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Great Hierophant

IGN's Ignorant NEX Review

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When it comes to anything classic, I don't credit IGN at all. Hell, in their doglike willingness to conform to public opinion and please their advertising masters, I don't take much stock in their modern tastes either. Other people do and may read their review of the NEX and come away with a rather false impression of the system. Here is the review:

[url="http://gear.ign.com/articles/677/677770p2.html"]http://gear.ign.com/articles/677/677770p2.html[/url]

Let me start with the numbers:

10 Performance
Let me take these statements one at a time:

"Even better than the original."

How is it better? Do the games run faster? Eliminate slowdown?

"Plays NES and Famicom games. "

But not all of them (MMC5), or at least not optimally (glitches, missing sounds)

"Has wireless controller support."

For Messiah's controllers only, presumably. Messiah's controllers come with sensors that you can plug into any NES or clone.

"Smaller and sexier."

The second is a matter of opinion, but it can't gratifify from the two orifices at the same time. The NEX is such a tease.

"Puts sound out of both speakers."

See below

"Rocks the retro scene."

In terms of controversy, indeed. Otherwise I wonder which retro scene he is talking about.

8 Build Quality
"Well made plastic. Feels nicely engineered. Packaging and manuals are excellent."

I don't own one, so I will defer to them on this. I do wonder about the controllers' durability.

9 Audio Quality
"Will send the NES's mono signal into both speakers, so you won't feel like you are getting a tumor. It's the best NES music ever!"

As would the regular NES through an RF cable or through the RCA audio jack if connected to most speaker inputs. You may require a $3 splitter from Radio Shack. The NEX's music is noticeably inferior to many so-called "crappy emulators."

9 Video Quality
"Composite video is a step up compared to the NES's original RF. Otherwise identical to NES quality."

The front-loader also contained an RCA composite video connector. I don't believe the NEX looks as washed-out as many other clones do, but I know there are palette differences. Therefore, the signal is not identical.

8 Ease of Use
"No more funky door and drop-down slot like the NES. Just jam it in the hole and do your thing."

Ditto if you replace the front loader's cartridge connector with a third party device. Using a Game Genie with this thing may not be so easy.

8 Value
"$59.99 for the Generation NEX console bundle is a fine deal if you want to get your NES carts back in action. $59.99 for two wireless controllers in a lunchbox is not quite as good."

You can get a refurbished NES unit for half that, and it will work just as good if not better. $60 for the wireless controllers, somewhat poorly designed, is too high a price to pay.

Messiah would have been better off by putting the crosshair D-pad on its wired D-pads and its wireless D-pads. Maybe they never realized, but the NES Max was not the best controller for many, many great games for precisely this reason.

One thing I would have liked to see in the review is shots of games in action.

From another portion of the review:
"In all the games we played, we were unable to notice graphical glitches or slowdown, a marked improvement over most emulator programs."

I guess they didn't try any of the games on Messiah's compatibility list. As for slowdown on emulator programs, what sort of systems do they run these emulators on? Nintendulator is pretty demanding, but can run even MMC5 games at a full 60fps on a P4 2.0GHz. IGN probably uses such systems as doorstops and paperweights.

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Let me be the first to say that I find the trend of referring to video game systems as "sexy" incredibly disturbing. This snippet from the Nex review illustrates why:

[quote]No more funky door and drop-down slot like the NES. Just jam it in the hole and do your thing.[/quote]

JR

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I still think the Great Hierophant is someone we all know. Maybe not personally and certainly not in the Biblical sense, but I think most of us know him in one way or another.

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[quote]I still think the Great Hierophant is someone we all know. Maybe not personally and certainly not in the Biblical sense, but I think most of us know him in one way or another.[/quote]

believe it or not he talks exactly like that in person...

at the last trademeet i made an offhand remark about the NES toploader having good enough video quality for me. next thing you know he makes a bee-line for my gameroom where he hooks up a toploader and pulls slamon off my shelf to make a point about the faint bars. years earlier i recall him doing a similar thing with a game gear and a master gear. what you read is what you get.

the man himself (L) discussing games with fellow atariager bcrsp ®

[img]http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a133/christianscott27/video%20games/necgVI.jpg[/img]

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[quote]believe it or not he talks exactly like that in person...[/quote]

Only at Trademeets, where the conversants can actually understand what I am talking about, if not necessarily appreciate it. Otherwise I'd be talking to myself.

[quote]at the last trademeet i made an offhand remark about the NES toploader having good enough video quality for me. next thing you know he makes a bee-line for my gameroom where he hooks up a toploader and pulls slamon off my shelf to make a point about the faint bars. years earlier i recall him doing a similar thing with a game gear and a master gear. what you read is what you get.
[/quote]

I'm sorry about that, I hope I haven't poisoned your enjoyment of your top loader (i.e. by noticing the lines every time you use it.)

If the console passes the Slalom test, showing solid gray on the ski slopes (preferably on a large screen) instead of stripey gray, then it shows a clean video signal. (You can use other carts I suppose, but Slalom is the best cart I know of for displaying the flaw quickly and noticeably if you are unsure if the console or clone has the problem.) I believe the NEX does not have a stripey graphics problem, although someone should try it. The top loader can now be modified to remove the stripey graphics. Edited by Great Hierophant

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I read this review also, and found it to be rubbish. The opinions of over-hyped strictly modern gamers should mean nothing to any of us. Throughout the review, they are comparing the NEX to what, other emulators? Who cares? When was the last time you touched a real NES guys? Give me the opinion of a gamer who knows and appreciates an NES system and maybe I’d listen. Actually no I wouldn’t. Since both my NESs work perfectly, the NEX is nothing more to me than an interesting oddity really. Plus if it's old school and IGN likes it, it must be shit Edited by figgler

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[quote]I'm sorry about that, I hope I haven't poisoned your enjoyment of your top loader (i.e. by noticing the lines every time you use it.)
[/quote]

nah, no worries.

i just dont care that much about finer graphic details on a system as old as the NES. its about the gameplay and nostalgia for me, the video signal is a bit down the road. its never pronounced enough to be distracting to me. now for the xbox yeah i use the VGA box because theres that level of detail in the graphics.

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I don't have a Nex. That review has to be something out of gamefaqs or gamepro. When smaller and sexier important for a game system? When was the last time they played a real nes? The didn't mention the games that there were problems with.

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One thing I forgot to mention. They mention that the NEX supports dual-mono with two RCA jacks. The NES has one RCA jack for its mono audio. However, on my TV, if you plug the cable into the similarly-colored jack in the back of the TV set, you will hear sound out of both speakers. If you plug the cable into the wrong speaker jack, you will hear sound out of only one speaker (one side of the TV.) I think most audio devices do this these days.

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This sentence stuck out like a sore:
[quote]Games look just as bad, or retro-awesome depending on your perspective, as they did 20 years ago.[/quote]
Made me wonder what the reviewer was expecting. There is a definite sarcastic tone in this review. I'll bet if his peers accepted the NEX as "cool" he would be singing to a different tune.

[quote name='Jess Ragan' date='Wed Dec 21, 2005 7:14 AM']Let me be the first to say that I find the trend of referring to video game systems as "sexy" incredibly disturbing.  This snippet from the Nex review illustrates why:
[quote]No more funky door and drop-down slot like the NES. Just jam it in the hole and do your thing.[/quote]
JR[/quote]
I dismiss that as the recent pop culture fad. Like someone else said, the reviewer is trying to sound witty and appeal to a different crowd. Edited by Dones

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[quote name='Great Hierophant' date='Wed Dec 21, 2005 12:29 PM']One thing I forgot to mention.  They mention that the NEX supports dual-mono with two RCA jacks.  The NES has one RCA jack for its mono audio.  However, on my TV, if you plug the cable into the similarly-colored jack in the back of the TV set, you will hear sound out of both speakers.  If you plug the cable into the wrong speaker jack, you will hear sound out of only one speaker (one side of the TV.)  I think most audio devices do this these days.
[right][snapback]986711[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

I need a splitter for mine... then again the sound is going to a reciever, so that's different.

yeah that review was almost like, the NEX was asking for a review, so they gave it, but we're going to bash against the fans also.

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[quote name='Dones' date='Wed Dec 21, 2005 3:18 PM']
This sentence stuck out like a sore:
[quote]Games look just as bad, or retro-awesome depending on your perspective, as they did 20 years ago.[/quote]

Not to mention it doesn't make a whole tonne of sense. How is it that NES graphics looked retro 20 years ago? Idiots. All of them

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When this "retro" fad dies, the same idiots will go back to gushing over rubbish. Take their "reviews" with a grain of kosher salt.

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The review reads like an advertisement. I wouldn't trust them for accurate and critical reviews of gaming hardware or software after this one. The review is full of tons of misleading information, as pointed out by Great Hierophant. A positive review is fine, as long as it is grounded in reality. Edited by Jagasian

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[quote name='Great Hierophant' date='Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:29 AM']One thing I forgot to mention.  They mention that the NEX supports dual-mono with two RCA jacks.  The NES has one RCA jack for its mono audio.  However, on my TV, if you plug the cable into the similarly-colored jack in the back of the TV set, you will hear sound out of both speakers.  If you plug the cable into the wrong speaker jack, you will hear sound out of only one speaker (one side of the TV.)  I think most audio devices do this these days.
[right][snapback]986711[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

Actually, it's backwards.

As the NES existed before stereo AV ports, there wasn't a standard color-coding.
NES thus uses red for the audio, which is the standard for right channel now.
Left channel, or white, is the standard mono plug.
So if you just match colors, you get right audio only.
...
That COULD be why so many people think they NEED a splitter or a mystical 2-in-1 voodoo cable to do it.

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[quote name='JB' date='Wed Dec 21, 2005 11:24 PM']As the NES existed before stereo AV ports, there wasn't a standard color-coding.
NES thus uses red for the audio, which is the standard for right channel now.
Left channel, or white, is the standard mono plug.
So if you just match colors, you get right audio only.
...
That COULD be why so many people think they NEED a splitter or a mystical 2-in-1 voodoo cable to do it.
[right][snapback]987181[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

I didn't know that plugging a mono cable into the white plug on a stereo TV will cause the audio to be output of both speakers. I just used a mono-to-stereo cable. They aren't expensive at all, but I guess they are less common than the normal RCA cables, which I have literally a big box full of.

Also, why are all of the positive NEX reviews the same, and based on the same misinformation? Here are the similarities that I have noticed in the NEX-reviews-that-look-like-advertisements:

1. NEX can RCA composite video, while the NES can't
2. NEX can do dual mono, while the NES can't
3. NEX can support wireless controllers, while the NES can't
4. NEX can play Famicom games, while the NES can't
5. NEX can play games without blinking problems, while the NES can't
6. NEX has no noticable compatibility problems, AV differences, or glitches compared to the NES

Each one of these is not true, as stated many times before, when compared to a professionally refurbished NES, which is better than the NEX in every way, including price. So the question remains, why do all of the positive reviews repeat the same misinformation? Also, even if you don't care about these things, why spend twice as much on a NEX, when an original NES is capable of meeting your low standards? Hell, you could save even more money, with your low standards, and buy a cheapy NES clone like the USA Version Neo Fami. Edited by Jagasian

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Anyone know if this thing can take a Famicom Disk System adatper? If it can take a Famicom game it should, but who knows? Also, does it have the Japanese aux slot for the keyboard? I'd love to actually break that puppy out...

Tempest

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no aux ports for the keyboard, only US controller ports. but it does support the disk system.

[url="http://www.playmessiah.com/images/onlinestore/NEX/Messiah_NEX_FCdisksystem.jpg"]http://www.playmessiah.com/images/onlinest...Cdisksystem.jpg[/url]

actualy, jag, I've never seen the reviews say the nes doesn't do stuff, just that the NEX has these features. I must admit it is misleading, but I think it is more ignorance, than intentional.

The "I'm an important person with an informed opinion" blogger craze, has screwed alot of things up. I think that these people are the ones that get hired for editorial magazines nowdays. Just cuz you can write in a "wacky and entertaining to some" way, doesn't mean you have the credentials to write about something.

Hey look at me! I can write funny quips about stuff, and I like cars, let me write reviews about the latest car stuff without any comparison to its peers or predecessors! **looks at Super Street magazine**

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Nice. I'd get one if it was 100% compatible with all the NES games, but at least 5% of them seem to have problems or don't work (true they're mostly crappy non-licensed games, but still...). I really see no reason to give up my trusty toaster for one of these things.

Tempest

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Teknik,

The review of the video in the IGN article says that the NEX's "composite video is a step up compared to the NES's original RF. Otherwise identical to NES quality". While they don't explicitly say that the original NES cannot also do composite video, which I might add is of better quality than the NEX's composite video, it is definitely implied by those two sentences that the NEX's video quality is better than the NES's because the NEX uses composite and the NES uses RF.

If the reviewer has never used a real NES, then how can they claim that the video quality is otherwise identical to the NES's? Hence they are definitely lying about the video quality, unless you believe that they compared it to a real NES, yet somehow neglected to notice the glaringly obvious composite RCA jacks on the side of the NES during their comparison.

So the question is, why would they make such a blatently false statement? Edited by Jagasian

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[quote name='Jagasian' date='Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:52 PM']Teknik,

The review of the video in the IGN article says that the NEX's "composite video is a step up compared to the NES's original RF.  Otherwise identical to NES quality".  While they don't explicitly say that the original NES cannot also do composite video, which I might add is of better quality than the NEX's composite video, it is definitely implied by those two sentences that the NEX's video quality is better than the NES's because the NEX uses composite and the NES uses RF.

If the reviewer has never used a real NES, then how can they claim that the video quality is otherwise identical to the NES's?  Hence they are definitely lying about the video quality, unless you believe that they compared it to a real NES, yet somehow neglected to notice the glaringly obvious composite RCA jacks on the side of the NES during their comparison.

So the question is, why would they make such a blatently false statement?
[right][snapback]987480[/snapback][/right]
[/quote]

The newer redesigned NES could only do RF, maybe this is the one the review was familiar with?

Tempest

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While its possible the reviewer only used a Top Loader back in the day, which is RF only, I sincerely doubt it. I believe that the reviewer did use a front loader back in the day and like most people used the RF switch. Only high end TVs had composite video jacks back in the day. He wouldn't be the first person to forget that the NES had composite video RCA jacks. Composite video is better than RF, as it is, so if he does know or forgot then his statement that the NEX has better video quality than the NES is a reasonable one. This is indicative of IGN's fact-checking abilities and sloppy reviewing.

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With all the comparisons between the NEX and a professionally refurbed NES, it makes me wonder (1)what gets refurbished in an NES besides the cart slot when you send one in instead of DIY-ing it, and (2)how much it actually costs to send one off.

Mine has blinkentoasteritis, and even though I bent the pins back out Kung Fu (of all games) and SMB3 just refuse to play without serious coaxing.

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