Last week a long-anticipated parcel arrived in the mail for me. Thanks to the good folks over at Retrozone, I’m now the proud owner of a USB Super RetroPort. This handy adapter allows me to plug-and-play any authentic SNES controller into my PC through a USB port. The unabashed glee this trinket has provided me may account for the derelict status of my blogging over the past week and a half. Liken it to a nostalgia bender.
I can’t really say enough nice things about the hardware. It excels in its simplicity. There’s a USB plug on one side and a port for a SNES controller on the other. The drivers automatically install once you plug the sucker in without any hiccups. Any failure to operate the device rests solely on the shoulders of the (possibly brain-damaged) user.
Naturally it’s the impetus of the player to acquire any desired SNES games for his or herself using an emulator and ROM files. These are obviously questionable legal waters to tread, but we’ll save that debate for another day. Instead I’ll point out that the SNES controller is extremely well rounded for any two-dimensional game, modern or retro. For sidescrollers and other reflex-dependent genres that might prove difficult to control using a keyboard, the USB Super RetroPort provides a shining alternative.
Complaints? Well, frankly, the SNES library is a lot less shining than I remember it. For every Super Mario World there is a Mario is Missing; for every Street Fighter 2 there is a Three Ninjas Kick Back; and for every Donkey Kong Country there’s a Bubsy. I suppose shovelware has been an endemic problem for Nintendo – from the SNES to the Wii – and that ten-year-old Radiostorm simply wasn’t scrupulous enough of a consumer to clue into it. In a way, it’s even a little interesting to unearth the genesis of the lame movie tie-in from an anthropological perspective.
Anyhow, I’ve got about half of Breath of Fire 2 left to hack though, so I better wrap this up. Retrozone has come out with a product that tickles me just the right way, and I highly recommend it to any 90s gaming fan. Give it a try and you won’t be disappointed.