[I apologize for the format. I just loaded this up earlier on my blog site.]
The best way to play a SNES game is on the original hardware using a CRT. If you still have this setup, feel fortunate.The SupaRETRON HD has a smaller footprint and will fit snug anywhere.
I suppose one has to consider the type of technology, that is put into these things, in order to deliver to the market “a cheap clone.” It should be expected that there are going to be flaws and that the tech has its limitations. When you look at “Analogue’s” consoles, it seems obvious, that in order to get something that compares to the original experience, on modern HD flatscreens, you are going to peel off some of that hard-earned jingle you carry around in your pocket. The switch from traditional tube scanlines to HD TV can be a traumatic experience for an old gamer. It is understood why many fall into the purest camp clinging to, and trying to maintain, their old consoles and CRTs. These games were designed for that certain time period, with no thought that many would love these things beyond their intended gaming generation. If you were there, you know that there is just no way to reproduce the magic of that period in gaming. There was no “net” so information was delivered by long waited for gaming magazines with sometimes months old news, and local arcade rumors. TV commercials only fed the fire to the already gaming community hype. The electricity and excitement that filled the air in those days as the trail was pioneered, and cleared, for modern-day gaming will never be repeated. And it is a real need among “those gamers” to preserve that part of gaming history. Retro gamers were born out of that need.
With that being said, I will now move into looking at my first impressions of the Hyperkin HD SNES.The Micro USB power port, HDMI, and aspect ratio switch is the big winners here.
It depends on which SNES HD clone you purchase in what you are willing to except, or put up with, in your SNES gaming experience, obviously. I choose the Hyperkin mainly for the specific advantage in the way they powered their systems. I have the Hyperkin NES, Sega Genesis, and now the SNES HD. All three are powered by the same small matching USB power brick and connects into a mini USB port on the console. I only have one power cord running to the consoles and one HDMI. It depends on which system I am playing at the time that will be connected. When it comes to cheap HD clones, and I say this with gritted teeth, these may be close to being the cream of the crop, for now. There are those few others that are not bad choices.On the Ever Drive China Ver. running Gradius 3. The beginning animation, title screen, and options menu were all normal, until you enter the game. The original SNES cart runs perfect.
There are compatibility problems that I found with the Ever Drive. It might be limited to the China version which is the only one that I own. Don’t know. There were certain games that were unplayable with, for example, the background graphics horribly broken and mangled. Putting in the same game and playing from the original cart there was no problem, for example a game like Gradius 3 was one. Not all games from the “Ever Drive China version” had compatibility issues, but keep in mind that the Ever Drive is designed for the original console. Not a big deal for me. I mainly use the Ever Drive as a game demo cart to see if I want to invest in a certain game. The console is totally compatible with reproduction games, on the other hand. So that is a plus, for me, as I have occasionally purchased a repro, it does run the retrobit’s Jaleco Brawler’s Pack. Seems to have good compatibility across the specialty chips. It plays Star Ocean great, water and reflections, sound bites, are there and nothing seems noticeably wrong. Star Fox, Yoshi’s Island, Super Gameboy, Jikkyou Oshaberi Parodius, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Kirby Super Star, all play with no issues. That covers the SA1, Super FX GSU-1, S-DD1, Super FX GSU-2, and the Sharp LR35902 core chips. The SA1 chip was used in around 34 games including the Mario RPG. Many games look good in spite of the jaggies, Yoshi’s Island for one. Some are not that bad when the jaggies are not as pronounced while others look eye bleedingly shocking, gasp. The console can play both SNES and Super Famicom games.
Visually, some games fair better than others, backgrounds usually look great. Jaggies are embedded into the main character sprites, or any low-rez sprites in general, so get over it if this is the route anyone wants to take. It is just a part of cheap clone gaming life. No one has placed a scanline feature on a cheap console, yet. I am sure if they find a cheap and easy way of doing it without sacrificing cost, using system-on-a-chip technology, it will happen. Just not there yet. Colors are rich and graphics are sharp with smooth animation for nonintentional playing on a large HD screen. At least as good as they can be under the circumstances without the scanlines. Audio, so far, is, normal, for a SNES. At least I haven’t ran across anything that raises my eyebrows or causes me to cry.They basically got the configuration right with something ergonomically going on with the backside. I have no issues with it.
The controllers, that are supplied with the console, two, are good and feel close to the originals. Of course, if you are not satisfied you can use original controllers. Most respectable clone consoles come equipped with this feature. You get a generous 7ft 7inch cord, I measured. And the system comes with all hookups, both HDMI and RCA cords. But why bother with the RCA hookups if the main purpose is the HDMI? Has a NTSC-PAL switch on the bottom and a 16:9-4:3 aspect ratio switch on the backside of the console. It has an eject button that works great just like the original.
Not sure what more I can add at this point. It is really a matter of choice. (Choose your poison wisely, I guess, LOL.) Original hardware is still available for about the same price. You would need to fork out some extra cash for the HDMI connection. There are starting to be a few good options as manufacturers see money to be made. I have tried a few of the universal connection ones, but not the console specific, with unsatisfying results. Clone consoles are far better with their direct HDMI connection. Having been present in the local gaming stores when someone is looking into retro, I know they push clone systems. Even tried to correct one of the workers, nicely, about the NES light gun. They really don’t listen or understand. Game stores push the clones over the used gaming consoles that they carry. I am sure it is due to the easy HDMI connect.
Just think, as 4K becomes the standard in the future market for HD TVs we might be going through something similar as the signals are totally incompatible. At least for the tuners it is, not certain about the HDMI. That might not change hopefully. The headache continues………?Everyone of their consoles has this trademark touch on the corner, lights up when the system is on.