Retro Champ – Very DISAPPOINTED…

Retro Champ – Very DISAPPOINTED…


– [Metal Jesus] Hey guys, Metal
Jesus here, and today we are going to take a look at something called the Retro Champ by My Arcade. I originally saw a prototype
of this at E3 last year, and I was intrigued enough at the time to want to do a review of it, so My Arcade sent me the retail version of it here. So if you’re not familiar
with this device, it is a Switch-like device for your NES and Famicom cartridges, so
it plays physical cartridges. And you can play those cartridges either in handheld mode
or on your HD television. There’s a lot going on in this thing, there’s some surprises for sure, but I’m gonna give you a little bit of a spoiler alert here, and that is I’m, I’m not exactly in love with this thing, because a couple things
had me just wondering why the heck did they do that? (energetic music) All right, so let’s go over
the specs of this thing. So first of all, I mentioned that it does play original NES and Famicom cartridges, and you’ll see here on this device that the NES cartridges go in the top and the Famicom cartridges
go in the bottom. And try to keep that in mind, because that becomes a bit of a problem later. It also has a built-in 4000
milliamp rechargeable battery that will last you anywhere
from three to five hours, depending on the game that you’re playing. As you can see here, it’s a
seven-inch backlit LCD screen with multiple aspect
ratios, there’s a little button on top where you can toggle that. And as I mentioned, it’s designed to be very Switch-like in that
you can play it on the go or there’s a little
kickstand in the back here where you can push that out
and easily set it on a table. And one nice feature of
this is that it’s compatible with these Super Gamepad
wireless controllers that they sent along with this. So, again, very Switch-like in that you can have it on your table, or connect it to your HD television, and use external controllers,
up to two of ’em. So that’s a pretty cool feature. And then check this out, this is actually what they showed me at E3 that I thought was pretty cool, pretty hilarious. So it has a built-in
cartridge cleaning kit that is hidden away on the corner here. So it’s really weird,
you push this button, and this little plastic piece comes out, and then you can literally
just pull off the top and then there are some Q-Tips in there as well as this little vial that you could put some cleaning solution in. So I thought that was pretty brilliant, because as you guys know, you often have to clean your
cartridges, and having that built in to the device, well,
that can be pretty handy. And then the retail price of this is $80. And so that all sounds great,
I mean that’s the reason why I was originally intrigued by this, because you could
potentially play hundreds if not thousands of physical games, and it would give you a lot
of flexibility in doing so. However, when I started
messing around with it, and I also shared it with some friends and let them play around with it, yeah, it’s not good. So the first thing that I noticed is that the screen just
doesn’t look that great at all. Actually so much so that
I was a little surprised, and actually reached
out to My Arcade to get a little bit of a feel of
what they’re going for here, because it looks, honestly,
it looks like crap. It basically, it looks like
just a composite signal, and it’s not upscaling in any way. And the thing that confused me was when you first turn it
on, you get their logo, and you can see that’s
very high-resolution. So I know that the screen actually can do high-resolution graphics,
and I was kinda surprised. And basically what they said is that in order to keep the
cost down, they decided to not upscale it in any way,
and basically just output the original, low-res
composite video to the screen. So I dunno, I mean, I just don’t
think it looks good at all. Now what’s interesting about that is I let some friends play
around with it as well, and while they acknowledge
that it doesn’t look great or at least crisp, it didn’t
actually bother them as much because the screen is so
small, and you do have it kind of away from your face so much. So for them it was kind of
like, yeah, it’s not terrible. So maybe your mileage would vary, and to be quite honest I was like, OK, I can live with this as long
as the HDMI out looks good. And so I plugged in the HDMI cable, and, well, you can see the results
here, it looks terrible. It’s washed out, it’s not
crispy or defined at all. Sometimes the colors
seem a little bit off. And again, that’s a real disappointment, because if you compare it
to something like, say, the NES Mini, so I’ll
put those side by side. Now I know it’s not
apples to oranges here, or apples to apples (laughs),
whatever that phrase is, but I know it’s not completely equal, because obviously the
NES Mini is running ROMs and this is running cartridges. But I’m just showin’ you as
a consumer comparing devices, the NES Mini I think looks way better. And again, I would be a
little bit more tolerant of the handheld mode
and its low-res visuals if at least when you
connected it to your TV it looked as good as the Mini. I dunno, maybe that’s asking too much. Another thing I noticed
is that the aspect ratio seems to be cutting off the edge in some games when
you’re in four by three. So you check this game out here, this is a Konami racing game called Road Fighter, it’s
actually a Famicom game. And if you look on the
right-hand side there, you’ll see that the numbers and letters are kinda cut off right there. Now, to fix that you can push the button to switch to 16 by nine,
but that ain’t good. The other thing, and Reggie
noticed this immediately, is that the sound is kinda off too. – And I just noticed
that some of the music kinda sounds like, the
speakers kinda sound off a bit. Not a big deal, but some people
will probably notice that. – [Metal] So yeah, the sound
and the visuals aren’t great. And also, too, everyone
who played this thing was like, the controls
aren’t great either. I mean, nobody loved that D-pad, it seemed like it was very shallow and not exactly what you would be expecting. As a matter of fact when you compare it to the external controller
that they included with this that that wireless controller
has a much better D-pad, but the one that’s on the
Retro Champ is really, it’s really flush, it’s not very good at all, it doesn’t feel, I mean, its playable, but it doesn’t feel great. And also, too, the
ergonomics of the device, you’re holding onto this thing that’s kind of like a really thick tablet. And so, again, it’s
playable, and I captured all the footage here, but everyone
kinda complained about it. They were like, eh, it’s just very bulky and doesn’t feel great. Another thing that I
wasn’t crazy about is, and you can see it here, is that there is a bit of a death grip
on your NES cartridges, and you see me struggling with it here. That’s not good, especially if you’ve got some valuable or rare
games, you’re gonna be kinda reluctant to put it in here, ’cause it can be kind
of hard to get it out. Now, I do think that it’s pretty cool that it plays Famicom cartridges,
and I have a bunch of ’em. But this is hilarious, OK. So I asked Reggie to try to
pull out the Famicom cartridge, because as you see here it’s
pretty flush with the bottom. They had to do that because if you have it with the kickstand and sitting on a table, obviously it can’t stick out. – That’s gonna be weird, like
pullin’ games out of here. – Put it in there again.
– OK. – [Metal] Their solution was to use this little plastic push device. Pick up that. And that’s what you use from the top. – Really?
– No no, from the top. So flip it over, there you go. – Push this, are you serious? (laughs)
You really, is this serious? – [Metal] Yes. – OK, that’s, that’s too much, these, nah. I don’t, I can’t, no, I mean, no. – [Metal] So, I know, Reggie
just thought this was hilarious and everyone who saw it
is hilarious, because, again, this is a portable device. You’re gonna be on the
bus, and you’re gonna have this big, thick tablet thing, and then if you wanna change
from a Famicom cartridge to an NES cartridge, you
gotta whip out of your bag this device to push it through. Now, to be fair, you don’t
actually have to use that device. You could take another
NES cartridge and push it through the front to shove
the Famicom cartridge out the back, but it’s
such a clunky solution. It really needed to
have some sort of lever or some sort of button, some
other way of dealing with this. I’m just not a fan at all,
again, it’s laughable. So I beat up on this
thing, and rightfully so. But maybe you’re wondering, is there anything I do like about it,
and the answer to that is yes. I do think that it has a
pretty decent build quality. It doesn’t feel that cheap,
even though I know it is. But it seems like it’s
put together fairly well, it’s got a nice weight
to it, it’s not too much, but it’s not too light either. I really do like the fact
that it has a cleaning kit built into it, I think
that’s pretty clever use of the extra space that
they had for this device. And I do really like a device
that plays physical media. I mean, there are tons of games that you can play on this, and the fact that it tries to be Switch-like in that you can play it in handheld but you can also put it on your table, use external controllers and
output to your HD television, that’s all great stuff, I love that idea. And it’s $80, which I think
is a good price for this. You know, especially if it had better visuals and better audio. But the thing for me with
these sort of devices is from a consumer point
of view, I wouldn’t mind if you charged five,
10, or 20 dollars more to just have a better-quality experience and a better-quality device,
you know what I mean? If $80 was their target,
and they had to hit that, and the only way to do it was
with this type of emulation, I would much prefer
them go, hey, for $100, we’re gonna have a device
that is way better output, way better visuals, way better
audio, things like that. And then recently, My Arcade has announced that they’re gonna do a
version of the Retro Champ, but it will be the Super Nintendo
slash Genesis Mega Drive. And then my hope is they take the feedback from reviewers like me
to improve that product and make it the best it can be, ’cause obviously there’s a
lot of fans like me that would love to see that product
come out and just kick ass. All right, guys, that’s my
review of the Retro Champ. Now if you wanna learn more about it, I will put a link down in
the video description below. As always, I wanna thank you
guys for watching my channel. Thank you for subscribing, and take care.

100 thoughts to “Retro Champ – Very DISAPPOINTED…”

  1. That thing is an abomination, too big, clunky cartridge sticking out, terrible screen – what on earth were they thinking?

  2. The idea of this device is a cool idea. The screen is it downfall. Do hope their SNES version will be better.

  3. This is perfect for boot/yard sales. You can test out games on the spot and even attempt to clean them up a little if they don’t work! 👍

  4. Thats the problem with all this screens, even on the switch, cheap crap, but my s4 tablet , that look soo fukin good…

  5. Hopefully, true retro fans will be smart enough to see through these products with videos like these. Thoughtful review.

  6. Hyper critical, and that’s ok. I’m still excited and going to by this. Great way for me to play old school cartridges.

  7. You're not going to be changing cartridges often enough for it to be an issue. Is it elegant? No. Is it immune to the mechanical failures one may encounter with an ejection based system? Yes. Besides, this thing has much bigger problems than its ejection method.

  8. Lots of potential. I would definitely pay up to $40 more for better visuals, audio and overall user experience. I can see myself using this by my bed before crashing out.
    Really too bad as I would definitely buy this.

  9. it seems like such a waste of space to put a 16:9 screen on these types of things. There's got to be a 4:3 screen somewhere to use. Who in the hell wants to stretch their nes image??

  10. hopefully they will take your advice and do a version of this with better visuals and audio and an eject button for each cart type that doesn't involve using another cart

  11. I love how it has a 7 inch screen and that you can put it on it's stand, with separate controller and use it like a "console mode". Shame the screen quality is lacking. However, 3:40 FAIL! PURE FAIL! An interesting product that could have been great. No sir, put this thing back on the shelf. You can't have a handheld/portable system with a junk screen/video output.

  12. WHY THE F*CK do they keep making B & A buttons in a south to east diagonal? I have seen lots of devices that do this, WHY? Any person who has at least 1% of knowledge about NES and SNES, knows the diagonal for the buttons should ALWAYS be from west to south (like Y & B buttons on SNES), so the thumb can rest on both buttons and press them at the same time easily. It is not even a matter of preference because there are many games that require pressing both buttons at the same time, like… ehm, let me see… SUPER MARIO BROS, god dammit!!! Good luck twisting your poor wrist when trying to accomplish such a basic thing like running and jumping at the same time.

  13. Don't see a problem with the definition of the video. Playing a retro game with a retro look for $80 bucks. I wouldn't expect much going into it at that price range, honestly. Looks cool to me. Maybe I'm the minority.

  14. The eject mechanism is so bizarre in that it would take some real cleverness to come up with it… but the fact that they had to come up with it in the first place should have made them realize that they needed to rethink the design. I know that hidden cleaning kit is kind of cool but it would have been more practical if they used that space to have some sort of ejection switch.

    I'm not so down on the picture quality. I'm fine with a composite output on the NES because that has the best output the system supported so the games were designed with that in mind. This "retro" look where you can make out each pixel and everything has a square look is revisionist history. None of our console games looked like that until we started playing ROMs on our PCs. This is especially noticeable in games that use dithering to achieve transparencies or colour blending. When viewed pixel perfect they look like checkerboards. So in that comparison video I thought the Retro Champ looks more like what I expect Super Mario Bros. to look like. But I'll admit that my view on this is not the majority opinion and they will probably drive off more potential customers then they'll gain with that.

  15. Hey there MJR, loving the new game room.

    I haven't really heard you say much about modded systems. You ever consider doing the occasional video on modded systems? Would love to see you do one about the original Xbox and all the crazy modding that can be done to it. It is still a thriving community when you look into it, especially with retro coming back. Check out Original Xbox Slim, Xbox Xtender, Original Xbox mod chips, X3CE, the list goes on.

  16. I don't understand who these kinds of devices are for, like who's gonna carry physical nes carts around? Pick up used psp, or 3ds and emulate nes games on the go.

  17. Jason can you help
    I found the ntsc snes version of jetsons invasion of the planet pirates cib ,i live in europe but it came only in usa and japan on market can you tell me what its worth because i cant find on ebay🤷‍♂️

  18. I have an HP iPaq with an expansion device, which can hold two CompactFlash cards. It has the same problem as this thing with getting cartridges out. I had to take a Dremel tool to its sides to be able to remove cards. How do things like this get to market without proper testing?? Ridiculous.

  19. The hdmi out looked good, problem is the colors are so off, but st least the picture is much cleaner than the composite crap… i think the hdmi out looks bad because it actually shows the terrible emulation of colors much clearer haha

  20. I think I got it.
    They were marketing for the ACTUAL 90s kids.
    We didn't care back then.
    Low res? We didn't know. It was a game. press the buttons and make the ninja kick or the man jump.
    Cartridge stuck? Shit, my nes was in a way where I had to purposely wedge it in with another cartridge just so it could work properly. My sega, that I still use…as well as my n64..won't allow me to seat the cartridge all the way in. Have it barely touching ..so when my kids jump around too much in the area..I'm ready for the game to just cut off.
    Seems like they were making DAMN sure that the cartridge wouldn't just flop out. Get knocked loose or what not. And I can appreciate that.
    No matter how long you're on the bus…which if it's more than 3hrs, this thing won't last anyhow…So in those couple of hours..are you really just CONSTANTLY switching games?

    I agree that newer gamers would rather not deal with this. And I also would rather not..but eh. It's not really a big deal.

  21. It’s a bit of a stretch to call this a “portable” device. I mean, yes, you can literally carry it… but would you?

  22. Why is it using a 16:9 LCD, when all NES/Famicom Games are in 4:3? Thats freaking stupid, beside it's making the device so much bigger…

  23. For me, I kinda like the design. It looks and acts like a poorly done fan-made project, and there is some appeal there with the clunkiness.

  24. Your positive comments on this product feel like too much of a stretch. Like you are trying too hard to find positive things to say.

  25. This is such a bad gaming product everything is missing you have to wonder how saving a few dollars for more profit and release this mess up, well its karma. Just build something reliable and quality.

  26. if it has enough empty space inside it will be fun to hack for small projects … imagine pimping it up with a raspberry pi zero, replacing cleaning kit with high capacity batteries and having a better dpad on is decent for what it is but amazing for what it can become

  27. Jason is wearing the swedish band GHOST shirt a lot, should check out the adventures rockers HÄLLAS

    https://youtu.be/jbfsALc7pPc

    https://youtu.be/Qi2Pdd6V6oI

    https://youtu.be/xwuqUHwjHc8

    https://youtu.be/AEgT9_2yYW8

  28. What I would love is for a company to make a handheld or console that plays both Atari Lynx and Sega Game Gear games. I mean, I got both handhelds but the screen isn't great and sadly the sound is broken on my Atari Lynx. Those handhelds really deserve more love.

  29. If metal jesus get out more he know people use tablets watch videos take pictures with using big brick take pictures and video dslr camera does better job with rotating lcd screen

  30. RetroChamp looks to me more or less like what I remember from my old CRT. The Mini classic seems little muddled and dark. I never remembered Mario being brown in "fireball" mode..

  31. THE SOUND!! The square duties are wrong! This is the same exact issue that happens on those cheap, China NES on a chip pirate systems like the Yobo. Same underlying technology? That could explain the visual quality issues 🤔

  32. Retail version?? Haven’t seen it available until now, shouldve not taken them this long to release it after e3, also you are insulting the thing for no reason, I could care less if it is upscale metal Jesus you are bitching like a whiner 5 year old, be lucky they gave you one for free, while all the rest of us have to pay 80$ for it

  33. Could you please review some memory cards for ps2? I have a 8MB card and it sucks because I have a lot of games and 8MB is not enough… and one other thing I have a wireless ps2 controller but it’s 3rd party and when I play games made by Sierra the PlayStation tells me to plug in a DualShock 2 controller, this only happens to games that are made by Sierra I have tried it with both The Incredible Hulk and Scarface: The World Is Your and I have to have the controller wired in…. I would really appreciate an answer from anyone thanks!!

  34. "Portable." Yeah, no. That's huge, and unless you only want to play one game the whole time, you've got to account for the space of having more carts on you. Forget the special device for removing the Famicom games, just the games themselves will take up too much space on your person. The Switch is pushing portability with its size, but at least the carts are tiny.

  35. They did their best for $80. If improvements are available yet ignored for $80 then that's nice. Personally, I save up for the Switch Lite but I'd also have to buy games and I understand if someone can't afford it. Totally agree with MJR about increasing the price a bit more for far better quality.

  36. To be honest, people looking to buy these products deserve to be fucked sideways. Why do you even need these kinds of things when there are plenty of ways to emulate shitty games from the past.

  37. I really gotta ask who is this for?
    like for practical use who is bringing like a bagful of nes and famicom games with them on a bus and think
    "You know what? Now is the perfect time to play me some contra."
    And then you fumble around in your bag looking for contra.

  38. To be fair to it, portable solutions that do more than just nes games are available on the market for cheaper. Engineering something that can use cartridges is way more expensive than just loading an emulator onto Linux based retro arcade. It seems like a very niche market.

  39. You called them? To ask about Y my old game Not HD? Comparing to digital emulation?

    I didn't know you could devolve from boomer to zoomer, gg

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