Review: Nyko Super Miniboss

Thanks to 2017 being the year of new Nintendo hardware, Nyko has struck a gold mine of reasons to develop products to attempt to improve the lives gamers who love Nintendo. Looking at the library of games exclusive to Nintendo consoles throughout the years it is nigh impossible to deny they have a plethora of great games, though they also have an equally impressive list of questionable design choices, whether it be odd choices with hardware design or archaic approaches to online play. Those fortunate few lucky enough to get an SNES understand this point all too well. All of us might not love every single one of the 21 games included, but they are considered among the best titles from that era most of us will enjoy good percentage of them. And then there are the wired controllers. Granted, these are longer cords than the NES Classic had but they are still only four and half feet, so unless you enjoy being up close and personal with your TV, the controllers that come with the SNES Classic aren’t going to cut it.

Once again to the rescue is Nyko, with their Super Miniboss controller. Third party controllers never feel completely identical to a console’s native controller, but the Super Miniboss is the closest to emulating an authentic SNES controller out of the few options I’ve played for the SNES classic. The color scheme of the controller is the appropriate shades of grey and purple, which is probably the least important aspect of the controller but when we’re dealing with a nostalgia product that’s not the best time to be introducing controllers with zany color schemes. This next thing seems like a cosmetic feature, but it actually impacts gameplay and that is that the Super Miniboss has a proper D-pad instead of the more circular variation that includes pads for the diagonals. When playing modern 3D games the thumbstick is the way to go, but for the classic 2D platformers a simple D-pad cross is the most precise option.

With only the slightest variations, the Super Miniboss has the look and feel of a classic SNES controller. The shape is more curved and the start and select buttons are at a reverse angle, but aside from that this a match for the real McCoy. The range of the Super Miniboss is effective up to twenty feet and the internal battery boasts up to thirty hours of playtime on a full charge which can be recharged through an included micro USB cable. Set up is incredibly simple, just plug in the dongle to the SNES Classic and turning on the system and controller will cause the two to sync.

There a couple idiosyncrasies with the Super Miniboss. These aren’t bad by any means but may require the user to consult the folded instruction sheet and look for the instructions in their native tongue. There is a single turbo button that can be programmed to any of the lettered buttons (A, B, L, R, X, Y). Multiple buttons can be set to turbo, and this is done by holding the turbo button and pressing the desired button once, deactivated turbo is done the exact same way. There is no built in homepage menu button that we have been spoiled by with the generation seven and eight consoles, but if select and turbo are pressed and held for about five seconds the SNES Classic will exit the current game and return to the main menu.

On paper, the Super Miniboss sounds like a great controller, but most products do which is why we have to field test them to see how close they are to their claims. In this particular case, the results are what they’re advertised as. The personal preferred set up is about ten feet away from TV, and there were never any noticeable issues with lag or blocked signals which can be the case sometimes when switched from tethered to wireless. I didn’t measure exactly how far away I wandered from my usual TV spot to test the range but twenty feet is a reasonable estimate for the accurate range. The battery does hold the charge as long as it claims, one of the benefits of not having rumble features or large lights on the back of the controller. The turbo function works well, once I looked up how to activate it. Since becoming spoiled by wired controllers, the Super Miniboss provided a gaming experience that was an ideal blend of modern convenience with all the good nostalgia feels of playing authentic ports of 25 or so year old games.

The Super Miniboss is designed to be an SNES controller, but in addition to the SNES Classic it is compatible with the NES Classic, Wii and Wii-U, so acquiring one of these also effectively serves as getting a classic controller for those other Nintendo systems. Realistically most people that have need for a classic controller for those systems are probably already set but having a spare in case oneĀ gets thrown through a television screen worn out or left at a friend’s house is always nice.

Closing Comments

Unless you play the SNES Classic at a computer desk through a twenty inch monitor two feet from your face, the Nyko Super Miniboss is a must-have accessory. It looks and feels how a classic SNES controller should and with a twenty foot effective range and long battery life, this is better option that sitting right next to the TV or using another wireless option that might not feel as authentic or require AAA batteries. There are a few different wireless controller options for the SNES Classic, and most of them will probably get the job done, but the Super Miniboss is one of the higher quality options and one that will not likely disappoint.