Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Happy 25th Super Nintendo!

Okay. Faux pas on my part. Yesterday it was the 25th anniversary of the Super Nintendo, for it's North American release. The console that gave a new generation of gamers a chance to experience the joys of the NES all over again. Releasing on August 23, 1991, the second system from Nintendo had a lot to live up to. The previous console exceeded expectations on family home entertainment that many wondered how Nintendo could top it, and keep gaming a lively activity. In terms of sales, it exceeded all other consoles at the time, and was one of the founding systems for the "console wars." The SNES also solidified the type of content Nintendo wanted to make available. They weren't trying to be like Sega and the Genesis. Nintendo wanted to do what only Nintendo could do. With it came an era of notoriously strict policies that required developers to jump through hoops to get their game on the SNES. Which means all games had to be approved by Nintendo's panel before release, as few to no bugs as possible, and all content must be family friendly. This is why there is the PG version of Mortal Kombat on the SNES.

The Super Nintendo was a system that conformed to, and broke all expectations that consumers had about video games. It made gaming a viable market for entertainment to rival movies and television. While still providing the type of family entertainment that parents could rely on.

It also became the starting point to a number of beloved franchises that we see today on the Wii-U and 3DS. And who can ignore the awesome galore that is SNES games? 4 of my top 5 favorite cartridge games are from the SNES. The system was a great mix of fun, challenge, and in-depth stories that you couldn't get on other consoles. It was a system that continued to improve over the years without the internet and updates. I'm still amazed to this day that the same system that brought us Super Mario Kart is the same one that created Donkey Kong Country. The same computer chips. The same sound board. Two very different, and entertaining, games.

Since we're in full on-nostalgia mode, take some time this week to pay respect to your elders and enjoy an SNES game or two. Nintendo continues to add more to their store for 3DS and Wii-U downloads. I'll probably take my system out of the box and play a few rounds of Super Metroid and Chrono Trigger.

Happy NA 25, Super Nintendo! Thanks for paving the way!

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