Following the success of their NES emulator, Nintendo have gone all out to bring the best of the SNES to Switch owners. The format is the same as its predecessor using a simple menu with added online multiplayer and save states. Retro gamers will feel right at home playing through all the classics from the 16-bit era and might uncover a couple of new ones they have not played before. We take a look at how SNES on Switch holds up.
In our previous article we discussed how the one stop shop format is a step up from buying individual games. The platform is versatile and allows for the library to grow over time. And with the good mix of genres there should be something for everyone. Nintendo have stated it may be some time before any new titles are added. But they have just granted access to 20 SNES games so this can be forgiven for now.
To gain access you will need a subscription to Switch Online but this also allows online multiplayer and demos for modern Switch titles. The cost is reasonable and if bought annually is currently under £18. The Switch acknowledges your subscription before downloading from the Nintendo eShop. All 20 games are available from the start and you can play in handheld or docked mode.
The emulation itself is decent with no slowdown or sound issues. You can see the lengths Nintendo have gone to in creating a great user experience. The added rewind feature will help inexperienced players to explore the games without the constant need to restart. We also found the save feature useful and convenient especially when playing on the go. The application itself is excellent and loads quick. The purists can select a 4:3 aspect ratio and CRT style scanlines from the options to add to the retro goodness. Overall, The simple menu and useful features allow you to get playing quickly and customise your experience.
Using the Switch Joy-Cons was fine but our play test worked best when using a controller. Many of the games were designed for a d-pad and the Joy-Con analogue stick felt a little awkward in places. While it is precise for 3D or modern games, it struggled for accuracy in this emulator. As they did with the NES emulator, Nintendo wanted to recreate an authentic experience and developed Switch SNES controllers. These worked wonderfully and the convenience of bluetooth makes this the perfect way to play Mario and co on your Switch.
The official controllers are a little on the expensive side and only available in packs of one. They are not quite as good as their retro counterparts, measuring slightly smaller. The buttons, while responsive, do not have the smooth finish you might expect from a Nintendo controller. They do, however, give an authentic SNES experience and diehard Nintendo fans will see them as a must have. We also tied the controller on Sonic Mania and it worked well as a standard Switch controller. The lack of an analogue stick does render it useless for 3D games however.
The games themselves will be familiar to anyone who has played a SNES. The obvious additions of Super Mario World and Super Metroid are present as the flagship titles. Also, fan favourites StarWing, F-Zero and Mario Kart make up a quality line up. There are a few surprises in the mix with Puyo Puyo 2, Earth Defence Force and Brawl Brothers. These are not the kind of titles that would make up a SNES must have list but they bring some much needed variety spread amongst the Nintendo mainstayers.
A notable exclusions are the Donkey Kong Country games. These were included on the SNES Mini and hopefully Nintendo will add these in the future. Not having our favourite primate in a SNES bundle is disappointing. But there is still enough platforming action to make this a worthy package.
Overall, Nintendo have opened up a key backlog of their history with a simple to use and varied package. The value here cannot be praised enough and the added online multiplayer is a nice touch. Any fan of the SNES or new players will get hours of play with the promise of more to come. A must have for Switch owners.