home button and the game list is near perfect albeit some insulting omissions, etc., etc., etc., so I will skip all that. I’ll jump to the point of this post and say: not a surprise, but I love this thing. I own the overwhelming majority of these games in their original form. Although my collection is nothing to be overly proud of, the biggest standouts are the JRPGs cartridges. I have all 4 that appear on the SNES classic, but replaying them on my original SNES has proved challenging in the past… Three hours into my last run through FFVI several years ago, the cartridge shifted the wrong way in the system and all the save files were wiped. Knowing I was a minor yank of the controller away from losing hours of progress at any time turned me off from restarting. And I don’t know what it is, but… Booting up the SNES Classic, and seeing all these games with no save files or save states, feels like an open invitation to revisit them all over again. I can’t logically wrap my brain around it, other than Nintendo knows I’ll fork over cash for gaming experiences I own in one form or another, but I’m okay with it. I’ve long held the opinion this is the finest gaming system ever, and the list of games here is quite literally just shy of perfect, in my opinion.
With that, I plan on posting a weekly update on what I’ve tackled so far. Since time is a bit more precious of a commodity than it was when I was 10 and received my first Super Nintendo, some weeks will probably be scarcer than others. A few days into this first week had me jumping all over the roster, and unable to resist booting up my absolute favorite, FFVI. Cuphead also has been demanding a lot of time, but I have found the simultaneous releases of it and the SNES have balanced each other out pretty nicely, in terms of the frustration department. Thanks for reading – more to come soon!