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What we have here folks is the first in the new wave of "legal" Famiclones. As Nintendo has lost the patent on the Famicom now anyone with the ability can legally put out their own version of the fabled machine. The days of illegal famiclones being run over by bulldozers are over. So you soon should be able to buy this machine and many like it legally at your local game shop.

The cool thing about clones is that occasionally you find one that actually improves on the original hardware. This console is being marketed to the older gamer who grew up on Nintendo classics in the 80's as a slimmer, more capable machine. It's one and a half inches tall, features stereo sound, has built in 2.4 GHz wireless support for their own limited edition controllers. The case itself looks pretty sexy. Even the manual comes in a case that looks like an NES cart. Totally cool.

The best feature by far has to be the dual NES/Famicom compatibility. No more big huge NES cart flopping around on a homemade adapter, no more game crashing to a screwed up screen because the cat jiggled your arm.

Well, how well does it work? There's been some complaints around on the various forums about compatibility with certain games. Messiah provides a compatibility chart on their website. It looks as if the majority of NES games work without a problem, but has problems with some of the later generation games with specialty chips (such as Castlevainia III ) or games that were not licensed in the first place (like Camerica games.) Some compatibility issues are to be expected from any Famiclone however.

Nice sexy console, currently on sale for $59 at http://www.playmessiah.com/ or can be found on Ebay for around the same amount.

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NES/Famicom compatible