The Retro Freak: It’s Freakin Awesome

retrofreak_titleWhen we received the Retro Freak console from Play-Asia, we put our thinking cap on to try and find a way to review the unit objectively. Our thinking cap must’ve worked, as we came up with an ingenious idea – take the Retro Freak to the biggest gaming expo in the southern hemisphere, PAX Aus 2016!

By having the Retro Freak available to play at PAX Aus, it gave us the opportunity to observe attendees playing on the console and gauge their unfiltered and objective feedback. With thousands in attendance, we weren’t short of people having a go. There were youngsters and older players, families and couples all having a go. The overwhelming responses from players was, “What is this console?”, “Where can I get one?” and “How much is it?”.

Play your old school carts on the Retro Freak!
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For those that are not aware, this awesome console from Cyber Gadget allows you to play your original game cartridges/cards from your Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, TurboGrafx-16, SuperGrafx, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance. By supporting these legacy systems, the Retro Freak ensures that you only need the one console setup in your games room to play all of your favourite classic titles! Hooray, you can finally declutter!

Let’s put on scanlines!
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We love the clean and easy-to-use interface
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The Retro Freak pumps out its audio visuals via HDMI, supporting 720p upscaling, which makes your old school games look great on newer TVs – so no more needing that 20 year old CRT TV! Well, we would suggest that you still hold onto your CRT TV *winks*. The other cool features that will freak you out (in a good way) include; filters, backing up of games from cartridge onto the console (on MicroSD card), instant save states and cheat codes (for certain games).

For control, there is the pack-in SNES-style controller, which does the job well, or if you prefer, modern gamepads such as the DualShock 3 and DualShock 4 can also be used (via USB). The Retro Freak Premium pack ships with a controller adaptor that supports Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, and PC-Engine/TurboGrafx-16 controllers. If you prefer bluetooth control (perhaps you dislike wires!), you can procure the 8bitdo Retro Receiver, plug it into the controller adaptor and use any one of your PS3, PS4, WiiMote or Wii U controllers you may have lying around. Oh yeah, you can re-map controller buttons to suit your style! We love the flexibility that the Freak provides!

The pack-in controller does the job! At least the USB cable is 1.8M!
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One side of the Controller Adaptor – connect your fave gamepads!
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Other side of the Controller Adaptor reveals more classic controller ports!
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So how does it compare to playing on the real hardware? We threw all kinds of games at the Freak, and it ran them without a hitch. We didn’t encounter any incompatibility issues, which ensured we didn’t rage quit and turn off the console. The transferring of original game cartridge data to MicroSD is as easy as breathing, thanks to the user friendly interface. One niggle we did have was with Cyber Gadget’s support page being in Japanese – it made it difficult to ascertain the firmware and application updates required to ensure the Retro Freak was up to date. Google did came to the rescue here by pointing us to a forum that had the instructions in English on how to upgrade the firmware.

The elephant in the room is the obvious comparison to the RetroN5. With quality issues hampering the RetroN5, we know which system we would prefer to use – if only the Retro Freak was as good looking as the RetroN5! If you want to be able to archive your original game carts and declutter by only having one console to play your classic games on, then you can’t go wrong with the Retro Freak!

If you are keen to check out the Retro Freak console, then head to Play-Asia now.

Play Operation Wolf straight from the PC-Engine HuCard, OR…
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Backup the Operation Wolf HuCard to microSD! It’s the best of both worlds!
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The Retro Freak makes it to PAX Aus!
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Family gaming together!
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The Retro Freak was a hit at PAX Aus 2016! The Sega Mega Drive version of Aladdin was quite popular.
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Super Famicom F-Zero action aplenty!
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Time to SUPER SMASH (some) TV!
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Thanks to Play-Asia.com for supplying the Retro Freak used in this review.

 

8-Bit Music Power For Your Famicom

8bit-music-power1If your Famicom is sick of old carts then this may be exactly what it was craving for – 8Bit Music Power, a new cartridge released for the Fami in over two decades! This retro 8-bit chiptunes cart will push the RP2A03 sound processor to its limit, making your Famicom pump to the beats.

You better be quick, there are only a thousand copies available of this cart, and at a price of US$29.99/~AUD$42.64, it will surely become one of the rarest gems for the Famicom.

The compilation consists of 12 tracks and features the talents of Yuriko Keino (Xevious, Pac-Land), Takeaki Kunimoto (Star Soldier, Ninja Hattori-kun) and Masahiro Kajihara (Trigger Heart Exelica, Princess Maker) among others. Complimenting the cool chiptunes is the nostalgic pixel art of Hiroshi Ono (Pac-Land, Bahamut Lagoon, Final Fantasy Tactics).

If your Famicom is in need of some new wares, then look no further than the 8Bit Music Power cart!


source: RIKI8BIT

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8bit-music-power3image source: Play-Asia

 

The 8-Bit Harmonica

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This has to be seen (and heard) to be believed! Instead of giving it away, watch the video and be astounded. Oh man, there are so many clever people out there!


source: Basami Sentaku

NES: The Awesome Facts

Rather than writing paragraphs of NES facts, watch this video! The video provides all the vital stats and facts you would ever want to know about Nintendo’s much-loved 8-bit system.


source: Vsauce3

FAMICOM: The Phoenix Rising From The Video Gaming Ashes

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In the early eighties, the video gaming industry was brought to its knees. It seemed that every man and his dog wanted in on the video gaming action. These fly-by-night cowboys flooded the market with mediocre products, subsequently leading to the great video games crash!

In the midst of the video gaming ruins, one bold company, Nintendo, had plans of their own. Undeterred, they were quietly tinkering away creating their own home video gaming system, the ‘Family Computer’ (Famicom).

Nintendo had offered Atari the rights to market, brand and sell the Famicom outside of Japan. Imagine if Atari had taken up Nintendo’s offer! They would most probably still be in business and not become a derelict company ripe for pillaging.

On this day (July 15) in 1983, Nintendo released (in Japan), what was to become a video gaming revolution, the Family Computer (Famicom). What happened after that, well, as they say, the rest is history. Happy anniversary to the Famicom, and thank you Nintendo for resuscitating the home video gaming market!

Vital Stats:

Released: July 15, 1983 (Japan)
Generation: Third Generation (8-bit)
CPU: Ricoh 2A03 8-bit (MOS Technology 6502 core)
Media: ROM cartridge
Retail Price: ¥34,800
Units sold: 61.91 million (combined Famicom & NES)

Vital Stats source: Wikipedia