This Year’s Most Awesome Christmas Present – Yobo FC Twinon December 31, 2011 at 12:01 AM
New Years Resolution #1: Play more video games.
I wanted to let everybody know about my favorite Christmas present this year (and hopefully make some money in the process). Roberta got me a Yobo FC Twin. For those of you scratching your heads (like I was the first time the used game store girl dropped the word “Yobo”), Yobo is an electronics company that produces video game consoles to play vintage video games. You see, while the content of the old cartridges themselves is protected intellectual property, the patent on the hardware itself has expired, effectively allowing Yobo to produce “generic” Nintendo and Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems. Somewhat hilariously, those names are still protected trademarks and as such go unmentioned on the box. Restricted from mentioning that it plays “NES” and “SNES” games it instead simply declares generically that it plays “8bit” and “16bit” games. Previous Yobo consoles had played each of those cartridge types individually, while the FC (presumably an abreviation of “Famicon”) Twin has a slot for each. I desperately wanted something to play the few NES and SNES cartridges I had hung onto when I sold my systems, but I was initially very skeptical about picking up a third party video game product. Eventually my doubts were outweighted by the naggingly recurring thought: all real NES’s are 25 years old and can only have so much life left in them.
I’m pretty hard to shop for (mainly because I have no impulse control, especially when I’ve been making a lot of money on eBay) so when Berta asked me what I wanted for Christmas I knew what to say and I promised not to buy it before Christmas. So the Yobo rules! I’ve been playing a lot of the Mega Man Collections on PS2 and it could be my imagination, but it seems like the games run a little faster, making some parts of the game much harder and difficult to keep up with (particularly Quick Man’s stage). I had feared it might be the case with the Yobo, but let me put your mind at ease. It runs at the same speed as the old NES and even suffers the same jumps and flashes that the original systems when there are too many enemies on the screen. The experience is virtually identical to playing the original NES (or SNES depending what games you’re playing). The controllers included with the FC Twin are basically the same design as the SNES controller just a bit lighter, thus the ports are made for SNES plugs. It’s a bit odd to be playing NES games with a SNES conroller but, eh, I manage. However, this means you’re out of luck if you want to play Duck Hunt with your NES Zapper. The only other real drawback is having to wiggle the cartridges out when you’re done playing. I do miss the old “eject” button on the SNES.
All in all, the FC Twin is a great value. Berta picked me up one at around $35 on sale. It occupies significantly less room than the individual original systems and only requires one power source and A/V jack connection, so I really prefer it to having the separate consoles. If you’re interested in vintage gaming and aren’t bothered by the cartridge ejection issues and incompatabilty with NES controller port accessories, you should definitely pick one up. Available from Amazon in Black or Silver varieties (I’d appreciate if you use my link to buy it. I’m an Amazon Associate and I get a small commission on referrals and it takes a bit to run this site, you know):