Console Name: Retro-Bit Generations
Release Date: November 10th, 2016
Price: 59.99$ (USD), 69.99$ (CAD)
Retro gaming is on the rise this year. For years there have been systems released to play vintage video games like the Atari Flashbacks, ColecoVision Flashbacks and the NES Classic Mini just to name a few. Since I could not get a NES Classic Mini, I was looking for an alternative. This looked really cool. Retro-Bit has had a good reputation of coming out with good products. From the The Retro Entertainment System to the The Super Retro® Trio, this Retro-Bit Generations looked promising. Let us see how the hardware looks.
As you can tell for yourself, the Retro-Bit Generations looks very sleek. It has that polished look to it which is really cool. It comes with 2 controllers which are USB. This means that you could potentially use them on your PC for gaming. The wires for the controls are pretty long. As you may or may not know, the NES Classic Mini has abnormally short controller wires. Let us see what kind of inputs that this system offers.
This is pretty cool. It comes with an HDMI output and 3 composite cables for your CRT TV's. There is a power input and an SSD card slot. This is used for making your saved games portable. You could may be in the future add more games as well. This, however, has not been confirmed.
The controllers as you see above, look flimsy but are very good quality. They are not the best by any means but good enough for console gaming. The controllers are styled in the same way as the old Genesis controllers. There is a Menu button which enables you to go back to the main menu via the controller. This is not available on the NES Classic Mini. On the NES Mini you need to press the reset button on the console itself.
There are 2 USB ports for the controllers.
So all in all, the hardware is impressive. Let us see if the software is just as good as advertised.
This console has about 100 games on it. The list can be found below.
The list looks pretty impressive and there are many games that I would love to play. Some of them are Ghosts and Goblins, 1942 and Bases Loaded, just to name a few. There are many games here from Jaleco. They were very popular for their sports games on the NES. In fact, one of their best games is on here, Bases Loaded 1 and 2.
When buying a console, you are expecting, proper ports of the games. You are expecting that the games are polished and that they play just like they did back in the day! Well, this is not really the case with the Retro-Bit. There are many games that I played that just felt like they are wrong. For example, in Bases Loaded 2, when you bat, the game glitches like when you are playing on a cartridge. See below.
Bases Loaded 2 Glitch
In Bases Loaded , they removed the umpire speaking. This is not a big thing but it is enough of a change to make it seem weird. Feels like something is missing.
Bases Loaded - No Voices
I can list many issues with many games. So, as you can tell this is a very big negative. The games make me think of when we used to have those 500 in 1 or 100 games in 1 on the NES. Most of the games on the cartridge would be busted or would be bad ports. This feels the exact same way.
You can can say many things about the NES Classic Mini but broken is not one of them. The polish is much higher than on the Retro-Bit Generations.
This is a missed opportunity in my opinion. There are enough games to warrant the 79.99$ (CAD). There are too many bugs on this system to say that it is the NES Classic Mini killer. Now to be fair, the average player will probably not see many of the issues with speed up's or inconsistencies but to mature players, they will notice it in a heartbeat.
I think a software update would be cool but there are no online capabilities. The update would have to be downloaded an loaded form the SD card slot. Let's be honest, not many people would do this upgrade.
There are some really good games such as 1942, 1943 and Knights of the round. In general, they run pretty well.
Knights of the Round
There is fun to be had but I would expect a little more from the game creators and the console maker. This should have been a lot better and it just is not. for 30$ you can get a 100 games in 1 on the NES and have the same feeling.
I would recommend this console only for collectors. I will play with some of the games because I like them but I think that when something better comes along, I will buy it.
I may review some of the games on standalone reviews just to outline how they are on this console.
Did you play with the Retro-Bit Generations? Was I off the mark completely?
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