Evercade VS review: a retro novelty with some bright ideas

1 month ago 38

The Evercade VS is simply a large small instrumentality if you’re looking for a retro arcade acquisition for your TV. With rock-solid emulation and a fascinating dual-cartridge system, the VS brings immoderate fantastic innovations to the table. However, the acquisition is somewhat marred by its mediocre controller and a deficiency of in-box components to get the happening moving successful the archetypal place.


  • +

    Excellent emulation that upscales well

  • +

    Exciting dual cartridge system

  • +

    Support for USB controllers

  • +

    Pricing is conscionable right


  • -

    Pack-in controllers are of mediocre quality

  • -

    Lengthy bootup sequence

  • -

    Mediocre pack-in games

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Blaze Entertainment is connected a ngo to seizure the chunky joyousness of retro gaming, creating consoles that play classical games disconnected integrative cartridges. The Evercade VS lets you replay galore aged games done your modern TV, slotting games into the console (and no, blowing the cartridge isn’t a requirement), it convincingly upscales its retro crippled room to 1080p.

With a fewer hurdles to wide connected the archetypal setup, though, the Evercade VS doesn’t rather deed the crushed moving arsenic smoothly arsenic the Evercade EXP, Blaze’s handheld retro system. And adjacent erstwhile you’ve got the VS acceptable to spell connected your TV, the console doesn’t marque the champion archetypal content with its substandard controller that’s a acold outcry from the beardown physique prime of the strategy itself.

The Evercade VS’s existent strengths prevarication nether the hood. Quite literally. The console tin location 2 Evercade cartridges simultaneously, and the institution has utilized this diagnostic to spell the other mile successful a fascinating way. And if you’ve already built up a cartridge postulation with the Evercade EXP handheld, fret not. All your cartridges from that enactment connected the VS, too.

Evercade VS: terms and availability

You tin bargain the Evercade VS Starter Pack for $99 / £89 / AU$158. This includes the console, 1 controller, and an officially licensed cartridge containing 8 Technos-developed arcade games.

Though if you privation to marque the astir of the Evercade VS’s 2 cartridge slots, you whitethorn privation to opt for the Premium Pack. It’s a interaction much costly astatine $129 / £109 / AU$203 but adds successful an other controller and a 2nd cartridge featuring 10 Data East arcade titles.

Unfortunately, neither bundle includes an HDMI cablegram oregon USB AC adaptor. If you don’t person spares lying around, you’ll person to origin those components into the wide cost.

Evercade VS: design

Evercade VS

(Image credit: Future)
  • Solidly built console
  • RGB airy is simply a beauteous flourish
  • Included controllers are underwhelming

The Evercade VS’ has a sturdy integrative ammunition with immoderate beauteous aesthetic touches that marque it look close astatine location adjacent to a Famicom oregon a toploader NES. It looks the part, with immoderate eye-catching modern flairs, including a portion of RGB lighting that divides the abstraction betwixt the 4 USB controller slots and the cartridge particulate cover.

A chunky powerfulness fastener disconnected to the broadside turns the VS connected oregon off, its powerfulness authorities indicated by the RGB strip. Naturally, you won’t beryllium capable to execute overmuch with nary cartridges inserted into the VS (unlike the Evercade EXP, the VS person a postulation of pre-installed games). You’ll find the 2 cartridge slots hidden beneath the particulate cover.

That prime doesn’t widen to the Evercade VS’ controllers. Blaze Entertainment’s created a pad akin to that of the Famicom, with its rectangular plan and straightforward fastener layout. Unfortunately, astir elements of the controller person issues. 

The d-pad feels a small excessively stiff, the look buttons aren’t tactile, and the 4 enarthrosis buttons are uncomfortably adjacent together. Its 1 redeeming grace is the cablegram – agelong capable that you should person nary contented playing games sitting connected a sofa distant from the TV.

Thankfully, the Evercade VS supports different controllers. I swapped retired the VS pad for an Xbox Wireless Controller, and my acquisition with the console improved dramatically. The console besides supports 4 pads, truthful if you’ve a postulation of USB controllers for different consoles, you tin usage them without buying a acceptable of Evercade VS gamepads.

  • Design score: 3 / 5

Evercade VS: features

Evercade VS

(Image credit: Future)
  • Dual cartridge strategy is simply a blessing
  • Free monthly crippled keeps the acquisition fresh
  • Optional scanlines disappoint

There are a batch of devices that fto you play emulated games connected your TV, but what sets the Evercade VS isolated is its dual cartridge slot that allows you to insert 2 Evercade cartridges simultaneously. Not lone does this trim the fig of times you’ll beryllium swapping retired cartridges, but it besides hides a superb secret.

Inserting circumstantial combinations of cartridges into the Evercade VS volition let you to unlock concealed games. That means you’ll person to bargain much Evercade cartridges if you privation to usage the feature, but it is simply a large reward for gathering up an Evercade collection. And let’s look it; if you’re readying connected buying an Evercade VS, you’d apt privation to put successful astatine slightest a fewer much cartridges determination down the line.

One large interaction I liked astir the Evercade VS is the summation of a rotating, escaped monthly game. Each month, you’ll find a crippled loaded onto your strategy from an upcoming Evercade cartridge, akin to the freebies offered via PS Plus. I emotion the inducement to instrumentality to the VS astatine slightest erstwhile a month; having a caller indie crippled to cheque retired semi-regularly helps support the acquisition caller for longtime owners.

The Evercade VS offers akin emulation options to the handheld Evercade EXP, you tin alteration the game’s solution (original ratio, a much compact pixel-perfect mode, and an enactment to afloat acceptable the screen) and togglable scanlines. Though, portion I wasn’t a instrumentality of the emulated graphical artifact connected the smaller EXP screen, the scanlines are adjacent much of a distraction erstwhile blown up to 1080p connected your TV.

A much-appreciated diagnostic the VS has is the quality to remap its fastener layout. While it’s intolerable to bash this per-game, you tin hop into the settings paper to customize your controller layout universally. That’s particularly useful if you’ve opted to usage an alternate pad to the VS default.

  • Features score: 4 / 5

Evercade VS: performance

Evercade VS

(Image credit: Future)
  • Top notch emulation
  • Games upscale nicely to 1080p
  • Shares agelong footwear series with Evercade EXP

As is the lawsuit with the Evercade EXP, emulation connected the Evercade VS is stone solid. Games some look and play arsenic intended. Testing a wide scope of arcade titles, I wasn’t capable to place immoderate notable ocular oddities, dilatory down, oregon game-breaking glitches. This makes playing arcade games connected the VS a faithful experience.

I was initially acrophobic astir the bump-up to 1080p resolution, disquieted that the summation mightiness marque the emulated visuals look blurry oregon warped. And portion that tin hap if you take to agelong to 16:9, some archetypal ratio and pixel-perfect options inactive look superb. I’d urge playing connected a 1080p show if imaginable oregon sticking to a pixel-perfect facet ratio if you’re playing on, say, a larger 4K screen.

One setback the VS shares with the EXP, sadly, is its agelong bootup sequence. Much similar the handheld, the VS takes astir 25-30 seconds to footwear to the menu. Blaze Entertainment has been doling updates and tweaks retired regularly, truthful I anticipation this is thing that tin beryllium addressed successful the console’s future.

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Should I bargain the Evercade VS?

Evercade VS

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You privation a console dedicated to retro games
Many of Evercade’s games are hard to way down without resorting to PC emulation, making the console a large prime for preservation enthusiasts.

You similar genuinely utile novelties
Unlocking concealed games by slotting successful definite pairs of cartridges is simply a wonderfully innovative mode of gathering your room connected Evercade.

You’re aft a large surface retro experience
Games connected the Evercade VS clasp up amazingly good to 1080p scrutiny, and aggregate controller enactment makes it perfect for societal gatherings.

Don't bargain it if...

You’d similar a handheld device
Prefer older games successful the thenar of your hand? The portable Evercade EXP is the mode to go.

You person a choky budget
The Evercade VS isn’t excessively pricey, but having to bargain cartridges separately tin rapidly adhd up the outgo of the console.

Rhys is Hardware Writer for TechRadar Gaming, and portion comparatively caller to the role, he's been penning successful a nonrecreational capableness for years. A Media, Writing and Production graduate, Rhys has anterior acquisition creating written contented for app developers, IT firms, artifact sellers and the main TechRadar site. His existent passions, though, prevarication successful video games, TV, audio and location entertainment. When Rhys isn't connected the clock, you'll usually find him logged into Final Fantasy 14, Halo Infinite oregon Sea of Thieves.

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