A console that fits in the palm of your hands? You better believe it!

When my friend told me he saw something called Flashback’ that played NES games I assumed that he was mixing things up with the Atari system of the same name. But as it turns out Fry’s, Amazon and other places are carrying this NES cartridge compatible NES system in stock.

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For a mere $30 you get all the necessary components needed to plug into your TV and get started on some retro gaming action. The unit is approximately 5 ½ x 4 inches in size and can almost fit inside of one of my pockets. It’s actually smaller then the NES catridges (but not as slim).

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Front view – Cartrige slot, power and reset buttons, controller inputs

It comes with two original controllers which are a throwback to the NES controllers but not exactly the same. They have shoulder buttons why, I don’t know – are there NES games that used shoulder buttons? In addition to the standard select, start, A and B buttons there is also AA” and “BB” which give you rapid firing and rapid jumping/etc. The rapid firing came in handy especially when I played STAR SOLDIER, a vertical scrolling shooter.

Both controllers fit easily into the front and I did note that they have a different connector plug then the original NES controllers. So I would assume that old controllers are not compatable with this unit (unlike other NES remakes like the Messiah’s Gen Nex system). I did not encounter any struggles using these new controllers and they seem to be made well enough to last.

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Rear view – A/V jacks, PAL/NTSC switch, and power

Next up; the console itself. It is colored black with some clear grey rubber edges on the side. I’m clueless to this design but it looks nice enough to tuck on your shelf along with whatever other video gaming goodies you may have. NES cartridges can be fed top down and stand up while playing. The fit is snug and takes a slight wiggle’ to get the game out of the slot when ready to move on. The power and reset button work just as they should. On the back on the unit is a switch for NTSC or PAL games which I have to assume are for if you are playing Famicom cartridges.

Finally, inside the box is a power adaptor that plugs easy enough in any outlet and an RCA plug (mono) that goes directly into your TV. Within minutes I had the console unpacked and ready to play. There is no manual or any type of information or warrantee or anything like that on the box or inside. There’s not even a brand/company name on this unit so I’m assuming that if it dies in the near future I’ll be out of luck.

Conclusions

At this price I’d recommend picking up the unit. It seems sturdy enough to last a few years until you get all of your favorite NES games downloaded onto the Wii. Unfortunately the biggest downside for me was not being able to plug my original NES controllers into the unit I especially love playing Kung Fu Master with the Nintendo Joystick.

Below is a list of games that I tested on the unit SUCESSFULLY the two games in my collection that would NOT play were Strider and StarTropics:


Baseball Stars

Blaster Master (still a great game!)
Commando
Galaga
Ghost N Goblins
Ikari Warriors
Karate Champ
Kung Fu Master
Legendary Wings
Metroid
Punch Out
RBI Baseball
Solstice
Star Soldier
Star Trek The Next Generation
Super Mario Bros 1
Super Mario Bros 3
Tertris
The Adv of Link
The Adv of Zelda
Tiger-Heli
Ultima Exodus
Ultima Quest of the Avatar
Xevious
Zoda’s Revenge

Pros

  • Small and compact
  • Pretty inexpensive compared to other units
  • Allows you to play original NES cartridges
  • It worked well at least most of the games! (see above)

Cons

  • No booklet or information at all inside the box
  • I have the feeling these units will disappear quickly and won’t have any service or support if they break down.
  • Game compatability questionable
  • Out of the 30 NES cartridges that I tried on the system only 2 did not start/play and when I was playing Punch Out’ the game died unexpectedly.

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Purchase the NES Flashback pictured above at Amazon