Messiah Entertainment launched the Generation NEX console late last year, and the hardware received some seriously mixed reviews. IGN.com gave it an almost perfect score, while user reviews and other smaller game sites were more negative about it. I was about to call it a wash until one showed up in my mailbox, and I was able to take the thing for a test drive myself. The verdict? Well, mixed.
The system is designed to make your original NES and Famicon games work like new; no more blowing on the system and game, and no more blinking screens. The other big draw is the wireless capabilities of the system—if you're willing to pony up $50 you can get yourself some Messiah wireless NES pads. (That's kind of a lot to ask after paying $60 for the system and one wired controller.) I didn't like the feel of either the wired or wireless controllers, as the d-pad has some odd sliding design (a lot like the NES Max) and the buttons were squishy—and not in a good way. I plugged in one of the many Nintendo-brand NES controllers I had sitting around the house, and I was much happier.
I plugged game after game into the system, and to my delight they all worked. Even when they didn't work on the first try, I took out my game cleaning kit—yes, I actually have a custom-made game cleaning kit I keep for just such issues—and after taking a cotton swab with a 50 percent alcohol and water mixture to the contacts of the game they would work perfectly. No blinking lights or loose connectors, it just worked. That was impressive.
I didn't run into many issues with the hardware. The 20 or 30 carts I tried worked fine, but I did notice some oddness with the graphics. There was an odd sharpening effect on the games, and while it wasn't bad or annoying, it did make the titles look a little different than I was used to seeing them on my stock NES unit. I also bumped into an audio glitch on a game or two; the sound effects would drop out of 1942 every now and again, for instance. No deal breakers, but the hardcore among you may be more bothered by the small changes than I was.
So is it worth a purchase? That really depends, I think $60 is pretty expensive when you can buy a real NES and refurb it for about half the price. I did enjoy the fact I could play Famicon carts on it; for the importer or collector that's quite the plus. Is it worth paying a premium for your games to work the first time, every time? That's up to you. If you are dying for an excuse to get your old carts out, this is pretty compelling. It's a nice system, very small and easy to hide away (check out the picture for comparison on top of the original NES), and with a standard NES controller it takes a lot of stress out of playing your old games. I'm having fun with mine, but again, $60 is quite the price tag.
Manufacturer: Messiah Entertainment
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