Playing With Super Power: Super NES Classics (Book)

Last year around this time, I reviewed a book from Prima about NES classic games.  I think they released it to coincide with the NES Classic Edition (sadly I still don’t have one).  You can read that article by clicking here.  This year they did the same thing with Super Nintendo games.  I didn’t get a review copy of it like I did the NES book, but luckily I did get the SNES book for my birthday instead (along with the SNES Classic Edition…yay!).  So here’s a review of the book before I post my article on the SNES Classic Edition itself.

Here is a bigger shot of the front cover of the book.  It’s hardcover as well, by the way.

Just like the last book, the cover is really a casing for the actual book.  And also just like the last book, the cover looks like a SNES cartridge.

For the majority of the book, they just talk about most of the games found on the SNES Classic Edition, as well as strategies and the history behind those titles.  But first they go behind the scenes and talk about how the SNES came about, even showing some cool concept pictures I’ve never seen before.

They also have a history of Nintendo’s other consoles.

I was impressed they even featured Nintendo’s very early consoles, which were just Japanese Pong clones, as well as their handheld history.

And they even go over some of the SNES’ other accessories.  Mario Paint was one of my favorites as a kid.  I even did some school projects using Mario Paint!

One SNES accessory I missed out on, though, was the Super Scope 6.  It was the SNES version of the Zapper light gun from the NES days.  I didn’t get it for a few reasons.  One, I was just a teen with a limited income, and couldn’t afford it.  Plus, there wasn’t very many Super Scope 6 games I wanted to play.  I think the only one I was interested in was Yoshi’s Safari.  And finally, it had that sniper scope thing on the gun they showed everyone using.  And since I’ve been blind in my left eye since birth, I didn’t know if I’d be able to make as good of use out of it.  But I’m glad they still put it in the book.

For each game they included maps and strategies like how they used to do in Nintendo Power magazines.  I was always impressed on how they did the maps back then, since this was before screen capture technology.  Here’s a map in the book of both Link to the Past’s Light and Dark Worlds.

And here’s some maps of race tracks from Super Mario Kart.  Did you know that Super Mario Kart is one of my top five favorite games of all time?

One of the criticisms of the NES book is that most of it was just reprints of Nintendo Power magazine.  They do that in this book, too, but it’s mostly smaller cuts in sidebars and such.  So there is much more original content.  Here is a page with some of the Link to the Past manga comic that was in Nintendo Power for a while.

For each game they also do a history of the games in that series.  They’re not always COMPLETELY comprehensive, but they get close.  Here is one for the history of Mario Kart games.  I was impressed they even included the arcade titles.

Of course they had to talk about Star Fox 2, since it was an unreleased game that’s now on the SNES Classic Edition for the first time ever.

And in the last few pages they included things from the fans, including cosplay pictures, fanart, and other projects.

And that’s the whole book!  I’ve been enjoying reading it almost as much as playing the SNES Classic Edition itself.  But then, the SNES is my favorite game console.  The book even has info I didn’t even know about, even from games like Kirby’s Dream Course.  Which is impressive since I’m such a big Kirby fan.  Only problem is they only talked about the first party games in the book.  I guess it would’ve been harder to get the rights from other companies, but even joint ventures like Super Mario RPG aren’t included.  Oh well.  Anyway, be on the lookout next time for my review of the SNES Classic Edition itself!  Later!  –Cary

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