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6Apr/101

Hardware Review – Senario 101 Games in 1

1012 I don’t do a lot of hardware reviews, mostly because I don’t get that much in the way of hardware. But this one is kind of neat and has a bit of history behind it. This is one of those NES pirate deals where they just stick a whole bunch of early NES games onto a ROM, build a controller around it and sell it. The deal with this one is, it was available at Wallgreens for $9.99. Of course, I didn’t know about it until WELL after the fact, so I didn’t get to snag one when they actually had them in stock, because I get a LOT of these TV plug and play games. I probably own around 20 of them. The idea behind them is really cool, just stick some batteries in, hook it up to your TV’s audio/video ports, turn it on and go. And for most, like the ones based off the Sega Genesis, Intellivision, Commodore 64 and Atari 2600 (among others) they’re pretty cool. Even though a lot of them use the NES on a chip like this one does which results in merely PORTS of the games. With the exception being the Sega Genesis based ones and the Atari Flashback 2 (which I unfortunately don’t have). But this isn’t about those. This is about this company that shamelessly removed the copyright information off of a bunch of very early Nintendo 8 bit games and selling it. And throwing in a couple of public domain games just to fill in the hole.

hiounit2s Let’s talk about the unit itself. It’s basically just a small controller with a directional pad, 4 buttons, start and select buttons, a reset button and a small power switch. This thing is actually pretty small and light thanks to the fact it only uses 4 of the AAA batteries. The buttons themselves feel just fine, though the directional pad takes some getting used to. It uses a floating directional pad similar in style to the Sega Genesis 6 button controller. But the feel isn’t QUITE right. But most of the games on this aren’t exactly fast paced, so you don’t really have to worry about it too much. My biggest gripes are the fact that there isn’t any two player support … which for games like Super Contra is an outright MUST to have. And the reset button is placed a little too close to the start and select buttons for my tastes. As I was continuing in Super Contra (one of my favorite games) i accidentally hit the reset button and was taken back to main menu. But the thing was 10 bucks when it was new, so you can’t expect perfection. Overall, not a bad little unit.

Now to the games. Since this uses the NES on a chip, the games that it has on it work and play 99% like they would if you were playing them on the actual NES. I say 99% because a lot of the title screens were removed and the copyright information removed. So entering the 10 lives code for Super Contra for example, is (as far as I can tell) an impossibility. And some of the games like Baseball for instance still have the two player selection available. I would imagine there are some games in here where two players can play taking turns, but I couldn’t tell you what those games are. And if they don’t support just one controller, you’re out of luck anyway.

Here’s a complete list of the games that are available on the unit. The main menu is just numbered 1 to 101 in plain, ALL CAPS TEXT. But I hate writing like that, so I tried to make some sense of it all for you.

1011

1942, 10 Yard Fight, Alpha Mission, Antarctic Adventure, Arabian, Arkanoid, Army Tank, Balloon Fight, Baltron, Baseball, Binaryland, Bird Week, Mighty Bomb Jack, Bomb, Bomberman, Bomberman 2, Brushroller, Burgertime, B-Wings, Casino, Chack ‘ Pop, Challenger, Champion, Chess, Chinese Chess, Circus, City Connection, Clu Clu Land, Field Combat, Super Contra, Devil World, Dig Dug, Dig Dug 2, Spar, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong 2, Donkey Kong 3, Door Door, Dragon Fire, Elevator, Excitebike, Exed Exes, F1 Race, Mach Rider, Joust, Tenms, Flappy, Kyou, Soccer, Formation Z, Front Line, Geimos, Golf, Gyrodine, Hyper Olympic, Ice Climber, Ice Hockey, Volley Ball, Zippy Race, Karaki, Karateka, Kung Fu, Lode Runner, Lode Runner 2, Bokosuka Quest III, Super Dynamix, Volguard II, Valkyari, Magmax, Nibbles, Mappy, Mario Bros, Matching, Exeron, Nuts Milk, Millipede, Twin Bee, Ninja 3, Ninja Guider, Othello, Rusian Bricks, Pac Land, Pac Man, Pinball, Pooyan, Porter, Mouse Shooting, Pro Wrestling, Road Fighter, Shooting, Wars, Sky Destroyer, Slalom, Warpman, Space Shooting, Sqoon and Star Force.

hiounits Now, I’m not going to get into each and every single individual game, because, as you can tell from the list, there are a LOT of stinkers on this thing. If the title sucks, it’s a pretty good chance the game sucks as well. Of course there are greats on here like Joust, Burgertime, Mario Bros, obviously Super Contra is the highlight of the entire package (for me). But some of the other ones I want to point out are that, near as I can tell, Bomberman 2, Nibbles and Mouse Shooting are homebrew public domain games that were released fairly recently in the early 2000’s (hey, it may not seem all that recent to you, but these are NES games we’re talking about here) … yeah. But regardless of that, Senario didn’t get my money out of it, I just bought it off of someone on eBay.

There are a FEW instances where the games are just palette swaps of other games, or just ripped out of other games. Like Champions. It’s Urban Champions. Spar is the exact same game, just with different graphics. The same thing with Antarctic Adventure and Slalom. And Warpman is just another copy of Soccer. And from what I understand, Throw is just the javelin throw ripped out of Track and Field, though I couldn’t tell you for sure because that’s just not my kind of game.

Yes, it’s a pirate thing. It’s not officially licensed by ANYONE. the menu is horrific, and there are some pretty damned terrible games on here. But the ones that are worth playing are damned well worth playing. Why doesn’t Nintendo do something like this? I’d buy it in a heartbeat. For now, this thing will do me when I want to get my game on with some of these without hauling around the systems. I’m not going to give it a number score because of the nature of the item, though. I guess they figured since the patent on the original Nintendo ran out, they could release the games as well.

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Comments (1) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Never seen one of these in person, only have come across the Atari one, Pacman, and Sponge-bob along with a few other character oriented ones lol.

    As far as Nintendo not doing this, I imagine it’s because it’s much more profitable to charge $5 for NES games on the Wii’s VC. Although according to the site I saw it on, Sega has some licensed plug and play games at a reasonable price.


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