The Super Nintendo Anthology by Geeks-Line is the first book we have reviewed from their extensive catalogue of gaming books, being a massive fan of the SNES I was really looking forward to getting this book and giving you all my opinion on what you can expect if you decide to pick this one up. Firstly, this is an Anthology, so expect it to be a big heavy book, two books in a lovely slipcase, what strikes you straight away is the overall quality of both books, one is dedicated to the hardware and the other is dedicated to software.
Focusing on the Hardware book first, here you will find an in-depth history of the SNES, starting from the foundations of Nintendo right through the 16-bit wars and much more, it was a fascinating read, yes, a lot of this is covered across many books but there is always little snippets of info with all these history articles that help build a bigger picture of Nintendo and the SNES. After this section we jump straight into the meaty part of this entire book, sections covering the console’s unique graphical and audio capabilities, its sprite management and various enhancement chips (DSP). Over 60 pages have also been allocated to the machine’s accessories, official or otherwise, including the Satellaview, the Sufami Turbo, import adapters, homebrew tools and of course the unreleased CD-ROM player. Again I am not sure I have seen a book go into this level of detail before, very informative for me at least and if that’s the kind of thing you like then you will be in for a treat as the info just keeps on coming, there are sections on the official and third-party accessories, sections on console bundles and much much more.
The second book focuses on the huge SNES software catalogue, with over 1810 official games released for this much-loved Nintendo console. This book claims to cover every one of them, and who am I to question that, the sheer amount of content in here is mind blowing, every game is presented with detailed information including their release date, developer, publisher, genre, and a rating out of five, without forgetting the 50-odd after-market and cancelled games. Some of your most popular games get full-page spreads, like Final Fantasy IV and Mega Man X, these reviews break up the book perfectly, giving that added touch to the overall feel and flow of the book.
What I would say is the majority of this book would be classed as a reference guide, you can easily find games you are interested in but just flicking through and stopping at any random page to discover a new game I had never heard of was very surprising, some amazing looking games I have to hunt out and play soon as I finish this review.
Overall this must be one of the most comprehensive books on gaming possibly ever written about a games console and its associated games. The book is also well made with excellent quality paper and print quality, full colour images and sturdy hardback cover. My only issue would be some of the grammar used is a little confusing, but this is a book translated from its native French language and for that I can’t really moan as this is one fantastic book.
2 Books In 1 (Hardware and Software), more than 664 Pages, the ultimate reference guide for all Super Nintendo fans and one you really need to own.