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Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 12:10 pm
by VideoGameCritic
Check out my review of Cyber Gadget's Retro Freak console. ... ofreak.htm

Comments? Typos?

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 3:27 pm
by scotland
Thanks for this

I'm thinking the Genesis slot is rectangular because its really a Megadrive slot that accepts US Genesis cartridges. You didn't mention how tight the grip was on the cartridges. How does it play both TG16 and PCE games when those hu-cards are pinned differently? Are there two slots, or an adapter?

Didn't you get the Game Gear adapter? Any photos?

If you had to give it a letter grade, what would you give it? (or maybe for these systems a thumbs up or down)

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 6:13 pm
by VideoGameCritic
No issues with the grip on cards (although as I mentioned the SNES is a little loose).
There's only a single slot for the cards. I do not have any adapters for this yet.

As for a grade, I'd probably rate both systems around a B-.
I might give the Retro Freak an edge for ease-of-use, but concerned about reliability.
There is room for improvement, but both get the job done.

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 6:49 pm
by Atariboy
Good review, thanks.

One question though. Did you read the posts about your possible overheating issue in your other thread? As a prospective customer that's worried about the reliability of a rather expensive clone system, I'd be curious if you feel that the system runs cooler afterwards if you installed this.


Kind of surprised to not see any comment about this in your review actually, since from my impressions of it, this possible overheating problem was the single biggest issue you've had with this device so far (Although I can understand if you decided to not go to the hassle of updating, such as the worry that you'd brick it like I've seen happen to some Retron 5 owners that just followed Hyperkin's instructions).

You can save game state at any time, and with 3.1 GB of internal storage, you probably won't need that optional SD card anytime soon.

Don't forget that this also supports the playing of downloaded rom files. So for instance if you want to check out the other SuperGrafx games before buying another, you could always download a romset and load them up on this for a free preview if you're not overly picky about downloading decades old software that's long out of production.

That functionality essentially means that the Retro Freak is also its own multicart for each of the systems that it covers, which is going to be why the average Retro Freak owner is probably going to want to up his storage space a bit eventually.

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 10:40 pm
by VideoGameCritic
As you probably know, I try to avoid all internet updates unless absolutely necessary. In this case I don't think a change to the software would affect an overheating issue.

If the problem occurs again I may reconsider, but since it's running fine I'd prefer to leave it be. Then again, I normally don't play it for hours at a time. I'll keep you posted.

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 8th, 2017, 11:21 pm
by ActRaiser
As someone that now works with embedded software, I can tell you the embedded software can cause hardware problems.

The board stuff is crazy complicated. If they say it's a known issue and there's already a firmware fix for it then I'd suggest taking it.

I'm currently working on a project where we place onboard computers with a cellular modem on semis. We had an issue where we were bricking the devices in certain cases, which were all alleviated by a simple software fix.

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 9th, 2017, 10:47 am
by VideoGameCritic
ActRaiser - you've convinced me. Thanks for lending your expertise to this matter!

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 9th, 2017, 1:21 pm
by VideoGameCritic
Well it looks like I need a Micro SD card to do the update. I didn't even know what that was! Man those things must be tiny.
Oh well guess I'll have to order one off Amazon.

I'm currently running version 1.4.

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 9th, 2017, 7:35 pm
by noah98
Great review!

You should definitely do the update. I read something about how the firmware was causing the overheating issue, but I don’t remember the specifics.

A couple extra things to consider:

For two player games, you can just plug in a usb controller for player two. I know it’s not the same as using the original controllers, but it does work. There are a few really good ones like the ibuffalo snes clone controllers. I’m hoping they offer the controller adapter separately soon for a reasonable price.

Also, the main unit detaches from the cartridge port base and allows you to bring it with you like a mini console. Of course, it will only work with games that are loaded to the internal memory.

As far as PC Engine/Turbografx-16/Supergrafx support goes, the cartridge port in the front accepts all three just fine. I switch from Japanese PC Engine games to U.S. Turbografx-16 games all the time on my Retro Freak, so no worries!

Re: Retro Freak Review

Posted: October 10th, 2017, 6:43 am
by txsizzler
Only noticed one typo, on the 6th paragraph down, you put "he" instead of "the" (I opened he box to find a tiny, lightweight..)

Also curious why you changed the format of this review from other console reviews. You used to grade various aspects of the systems as well, as this particular review does not have scoring on it.

Otherwise, great review! Besides some of the cheaper aspects of the system (loose ports, cheapie controller), it looks like a definite contender against the Retron 5.