Sunday, June 13th, 2021

Hardware review: RetroN Sq-an affordable way to play an entire library of game boys on a big screen TV


©Nintendo Life

Recently, we have gained considerable use from classic handheld systems.Jump back to the original Game Boy or Game Boy Color to have a lot of fun One of the earliest Pokemon game, Or see how high you can rank Tetris. If you are using a standard non-backlit screen, you may need to fight the sun, and occasional glare will shine on you, but this is part of the experience.

However, many people prefer to play games on the big screen, and as the price of GameCube Game Boy Player continues to rise, the manufacturer Hyperkin will try to provide players with a more affordable option: RetroN Sq. A cute and compact console, it will play Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games on your big screen. So far, in most console startups, there will be some minor issues, but we will leak all the details so that you can determine how much they will affect you.

One of the best parts of RetroN Sq is its ease of use. In most cases, you just need to plug it into the TV, give it some juice, pop it up in the game and the controller, and you’re good to go. The Sq is also the same size as the three Game Boy Advance systems combined, making it compact enough for travel-and it won’t take up much space on the TV station. Sq comes with HDMI cable, USB-C cable for power supply, 512MB Micro SD card and Hyperkin Scout wired controller. The Scout imitated the SNES controller, which is indeed a solid effort for Hyperkin. The trigger may be a bit spongy, but the D-pad and face buttons are tight and responsive. But enough for plastic, you might be curious how it actually plays games, right?

P1033674©Nintendo Life

Although FPGA-based systems are the current trend, Sq uses software simulation. All game cartridges you eject will be dumped to the Micro SD card stored on the back of the system. Therefore, when you go to play the game for the first time, Sq will spend some time dumping the game to the SD card, but the sequential playback time of loading will be greatly shortened from then on. Loading times vary widely, and sometimes can last for nearly a minute, which is a bit surprising for Game Boy games.During the dump process, your save file will be also Being copied, we are full of confusion about this-but we will look back as soon as possible. After transferring the game to the SD card, you still need to insert the game to play, so don’t expect to turn it into a one-stop emulator.

The original aspect ratios of the “Game Boy” and “Game Boy Colour” games are excellent at 720p resolution. The pixels are nice and sharp, and the colors are really popular. If you are the kind of person you like, there is a small switch on the back that can stretch the image to the entire screen (everyone by themselves, we are not here to judge). In the process of using the machine, we did not encounter any frame drops, strange pixels or random sounds popping up.We tested many different games, such as Balloon Boy, Final Fantasy Adventure, Mario Golf with Pokémon Blue, And they all behave as we want. Although, if you insert the original Game Boy games into Game Boy Color, they will have the same color palette as you.Some games look a little messy on the big screen because they are not designed to blow up on a 50-inch TV in the living room, but to give you if you are far enough away from the TV (for example, your mother always tells you) should well.

On the other hand, the compatibility of Game Boy Advance is still under development. We have been playing with RetroN Sq for a few weeks, and at the beginning, the frame rate was still very rough. However, Hyperkin has been working hard to patch the patch to make it smooth, and after hands-on trial of the unreleased version of the patch, we can confirm (in most cases) that the patch appears to have been fixed.we Have done Sometimes some rather unpleasant sounds are found in the audio department, and some sound effects may also be a bit harsh. Therefore, it seems that GBA support still takes more time, but Hyperkin correctly stated on the box that GBA support is still in the testing phase and will continue to be updated over time.

Sq is also very focused on being a simple plug-and-play system, so it doesn’t have any kind of UI. Therefore, unfortunately, there is currently no way to change the color palette, log in the saved state, or add filters such as scan lines or pixel grids, which we are happy to see. Hyperkin said its software is open source, allowing the community to create mods and updates for users to decide whether to download.

Saving files is another interesting topic we need to talk about. When you eject the game to Sq for the first time, Sq will copy the saved data from the cassette to the Micro SD card.Then, as long as you save the game while playing on Sq, it will only overwrite the data on the SD card, but Is not Your ink cartridges. Therefore, if you eject the cassette to return and play on Game Boy or other hardware, put the remaining saved data into Sq.

P1033644©Nintendo Life

We talked with Hyperkin and made a decision on this to ensure that your original saved data will not be accidentally damaged during the writing process. Hyperkin says there will be no problems in the end, but it hopes to protect your potential childhood savings at all costs. We appreciate this, but for some people, not being able to switch back and forth between handheld devices and TV playback can be a bit cumbersome. Nintendo Switch proves how important it is to continue playing games on the go. Especially for large RPGs such as Pokémon, it is unfortunate to make progress on Sq and transfer it to your cartridge.

When the system first started up, due to the unsatisfactory aspect ratio, blurry visual effects and rather rough frame rate of GBA games, Hyperkin has released some new firmware updates, which you can also download to solve some of these problems. Installing the update can be a bit tricky because it requires a PC and will overwrite any of your current game save files, but once it’s done, it’s done.

Hyperkin has made heroic efforts to create affordable and easy-to-use consoles for the classic Game Boy series of games. If you are fine with some of the things it lacks, such as saving state and color options, then this is a reliable way to play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and ultimately Game Boy Advance games on the big screen.