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Famicom Impressions

Atari 5200 Guy



It's been a year now since I bought my Famicom, Famicom Disk System, and a few games.  I just double checked my purchase history and I bought my Famicom, as JUNK, February 14th, 2021.  It took a week to get here which was impressive. And I'm probably not going to say anything about it people already know but I've got to speak my mind about it.

My Famicom discovery really started when I discovered emulators a few decades ago.  I found a NES emulator and a ton of games.  What I didn't realize at the time was that some of the games were not American releases.  I found one board-like RPG game that I liked but to this day I still can't remember the name of it. I also discovered Gradius II and Salamander.  After playing those I started wishing there was a way to Import a Famicom but places that carried them at the time were very pricey.  

Fast forward to modern times and thanks to EBAY I was finally able to obtain one.  In decent shape but needed work. Same with the disk drive, needed a belt.  The games worked fine...just needed cleaning.  My library is small but is of games I either already knew or found interesting.  Of course Super Mario Bros. is here, Clu Clu Land and Dr. Mario, and I managed to snag up Gradius II and Salamander. Parodius was a recommendation from I believe one of Metal Jesus' YouTube videos. Route 16 Turbo I got because of the car on the label.  I wanted a mystery game.  Might as well do it right. The only FDS game I was after was Metroid.  I wanted to experience the difference on a personal level. And one complete game I found really cheap was Tetris.

So was my investment worth it?  Most definitely! For the price of a cheap modern game I managed to pick up a console.  I had to spend time fixing it but now it's working great.  I especially like the smaller design because it doesn't require a whole lot of shelf space when I have to put it away.  I also never have to worry about losing controllers either.  It's a pleasure to use.

The disk system took more work than I was expecting to fix only because the belt had to be replaced I found so many different ways to do it.  I eventually settled on my own way which is a combination.  It fits perfectly fine under the Famicom. It's batteries have been in it for almost a year and still going strong.  I didn't use a replacement belt for it, I used a hair tie.  Yep...a hair tie.  It works fine.  

The games? Salamander will always be my number one pick when it comes to the Famicom because it was ported over as Life Force for our NES...and that game is my number one NES favorite.  It is interesting to see differences between the two.  In Life Force the title screen is good, the score display works, and you can have two options. In Salamander, however, the title screen has more graphics, the score display is better explained, and you can have 3 options.  Otherwise the game is the same.  Gradius II I wish we would have got but I can see why we didn't.  It's a very difficult game.  Looks and sounds good but I can get through the first level.  And I've beat a lot of NES shooters including Life Force numerous times. Clu Clu Land, SMB, and Dr. Mario are no different than what we got here in the States, nice additions to have around. Tetris is Tetris but this Tetris was different in looks and controls.  It took me a while to get use to it but once I did it was a nice change.  The mystery game surprised me the most.  A simple Venture-style game that is loads of fun to play.  I'd call it a hidden gem.  Parodius I thought was way out in left field.  Everything this has it throws at you.  Neat game and I play this one a lot   And lastly Metroid. I can finally save my game on that one but only after I did.  So if I'm doing really good and need to shut it down I have to kill myself to save my game.  The subtle differences in music and sounds is minimal but does enhance the game play efforts.

The Famicom has left a very positive impression the first year I've owned it. I play this more than I play the NES which has more games. It's a good system and getting to experience things we didn't get has been nothing less than exciting.  And my journey is just starting.  I'm very happy with my investment and I only hope that I can find more games for it soon. If you have been thinking about getting one I would recommend it. Do research first for games that would interest you.  Then go hunting.  Highly recommended.



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Very cool. As far as real hardware I do not own a Famicom, I DO have one of those adapters you can use plug plug a Famicom cart into a NES or compatible system, that said I only have a  single Famicom cart at that itself is a cheapo knockoff multicart with mostly bad titles 😆I guess another option is using my original Nintendo or my Retrobit RetroTrio clone (it plays NES / SNES / GENEIS carts) and I could use my EverDrive N8 Flashcart and load Famicom roms off it. I will likely never own an original Famicom since my collecting is highly curbed these days but I always like the looks of them compared to the North American NES and the carts, don't even get me started, from label art to the compact size I was amazed by Famicom carts and was always disappointed we didn't get that design. Nice and interesting write up, thanks for sharing. 

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I own an AV Famicom, which is the Japanese equivalent to the 2nd generation NES that was released in the United States with the "dog bone" NES control pad, the exception being that the Japanese AV Famicom lacked the "hump" the US version had to support the substantially larger cartridges, and the AV Famicom had terrific AV output for a nice picture. @MaximumRD may recall a video I used to have giving an overview of this system on my old YouTube channel.

I never understood the aesthetic appeal of the original Famicom. The games are absolute classics, and the Disk System is really neat, but I've never liked the styling of the original Famicom. The red and white are very, very ugly to me, beyond unattractive. It looks like a cheap toy, and the white plastic looks cheap, gets dirty and turns yellow. I can see why Atari engineers were going to rebody the Famicom, likely in the Atari 2600 Jr. shell. I've preferred owning the original North American NES, and the 2nd generation AV Famicom from Japan.

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10 hours ago, Justin said:

The red and white are very, very ugly to me, beyond unattractive. It looks like a cheap toy, and the white plastic looks cheap, gets dirty and turns yellow.

Normally, I would have to agree with you.  That was my thoughts when I first seen one.  I didn't understand the, I guess logic or theory, behind its design. But the more I looked at it the more it grew on me.  The more I've used it the more I've come to like it.  I like the NES but the games I enjoy playing most I can't find cheap.  The Famicom gave me a cheap alternative option.  I like the AV Famicom a whole lot more than the 2nd Gen NES.  I never liked that hump. I wanted the AV Fami but the price difference between it and the original Fami was $50.  I gave $20 for my Fami which I didn't think was all that bad.  But it was the games I was after that sealed the deal.

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