When it comes to playing Super Nintendo games my best intentions are skewed by life. The way I consume retro games, I’ll readily admit, is less than ideal. I play the bulk on the train going to work on a small laptop screen. I embrace emulation and USB Snes controllers, not because I want to, but because I have to. If I am going to play the amount of games I wish to I have to play at the times available to me, which is the two hours I commute to and from work. At home I have a family, including two daughters with ever expanding toy collections. As they grow, they amount of stuff they need also grows. The space under the TV that used to have SNES accessories and rare games, is now filled with ‘In the Night Garden’ DVDs and TinkerBell dolls. Space is at a premium, which is why I jumped at the chance to accept Retro Bit’s ‘Super Retro Trio’ for a review on the‘Retro Collect’ website. This machine (provided by FunStock.co.uk) was the answer to some of my woes. It couldn’t give me more time to play games in front of the TV, but it could reduce the amount of space I needed under it.
The machine is a clone console, replicating the hardware found in the original machines. It not only plays games from the NES, Snes and Mega Drive but, with the right adapters, also plays GameBoy, GameBoy Colour and Game Boy Advance games. Being many machines in one meant that I wouldn’t have to have so many consoles attached to my TV, in theory I only needed this one. Creators Retro Bit also claim that the machine is multi-region and can play any game from anywhere in the world for these systems, so I didn’t even need either of my US consoles hooked up anymore. I counted up and the ‘Super Retro Trio’ could potentially free up four input spaces on the back of my TV, leaving lots of room for my children’s toy fairies and Duplo. Admittedly it would mean I wouldn’t be playing my cartridges on Original Hardware. However, considering I’m so used to playing emulated versions of my boxed games this didn’t bother me at all, especially because you could plug in the system’s original controllers. My theory was that if I looked at the screen and saw the same game, presented in the same way I didn’t really mind which machine the cartridge was slotted in.
However, I was sorely disappointed with the ‘Super Retro Trio’ for reasons you can read about here. My review for ‘Retro Collect’ is quite lengthy, so I it’s hard to summarise it here in a few words. But, in short the machine is designed for an American Market and shouldn’t be bought by those with PAL collections due to compatibility issues. The provided controllers and the look of the machine is excellent, as is its play back of NTSC carts. But because it simply wont play a large chunk of my games collection, my PAL NES and SNES console are staying under the TV and not banished to the loft.
Sorry girls, you will have to make do with just putting your things in the toy box – at least until the ‘RetroN 5’ is finally released in the UK.