I went on at some length a couple weeks ago about portable Famiclones, comparing and contrasting the various units available. Famiclones are pretty cool but also are pretty useless to a
I received my NES version of the FC Mobile in the mail this last week. The unit is effing awesome. Admittedly, the awesomeness is boosted by the fact that FC Mobile is the only easily available option for playing NES games off carts in mobile form. Thank you the Chinese for thinking of the West and fixing the FC Mobile to play NES games. One thing that a western consumer will want to make sure of before the purchase an FC Mobile is that they are in fact getting a NES unit. The Chinese originally thought that it would be enough to just release a Famicom version of the FC Mobile. That’s just crazy, the Chinese! Fortunately they realized the folly of not releasing an NES capable FC Mobile. Buyer Beware: there are FC Mobile on the market that play Famicom games. Fortunately it appears that units noted online as being NES capable are indeed the NES versions of the FC Mobile.
The less superficial differences are few. The slot on top is wider and the 60-pin Famicom connector has been replaced by a bigger, better, more American 72-pin NES connector. The one unfortunate design flaw that the NES version has that the Famicom version does not is that the A and B buttons have been switched so that they are backwards. DAMN YOU HYPERKIN! Really though, this is by no means a crippling defect. Damning people for relatively small slights just seems like the right thing to do…you know, as an American. It is curious that the buttons were switched. Perhaps the buttons of the Famicom are in an opposite configuration of the NES and switching the buttons was needed to make the unit possible with as few hardware changes as possible? Unfortunately the reset button was not moved.
I was a bit concerned with how far the cartridges stick out of the unit and tried a shake test by inserting Super Mario Bros. 3 and shaking the unit rapidly. Surprisingly the cart did not unseat. There is something really cool about having the cartridge art right in front of you while playing the games. Even a crap fest like Renegade is somewhat palatable when you can view the rocking box art.
As with the Famicom version, the screen is not the best but is bright with no noticeable ghosting. The resolution of the screen is a bit poor but does not negatively affect gameplay. There is a headphone jack as well as an A/V out jack that allow you to play on your Tee-Vee or with headphones. The controls feel responsive and fairly true to the classic NES controller.
Now back to
GTA IV Super Mario Bros. 3
Screen: 7/10 Decent brightness and no ghosting however the resolution is low and screen quality is generally low.
Sound: 8/10 Has two speakers that sounds decent except at high volume, has a headphone jack. Classic 8 bit sound.
Controls: 8/10 Controls feel right. Would get 10/10 if the A and B buttons were in the correct configuration.
Availability: 9 Still available new online.
Price: 9/10 Still can be found online for under $40.
Library: 10/10 Plays NES games. Probably has some incompatibility issues but have yet to encounter any.
Overall: 9/10 About as small as a handheld that plays NES carts could be. Games tested run at full speed with no problems. Takes three AA batteries and even though the instructions say not to use rechargeable batteries they seem to work fine. Score would be lower except that the unit is the best commercial way to portably play NES games off carts.