Last year, video game industry veteran and author Brett Weiss graced us with The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and its Games, Vol. 1, a celebration of one of the greatest console libraries of all time. Originally intended to be one massive volume, Brett instead wisely made the decision to split his project into two parts, the first covering all the SNES games from A-M with the second volume that was recently released covering the remainder of the library starting with “N” and ending with “Z.”
The format of the second volume remains unchanged, so if you were a fan of the first in this small series, part two is a must buy, especially seeing as this time Weiss is playing with Super Power. Linked together, both volumes of The SNES Omnibus combine to make easily one of the most comprehensive guides for those either intimately familiar with Nintendo’s second home console or who are only getting to know it well after it ceased production.
Every game gets a detailed write-up from Brett that is also accompanied by beautiful, high-res screens, classic cover art and sometimes even vintage print ads that would have appeared in comics and magazines. The “Notable Quotable” section from volume one also makes a return, painting a picture of what people were saying about these vintage games both then and now.
What made The SNES Omnibus stand out from other titles of its kind were the “Insider Insight” pieces, which are small, personal stories written by video game industry alumni as well as current content creators and influencers. The book opens with a foreword from Game Informer’s Ben Reeves who is among the contributors, along with Tigertron’s (Jupiter & Mars) Sam Kennedy, Generation 16 creator and co-host of the Player One Podcast Greg Sewart and lead writer on Operencia: The Stolen Sun, Chris Baker to name a few.
The Super Nintendo has a large library of timeless classics, and these stories help reinforce that status, but they’re mixed in with stories for games like Push-Over, a game in which you play as an ant that you’ve probably never heard of, that means a lot to contributing author Jeffrey Wittenhagen who — no joke intended — discovered it at a flea market.
The first SNES Omnibus featured many classic and beloved games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy II & III, Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the Mega Man X trilogy, but what makes volume two an attractive purchase — even if you don’t own its partner — is one very important letter: S.
Though it wasn’t the case for a few games, like the already mentioned, publishers sold just how more advanced their games were than their NES counterparts by really leaning into the “Super” in Super Nintendo: Super Castlevania IV, Super Metroid, Super Mario Kart, and an entire trilogy of Super Star Wars games, not to mention a game that didn’t start out “Super” but was very important title to the console, Capcom’s Street Fighter II. Two Super peripherals: Super Game Boy, the device that let you play Game Boy carts on a TV and the battery hungry Super Scope 6 light-gun also get extended sections from Zoe K. Howard and Michael Thomasson, respectively.
Neither volume of The SNES Omnibus are what you call page turners, but they’re not really intended to be. Rather, each volume is a lovingly created time capsule that brilliantly describes in detail what many consider to the the greatest era in video game history which was due in large part to the Super Nintendo and its library of games.
There are countless blogs and YouTube channels, many of which are very well produced, that are dedicated to covering the SNES and its games, but none of them quite capture the era like Brett Weiss’s books. Whether you owned the first or not, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and its Games, Vol. 2 is a must purchase to display on your shelf or to have in easy reach for curious people who drop in for a visit.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of this piece contributed to both volumes of The SNES Omnibus. This copy used for this review was provided by Schiffer Publishing. Purchases are available here.