The Retro USB AVS Console Review

When my parents picked up the NES Challenger set for me back in April of 1989, I don’t think they had any idea on just how big of an impact it would have on me. From the moment I turned on my Nintendo Entertainment System, I was hooked. I fell in love with everything the system had to offer, from its large game library, graphics and music. The very first Nintendo system planted the seeds in me that would end up starting multiple careers for me in information technology, journalism and music composition. It’s been almost 27 years since my first time playing the system and while I’ve experienced many life altering changes in that time, one thing still remains: I’m still that 6 year child inside that can’t wait to play Mega Man’s latest adventure, or crack the whip one more time as Simon Belmont. In that same amount of time, technology has advanced tremendously, changing the way we play our video games and how we experience our entertainment. The rapid change in technology has certainly left the NES in the dust and attempting to plug in that old grey console to a HDTV can be tough on the eyes without some sort of modification to the system to make it output a higher quality video signal. A variety of companies have put out system clones that make it a little easier to play your classic NES games, but the prices for these systems often reflect what kind of quality you are going to get from them when plugging in your original game cartridges. Some of these range from dirt cheap, to affordable, to absolutely expensive. Finally though, we have a new challenger that has tossed its hat into the mix of clone systems and provides results that should please most NES purists. Enter, the Retro USB AVS Console.

20160919_210211The AVS will play both your NES and Famicom games, along with flash carts.

The AVS console was just released this month and features a variety of different features. For starters, its outputs a 720P video signal via HDMI, houses two different cartridge slots; one for NES games and the other for Famicom games and is easily updated and powered through its USB port. Let’s get a closer look at the system, shall we?

Import Boken – City Hunter

Emily and I recently had the chance to sit down and play the PC Engine release of City Hunter for our Japanese import game show and I can’t say enough how fun it is to have an enthusiastic co-host who is just as eager to play a game as you are. I let Emily drive on this particular episode and I think she did a fantastic job with it. While I certainly enjoy playing the games we record for the episodes, being on the passenger side of things allows me to collect my thoughts better and gauge the pace and length of the episode much better then I could then if I was doing it myself.


Emily and I had no prior experience to the City Hunter franchise prior to playing this game, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying it.


I’ve been an anime fan since the late 80’s, my first being Akira; but for whatever reason I’ve never come across any of the anime adaptions of City Hunter. I was aware that there was a Jackie Chan film adaption of the anime, but I have not seen that either. Regardless, City Hunter has been popular enough to warrant several TV shows in both the live action and animated sense, but it doesn’t seem like its had many video games released for it.


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The City Hunter gets the gun, bad guy and the girl in one shot! If he’s lucky that is!


Despite the series having very little to show for itself in the video game realm, its first release is actually pretty fun. The stages are large, the characters are well animated and with the fact that its a SunsSoft title, you get some very catchy music. I can’t tell you if any of the themes in the game match any of its anime adaptions, but its great sounding none the less. Emily and I managed to get through the first stage of the game without too much of an issue and we look forward to coming back to the game in a potential live stream someday! I still have the password saved on my phone!

Now that I’ve given you some of our back story of the game, its time for you to watch us play the game. Enjoy!

 

So my only composite output system left in my upstairs game room is my Famicom AV and after pricing out some options, getting the system RGB modded isn’t cheap and often requires a decent amount of case modification to happen. I’m the second owner of this particular Famicom AV, so I really don’t want to hack the thing up. Buying a per-modded RGB system isn’t cheap either and I see the prices for those can hit anywhere up to 400 bucks.

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So my solution? The Retro USB AVS! Its non emulator based, has 720P output via HDMI, can take flash carts and is actually cheaper to pick up. Compatibility doesn’t look to be an issue with this thing and I’m excited to get mine next month for some clean video output. What are your thoughts on the AVS?