Another well known Nintendo (NES) related site has already made an impressive review of this,
erm thing. But I still felt that I could contribute something to this, so here's my story.
While browsing around at net shops, looking for N64 stuff, I stumbled across this
NES clone at baysoftgames.com which I had heard of months before from buyers, and even
before that rumors from the old Color Dreams programmer Jon Valesh.
I had no use for this thing though since I already had the Color Dreams games I wanted as well
as a nice range of, most now broken, NES/Famicom system clones. But I had money burning in my
pocket (credit card), so I decided to order one, price $24.99.
One month and a $10 shipping and handling fee later I received a huge package. When came home
from work that day, walked in the door and noticed this giantic brown box lying on a chair I
wondered what exactly it was, didnt't really pay attention to the label on the box. Well it
was getting dark outside and I had decided to clean my car before I was unable to see a
thing. So I went out and cleaned the car, man what a mess of Snickers wrapping, while wondering
what was inside that huge box.
Ok so I was done and went back in. To my great surprise the box label wrote "to Martin Nielsen
blah blah blah, from baysoftgames.com". I actually almost had given up on receiving the package
since it was a month since I ordered. Well I was still wondering if they had sent me the wrong
item as the Game Station box couldn't be that big, but lucky me, inside was another box, a
small one taking out 1/3 of the space in the big one.
There is was, my very own Game Station Arcade System, what joy it brought. Looking at the box
gives you the system in action, playing Master Chu the Drunken Fu, a game created by the
Taiwanese company Sachen, Thin Chen Entertainment, released in the US and Europe by
Color Dreams. The system has 15 games built-in to a blue Dreamcast looking joypad, oh that
reminds me of the Super Joy consoles. All 15 games are Color Dreams games, which means that
what Jon Valesh told me a long time ago actually was almost true, about Color Dreams making
a NES clone with their own games built-in.
The system is distributed in the US by Pelican Accessories, but is made in China and released
under the name "Rumble Station" (NS-800). The system doesn't require batteries, eventhough there
is a battery department in the joypad, but it's filled out by an RF box. The front of the
box says that it will plug into any TV, which is true, but since the RF box is NTSC only, you
cannot play the games on a PAL only TV, most PAL TV's today are NTSC compatible though.
Included is an RF cable, AV cable, AC adaptor - US 110V ofcourse, which cannot be used in
Europe either. Funny how the box also writes that no video game system is required, umm
just how are you gonna play the games then?
The 15 games included are: Baby Boomer, Captain Comic, Challenge of the Dragon, Crystal
Mines, Galactic Crusader, King Neptunes Adventure, Master Chu and the Drunken Fu, Menace
Beach, Pesterminator, Raid 2020, Robodemons (box says Robodenons), Secret Scout, Pradikus Conflict,
Moon Ranger and Operation Secret Storm (a game by Jon Valesh).
The manual actually has a small description of what to do in each game which is rather funny,
so check it out here. Besides these funny descriptions
the box also features it's own typo's such as "Secret Scroll" (Secret Scout).
The system, as I wrote earlier, is housed in a blue Dreamcast looking joypad. It feels very
solid and has both an analogue stick and a digital pad which work great. The required Select
and Start buttons as well as A and B buttons, both with their own turbo button next to it.
Another nice feature is the reset button, which means that you wont have to switch off the
thing and on again when you wanna change to another game. It features a two player option
aswell, but I have no idea of how that works, there's no port or a second joypad. Finally
the system has built-in a rumble feature, which probably is why it was called Rumble Station
in the first place. But seriously, if I was to decide, they could've left out this one or
atleast given the user the option to switch it off as it goes crazy everytime you hit one
of the buttons. But the nicest feature of all must be the on/off switch.
There's is no need for batteries when using the Game Station Arcade, so they've filled out
the battery department with an RF box, but why did they make room for batteries in the first
place? maybe the original Rumble Station only featured AV output? ah who cares.
I ofcourse contacted Pelican Accessories about my problem and quickly got a reply that they
would replace my unit, cool I thought but decided to write another mail before heading off to
the postal office to return the damn thing. So I explaied it as good as possible, again, that
I needed a PAL version, meaning European video signal format whatever. The dude in their
customers obviously got confused there and asked for my phone number in the next mail, but wait
didn't I just tell him that I was in Europe, obvious or what?, and was he going to call me
in the middle of the night now, waking me up, damn no.
I still haven't heard from my buddies at Pelican Accessories, and to be honest it aint really
their problem that I bought an NTSC system, or is it? I mean they did write that it would work
with ANY tv, which to me is PAL aswell, but I could be wrong eventhough I doubt that I ever am.
It's a real shame though that the system is NTSC only, cause that means no dice for me, atleast
not on my real TV and my TV tuner card only shows a blach/white screen and no sound. But would
I want to play any of these games anyway? Unlike any other NES/Famicom clone, I guess, this
one is legal in every way as the NES patent expired a long time ago. But Color Dreams' games
are crap, or most of them anyway. I've been a fan of this company for a long time but that's
mostly because of the cool stories the employees can tell.
Not everything was crap though, atleast two of the games included here are very playable, yeah
I'm talking about the ebay top seller Menace Beach and Crystal Mines, Captain Comic ain't one
of the worst either.
In all it's a pretty cool and solid system with a bunch of crappy Color Dreams games included,
but sure an item which goes into the NES history as the first totally legal NES clone ever
released in the US of A.
Oh and remember, if you misuse you Game Station Arcade, the Pelican warranty shall no
longer apply, you have been warned! :)