I was dreading seeing the games I’ll be missing out on on the Japanese Super Famicom Classic Edition. Thoughts of Bahamut Lagoon, Fire Emblem, and Dragon Quest flew through my brain, just like back in the day when we missed out on a handful of all-time greats.

Well, now that we have that list of games, thank goodness neither of them have Chrono Trigger. I’d split a gut if Japan got that game, and we didn’t. Both the North American and Japanese devices have Super Mario RPG as well, so I can relax knowing I’m not missing out there either.

While I won’t post the full lists for both here, both consoles enjoy four exclusive games that its counterpart does not. Ultimately, apart from the language barrier, these games will determine which one you pick up over the other. We’re not talking the bare differences in Street Fighter II versions either, so that discussion is out.

For the sake of comparison, here are the Japanese and North American exclusive line-ups.

Japan’s Super Famicom Classic Edition:

  • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
  • Panel de Pon
  • Super Formation Soccer
  • The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

North America’s SNES Classic Edition:

  • EarthBound
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Super Castlevania 4
  • Super Punch-Out

Which of the two do you prefer?

I gotta say, North America is actually getting the better deal here. This opinion comes down to personal preference of three games on the North American console over two from the Japanese one.

Yes, Square Enix ultimately came up short on the Japan-only Super Famicom Classic Edition since it will be delivering all the same games we’re getting. None of those elusive Live A Live cult hits will be available for Japanese fans nor any Dragon Quest games either.

However, Nintendo did manage to squeeze a Fire Emblem game in there. While I like the enthusiasm, Mystery of the Fire Emblem is not the best of the Super Famicom Fire Emblem games. Both Geneology of the Holy War and Thracia 776 claim that title. I might be singing a different tune if either those games were on there.

Japan also scored a hit with The Legend of the Mystical Ninja, which is a fabulous game from the Ganbare Goemon series. I love this game, but not at the sacrifice of Super Castlevania IV. No doubt, Konami had to choose between one or the other. Goemon is more popular in Japan, Castlevania is more popular in the Western world falls in line, and I love me some Castlevania IV.

Panel de Pon, which is basically Tetris Attack in North America, and Super Formation Soccer… I can live without them.

What I can’t live without is Earthbound and Kirby’s Dream Course, both of which are on the North American console. The former is one of the most beloved JRPGs of all time, and the later is an underrated sports/puzzle/physics game that not enough people have gotten around to playing.

Super Punch Out, while not my style, is also better than the two Japanese throwaway games.

Needless to say, I’m happy with the choices North American fans have over the Japanese fans, and all we have to stress about now is getting one.