Anyone who assiduously reads the blog will know that I am quite fond of retrogaming. I grew up in the 80s and 90s, which has made me love everything about the Sega and Nintendo world of that time.
Like most kids back then, my first contact with Japanese 8-bit video games was with one of those imitation consoles that they sold in electronics stores. They were wonderful, not only because they were cheaper, but because they had cartridges type "300 games in 1" that allowed you to enjoy a catalog with hours and hours of play. And that for a 10-year-old was blessed glory.
Within the retrogaming boom that we live today, we could say that this gap is being covered by all those Chinese consoles born at the dawn of the successful mini NES that Nintendo launched in 2016. They bring a lot of games, they have a design very similar to the original and they are usually much cheaper.
Chinese retrogaming: NES-type 8-bit mini console with 2 controllers and 621 games
My idea for this section is to make a series of articles to create a "map" of Chinese retrogaming, analyzing some of the most prominent clone consoles of the moment.
Bear in mind that they will never reach the quality level of the original, that is clear. And although some are funny, it is also true that there are others that have certain characteristics that make them quite interesting, such as Clone Mini NES that we analyze in today's post. Let's go there!You and I have met before somewhere else ...
Design and finish
The great highlight of this system is that unlike other cheap retro or imitation NES consoles, this one includes an HDMI output to connect to the TV. The usual thing is to find consoles with AV output, so only because of this factor we are already facing a device that stands out above the rest.
At the design level it is very similar to the Nintendo Classic Mini, with very slight changes such as the inverted location of the front band and the connection ports for the controls. The power supply is carried out by means of a charger connected to a micro USB input and has a power and reset button. In this sense, it is the most faithful that we can find to the original product.Original vs copy: The truth is that the finish is one of the strongest points of this console.
Controls and wiring
One of the most notable advantages of this console is that bring 2 controls (something we didn't see on the original mini NES). Here there is always usually controversy, since the finish of the command is one of the sections that suffers the most in this type of low-price device. Luckily, this system has some very resolute controls: comfortable to grip, with 2 extra buttons in turbo mode and frankly satisfactory keystrokes, even after several minutes of play.
It should be noted that they also tackle one of the biggest problems of the original console, and that is that the control cable here is much longer, allowing a little more space between the TV screen and the player.The controller is almost twice as long.
Let's go now to the "chicha" of the console. What about games? Are there really 621 games or are they repeating? Are they all original?
Well, the truth is that there are some lights and shadows here. The 621 games that are pre-installed in the internal memory of the console they are all unique and there are none repeated. There are also all the classic titles from the 8-bit era, I think there are some games missing, but generally the selection is quite successful and includes some interesting surprises like the 1993 “Mighty Final Fight”.
But how could it be otherwise, there is also a point of bizarreness in the games that we cannot ignore. Some games are mods of well-known titles, like "Mario 14" which is a kind of Mario Bros with the sprites of the enemies changed: Kirbys and Pikachus instead of goombas and carnivorous plants. Things like that, which in the end are still anecdotal and even funny at one point.
In general, the gaming experience is positive. We have 2 controllers -which means that we can play doubles-, the HDMI output allows us view games in 16: 9 format (something that does not clash curiously, considering that they were originally conceived in 4: 3) and the catalog of games is extensive and quite good.
The only unavoidable downside to the original console is that it has no save system for games. If we reset the game we return to the home screen, just like in the classic machines of the 80s.
Another thing that helps improve the gaming experience, taking into account the large catalog it manages, is that titles are classified by genre. Although later many of them have put them directly into the category "Puzzle" (for some reason that I still do not know).
Regarding the games as such, all the ones I have tried have worked correctly, although some have glitched at some point, most of them run smoothly and without problems and we can spend a few hours quietly having fun in the most comfortable way.
Price and availability
Currently this interesting 8-bit HD console It has a price of 23.28 euros, about $ 26.49 to change, on TomTop. A value for money that adds an important plus for those looking for a gift at a good price or quench their thirst for retro nostalgia with one of these machines.
In short, a more than acceptable gaming experience for a device that tries to emulate the success of its "older sister", with several successes along the way, such as the HDMI output, the length of the controls, and a catalog volume with many hours of play.
TomTop | Buy Classic Retro Console HD (621 games)
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