Team MaxConsole Proudly Presents:
A Digital Review of the Analogue Super NT
Released in Japan in November of 1990, the Super NES was arguably one of the best entertainment system consoles ever released. It gave the previously released Sega Genesis a run for its money by outselling it by over 10 million units and delighted its fan base with both a strong first party and third party support.
Today, we are able to re-live the '90s gaming experience via a new retro-style reboot of the classic console as a new offering from a well-known gaming accessory company called Analogue: The Analogue Super NT -- This robust little kit of a console offers native HDMI support and a cartridge slot which is not available in all other SNES clone offerings currently available in crowded retro console market.
Here, in the beginning of this review, I would like to emphasize to the end user to do a little bit of reading and research about this product before attempting to make any updates to it, using the cartridge slot, or trying to figure out how any advanced features work. This is because it does not really come with much of an instruction manual at all and you can possibly end up bricking the console if you are not careful about how to update its firmware or if you do not clean cartridges and accessories to use with it. Hopefully this review will provide at least enough information to get you started.
MaxConsole presents to you the official MaxConsole review of the Analogue Super NT Retro Gaming Console
This review aims to focus on as many features of the product as possible as well as showing off some exciting sleeper hit titles of the Super NES library. We will cover how to update the system firmware as well as how to configure the console to suit the user’s needs. This review will also showcase some special chip games as well as add-on devices for the SNES.
The Analogue Super Nt ships in a very compact box. It has its own product bar code on each piece of the contents, the Super Nt’s box itself as well as the Super Turrican Director’s Cut envelope.
Here’s what is inside the box. The Super Nt console is placed on top of its accessories box and small manual. Inside the accessories box are: a USB power supply (recommended to use with this console), an Analogue branded micro USB cable, and an Analogue branded HDMI cable.
The system is pretty much plug-and-play if necessary. All you need to do is plug in the power supply, HDMI cable, and micro USB power cord. You can also insert a game in the cartridge slot and you are ready to play. Upon powering up the system, you are greeted with a random Analogue NT logo every time and it drops you to a menu where you can select from a short list of options. From here you can immediately launch a cartridge or play Super Turrican – Director’s Cut or Turrican 2. With the jailbreak, an added option of “Browse SD Card” allows you to browse the SD card’s contents as it says as well as launch any game from there as long as the game does not use a special chip such as DSP or Super FX. Yes, this means Super Mario Kart and Pilotwings are not natively supported by the jailbreak as of this writing and you will need either the original game cartridges for those or a more advanced flash cart inserted to play those games (though yes I know only DSP, OBC-1, and Capcom special chip games are supported by other flash cartridges so far).
The newest trend of Super NES clones is to have an HDMI output. Nintendo realized this with their Super NES Classic Edition and had a small built in library of games. Not only was that an emulator code-named Canoe which ran games at 720p on an HDTV, but it also did not have the capability to play cartridges due to the lack of a cartridge slot nor a factory made way to add in more games. It is true that with hakchi people can add more games to the system as well as recently being able to add a USB memory stick via OTG cable but those were not out-of-the-box solutions.
Analogue’s Super NT addresses these issues by having a built in cartridge slot as well as a built in full sized SD card slot. Recently two “jailbreak” firmwares have been released so that ROM files can be played directly from the SD card slot. It is nearly an out-of-the-box solution to play drag-and-drop games from the SD card, sans all special chip games.
Before fully setting up for this review, since we are MaxConsole after all, I had to flash the latest custom jailbreak firmware in order to show the system playing ROM files from the SD card. I also have flash carts and floppy based copiers on hand which will be demonstrated later on in this review. Jailbreaking the system is entirely optional and not necessary if you already have a flash cart. I strongly recommend the SD2SNES flash cart built by KRIKzz in the Ukraine (not the Chinese knockoffs since they are inferior build quality and often times lack MSU-1 support and who knows what else).
This console is packed full of features. It supports a wide array of configuration in its menu systems, including many video options from screen size to scanlines to custom filters. When beginning this review, it was tough to figure out where to start because this device is so intuitive and fun to operate as well as configure. It is very user friendly and hides some more advanced options from the user until an option is selected to show them.
The first thing I did, as mentioned earlier, was update the firmware to “jailbreak” version 6.5 which includes the latest, as of this writing on 03/10/2018, official firmware update from Analogue. Before doing that, though, I took a photo of what version of non-jailbreak firmware the system shipped with. Updating the firmware was a breeze but took some patience because it takes about four minutes to flash. There was not much interesting to see while it was flashing the jailbreak firmware. I noticed that the system was not outputting any video while the system was updating and the LED indicator was rotating colors, flashing, and then flickering in red very quickly for the duration.
In order to update the system firmware, it is recommended to format an SD card to FAT32 and copy only the firmware update binary file from Analogue’s web site (or in this case, the web site with the jailbreak firmware) to the root of the SD card. I was being lazy and just copied the file to the root of a 2GB Kingston which already had some ROMs on it for a different system, put it in the Analogue Super NT, powered it on, and updated. It was successful and I was playing ROMs from my pre-loaded 16GB SD2SNES Kingston MicroSD card (in a full size SD card adapter) within minutes.
After trying out some games, I wanted to see if I could get the console to display games at full screen on my widescreen 43” LG TV set. I know some purists will say that it should be left at 4:3 but this is the way I want to play my games. The menu is easy to operate so I quickly found the advanced feature and set up the screen to display at full 1080p without a hitch. I was amazed at how easy it was, too, because originally I thought I would have to guess and check the screen width by playing a game. That turned out to not be the case because the options screen shows “1080x1920” when it is selected.
What is a nice feature of this console is that if you press Select + Down while in-game, it takes you to the Super Analogue NT’s main menu and presents you with all of its options to change on the fly. This is a very convenient feature and also allows you to enter Game Genie codes from there. Select + Up resets the game.
The Analogue Super Nt in this review is the transparent version. I have seen in many other reviews people complaining about it having a “cloudy” appearance. I can vouch for the system itself and can confirm that it does have some texture to it but it does not look bad at all. The transparent sticker that is on top of the console does show a little bit of glue between but it is not of much concern. You can see the gold Analogue logo through the case although not clearly due to the texture. Over all I am pleased with the appearance of the transparent console and would recommend the transparent version after receiving my unit for review.
Let’s try out some games.
Since I used jailbreak on this system, I will show the menu for the jailbreak but game play is no different between jailbreak and using a flash cart. Both ways work flawlessly and look the same.
Tested SNES games:
- Acme Animation Factory (with Super NES Mouse)
- Aero Fighters
- BS Excitebike
- Classic Kong
- Creepy Bird
- Dragon BallZ Hyper Dimension
- F1 ROC II Race of Champions
- Far East of Eden Zero
- Fatal Fury Special
- Front Mission – Gun Hazard
- Hind Strike
- Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius
- Looney Tunes B-Ball
- Mario Paint (with Super NES Mouse)
- Megaman X
- Megaman X2
- Megaman X3
- Prehistorik Man (PAL, changed system hardware to PAL mode)
- Prehistorik Man (US, +5 Trainer)
- Rick Dangerous Demo Version
- Roadblasters (MSU-1, works with cartridge sound enabled)
- Shin Kidou Senki Gundam Wing: Endless Duel
- Speed Racer
- Super Back to the Future II
- Super Bonk
- Super Mad Champ
- Super Mario Kart
- Super Turrican
- Super Turrican 2 – Director’s Cut
- Star Fox 2 (English translated final beta)
- Super Famicom Wars
- Star Ocean (Japan original cartridge)
- Star Ocean (English translated and uncompressed to 96Mbit)
- Super Smash TV (with +1 trainer, unlimited continues)
- Super Mario World + Super Mario All Stars
- Tales of Phantasia
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
- Topgear 3000
- Wolfenstein 3D (also works with Super NES Mouse)
- X-Men vs Street Fighter (hacked ROM)
It was a pleasure to operate this console and see that all games worked with little to no problems. X-Men vs Street Fighter has given me problems in the past on emulators as well so it was a little bit difficult to find a working copy. In the end, I did manage to find one that works. I had to enable a couple options in the Analogue Super Nt to get MSU-1 sound and to get Star Fox 2 to not crash. All other games worked without any configuration necessary. I had a lot of fun playing games on this console in full screen on a big flat screen LED backlit UHDTV.
SNES peripherals and add-ons
The Super NES Super Scope 6 will not be tested because light guns only work on CRT TV sets. The other devices I have are: Super NES Mouse, Game Genie, and Super Gameboy. All of these work fine on the Analogue Super Nt.
SNES Backup Devices and Flash Cartridges
The Analogue Super Nt is suppose to be fully compatible with every backup device and flash cartridge plugged into it. Floppy based backup units required a 9V-12V DC power supply to be plugged in and the Pro Fighter X 3-in-1 worked fine, but the Super Wildcard DX 94 and Super Wildcard DX 96 would not run with 9 volts so I found a 12V DC 750mAh power supply and they worked fine. The Sega Genesis Model 1 used the 9V power supply so that is what I plugged in for my tests on the Pro Fighter X 3-in-1 and I found a power supply that came with a network switch that was 12V DC 750mAh that I used with the Super Wildcard DX copiers. I tested the Super Wildcard DX 94, Super Wildcard DX 96, Pro Fighter X 3-in-1, the SD2SNES, Super Pro UFO 8 flash cart, and the Neoflash Neo SNES Myth flash cart. Most of these powered on just fine with the exception of the Neoflash cartridge which just needed to be re-seated in the cartridge slot so it would then work, with the SWC DX 94 and the SWC DX 96, these two copiers required a 12V DC power supply then the system would run them. Super NES floppy based backup units required something to prop them up from behind so they would be stable while plugged in to the Analogue Super Nt. The Super Nt is too small for these backup units to stand on their own unlike on an original SNES or SFC. As you can see, old copiers are much larger than the Analogue Super Nt itself.
I give this console cart a solid A. This score is due to the fact that it does not support RTS (realtime saving), Game Genie codes oddly are not working, and it and it has plenty of options. However this console supports every game that I tried, including Tales of Phantasia and the uncompressed version of Star Ocean which are very large games for the system.
- Supports a wide range of display options as well as up to 1080p video output.
- HDMI output.
- Perfect audio.
- Supports the entire library of Super Nintendo / Super Famicom games.
- Supports all regions of games.
- Supports original SNES controllers.
- Supports all SNES peripherals (except for the Super Scope 6 of course because that requires a CRT and this system does not have a/v output)
- Smooth scrolling gameplay.
- Configurable GUI and LED settings.
- Displays a random greeting logo with sound each time it is started up.
- Greeting logo can be disabled and configured to go straight to the menu or automatically boot a cartridge when powered on.
- GUI can be accessed in-game by pressing Select + D-Pad Down
- Comes with 2 built-in games Super Turrican – Director’s Cut and Super Turrican 2.
- Comes with Super Turrican – Director’s Cut foldable box.
- Game Genie code support (could not get this feature to work, see cons).
- In-game menu support (press Select + D-Pad Down).
- Supports all flash carts and floppy based copiers.
- Fully plug and play.
- Supports full sized SD cards.
- Supports most games directly from its built in SD card slot (with jailbreak firmware).
- Fast loading of ROM files from SD card.
- Drag and drop ROM file support to microSD card.
- Does not require any system files to be installed on the SD card.
- Does not require an SD card to be inserted unless updating or playing ROMs on jailbreak.
- Still supported by the company that made it.
Thanks to https://www.analogue.co/pages/store/ for selling MaxConsole the review sample. This video game console retails for $189.99 plus UPS shipping and handling charges and is a very pleasurable user experience for playing Super NES games. This system is still supported by both Analogue and its jailbreak team.
- No a/v output for people that want to use older TV sets and Super Scope 6.
- No eject button.
- Cartridges are a bit wobbly when inserted.
- Not form fitting for old backup devices.
- Could not get cheat codes to work.
- Does not come with much of a user manual (can be found online).
- Does not come with a controller.
- ROMs do not load instantaneously like they do on some flash carts.
- No jailbreak support for any special chips.
- No RTS.
- SD card slot is not spring loaded.
- Does not put out enough power for old school SNES floppy disk copiers (you need to use an external power supply for those). Some of those copiers required an external power supply anyway or a certain version of SNES console so this is not much of a con.
OFFICIAL SITE: --> www.analogue.co
Official Reseller: --> https://www.analogue.co/pages/store/