Crafted by Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews
Who here doesn’t remember this debate? Raise your hand, there’s no shame. Perhaps you were too young? Perhaps you weren’t even born? In the early to mid-nineties a household either had a Super Nintendo console or a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and it was often a hot debate in school as to “which one is the best”. Usually, we’d choose the console we owned and paid no regard to the technical spec. I used to say things like “I like the coloured Snes buttons (red, yellow, blue and green in PAL and JP regions) over the predominantly black Mega Drive controller. This is a pathetic argument to support the Snes but back then it was valid.
There are two ways to approach this and I’m eager to see your views in the comments: Objectively and Subjectively. Objectively we can analyse the both consoles and it is clear that the Super Nintendo wins all day long. Click here for a really easy breakdown on each console by technical specifications. Let’s not beat on about that. The Super Nintendo is clearly the superior console in terms of spec...
The Super FX chip added added a lot of versatility to the Snes, particularly in games like Starfox where the graphics looked out of this world for the time. Great! We can play games with high quality rendered graphics on a 16bot console right? Well consider this. Firstly, a lot of people were turned off by the slightly higher price of Snes games that included the Super FX Chip. Secondly, the Super Nintendo has a library of over 700 games and out of that lot only eight Snes games included the Super DX Chip! Eight! Was it really worth it? Let’s be honest, who wanted to play Winter Gold on the Snes because of the Super FX Chip? Not me. I only played Starfox, Stunt Race FX and Doom. That eight now becomes three for me. Despite that little analysis, I believe Argonaut Games did a phenomenal job at creating this wonder chip which stretched the life of the Snes well in to the 32bit era. Sega developed a chip to compete with the Super FX Chip but this was only used in Virtua Racing. The eight game super FX library now seems vast compared to this.
Which did you prefer?
I always remember being drawn to the tasteful colour palette and vibrancy of games such as Super Mario Allstars, Yoshi’s Island and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. The Snes looked great and played really well. The Mega Drive was also an enjoyable piece of kit too. I’ll never forgot the first time we played Sonic 2. I was drawn to the speed and agility of the Special Zone; the best half pipe I ever saw needless to say that I was terrible at collecting the crystals. Sonic 2 was obviously a Sega character and Mario, the King of Nintendo so I find comparisons between the two a little unfair. I’ve always found the most valid way to compare are to play cross-console games; games released on both the Snes and Mega Drive. Zombies is a title I played fiercely as a child (Zombies Ate my Neighbours in North America). Personally I think the Snes version has smoother textures and frame rate. I also prefer the layered status bar as opposed to the Sega Mega Drive version. The status bar is off to the right. It looks ugly. It's rumoured that the Mega Drive had a much more shallow layering system compared to the Super Nintendo which would explain the status bar being off to the right.
Looks can be everything. The Sega Mega Drive certainly isn't as pretty as the Super Nintendo. The jet black model one console with white trimmings does the trick I suppose. When I compare the two on my own gaming shelves my eyes naturally glance towards the Snes over Sega's baby. The Mega Drive Model 2 redeemed the aesthetics slightly with the red power and reset buttons (and on the controller too) but it still doesn't live up to the glossy red, blue, yellow and green of the Super Nintendo. If you're not bothered about aesthetics then let's talk about sound. There's nothing better than hearing the 16bit chiptunes from the Sega Mega Drive and Super Nintendo! I'm 32 and it never gets tired on me. The Snes had 8 Stereo sound channels compared to the Mega Drive's six. Now I'm not very techy when it comes to sound but my ears prefer the overall music and sound effects on the Super Nintendo. It's less tinny. Although, Earthworm Jim probably sounds slightly better on the Mega Drive compared to the Snes. What are your thoughts?
And in pole position...
I did most of my gaming in the 16bit era. I adore both consoles. If I had to live on a Desert Island with only one; it's be the Super Nintendo. Drop me a comment below and share your thoughts.
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