You are probably not exactly itching to play Bible Adventures ever again but maybe there are a lot of other old classics you would love to go play once more. An Emulator, a PC, or even your phone, is always an option. With an Emulator though, you don’t get the feel of the old classic controllers or the original cartridges. The RetroN line of consoles is the princess in the other castle you were looking for. It’s also, bigger and better than ever before, though it could still use some tweaks.
The newest edition is the RetroN 5. You can get it in either grey or black. It plays NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Famicom, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and GBA cartridges. The console does have it’s own wireless controller, but if you’re old school like me, you can use your original NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis controllers with controller ports for all three. On the back, it has a slot for an SD card (which is used for cheat codes), a slot for the power cord, a USB port for charging the controller, and (what gets me excited) an HDMI port.
Now, if you’re an old school gamer, an HDMI may seem a bit confusing. You’re actually playing all of your old school games in real 720p. With it, you can either choose to dumb it down and add those old scan lines, or you can brighten the colors and give your old games an almost remastered look.
The reason the RetroN 5 is capable of changing the look of your games is because it actually dumps the ROM of the game onto the console’s own variation of the Android OS. Sadly, it doesn’t keep the ROM on the console when you take the cartridge out, but you can save your data of the game on the console itself. It’s great for playing something like Super Mario Bros. 3 if you don’t want to try to finish it all in one night. It’s also good for games where the battery in the cartridge itself has run dry and is unable to save the game.
The operating system is also nice because it allows the console to get updated firmware when needed. For example, as of right now you can only insert one cartridge into the console at a time. This is a step back from the RetroN 3 which was capable of switching between cartridges. Developers are working on this problem and are hoping to allow you to switch between cartridges in a future update.
As briefly mentioned before, the console has a slot for an SD card that allows for cheat codes. These cheat codes can be found on their website and are similar to those of the game shark. One problem with this is that you have to download all cheat codes, and it is a bit hard to navigate through all of them on certain games in order to find the ones you want.
The wireless controller is interesting to say the least. You have to have it to navigate the home screen which could be annoying to some. Instead of the D-Pad that all of the other controllers have, RetroN 5 opted to have an 8-point thumb stick instead. It does feel a bit like cheap plastic, as does the rest of the console, but, honestly, if you prefer older controllers, you are kind of used to cheap plastic anyway. One really cool thing about the controller setup is that you can use any controller, including using a Genesis controller for your NES.
Overall the RetroN 5 definitely has room for improvements, but it is leading the way in retro gaming. If you want one for yourself, you are looking at a price of $140.00. You will have to decide how much your nostalgia is really worth.
What do you think? Is the RetroN 5 the pinnacle of retro gaming, or would you rather play the same thing for free using a PC emulator and a keyboard? You tell us in the comments section down below.