Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This is a Famiclone?

I've acquired quite a few Famiclones of all different shapes, sizes and designs in my years of video game collecting. Famiclones range from the bizarre and ugly to an exact replica of the Nintendo Famicom, visually speaking. What I happened to find today sits somewhere between those two, yet I'm still not sure exactly where.

At first glance this thing is a bottom of the barrel scraping third party Xbox 360 controller, but if you look a little closer the telltale signs of a Famiclone are present. There is no brand name to be seen, simply a strange logo where another analog stick should be. But whoever made this was so dedicated to trying to incorporated the Xbox 360 feel that the power button is a large circle in the center of the controller, with a border that lights up, just like the controller this is trying to resemble.
Xbox 360 Famiclone
There is a second player port nestled at the bottom, between the handles, but the main player controls offer the standard Famiclone fair in a confusing array. There is a standard D-pad and a pseudo analog stick, which works as a standard D-pad and is there merely for looks, and six action buttons to choose from. What are listed as A and B are backwards, X and Y are the turbo versions of the aforementioned buttons, while LB seems to work as both A and B simultaneously and RB does absolutely nothing at all.
Xbox 360 Famiclone Xbox 360 Famiclone
On the very top of the controller are a pair of plastic humps, I assume to simulate shoulder buttons, that are pretty much pointless and useless. Between those are a standard set of AV output jacks as well as a power input. Unlike almost all my other handheld style Famiclones this one offers no battery power option at all, but luckily works off the same DC 9volt 300mA power supply all my other Famiclones use.
Xbox 360 Famiclone
When I found this at a local Goodwill I originally didn't want to buy it, but once I saw that it was 50% off this week I quickly changed my mind. I honestly didn't know what to expect from this unit; was it a bunch of 8-bit homebrews or would it be just another 9999999999999999 in 1 pirate fest? With the uneasy feeling of whether the system would work and what I could expect from it once I got it home set aside, I plunked down the whole $1 for it and waited to get home to find out.

After plugging in the AV cables and wearily plugging in the AC adapter, hoping it wouldn't blow up, I pushed in the power button and watched as it lit up green and Fun Time flash quickly on the screen. Immediately after that a list of 76000 games appeared, which equated to approximately 50 games listed over and over again. Almost all of them were Famicom/NES pirates, but there were a few games I've never heard of.

As per normal this Famiclone is packed with games such as: Contra, 1942, Arkanoid, Super Mario Bros., Circus Charlie, Mappy, and many more. But there are also games I've never heard of such as: Nature Clan Island, Knight Hero and Ice Oceans, the gameplay of all these games isn't anything I'm familiar with, so I know its not a simple retitle. Some of them even have extremely well done title screens, leading me to believe someone took pride in making these games.

Again, as normal this system is made of extremely cheap plastic, the lower D-pad is almost completely unresponsive, the reset button takes a good hard press to work (which is better than resetting a game on accident) and overall its just another standard Famiclone from China. Its small and packs in a lot of games, but without the option to power it with batteries this system is not portable, which would have been extremely easy if they had tried to clone a wireless Xbox 360 controller. Other than being a different shape and lacking a 60 pin connector (perhaps a detail I should have pointed out earlier) this thing isn't much different than any of my Super Joy systems.

To simplify, knowing what I know now if this system wasn't $1 I wouldn't have picked it up!

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