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Sharp Twin Famicom Smells Funny

Dust bunnies, maggots, missing buttons and more. Yes, after thirty-ish years a Famicom can gather a lot of dust and much more. But yesterday I got a Sharp Twin Turbo that blew my mind.

When ordering off Yahoo Auctions (those of you who have the pleasure of doing so), it is always a crapshoot when ordering the items listed as “Junk”. While obviously not “junk”, an item labeled as this simply means that what you see is what you get. Sometimes it has missing parts, sometimes it’s fully broken, or sometimes the seller simply doesn’t know the item well and wants to cover their ass. Either way, a “junk” item will always sell at a fraction of the price of a confirmed working item. Risk and reward.

Anyhow, my “junk” Sharp Twin Turbo finally came. It looked alright in the picture and I have enough experience with them under my belt to deal with most issues. But when I opened up the box and unwrapped the plastic bag covering it, it was not my eyes that were surprised, but my nose. This thing had been pissed on.

Not an overwhelming amount of piss, but piss nonetheless. My imagination leads me to believe that the introduction of a new puppy to some poor bastard’s tiny Japanese household began a series of events that lead to this poor twin turbo being turned into a urinal. Instead of dealing with the mess, Famicom-san (at the urging of his wife, who hated the old thing anyways) simply posted it on Yahoo and cut his losses.

Sharp Twin Famicom How To Clean

A nice hot bubble bath got it as good as new, but what a stank surprise.

What’s the worst you’ve ever seen?

Get your Sharp Twin Famicom (that hopefully doesn’t stink like piss) from eBay or Amazon.

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One Thing Every Retro Video Gamer Needs

…an A/V switcher.

I know it’s only three little plugs to change (two actually, my TV is mono), but think about the time and effort required every time I want to go from Famicom to Neo Geo to Super Famicom… and back! Immeasurable.

So for about $10 I got a 4-way A/V switcher. I have everything plugged in at once, labelled beautifully, and ready to play. No fuss, no muss, just nice clean organized cordage.

Retro VideoGame AV Switch

No longer will laziness get in the way of me enjoying any game on any system. Well maybe. My beer isn’t refilling itself.

Get your very own AV Switch at eBay or Amazon.

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Buffalo Famicom USB Gamepad

Let’s face it, I’m a fan of the old. Forget your PS3s and XBOX360s, I like my games old school. And that means controllers to. That’s why I love this thing.

I was rummaging around a junk bin at a recycle shop this week when I saw the familiar glint of gold on red. The unmistakable image of a classic Famicom controller. What was it, a Hudson turbo controller? I traced the cord all they down to the business end and was equally surprised and confused when I saw what sort of connection we were talking; USB.

USB? But what can I do with… Oh. OH!

That’s right, it is a PC gamepad styled after the beloved Famicom controller! It turns out these were produced in 2007 by Buffalo, who actually received license for the design from Nintendo. They even produced a Super Famicom version as well. They sold for about $35 new, but I’m happy to say that I paid much less.

Anyhow, after a few hours of dicking around with some software (these were designed for use with PC only – not us Mac users) I finally got the thing to work. The secret was some free software called Controllermate. I have it set up now to work on my NES emulator as well as PCSX, to allow me to play Playstation disks on my laptop.

Buffalo Retro Famicom USB Controller

The Verdict:
I don’t use gamepads that much, but this thing does the trick. It feels solid and the buttons have the right amount of give to provide accurate feedback. The controller itself is responsive, and the turbo option definitely helps in some games. It even has L and R shoulder buttons, so almost any system is fair game. Oh, and the cord is generously longer than the original Famicom pad (but that’s not saying much…). Overall it’s a familiar feel and a nice touch if you feel the need to play some games on your computer.

Next time I’m going travelling, I can throw this bad boy in my laptop case and get my share of retro gaming anywhere I might be.

Have you seen anything like this before? Do you use gamepads for anything? What do you think of the 4 button interface meets classic design?

Buy your own Buffalo USB Gamepad on eBay or Amazon.

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The Tetris Trio

I’ve finished a mini-collection of my Famicom collection, I call it the Tris’ Trio. I’ve always had a love for puzzle games, from Dr. Mario to Picross. But Tetris is just the quintessential puzzle game. I mean, who didn’t own at least one copy of this game for the NES, Game Boy, or LCD keychain (if you catch my drift. This game was everywhere!).

Tetris, Tetris 2 + Bombliss, and Hatris – three quality puzzle games from Bullet Proof Software, and all complete in box. Kind of makes you want to cry a silent tear of joy.

Tetris 2 Famicom Boxed

Basic Rundown:

Tetris: Textbook Tetris. Downside? Down on the d-pad rotates the piece instead of dropping it. Who came up with that? Many a four-row move has been lost as a result of this asinine control scheme.

Hatris: Tetris, but less fun and with hats instead of tetriminos.

Tetris 2 + Bombliss: Finally, two player Tetris! Not to mention, they fixed the ridiculous control scheme present on the first Famicom version. Oh, plus another game that’s alright, I guess.

What do you think; is Tetris boring or awesome? What’s your favourite puzzle game?

Buy Tetris online at eBay and Amazon.

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Hi! I’m Game Kun. I play retro video games.

One of my earliest memories is sitting on the carpet of my family room when I was three or four years old, eating pretzels while my Dad beat The Legend of Zelda on the Nintendo Entertainment System. That scene pretty much sets the tone for the rest of my life: 1. Always eating food 2. Fascinated by video games Flash forward twenty-odd years and the scene has only changed slightly. Instead of the carpet of my parent’s family room, it is the tatami mats of my rented Japanese apartment. And instead of pretzels, it’s a can of beer (with a side of pretzels). And instead of watching my Dad, it’s me struggling through level after level of Contra. Swearing. Profusely.

Sharp Twin Famicom Turbo

Join me through this nostalgic trip to the past as I throw my dollars away in the future. This is Game Kun.

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