One of the things I did get, which I'd almost forgotten asking for - though, let's face it, I was so ill over Christmas that I'd forgotten most of my name - was this: a Nintendo Classic Mini. That's the official name - you know it better as the NES Mini, the shrunk-down version of the Nintendo Entertainment System. That's correct: the one with 30 games stuffed into its guts.
A few people have been a bit sniffy about the NES Mini (I'm steadfast in calling it that, in the hope that they'll do a SNES Mini), because all of the games are already available on the Nintendo Store.
Or - let's face it - freely available online.
Or because they think scoffing at popular things makes them look cool.
Plus, some people have even made their own miniature NES out of a Raspberry Pi, and believe that being able to do that makes them better than the rest of us.
Well, bully for all of them, the bunch of sneering, arrogant elitists. The second I laid eyes on the NES Mini I wanted one, and now I have one, and it's one of my favourite things ever, and I don't even feel the need to show off about it.
How do you like them apples?
See, I never owned a Nintendo Entertainment System. I wanted one, but for some reason you just couldn't get them round my way.
Indeed, the only time I ever saw one for sale was in Harrods. I never shopped in Harrods, other than browsing at Christmas with my family, so it must've been a Christmas trip into London. And probably close enough to Christmas that it was too late to add anything to my list.
There was a display set up with a NES, a R.O.B. and the light gun, and it all looked pretty damn cool, and I definitely wanted one... so Hootie alone knows why, when I finally had some disposable income, I bought a Sega Master System.
But hey - thanks to Nintendo's proud dedication to its own back catalogue now I do have one at last, albeit in a version that's almost small enough to wear as a belt buckle.
Although... when I did attempt that, my trousers fell down in the opticians, and I was so embarrassed I did a big blow-off, and made all the glasses fall off the shelves.
Here are the bad things about the NES Mini (or - ha ha - "Nintendo Wee"):
- There's only one controller. But that's pretty standard for any console.
- The controller lead is ridiculously short (though the leads which plug into the TV are long enough that you can have the NES Mini on the sofa next to you).
- There's no way to quit out of games without pressing reset.
- You can't add more games to it.
- It doesn't come with a power plug. There's a USB power cable, but nothing to plug it into.
- These are mostly minor issues - apart from the power supply one... but - hey - that's amore (Nintendo)!
Here are the good things:
- 30 games (assorted Marios, two Zeldas, Metroid, two Castlevanias, two Donkey Kongs, a Kirby, Balloon Fight, Bubble Bobble, Excitebike - and more) with scarcely a duffer amid them.
- You can save your games!
- You can play in pixel perfect mode, or choose the option which replicates the display of an old CRT TV screen.
- It's fairly cheap.
- It's just so cute!
The good outweighs the bad. I really, really, really like the NES Mini. I like how tactile it is. I like how it feels and smells authentic. And I like all of the games on there, apart from the American football one.
SUMMARY: NES one, Cyril... NES one, son!