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Feature: FC Mobile II Console Review

Posted by Damien McFerran

NES gaming on the go

Isn’t modern technology wonderful? Thanks to the joys of miniaturisation it’s now possible to enjoy retro machines in smaller form factors than they were originally released in. Take the FC Mobile II, for example – while it’s hardly small in portable terms, it’s a damn sight less bulky than the NES console it attempts to replicate.

Hyperkin’s FC Mobile II is one of a growing number of “FamiClones” to hit the market over the past few years. It joins the likes of the FC Twin and RetroDuo, although the biggest draw here is that it’s portable, as its name would suggest.

Powered by four AA batteries (or the bundled AC adapter) and boasting a 2.5 inch Active Matrix LCD display, the machine is perfect for retro gaming on the go. It even comes bundled with some interesting extras which transform it from mobile marvel to a dedicated home machine which you can hook up to your TV and use as a replacement for your aging/broken NES original.

Before we get to that, an investigation of the hardware is probably in order. Like so many of these Far Eastern consoles, the build quality isn’t exactly inspiring. Despite its relatively chunky dimensions the FC Mobile II feels surprisingly lightweight, largely due to the fact that a lot of the interior is actually empty until you insert a NES cartridge.

The plastic looks cheap and nasty but thankfully the buttons feel solid and dependable. If you were expecting Nintendo-standard construction you’re obviously going to be disappointed, but it has to be remembered that this is an unlicensed machine and comes with a rock-bottom price tag, so its appearance is perfectly in line with where it sits in the marketplace.

The LCD screen is decent enough for this kind of device; it’s certainly not going to challenge your DS or PSP but it’s bright and colourful all the same, and perfect for fast-moving NES titles. Sound is also loud and punchy, although some of the music and effects in the games we tested were a little off – but this is a common “feature” of many FamiClones.

What makes the FC Mobile II stand out from its rivals is the addition of two wireless controllers and a light gun. All of these accessories require more batteries, but they lend the machine a more epic feel; once connected up, this is essentially a fully-fledged NES machine which you can play with friends.

If you’re in the market for a FamiClone device then the FC Mobile II is most definitely worth considering. Not only is it possible to hook it up to your TV, it’s also portable so you can continue your gaming session on the move. The awkward manner in which NES carts stick out from the top of the console is a problem, but this is hardly a fault of the machine itself.

The FC Mobile II is available now from our good friends over at Stone Age Gamer for $49.99 plus shipping.

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User Comments (42)

JayArr

#1

JayArr said:

That thing is crazy. It's cool but I couldn't imagine walking around playing that.

Xkhaoz

#4

Xkhaoz said:

NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't own a single physical NES game, but that's whats eBay it for!!!!! Damn I need more money.

Knux

#5

Knux said:

Now, that's awesome. But, I would LOVE to see and have a handheld N64. :)

RaylaxStaff

#6

Raylax said:

Made of pure victory. Love the giant cart sticking out of the top. They could've tried to disguise it, but it looks awesome and a bit cheeky that way. I'd play it on the bus every day, it'd probably generate more interest than an iPod.

DamoAdmin

#9

Damo said:

@Xandecs - As far as I know, there's no region lock-out between US and PAL games. I could be wrong. I know that Famicom games aren't compatible because they have a different cart size and pin layout.

DamoAdmin

#10

Damo said:

@accc - Battery life is ok, so long as you use high-capacity rechargeable batteries.

Sylverstone

#11

Sylverstone said:

Nice.

There was this guy on YouTube who made a portable N64 and Dreamcast.
And there was another who had a GameCube portable as well.

They made big bucks on eBay!

castlehominid99

#12

castlehominid99 said:

I got mine for 60 in june but my screen tore it goes in and there is a scratch on my scrren I got my black one for 60

SwerdMurd

#13

SwerdMurd said:

only NES? This is normally the weaker emulation of the two on devices that emulate both NES and SNES. Couple that with the age-old problems with Castelvania 3 and virtually every other game I like (an overdramatization, I know, but I love CV3), it's still gonna be a while before I invest in one of these.

Percentful

#14

Percentful said:

I want a portable nintendo 64 and gamescube, not NES. Still, Cool idea! It's even phatter than the Phat [or the LL/XL]

WanderFan91

#15

WanderFan91 said:

I own fifty NES cartridges (unfortunately one of them is the ever dreaded Super Pitfall, and I have no NES Castlevania cartridge). :)
Hmmm, I wonder how Popeye, LifeForce, Lode Runner, Dig Dug II, and Clu Clu Land look on that portable? :)
Although I'm a little more interested in how a portable SNES would look like. :3

WanderFan91

#17

WanderFan91 said:

Me, too. :) I'll bet Arcana, SoulBlazer, Donkey Kong Country, Hook, and Porky Pig's Haunted Holiday (among others) would look brilliant on a portable SNES. :)
The possibility of playing imports like Pop'n TwinBee, Whirlo, Magical Pop'n, Cotton 100%, and more... :3

primeris

#19

primeris said:

For sure PAL games will not run on an NTSC NES. I made the mistake of buying one in Europe, then trying to use it back home. This thing might take both though. It should be specified somewhere.
I'm not too enthusiastic about this. I was one of the idiots that spent a chunk of money on the horrible horrible gameaxe. This gizmo is cheaper, and apparently better in many respects, but I'm comfortable with my top loading NES. I'm not gonna carry chunky gray carts anywhere.

Slapshot

#21

Slapshot said:

I will be investing in this and headed to the local flea market to grab about a dozen NES carts for like 1-5 USD a piece. Loads of fun, as my NES got stolen years back.

WanderFan91

#24

WanderFan91 said:

Interesting. I see it's got four buttons, like an SNES controller. I don't suppose that means that it's possible to setup the controls, now, right?

TheBaconator

#25

TheBaconator said:

I have FC mobile 1. It's cool but it can't play more than half of my games. (I have 7 and 2.5 work)

geek-master

#27

geek-master said:

@ SuperSonic1990 the ds is a handheld n64. remeber super mario 64 ds? also the all ds's have a sexy 64 bit ati graphics card :)

SmaMan

#28

SmaMan said:

@geek-master
But there's no N64 cartridge slot. Not to mention there's no analog stick either, so some games would be a little hard to play.

@Damo
How many hours would you estimate the batteries would last? Also, is there a headphone jack?

deadly_by_design

#33

deadly_by_design said:

As a 20-something guy, I feel nerdy enough just playing a DS. I'll pass on being the weirdo with a giant NES-cart-sized game system, retro coolness factor aside.

gblock

#34

gblock said:

I've built up a collection in the past month of nearly 70 NES games, that would be damn cool to have.

SilverBaretta

#36

SilverBaretta said:

Wh.....Why on earth would you use a light-gun on that thing? O'course if I I bought it I think I would probably would carry it in a holster, so when I pop in Duck Hunt, I can do a quick-draw kinda thing. (In the confines of my own house, of course.)

SweetVanityZee

#39

SweetVanityZee said:

My husband and I bought the FC Mobile II, it works great and we found that the best way to keep games from freezing is to use the ac adapter or make sure batteries are always fresh.

Our only problem thus far is when we tried to hook it up to an HDTV, our CRT TV worked great with the system both audio and video. The picture shows up in black and white. Do you know how to adjust the resolution so that it will show up in color on an HDTV, we think that maybe the resolution is set to high. Is there a way to switch it from a high definition to a standard definition?

StarDust4Ever

#40

StarDust4Ever said:

@StarDust "I think being the older weirdo-geek with a hand-held NES would be Über-Cool!!!"

Well I did buy one and I remember hanging out at college with this thing. It was great fun. Got lots of funny looks and complements playing Mario 3 on it.

Oatsdbl

#41

Oatsdbl said:

@StarDust "I think being the older weirdo-geek with a hand-held NES would be Über-Cool!!!
Well I did buy one and I remember hanging out at college with this thing. It was great fun. Got lots of funny looks and complements playing Mario 3 on it."

Epic!!! At first I wasn't entirely sure if I would get this, but you've just nudged me over the line hahaha xD

StarDust4Ever

#42

StarDust4Ever said:

Sweet, man! I might point out, the audio sounds distorted if you turn the volume up, but it is clean at low levels. Ironically, my FC mobile II doesn't have the swapped duty cycles that plague other consoles. Jumps in Super Mario Brothers sound normal. The buttons are certainly stiffer than the stock Nintendo pads, and I never could get the bundled junk IR "wireless" controllers to work, but it's still good for playing single player games.

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