Hyper Mega Tech Super Pocket review: Classic gaming, rejuvenated

Hyper Mega Tech Super Pocket review: Classic gaming, rejuvenated
GGRecon

Written by 

Joseph Kime

Published 

1st Dec 2023 17:17

The retro games market is a pretty big one, which is an equally good and bad thing for developers.

Teams behind big titles of yesteryear seem to have a never-ending line of fans queueing up for the games they remember from their younger days, and if they’ve got their heads screwed on the right way, they’ll be able to deliver with ports and official appearances of these games that players can enjoy regardless of their system of choice. But if they don’t do it right, they risk wading into the world of emulation.

There are so many means for players to engage with classic titles illegally these days, with some companies offering such little means of playing their games that some players don’t feel they have a choice but to download ROMs, and it brings down even those who attempt to bring the classics back in the process. The classic gaming world is held up by illegal means right now, and for some, there’s little reason to look for a legal reason due to its attached price tag.

But, some companies are looking to bring the joy of classic gaming back, reflecting their time while injecting something a little new and fresh into the mix at the same time. Though it might take some serious convincing to peel some players away from emulators, their next best thing may have just arrived.

GGRecon Verdict

With a nifty form factor and a future-proof means of playing games in any way you choose, the Super Pocket consoles have proven that there could be a way out of the illegal gaming dungeon we’ve found ourselves in. At £50 RRP, they offer a very reasonable cost of entry, and with so many cartridges to pick up and expand your library with, Hyper Mega Tech has stepped over the typical “50 games-in-one” model into something more sustainable, interesting and downright exciting.

Back to basics

The CAPCOM edition of the Super Pocket in someone's back pocket.
Click to enlarge
Hyper Mega Tech!

Players have been given too many reasons to defect to illegal means of playing classic games over the years, but the Super Pocket from Hyper Mega Tech has posed the question - what if there was an easier way to play older games? It's done so by launching two new handhelds featuring titles from Taito and Capcom that are each designed to give you a way to pick up and play some classics no matter where you are.

The devices are incredibly simple, acting as a colourful sub-in for the classic Nintendo Game Boy with some souped-up visuals and audio capabilities, and each one sits in the hands comfortably. It’s a product that’s designed to last and remains easy to chuck in a bag or back pocket, and it’s perfectly capable, too, with some impressively loud speakers and strong visuals to boot, and though the paddles on the back of the console might feel a little clumsy to reach, they’ve got a satisfying click that makes up for the reach.

Both versions of the consoles come with some iconic titles packaged in - Capcom leads the charge with Mega Man and Street Fighter II, while Taito goes even older with Space Invaders and Bubble Bobble. Each gaming game on either console is an incredibly faithful recreation, and even though some might lament that the Mega Man choice was its original console debut rather than one of the obscure arcade titles, the lineups here feature iconic names and hidden gems alike. Plus as a feature that isn’t seen often enough in classic game collections, there’s something so charming about using the Select button purely for inserting coins into the game, giving you the blast of serotonin that comes with hearing a 1-UP chime at your fingertips.

There’s something particularly joyous about a handheld console that has dedicated itself so much to being designed around old-school game design, especially as it comes with screen filters and adjustments that help to reflect each individual’s classic gaming experience. A lot of care has gone into these pocket-sized pick-up-and-plays, and it shows.

In for the long haul

A player using the TAITO edition of the Super Pocket.
Click to enlarge
Hyper Mega Tech!

Products like this are a dime a dozen in the classics space, but what makes the Super Pockets so special is the potential for more - they come with the capabilities to process existing Evercade game cartridges, meaning that for relatively fair prices, players can buy Duke Nukem, Worms and Commodore 64 inspired collections, as well as bringing some more modern titles like Full Void and Demons of Asteborg to the system with some old-school flair.

The cartridges themselves are seamlessly integrated into the console’s menus, too - all it takes is to pop the cartridge into the console and click on Evercade on the main menu, and instantly, everything lies there before you. It’s incredibly impressive to see how these games can join your existing Super Pocket library immediately and seamlessly, and it could be a pretty big step forward in terms of legal ways to access classic games.

It’s a brilliant way to develop a classic emulation machine, and providing that Evercade can keep up with new (or rather, old) games for however many years to come, it could become an entirely new basis for the future of the games of old. We’ve had many discussions about Nintendo’s willingness to port old titles over the years, and while they’re typically quite hard to budge, if we can have a wider conversation about how classic games are reproduced with other creators, then the Super Pocket feels like a first step for something that could be even better in future.

The Verdict

The CAPCOM and TAITO versions of the Super Pocket on display.
Click to enlarge
Hyper Mega Tech!

With a nifty form factor and a future-proof means of playing games in any way you choose, the Super Pocket consoles have proven that there could be a way out of the illegal gaming dungeon we’ve found ourselves in. At £50 RRP, it’s an incredibly reasonable cost of entry, and with so many cartridges to pick up and expand your library with, Hyper Mega Tech has stepped over the typical “50 games-in-one” model into something more sustainable, interesting and downright exciting.

There is a lot of potential here, and providing that the Evercade library can keep growing at its current rate, we could be in for a handheld legacy that rivals even the PlayDate. The Super Pocket might look to the past, but if we’re lucky, it could be the future too.

4/5

Review unit provided by the manufacturer.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.