FC30 Review

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Ryukouki, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    I always wanted a more accurate way to play my platforming retro games or older generation Game Boy Advance games on my mobile phone. I tend to get bored before or during lecture and I would whip the Samsung Galaxy S4 out to play around. Having gotten my paws on an FC30, I can say that the experience that I desired has arrived.


    I had gotten my hands on a review unit (Thanks to the FC30 team) as a way to begin a foray into Bluetooth mobile gaming. The controller was designed after the Famicom system's controller, to celebrate its 30th anniversary. It has a fairly nice appearance and little heft, which makes it a perfect portable companion that's easy to slip into a small bag and forget about. This appearance, though, somewhat hampers the overall experience. More on that later though.


    The FC30 comes in a rather nice package. It is simple, it has some nice detailing that prevents it from looking bland, and a small freebie keychain. It's not an entirely bad haul, and the packaging was durable to survive a trip around the world.

    x1 Famicom FC30 controller
    x1 Micro USB to USB cable
    x1 Famicom controller "casing" and phone stand
    x1 Promotional keychain

    Setting Up the FC30

    Part of me was very eager and wanted to dive in right away into playing all the retro games. Sadly, mine ran out of juice and I needed to charge it. I charged it with one of those old USB cubes I had laying around, so after about an hour or so, I decided to go have some fun with it.

    Setting up is a breeze, at least. All I had to do was go to my Bluetooth menu and turn it on and after a few moments my system detected the controller. After hitting "Pair" I was able to start playing. It sometimes required me to enter an access code to properly pair, but the code is "0000" so that's easy.

    Build Quality

    This is where the FC30 needs improvement on. It's a nice design overall, I won't deny that. It has a painted aluminum portion that's done in a nice shade of gold, and the rest in red plastic. The buttons felt a bit cheap, especially the directional pad and shoulders. One of my biggest concerns is that the directional pad tended to move around quite a bit. I think that if the FC30 were to improve, the team should focus on a better implementation of the directional pad and shoulder buttons.

    The shoulder buttons were also extremely loud. They had a nice responsiveness, but the click was very loud. These buttons had a rather cheap feeling to them as well, which was unfortunate, more than likely to do with the fact that the controller wanted to stay true to the original Famicom dimensions.

    Ease of Use

    The controller is very easy to set up! It has a nice responsiveness in game with no input lag, thankfully. However, its staying true to its Famicom roots slightly hurts it because the controller is TINY. I have fairly large hands. I can reach across a piano for about ten keys with little to no concern. This controller, which is about the same size as the original Famicom, is therefore a bit uncomfortable to hold for an adult. I often found my hands cramping after about an hour of use.

    The mini stand that comes with the controller is a nice touch. It is a nice way to give the phone a slant for better viewing angles. It also doubles as a mini shield casing for the controller.

    Does the Famicom FC30 Do Its Job?

    In a nutshell, yes. Connecting is easy, and takes less than a minute to do. The input is fluid, and responsive to my actions in game with no lag.

    Is This Purchase Going to be Worthwhile?

    That depends on you. Do you intend to game hard on it? I will warn you again that it's a bit tiny. It prices at $40 USD, which may seem a bit expensive for a bluetooth controller. It is not a bad device by any means, but its roots in the old Famicom days ended up hurting the controller as its size is a tad smaller than what I am comfortable with. Some of the buttons could also use modifications as they often feel cheap, or make loud clicking noises. I would recommend purchasing this controller as a means of enjoying several generation's worth of retro classics, platformers, and slightly recent titles such as the Game Boy Advance series games, depending on the strength of your phone.

    Photo Gallery


    I just want to give a shout out to the FC30 team for sending me this unit. It's a wonderful unit that, once polished, has a chance to be a really nice Bluetooth controller. I'm hoping to see some of the criticisms that reviewers had come to light and go under the knife, so to speak, and get adjusted. Easy recommendation for a mobile phone gamer, and I would personally recommend trying to get your hands on one of them!
    Devin likes this.
  2. Devin

    Devin "Local Hardware Wizard"

    GBAtemp Patron
    Devin is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Aug 17, 2009
    United States
    The Nexus
    Nice review. I was curious to see what other FC30 devices showed up as. The ones we got showed as "GBAtemp FC30". My only quirk is the plastic feeling a bit weak.
  3. Ryukouki

    Ryukouki See you later, guys.

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States

    Yeah, the plastic definitely feels a bit cheaper than I would have liked it to. :/
  4. qwertyuiopasdfghjkl
    This message by qwertyuiopasdfghjkl has been removed from public view by Costello, Sep 26, 2013.
    Sep 26, 2013
  5. pengpeng

    pengpeng Member

    Jun 9, 2009
    Hong Kong
    :lol:it's a nice controller
  6. kenenthk

    kenenthk Custom Title

    May 26, 2013
    Burkina Faso
    I have one that came in all dented up, but hey it still works nice.
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