Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from April, 2021

RG351V: ArkOS is Now Supported Again!

Game On! The great news keeps coming for Anbernic's RG351V. They surprisingly (and correctly) started sharing source codes with developers although they waited until the device was already launched but the system is getting a lot of developer support now.  ArkOS was previously announced as no longer supporting the RG351V but it looks like the developer has changed their mind. This is awesome news!   I'll be keeping a close eye on further developments. In the budget realm as long as you like vertical handhelds and don't need a right thumb-stick (most people don't), the 351V is an excellent buy.  https://www.retrokezins.com/2021/04/arkos-will-no-longer-support-anbernic.html

RG351V: New SakuraRetroModding Themes

Looks like SakuraRetroModding has added some new options to the RG351V modding face-lifts available.  I have ordered twice from the SRM store on Etsy and have been impressed with the quality, packaging, marketing, etc. You are definitely definitely getting a quality product with a lot of nice touches to the transaction. It looks like I might have to place another order soon. Check out the store at the link below.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/SakuraRetroModding

Persona 5 Strikers Has Sold 1.3 Million Copies

It looks like Persona 5 Strikers is a success with gamers.  I enjoyed my first playthroygh of the game. It was shorter than I expected and completed my first playthrough in around 34 hours of gameplay.  My opinions of the game are somewhat mixed but mostly favorable. I originally thought the game would just end up being Dynasty Warriors with a Persona paint job but it really did become a game that can stand on its own apart from both.  I feel like it would have been a lot better had they retained more of the life-sim elements of Persona and mini-games. If I were reviewing the game (which I decided not to), I'd probably score it between a 7.5/10 or 8/10. A highly disappointing late change to the game was removing screen capture ability in the latest Switch update. That's not a huge deal but it is disappointing to remove a feature after selling the game. I took a lot of screen captures for the first 80% of the game and unwisely updated the software not realizing the u

199 Handheld Coming Soon? (Android)

Image from Retromimi.com   It's starting to look like the "199 Handheld" might be coming out pretty soon. If anyone is curious about what the price will be, it's $199.  For a while I was suspicious that it might end up as sad vaporware but things are actually progressing from the looks of things. I'm not majorly interested in this considering when it comes to dedicated handhelds for emulation I tend to stick to the budget handhelds ($125 and below) but the 199 Handheld certainly seems like it is worth the price.  Taki Udon posted an interested video the other day previewing some of the capabilities the system has. Hit the link below to check out out.  https://youtu.be/kHH8oSne6a0

Evercade VS Is An Interesting Option

I wasn't particularly interested in the Evercade handheld due to quality issues but the licensed cartridge collecting did seem interesting.  Now they are back with Evercade VS a home retro game console that uses the same cartridges as the handheld portable. Hit the link below for more info. The console does look good in photos so its something that has caught my attention.  https://evercade.co.uk/vs

Atari Humble Bundle Still Avaiable at $9.99

Not particularly a great deal but the Atari bundle is still up on Humble Bundle for $9.99. 80 games for $9.99 isn't bad but odds are most heavy gamers already have all of these. Regardless I'm a big fan of Humble Bundle over the years and they are are a big reason I have a huge collection of Steam games most of which I'll probably never play but it's for charity. Lol.  https://www.humblebundle.com/store/atari-80-classic-games-in-one

PowKiddy RGB10 Max at $119.99: Buy or Pass?

The RGB10 Max is interesting and from photos the build quality looks OK but I think I'm going to pass on it for now... Too many RK3326 chip devices already in my collection and the screen size here isn't very optimal for most Vintage/Retro systems. It would be one thing if the RK3326 chip ran PSP games really well but they only run some PSP games decently.  Spec-wise and looks-wise the RGB10 Max is mainly an Odroid Go Super Clone. It will be interesting to see how much of a clone it is and if it will run custom OGS firmwares. My guess is that it will. I think if I find one in the future for under $100 I'd probably consider picking one up. Instead of an OGS clone, I wish PowKiddy had upgraded the RGB20 instead. Prices right now start at $119.99 for the RGB20 Max on AliExpress. 

Anbernic RG99: Should You Buy It?

The Anbernic RG99 (RG-99) has been popping up in a lot of sales notices lately especially on AliExpress mostly between $28.56 and $34.99 which is definitely less than it was going for in 2020.  Should you buy it? The firm answer is NO. It's ok but it's simply not even worth $30 at this point. Better to save your money and pick up an RG300 around $50. They both look very similar but under the hood, the RG99 is very much obsolete.  It performs somewhere on the level of retro handhelds that were dropping 8-9+ years ago. The chip in it according to Obscure Handhelds is 16 years old. It also doesn't have a built in secondary SD. It looks like the 99's chip runs at 360MHz vs the 600MHz you'd get with the 300.  https://obscurehandhelds.com/2020/03/the-rg99-isnt-what-it-looks-like/ I'm not really sure how low I'd go on a 99. If it was $20 I might consider it. Hopefully no one gets confused and picks up an RG99 thinking it's the same as the RG300.  It

PAC-MAN 99 Is Better & Worse Than Reviewers Are Saying

So far I like PAC-MAN 99 but it's not the 8/10 or 9/10 game a lot of reviewers are raving about. In a lot of ways its a step backwards for the "99" Series. I think if I were to do a full review on it, I'd think about scoring it somewhere around a 7/10 tops.  Oddly a lot of reviewers who are wildly praising the game complain that it doesn't have a tutorial explaining mechanics. Personally I find that to be a positive. Do reviewers even remember when games didn't have tutorials and you had to figure out the mechanics by playing and figuring it out? Probably not I'm guessing.  I also find it a bit bizarre for people to review a game they don't understand the mechanics of.. As a 40th anniversary to a game that didn't have a tutorial built in, I find it to be appropriate to not have one here. It seems a lot of reviewers struggled to figure out the strategy mechanics etc but it's really need not that hard to figure out after an hour or tw

GameForce RK3326 Almost Ready For Sale

UPDATE:  https://www.retrokezins.com/2021/05/gameforce-rk3326-order-site-up.html I've been hyped for the GameForce RK3326 for a while now. From the sounds of the chatter on the topic, it looks like it will be on sale very soon. It will reportedly be available at the URL gameforce.fun .  Screenshot from Discord While this handheld is a little late to the RK3326 chip game it still has a few things going for it including form factor (it looks very ergonomic), unique look, light up buttons you can turn on or off and it will be the only not vertical RK3326 with a 4:3 screen. The last I heard the screen was plastic laminate not glass but the price was rumored to launch at $89.99. Hopefully it sticks to that price range.  Over the past few months they've tweaked the build a bit with a different d-pad. Another reason I'm highly interested in this handheld is that it was designed and put together by an individual (Gao Feng) not a company so it will be nice to support a m

PieReader Gives Vintage Gamers a 100% Legal Online Multi-player Option

I've been keeping an eye on PiePacker and PieReader projects and have to say the potential is definitely very interesting.  PiePacker is a service with licensed online multiplayer games and PieReader is hardware that allows you to plug in old cartridges and play them online with a friend (only one player needs the cartridge).  A separate adapter will be needed for different consoles.  https://piepacker.com/ What I really like about the PieReader project is that this is a 100% legal way to play an old game with a friend online and not grey area legally like ROMs are... The sad thing is that this is coming at a time when purchasing retro/vintage cartridges has gone way up in price (due to social distancing and the pandemic) but this does offer a cool way to play an old cartridge with friends and only one of you needs the cartridge for it to work.  We are currently less than 9 days away from the launch of the Kickstarter for this project!  April 20th is when backing the pr

Retro Gaming Purchases I'm Waiting On

I'm always buying and trading gaming accessories, consoles and games. I'm not waiting on many orders at the moment but I do have a couple Etsy purchases on the way.  Probably the purchase I anticipate receiving the most is some PSX (color) style RG351 face buttons from the well known SakuraRetroModding on Etsy. Over the past few years,  Etsy has become a great spot for picking up modding accessories.  I also purchased a set of repositionable back stickers for the RG351V just to give it a little fancier look on the back. A lot of people purchase adhesive stickers to cover up the Anbernic logos on the front of devices top but I happen to like the Anbernic logo.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/SakuraRetroModding The final thing I'm waiting on is a PowKiddy D19 console (Nintendo Famicom knockoff) from AliExpress.  The one I ordered was only $22.48 and not the HDMI option variety which is fine by me because I planned to test it out on our old CRT T

3 Obviously Not Great SBC Handhelds I'm Tempted To Buy Anyway

I find it pretty unlikely that this "Chicken Boi" as it has been coined by gamers on Reddit would actually be any good but it's ridiculous enough that it might make a nice addition to the collection.   https://www.reddit.com/r/SBCGaming/comments/m1fxqz/has_anyone_pulled_the_trigger_on_the_chicken_boi/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share These type of consoles/personal fans have been around a while. I haven't pulled the trigger on buying one but I'm sure I will eventually.  This one I honestly don't know anything about. It looks cheap and probably is not very good but the design is kind of interesting. I don't think I'd pay $30+ but if I ever see one for $15 or less I'll get it just to check it out.  

RG351V: TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine Settings (Stock Firmware)

Other 351V System Settings: SEGA CD This post is intended for newcomers to the world of retro handhelds. While not a very popular system in North America, the TurboGrafx-16 has a really fun library of games worth checking out for anyone who hasn't played on it.  I've experimented with the settings for TG16/PCE games on the 351V and these are the optimal settings. (Stock Firmware) MAIN MENU>GAME SETTINGS>PER SYSTEM ADVANCED CONFIGURATION>NEC PC ENGINE Emulator: Libetro/Mednafen Supergrafx * Game Ratio: 4/3 Bezel: No  Enable Max Performance: Yes Smooth Games: On  Rewind: Off (personal pref) Auto Save/Load: Off (personal p) Shader: RPI/2XScaleHQ.GLSLP* Integer Scale: On  Latency Reduction: Auto  *Note: Mednafen Supergrafx performs noticeably better than Mednafen PCE Fast with most games on this device.  The 2X Scale looks nice and crisp as well but it should be noted that with this sharp screen it looks great without a shader too. 3X and 4X Scale s

RG351V: SEGA CD Emulation Settings For The Screen

RG351V SEGA CD Settings  (Stock Firmware)  Other Systems: TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine This post's intended audience is newcomers to Anbernic devices. If you are an emulation veteran and used a 351P/M before there's probably not much here for you. If I had to grade SEGA CD performance on the 351V using optimized setting it would get a 9/10 score from me.  Out of the box with no adjustments at all to the settings, SEGA CD runs a little funky on the 351V but that can all be adjusted easily. In general on a tiny screen I generally avoid using shades (personal preference) but using one is almost necessary particularly for games like Batman Returns in the driving sequences. There are multiple ways to adjust settings but the easiest and most reliable way is to just go to PER SYSYEM ADVANCED CONFIGURATION and set up custom options for every system.  The settings I use: MAIN MENU>GAME SETTINGS>PER SYSTEM ADVANCED CONFIGURATION>SEGA CD Emulator- Auto Your opt

PowKiddy X18S Release Date? End of April...

PowKiddy X18S Goes on Sale at the End of April, 2021.  The highly anticipated PowKiddy X18S was originally believed to be ready for release by March and they delayed until a possible mid-April launch. I shot them a message a few hours back asking about any developments and I was told that it WILL be on sale by the end of this month. No word on exact shipping date but it should be shortly after.  I'm sure the original delays likely had to do with various chips and parts shortages that are well-known.  On paper the X18S blows the X18 out of the water and will give the lower tier GPD devices a run for their money. My main curiosity will be how clean the Android build for the X18S will be. The build was an issue with the X18.  If the X18S running Android 10 stays in the $150 price range as some have guessed it will, it will certainly deserve a look considering it will be powerful enough to emulate Gamecube games etc and should have no problem at all running N64, DS and PSP

ArkOS Will No Longer Support Anbernic RG351 Devices (UPDATE: ArkOS Developer Retracted Original Plan & Decided to Support It)

***UPDATE April 28***: ArkOS Supported Again https://www.retrokezins.com/2021/04/rg351v-arkos-is-now-supported-again.html https://github.com/christianhaitian/arkos/wiki/Announcement Sad news but ArkOS will no longer be supporting Anbernic's 351 devices (351P/351M/351V).  This could be a big blow to Anbernic and the newly released RG351V leaving the firmware options between the stock firmware, one ArkOS release, 351ELEC, Batocera or TheRA. As things stand at the moment I feel like the custom firmware Retro Arcade is the most promising for the 351V. It is nice that ArkOS will go ahead and still release one firmware for the 351V though.  My personal opinion is that ArkOS is the top firmware option for the 351P/M as it is significantly better (while still flawed) with DS, PSP Dreamcast and N64 emulation than the other options.  Official Statement   Please be aware that by the end of this month, I will no longer be further developing or providing updates to ArkOS for the 351

Retro (Vintage) Game Price Surge

The above graphic from  http://www.racketboy.com/  shows just how much the average price of vintage games has gone up in just 3 years.  Instead of investing in stocks,  perhaps people should have been buying up Gamecube and TG16-CD games.  What's causing the vintage gaming boom?  The popular theory is that the social distancing and quarantine during Covid-19 in 2020 increased the amount of collecting people do and the amount of in home gaming going on. Demand for retro and vintage games naturally caused a soaring spike in prices.  Nostalgia and online shopping have definitely seen a big comeback over the past year. In addition to people wanting to play original classics on original hardware,  emulation has also seen a big boom with handheld SBC Gaming Consoles seeing a huge increase in quality over the past year.  Some believe the trend will end but I'm not so sure. Life is not going back to "normal" post Covid and the retro gaming boom has enough momentum

Super Mario 64 Stable 60FPS Port to Abernic RG351P

Pretty cool find on YouTube and Facebook I saw earlier from Retro Game Corps on a method to port Super Mario 64 to the RG351P and soon RG351. Pretty exciting tutorial here. Hit the link below.  The 351P wasn't all that great when it first came out but it's getting better and better all the time with the retro community support its getting.  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w5PSw19_SEo&feature=youtu.be

20 Years of Tropico (PC/Mac Game)

Hard to believe but Tropico just turned 20 years old today.  April 5, 2001 was the day this unique knockoff of Civilization/Sim City hit the PC/Mac gaming world. Its almost unfair to call the game a knockoff as the series is  much better than Sim City ever was.  My exposure to Tropico didn't start until Tropico 3 on Steam and I've purchased each game that has come out in the series up to the latest Tropico 6. Between 3, 4, 5 and 6, 6 is definitely my favorite. One thing the series has done well is incrementally improve with each release.  In essence each game is a construction and management SIM with political and strategy elements where the player manages a fictional Caribbean island named Tropico from the Cold War up to modern times. The game presentation is tongue-in-cheek humor in each game and not to be taken too seriously while at the same time some serious topics are addressed. The primary goal of the game is to stay in power and manage relationships with for

351Elec Now Available For The 351V

*Update 4/5/21* So far WiFi doesn't work worth the RG351V using the latest 351ELEC and RetroArch has issues. I imagine things will be ironed out pretty soon though.  Pretty big news on the RG351V front with Anbernic finally releasing the source code for the 351V to developers. We should see a lot of rapid developments because of that. 351ELEC  is now an optional Firmware choice for the 351V.  I can't wait to experiment around with this throughout the week.  Not releasing source codes on these devices makes life and work harder for independent developers so it's great to see Anbernic did the right thing here!  Check out the info here:  https://github.com/351ELEC/351ELEC Excellent find by Retro Game Corps . 

Star Wars: Episode I Racer (Dreamcast) Turns 21 Years Old

Hard to believe but Star Wars: Episode I Racer was launched on the SEGA Dreamcast 21 years ago today.  The Dreamcast is probably my favorite console of all- time despite it never living up to its potential.  The game was originally released for Windows in 1999 but the Dreamcast version is the one people have the most fond memories from.  The game recently received an HD re-release for the Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One in 2020.  Official original description:  Relive all the thrills and excitement of the Podracer sequence from Star Wars: Episode I. Hang on tight - with afterburners on, Podracers max out at a simulated 600 mph! Race in furious competition against 21+ opponents. Take on over 21 tracks on 8 unique worlds. Avoid hazards such as methane leaks, meteor showers and Tusken Raiders! Spectacular 3D environments. Vehicle sound effects and soundtrack taken directly from Episode I.

Review: Retro-Bit Tribute N64 USB Controller

Retro-Bit Tribute N64 USB Controller Review  Overall Score: 8.5/10 I was never a huge fan of the Nintendo 64 Controller although I liked certain aspects of it and I was a big fan of the N64.  The Retro-Bit Tribute N64 USB controller had been sitting in my eBay watchlist for a while and decided to go ahead and buy it for $18.95 (Free Shipping) on a whim to test out on Mac, PC, and Nintendo Switch.  The MSRP for the controller is $24.99. Photos of mine in this review are unedited and straight off the camera as is.  The Good  A more modern design that's easier to use than the original N64 controller depending on your preferences.  Large thumb-stick.  Rumble Pak compatible.  Layout is close enough to the original that gameplay with it feels authentic.  Two Z buttons (one can easily be programmed for a new function.  Lightweight But Sturdy.  Controller immediately recognized by OSX, Windows 10 or Nintendo Switch. The Bad:  The controller is very small and almost cramped for