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Hardware review - The Retro Duo Twin Video Game System v2.0

I originally wrote this on Amazon after I ordered it (and I use it all lthe time by the way hehe). I've changed it a bit for here considering I've gotten extra stuff for it, but ... yeah.

I ordered this mostly to save space and the lifespan of my NES systems. It came in pretty attractive and functional packaging, it was pretty cool flip up the cardboard cover and see everything.

I'm glad it doesn't have propriety hookups to hook it up to the television. Just uses regular old S-Video and A/V cables, although the NES doesn't have S-Video support because that particular standard wasn't around back in the NES days, so the graphics come in black and white. No big deal though. On my regular old 480p TV the SNES games with S-Video (due to the games, not the hardware itself) look only marginally better. But if you've got a high definition TV, you might as well stick to the regular old Yellow cable for the video. It just sharpens the image a little TOO much.

And even though it's kind of a stupid thing to get into, yes, you can in fact have 2 carts hooked in at the same time. I don't know why this is such a big deal, but to some people it does matter. If you wanna play NES, you flip the switch up, SNES, you flip the switch down.

The system itself is entirely too light for my tastes, and while the SNES cartridges fit in the cartridge slot just fine, the original Nintendo is another story all together. They fit in entirely too tight. You have to exert a fair amount of force to get them out, actively picking up the system (or pushing down on it, whichever you have to do). And the cartridges tend to wobble back and forth a little bit in the slot. While it hasn't frozen any of the games I've played up (and I've deliberately tried out of curiosity and worry), your mileage may vary. But it feels great to play games like Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy Super Mario Bros. 3 again since my Nintendo systems are a bit long in the tooth from being so old and the fact that I get them from yard sales, so there's no telling how the people who had them before me treated them.

The unit comes with 2 SNES styled controllers, and like the console, they feel a bit light. They work just fine, although the directional pad is a bit stiff. But being able to plug the original SNES controllers into this is a a BIG plus, I receently bought an ASCII Fight Stick for it, and it works beautifully. And although I don't have it personally, I know that the mouse for Super Mario Paint works as well. I would imagine the Super Scope 6 bazooka works with it as well, but I haven't personally tried this. But the controllers that it comes with are fully functional and, other than the stiffness, have an overall good feel to them.

As far as compatibility, I haven't found anything yet that hasn't worked with this, although I'm sure they're out there. In regards to the way it handles SNES games, I haven't found anything that doesn't work with it. I've tried some games that would give it problems like Star Fox and Street Fighter Alpha 2, and both of them play beautifully. As far as the compatibility with the NES goes on the other hand, it's a different story. It does run some games (like Castlevania 3) that the other 3rd party NES clones don't run. The graphics are spot on, but the sound suffers. While it's not a worthwhile argument to me personally, some people may find issue with this. So expect some issues in the compatibility in regards to sound. And I'm sure there's the odd game here and there that won't work. And as a matter of opinion from me, it kind of sucks not being able to use the original Nintendo controllers with it, but it's a small gripe.

Yeah, you are still better off (in my opinion) getting the original consoles, but when you're on a budget and looking to save space like me, this is a welcome addition. I wholeheartedly recommend this, even with the slight problems that come from the NES part of the compatibility.

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