This is where I review games, consoles and other retrogaming adjacent items. Enjoy!
 
 
 
Review - Ms. Pac-man Arcade 1UP Countercade - February 10 2021 - by: Rocky Raccoon
 
 

For Christmas, I got an Arcade 1UP Ms. Pac-Man Countercade. Last year, I had bought a 1up Space Invaders stand up Arcade. I'm going to compare both units a little bit at the end of this- for those wondering over one or the other! So let's get down to the Countercade first! As I got it as a gift, I'm hesitant to state the price, but I understand mine cost 125$. It may had been on sale at the time.

The Countercade comes assembled in a cardboard box. You merely need to unpack it and plug it in. I found this really easy to setup. It's also not very heavy and is easily moved around. It is not battery powered and needs to be plugged into the wall to get power.

The unit itself is solidly built. Mine accidentally fell off a table and landed on it's flat right side the day I got it. I picked it up, turned it on to see if it broke and everything worked just fine, no issues! No breakage. I would still not suggest throwing this across the room. But I'm glad it did not crack or break the unit the one time it dropped.

The controls are a mixed bag. The joystick clearly has a micro-switch, but the buttons do not, and have that mushy feeling, which can feel a little tactility wrong. They do serve their purpose well enough. The control surface doesn't feel cramped, despite the small size of the unit. The screen is a little small, and I wish it was larger. But it's perfectly serviceable for the countercade unit otherwise.

There are four games on the unit, which I consider a great value. Ms. Pac-Man, the star of the unit, Pac-Man Plus, Galaga and Dig Dug II. The games are the arcade versions as expected of the Arcade 1-up units. They play as you expect each game to play without any problems.

As a comparison to the larger Space Invaders- the countercade did not need long, complicated, exasperating assembly. The volume on the countercade also works as it does on a TV, with a meter where you can set to a variety of acceptable volumes instead of just the Space Invader's 'LOUD!' 'Less Loud!' and 'Mute.'. I would probably had bought the Space Invaders Countercade had it existed at the time.

Overall, I give the Ms. Pac-Man countercade a 9 out of 10 Wakka-Wakka-Wakkas.

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PocketGo v2.1 Review - November 27 2020 - by: Rocky Raccoon
 
 

It's now time to talk about the Bittboy PocketGo V2.1 as I alluded to in my original Bittboy review! I meant to get to this sooner, but life has a way of kicking you off course! Regardless, let's review the PocketGo V2.1!

First, let's talk about the outside. Mine came in the color white, with rainbow buttons. The system has four face buttons labeled Y, X, B, A, Start & Select, a D-pad, and an analog control stick. The top of the system has two L and R buttons for each side. As well as the power button, 3.5 mm audio jack, USB-C connector and a volume up and down button. The bottom has two Micro SD cards, and a reset button. There is a third, unlabeled button over the start and select buttons whose function I am unsure of- but believe it's there for software to take advantage of as a 'free button'.

It's easy to hold and my hands typically don't hurt after holding it for a while. The only complaint I have is the analog stick isn't of the best quality and it feels...for lack of a better term 'gritty'. Everything else works pretty well otherwise- but if you intend to play systems or games that might use the analog stick

It has a large amount of emulators and game ports on it. Enough that I won't sit here and name them all. But includes all the systems and ports you'd expect by now-- NES, SNES, PS1, Doom, Wolf 3D and such. They all run pretty great! Things made for the RG350 tend to work just fine on the PocketGo V.2.1, though some may need control reconfiguration. I also understand it's compatible with the RG350 firmware, but I have not been able to confirm this yet. So don't take my word on that!

One thing I did not like, was how difficult it was to add roms or other files to the system. The USB-C cord the system comes with is not 'Data' compatible, and one that is data compatible is required to add files to the system. It uses a wired 'network' connection to connect onto the system via FTP. While you can just plug the SD card into your computer, the partition required to be read to add files onto isn't readable by Windows based systems due to it being a Linux partition. This part of the system is not newbie friendly, I am just used to using FTP and associated systems enough that it's easy for me.

Overall, I don't regret buying the Pocket Go V2.1. I wish the analog stick felt better to use, but otherwise, has kept my entertained on my doctors visits and overall places where I need to wait around without anything better to do!

Please checkout Bittboy.com to see about obtaining your own!

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BittBoy 3.5 Review - June 21 2020 - by: Rocky Raccoon
 
 

I recently got a PocketGo V2.1. But before that, I wanna talk about the first system I got from BittBoy--- the Bittboy Version 3.5 console. 
 
The Bittboy 3.5, that- I will just be calling 'Bittboy' from this point onward, is a small, Gameboy-like open source console that basically emulates many systems and has a few game ports such as Doom, Wolfenstein 3D and such on it. It uses a MicroSD card for storage. I also upgraded the base firmware to MiyooCFW. This is a common, suggested upgrade. I did not use the base firmware much so my usage is based on using this firmware in this review!
 
The BittBoy at first glance appears to be a Gameboy like device. It's small, It's basically 5 inch by 3 inch in size. It has a d-pad, four main buttons, and two sub buttons for select and start. It also has a system button just under the screen. 
 
It feels good in the hands, and fits in my pocket easily. This has become my 'go to' when I need to go to a doctor's appointment to tool around with and play.
 
It plays quite well. It handles everything up to the Gameboy Advance just fine.... though Super Nintendo speed will depend on the game. Out of the box on the firmware, I had access to an Amiga Emulator, Gameboy/Gameboy Color emulator, NES, SNES, Master System and Game Gear, Colecovision, Sega Genesis/32x/CD, Atari 2600, Atari Lynx, PC Engine, MAME Arcade, Neo Geo, DOS/PC x86, Pokemini, Wondeswan, PS1, Vectrex, MSX. There's also many game ports available such as Doom being the primary one I use.
 
I had wonderful experiences with the Gameboy, NES, Master System/GG, Sega Genesis/CD, Atari 2600 and Lynx, and PC Engine, Pokemini and Vectrex emulators. They all ran super great and at 60 FPS for most of the time. I had less than pleasant experiences with the other emulators. Either due to the lack of buttons,  the speed at which the emulator played or lack of things that worked right, such as the 'virtual keyboard' in the MSX emulator.
 
The battery life is decent enough, and hasn't died on any of the outings I've taken it on, but it had drained pretty much too according to the meter on the screen. Also, there's no dedicated volume or brightness buttons- you need to use a key combination to either change the volume or screen brightness. 
 
Overall, if you're looking for a small, cheap little pocket device to play some classic games, this is good. If you're looking for a powerhouse to play SNES, Playstation and the like-- look for something else... perhaps the PocketGo V2.1 I'll review next time!

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Review - Space Invaders Arcade 1UP Cabinet - March 10 2020 - by: Rocky Raccoon
 
 

Recently, a few months back, I purchased a Space Invaders Arcade1UP cabinet from Walmart.com. I got it on sale for 150$ dollars USD. This seemed to be a good deal given it's normally 299$ USD. So basically fifty percent off. It arrived, in a timely manner- though there was no outer box or wrapping, they just shipped it in the big box it comes in. I prefer there to be some kind of wrapping around items, to hide what it is. This is not a big deal in the end. The Space Invader's cabinet, as of the time of this writing, is a Walmart Exclusive.
 
First off, these come in a kit to assemble. It is a nightmare. There's huge pieces and multiple boxes. You'll need about two hours time for your first time. I imagine I could build another one of these in a shorter amount of time, now that I know what to expect. I was sweating by the time I was done. I did not enjoy putting this cabinet together. I imagine some people might enjoy putting this together, but I did not.
 
There are two games on this unit that are both Space Invaders. The original black and white, and the colored version. They play exactly as Space Invaders should. The joystick feels good, as do the buttons. The look and feel and game play feels authentic.  The problem I have, is the volume. Which only has three levels-- 'Off/Mute, Loud and VERY Loud'. There's no way to put the sound down on softer. This really needed a more adjustable volume control. 
 
As a whole, the Arcade1UP upright cabinet line are scaled down arcade cabinets. You will need a stool or chair to be comfortable to play at it, unless you make it higher via putting it on a raised solid surface or buy the optional Arcade1UP riser-- which retails for an additional 35$ to 40$ USD.
 
Overall, the only thing I regret about this purchase is the assembling time and process. I really don't want to buy another unit, regardless about how much I want that Galaga unit- unless it's assembled for me, and the volume settings. It's otherwise, nice to have an 'arcade machine' in my own home of a classic game I like mindlessly playing.
 
I rate this 9 out of 10 Invaders from Space. The unit itself is solid and great. But if you can find someone else to assemble it for you, do that. Do it. 

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A Retrocade Romp! - by Rocky Raccoon / Daniel McMann 2020 - Created in Microsoft FrontPage
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