Super Retro-Cade Console Review: No Quarters Required
The nostalgic home gaming trend continues in 2017 with Retro-Bit’s offering of the Super Retro-Cade, which like Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic consoles, aims to return many gamers to their gaming past with a diminutive piece of hardware. The Super Retro-Cade retails for $59.99, and it comes with 90 installed games, an HDMI cable, and two USB wired controllers with 10-foot cables. Unlike Nintendo’s nostalgia machines, the Super Retro-Cade also comes with RCA jacks for older TVs, as well as a SD slot, which can be used to transfer game saves, and possibly for future DLC offerings from Retro-Bit.
In terms of setup this thing is a breeze and you’ll be up and playing some of the most iconic arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s in minutes. The UI is very basic and easy to navigate. It can also be streamlined through filters if you want to only see your favorites instead of all 90 titles at once. Each game also has up to three internal save slots, as well as the ability place save states on an SD card.
Booting up games doesn’t take any time at all, so getting into the nostalgic arcade action this console provides takes no time at all. The games look like old ass games, but what do you expect? These aren’t remasters, but they do get a resolution bump when using an HDMI connection, so the visuals were fine and I did appreciate seeing them in full screen on my 65-inch TV.
While you’re playing a game you can hit the controller’s two shoulder buttons and start and select at the same time to pull up an in-game menu. This menu allows you to save or load game states for the game you’re playing, and it also allows you to get back to the main menu ver quickly. I love this feature, which the SNES Classic leaves out for some reason unless you use a hack or an old Wii standard controller. This feature comes in handy, because if you didn’t grow up in the 80’s and early 90’s playing games, you may not be aware of how difficult some of them could be, so having a quick eject feature to get into a new game if one is frustrating you is a great feature.
In terms of gameplay I’m not going to go over all 90 titles, but I can tell you that mostly all of them control quite well, or as tightly as they did in the arcade or on an 8-16 bit console. Games come from Capcom, DataEast, Iremand, and Technos. A heavy batch of them are the arcade versions of the game, so they look and play a bit differently than their console ports, which was cool to experience, because a lot of these titles never made it to American arcades. Games branded as arcade games also require you to enter quarters by hitting select, so you can technically have never ending lives, which adds a bit of fun for people like me that aren’t trying to overly challenge themselves with old arcade games.
You can see the full list of available titles for the Super Retro-Cade below, but if you want a few recommendations I have those for you too. I absolutely loved playing Boogie wings, Captain Commando, Commando, Double Dragon, Fighter’s Fury, Forgotten Worlds, Kid Niki Radical Ninja, and Blade Master. Some of those titles are blatant ripoffs of other major games from the era such as Fighter’s Fury, which is literally a bootleg of Street Fighter. These games just provide quick entertainment and plenty of challenge, but they also tug on your inner-nostalgia, so it’s hard to not enjoy them even if they keep kicking your ass. Of course prominent franchises like Final Fight and Mega Man are represented on this console, so I would wager there’s at least a few games packed in for all types of gamers.
If you were more of an arcade rat while growing up and gaming and bucked the home console market, then the Super Retro-Cade should be a micro-console worth looking into. It’s packed with iconic and eclectic games from the pixelized-era of gaming, and it works with modern displays to make the games look as good as they possibly can 30-plus years after their release. The price is just about right at $59.99, and the inclusion of a SD card slot opens up even more potential for the console and hackers. Best of all, it’s readily available and can be shipped in time for the Holidays!
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