It might have escaped your attention, but I really love the plethora of mini consoles released in recent years.
Well the consoles themselves are cool, and offer a great way to transport some awesome games to play very easily.
I much prefer emulation via RetroArch, but the mini consoles usually bring something with them, as close to original controllers as possible.
I mean you try and get a PC Engine controller outside of the box containing the CoreGrafx Mini!
There is just something so much nicer about playing with controllers that are basically like what we had as kids, and often the knock offs just aren’t as good.
But that leads into another obsession, controllers and that’s a subject for another time!
But the consoles themselves are pretty cool so let’s take a look at what’s in my collection!
The C64 Mini
The C64 Mini (note not the Commodore 64 Mini) comes with 64 classic games for the Commodore 64 and VIC 20.
The design of this one is just so adorable, yeah the keyboard doesn’t work, but it doesn’t need to, and they even got the discolouration right.
The joystick however, is to be honest, rubbish, I hear that the standalone one is better, and I think I may invest in one.
I never had a Commodore 64 as a kid, but plenty of friends did, and I remember wasting plenty of time playing Speedball and Impossible Mission.
The most irritating thing about it was to have it load up, only for it to fail at the last second meaning you had to rewind the tape and load it up again!
This particular console is great, but I wish I had grabbed the Maxi or the VIC20 for the working keyboard, but that would have taken up so much more space.
Now living in the UK, the NES wasn’t that popular or common. We mostly had the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC, and when a console did get big, it was the Master System.
I never saw a NES in person until I went to university, but the GameBoy was very common.
I got this when it first came out on release day, and it’s kinda cool, but I guess, the games in it, don’t have the same nostalgia kick for me as they would for others.
I mean I have played a fair few of these games, either in the arcade or in later rereleases down the years.
The big issue with this controller is the puddly length of the controller cables, you can’t use it in the average living room without extension cables.
And the connector itself is a Wii Nunchuck port, so the controllers themselves whilst being very very well built and almost perfect replicas of the originals, they require an adaptor to use them with PC.
Mega Drive Mini
This is my main nostalgia kick, my first console that wasn’t borrowed from a friend, the 16 Bit masterpiece that was the Mega Drive.
My parents got me and my brother one with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, and a three pack with World Cup Italia 90, Columns and Super Hang-On.
It also came with the Master System Convertor so we could swap games with our friends who owned the earlier system, as well as buy our own games for that system.
It was far and away the best system of the era, the software was great and there were so many fun games on it, I even saved up the money from my paper round for 6 months to buy Virtua Racing for it, cause it cost an eye watering £100 back in 1994!
The mini version is grand, comes with a lot of the big hitters, but sadly missing Sonic 3, the controllers are just *chefs kiss* but a part of me kind of wishes that they bundled the six button controllers simply because games like Eternal Champions and Street Fighter II work better with them.
PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini
The PC Engine was a weird console, it was technically an 8 Bit console, but it’s 16 Bit GPU, and the lateness of its release meant most people considered it part of the 16 Bit era.
The PC Engine was super rare in Europe, but I did know one kid who owned one, that he imported from Japan, and we did have a lot of fun playing bullet hell shooters!
The mini version is a bit of an oddity, carrying both Japanese and English language games, and there are times in here that I am rather upset didn’t get an English version, Snatcher being the biggest disappointment.
Always wanted to play that game, but the lack of a modern release, and the only English version is for the Mega CD, and that was massively censored.
But there are plenty of other games on there, and even Japanese ones which require little, if any reading.
This is a great little console and the only way to get CD Engine controllers in USB, I know 8 Bit Do have released some similar controllers, but they lack the turbo switches and instead only have a turbo button.
I had an Amiga A500, our best friends had one as well or in some lucky cases, an A1200, I even had a friend with a CD32!
The Amiga was the dominant platform that wasn’t a console for a very long time, and the versatility of what it offered was wonderful.
We used to have just as much fun with Deluxe Paint, as we did with Lemmings, Sensible World of Soccer, Alien Breed and Zool!
This platform was fantastic and the death of Commodore after the failure of the CD32 was devastating to me, but it did essentially allow to IBM PC platform to become the dominant force it is today.
The A500 Mini is the most recent addition to my collection and thanks to the developers awesome system, I have a 32GB USB stick, with every game ever published for the platform on it, including all of the CD32 games.
My only criticism is that the game pad, whilst clearly taking inspiration from the CD32 controller, is quite a bit different, but I guess I can live with that.
Being British, the SNES, well it wasn’t as big a deal as it’s Sega rival was to us.
I did have a friend with one and there were some absolutely killer games released in the platform. The Mario games are up there as classics, for a long time it was the only way to play Street Fighter II at home, and Mario Cart made its debut here.
The SNES Classic is one of the best mini console offerings, the controller cables are a bit longer than those offered by the NES Classic, but are still rather short.
This is the dud of the collection, Sony looked to jump on the bandwagon and put together this offering which in all honesty, just missed the mark, by a long shot.
Ok you have some classics, like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, but so many games that should have been on here aren’t.
No Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot or Tomb Raider to name a few.
The controllers are great, but it really feels like Sony just couldn’t be arsed with this one.
The modding scene around it is great, and it’s something I should probably consider, but this is technically Lindsay’s as I bought it as a birthday present for her, so she would need to approve any modding!
Well there are other options out there, the main one I really want is the SNK Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro, which will combine my desire for an arcade fighting stick, and a Neo Geo games machine.
An Atari Flashback 9 or better is also wanted, as well as the Mega Drive Mini 2, but that looks to be out of production after only being released in October.
But beyond that, that would be it, unless a Master System Mini or a Dreamcast Mini hits the market. I really cannot see a PlayStation 2 Classic, due to the poor response to the PlayStation Classic and the technical issues would probably prevent development of a Saturn or N64 Mini.
I already have a PlayStation 3 and a Wii, which can play GameCube games, so realistically the only think I want that’s not a mini console, is a PlayStation 2.
What I Am Modelling
I painted up a unit of Sicaran Infiltrators to add to my Adeptus Mechanicum army.
And begun the painting of a T’au Fire Warriors Strike Team, which I finished up last Saturday night.
I am then finished a Necron Chronomancer.
And I am currently working on a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.
So what’s coming up next on the horizon?
- Necron Tomb Blades x 2
- Imperial Fists Tactical Squad x 10 & Praetor
- Ork Nobz x 5
- Kataphron Breachers x 5
- Oruck Gutrippas x 12
- Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 5
- T’au Crisis Team x 3
- Imperial Fists Contemptor Dreadnought
- Ultramarines Intercessors x 10
- Silver Tower Hero’s
What I Am Reading
I listened to The Great Clans of Rokugan Volume One, which was pretty good, but I had read a couple of the stories before I think.
Still working through my re-listen of the Dr Who Monthly Advenntures, and I listened to Red Dawn this fortnite.
I am also listening to Kasrkin, and I am very happy to hear that the Cadians remain, Space Geordies!
Also slowly making my way through Zachareth.
What Tabletop Games I Am Playing
On Saturday, myself, Lindsay and Megan played a game of Ticket to Ride London, and I lost, really badly, Megan blocked a route which ruined my whole strategy, but that’s the game!
On the Tuesday I enjoyed a couple of game of Just Oney with Lindsay, Megan and Jane, we only scored 5 on one game and a perfect 13 on another.
What I Am Spending
I grabbed the new rulebook for Dropfleet Commander so I can sort out running some battle reports and demos of this amazing game!
I also bought the Leagues of Votann dice, I am not sure if I want an army of these guys, but I grabbed the dice in case I do.
I got a four pack of USB Sticks, I only wanted a single 16GB stick, but turned out the 4 pack was the cheapest option for that, weirdly.
I needed a 32GB stick as well for the Amiga games, so picked up the same type, just bigger.
And I replaced the little drawer I keep my USB sticks etc with a new one.
My beloved fridge, that I have had since I started university in 2001, has died, it was a fair few years old when I got it, and it’s lasted for 21 years with me, at times having to serve as the houses main fridge.
The last 10 years it’s been exclusively for the storage of pop, snacks and medicine, and since we moved was kept in my studio.
But last week it ceased functioning all together, and we had a look on eBay and Facebook Marketplace and found this London themed Husky fridge for £50, and we picked it up on Wednesday night.
I managed to score a cheap copy of Marvel’s Avengers for PS5, I know it’s had mixed reviews, but you can’t go wrong for £8.
I wanted the PS5 version because it has Spider-Man in it!
We also grabbed a 4TB Hard Drive to add to the PLEX server, adding Paul’s library has taken up a considerable amount of space on the existing drives.
Adding this drive we found sealed and unopened on Facebook marketplace, for a killer price, had allowed us to expand the server space to 13TB in total.
For Dropfleet Commander, I grabbed some Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge fleet.
Also some fleet condition tokens, but they have all been put away now!
What I Am Winning
A little prize came, a cast photo from Star Trek: Picard Season 1, and that made me very very happy!
- Mood:- My feet are sooo sore!
- Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 4
- In My Ears:- Oliver’s Army – Elvis Costello
- Tabletop Game Last Played:- Just One
- Video Game Last Played:- Destruction Derby
- Book Last Read:- Zachareth – Robbie MacNiven
- Movie Last Viewed:- The Little Hours
- TV Show Last Viewed:- Blue Bloods
- Current State of Projects:- Tomb Blade given first wash