Although I consider myself an enthusiastic advocate of playing games on original hardware, I realize that the older NESs and SNESs become, the less chance they can be found for reasonable prices and/or in working order. Sure you can find them now but what about in another ten years? Or twenty or thirty? Hell I’m a young man, forty or fifty even!
I’ve dabbled in emulation for over ten years now. More for the curiosity of running a game in an unorthodox environment and experimenting with enhancements than any actual gameplay or as a viable platform for classic gaming. So I was well aware of the drawbacks of these “Nintendo on a chip” alternatives and the sacrifices made when using them. But I’ve also been aware of the advantages to a gamer and a collector who wishes to continue playing these games for many years to come.
I’m sure many of you have read the reviews, opinions and bashings of gamers and collectors from all over the world who have bought Items such as the Tristar 64, the Super 8, Messiah’s Generation NEX, the various Yobo Famiclones and various others. Now that the hardware patents have expired for the original hardware the market has dramatically increased over the last few years. All the while so has the quality and performance of these clones.
While I have my share of extra systems sitting in storage, I’ve long contemplated one of these for my daily gaming needs. Something I can beat around and not worry about maintenance, cleaning etc while I enjoy my games. Years had passed and I still just couldn’t bring myself to pick one of these things up and before I knew it, CIB NES’s and SNESs began to skyrocket in price. Have you searched eBay lately for a boxed NES or SNES in mint shape? You really should. It’s less the market for nostalgic gamers and more for the enterprising seller with inflated prices, shady wording and uncertainty as to a system’s true working condition. Or head to a flea market or average game specialty store and prepare to pay through the nose for one that may have a cheap replacement pin connector that will bend if you look at it sideways. Mind you it’s not always the case but it is a common occurrence.
When I heard that Yobo released the FC Twin it was like “uh-huh, another Famiclone.” Then I found out it played both NES and SNES games. That piqued my interest. I waited many months watching the prices fall on these. Reading user reviews, waiting for reports on reliability longevity etc. Just when it was beginning to fade from my thoughts I walked into a local game store and saw a brand new one sitting there. Mint, cheap and beckoning me. Not usually such an impulsive buyer I found myself heading home with a FC Twin under my arm excited about the prospect of saving space in my shelves with a 2-in-1 and having something that doesn’t require swabs and alcohol or Mr. Clean Magic Erasers every time I use it.
I’ll give you a rundown of what I do and don’t like about the FC Twin. Maybe it’ll help some of you on the fence about buying one. Maybe it’ll squash rumors or exaggerated accounts of what these are and aren’t capable of. In any case here goes:
What I don’t like:
- Can’t use NES controllers or accessories (incompatible ports).
- AC adapter has a short cord in my opinion.
- Usual incompatibility problems with a small number of games found with these clones.
- No eject button.
What I do like:
- Small footprint (size of a SNES 2) and available in different colours.
- Plays both NES and SNES games.
- Compatible with genuine SNES controllers.
- Very reasonably priced as an alternative to buying two different systems.
- Has composite jacks (Yellow, Red, White) built-in.
- The two controllers it comes with are surprisingly well made and work well.
Now don’t misinterpret my message here. I’m not saying you shouldn’t buy or use genuine hardware. I’m saying if your like me and wish to preserve the Nintendo hardware you own and could use a legal, yes legal space saver, or prefer playing real cartridges as opposed to downloadable games, this can be a great alternative. Maybe a second system for the bedroom or garage. Or something with no collector value to take to the dorm. To be honest I’d prefer a Generation NEX, but until they come out with a SNES clone or a 2-in-1, the FC Twin sits proudly beside my Sega Master System and my Sega Genesis as my Nintendo equivalent 8 and 16 bit gaming platform.