Super NES Classic Edition gives the ’90s’ greatest RPGs another chance to shine

Every console makes a name for itself when it comes to providing games from certain genres. With the Super NES, Nintendo provided a system renowned for its RPGs. Japan came out in full force to support it with 30-60 hour adventures every few months. It was a wonderful time. But, there is a downside to all of these games being so good, and that is that their value only increased over the years. Their reputation preceded them, making them near impossible to find until Virtual Console releases. Even then, people needed to have a Nintendo 3DS or Wii U to properly access each one. The Super NES Classic Edition is important because it is a tool providing easy and immediate access to some of the most influential RPGs of all time.

The Super NES Classic Edition calls attention to the genre’s importance to the system. There are 21 games pre-loaded onto the plug-and-play console. Five of these are RPGs: Earthbound, Final Fantasy III, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Secret of Mana and Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The only other genre that comes close to having that kind of exposure on it is the platformer, what with games like Super Mario World and Yoshi’s Island representing. Having that many easily 30-hour games on here at once is quite a big deal.

Some people would likely be unable to afford these five games in one fell swoop otherwise. If people were to pick up loose Super NES cartridges for these titles, it would probably be around $150 for Earthbound, $40 for Final Fantasy III, $20 for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, $45 for Secret of Mana and $45 for Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. That would be around $300. You know, not counting the actual, working Super NES to play them. The Super NES Classic Edition, if you can find it, is $79.99. Considering these versions of the games also have brief rewind functionality, display options and save states, it is quite a wonderful prospect.

It is a wonderful sense of exposure. Especially since each of these RPGs are so different. All of them can fall under the RPG label. Yet, they’re all so different. Earthbound offers a modern setting with quirky humor and surreal situations. It was an oddity then and still remains original now. Final Fantasy III is an entry considered by many to be the best in the series, what with its 14 playable characters, branching paths and changing world. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past gives people an action-RPG considered again to be one of the best in its line and with parallel worlds to explore. Secret of Mana is another real-time RPG, one in a fantasy world, that lets a second player grab the extra controller and control another party member. And with Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, we have a Square-developed, turn-based RPG that acted as a forerunner to every other Mario-series RPG.

Especially since the save states make many of games more playable than they were originally. After all, these were made during the era where some games were harder than expected and RPGs had designated spaces where you could or couldn’t save. Given Earthbound’s difficulty, a suspend function is invaluable. With The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past or Secret of Mana, you could rewind and make a different decision when an inadvertent misstep would otherwise lead to your doom. These give you an edge as you learn the systems. You can use these shortcuts to make progress easier and bite-sized gaming sessions more manageable.

The Super NES Classic Edition is quite a boon for anyone who loved these games before or never had a chance to try them until now. It is an affordable way to acquire some of the best representatives of what the 1990’s had to offer. Especially since they are presented in a way where it can be more convenient for people who do not have hours straight to make progress in games. This is an invaluable tool for those who love the RPG genre and retro games, and we should be thankful for this immediate access.

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