Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Review of The FC-Twin

As I said in my previous post on SNES game prices, I recently got an FC-Twin. There's a decent bit of information on this Famiclone from Google, but more never hurts. Well, for starters, the FC-Twin is shaped to resemble a remodeled Super Nintendo (that would be the small one). It looks pretty nice, although I wish it was bigger like the original Super Nintendo. The FC-Twin feels quite light when you pick up, which is something I don't like in a game console. Pick up a NES, SNES, N64, GCN, Wii, or (I suspect) a Wii-U. You know you're holding a good device because it has a certain amount of weight to it. The FC-Twin's lightweight design doesn't give me that same assurance. But to be fair, it hasn't broken or anything yet. ;)

The device itself is used to play Nintendo and Super Nintendo games. For the most part, it seems like the FC-Twin can play whatever game you decide to throw at it. The performance is significantly better than many cloned Nintendo consoles I've seen on Youtube. When it works, it seems to do everything close to perfectly. The sound and video are quite good for most games. I've played the hell of Super Mario Bros. 1 on NES and I noticed one really insignificant difference.

However, problems WILL emerge with compatibility. Be careful, as there are contradictory lists on which games work and which games do not. To the best of my knowledge, I have a later revision of the FC-Twin. Tengen Gauntlet works in the sense that it will load, but the horrendous graphical glitches make it unplayable. I had to hook my NES back up to play it. Problems probably exist for other Tengen games as well. These problems more than likely extend to any unlicensed game which uses a different mapper than what the FC-Twin has been designed to handle.

Another bad thing is that it only uses SNES controllers. I like SNES controllers, so that doesn't really bother me too much. However, what does bother me is the lack of NES Zapper support. The FC-Twin does not come with a light gun, although Yobo (FC-Twin's manufacturer) makes one that you can purchase. My local game store didn't have it, so I had to order it online. It was thirteen bucks plus shipping, although there were some eBay auctions that had it cheaper than that. After it gets here and I've had a chance to test it out on my three or four Zapper games, I'll post a review of it on this blog.

But despite those problems, the FC-Twin can still a pretty worthwhile device. My NES works after going through the standard clean up procedures. You know, you have to clean the game with rubbing alcohol, put it in, adjust the cart's position ten or twenty times, and if you're lucky, you'll hit that sweet spot where the game will work perfectly for hours. In stark contrast, the FC-Twin works immediately when the game is compatible. And that is pretty freakin' sweet.

I long for a Famiclone with sturdy build quality and 100% compatibility. I'm sure the day will come, but until then, the FC-Twin is not a bad choice. It definitely cannot replace the original hardware, but it can make for a good companion for your original hardware. NES is nearly thirty years old, and it needs a second younger console to take some of its workload off it!

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