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SEGA Neptune Micro-Review: AtGames Gopher Portable Video Game Player (Tech)

December 4, 2011

It’s like a Genesis, but it fits in your pocket.

What is this about?

The Gopher Video Game Player from a little Taiwanese dev AtGames is essentially a portable Genesis. It has 20 games built-in, a six button layout, it can be charged through a USB port, a TV component cable for hook-ups, it has a headphone jack and even an SD card slot to play other Genesis titles through emulation (please note that this is not an endorsement of emulation).

What I liked about it:

  • Good build: As  far as third-party licensed machines go, this Gopher looks and feels solid. It’s pretty lightweight, which makes the task of  carrying it around not feel like a chore. The controls are tight and responsive;
  • Excellent LCD screen: The tiny screen is small, but efficient, the games look great on it, be it the built-in ones or the emulation of other titles;
  • Emulation works nicely enough: I’ve tested many titles and all of them, save for a slim few exceptions, worked perfectly. There’s a small load time before the game boots up, after that you can start playing. A 2GB SD card is enough to contain roughly the entire library of Genesis titles;

What I didn’t like about it:

  • Mediocre sound emulation: Unfortunately, while the Genesis titles look and play nice, the music and overall sound effects don’t seem to translate well. Sound effects are either off or poorly processed and the music in  many titles is either slower or sometimes played too fast and can be distracting;
  • The price tag: When you can purchase the Mega Drive Classics Collection for dirt cheap and it runs on virtually any PC or laptop, an average price of 40 USD is not encouraging, especially since you also have to fork up the dough for an extra SD card. Personally, it is recommended that you wait for a price drop;

The Final Word:

On a whole, the AtGames portable Genesis is a nice toy/distraction for those who don’t have a Gameboy Advance or don’t want to bother paying too much for an expensive PSP or DS. But nevertheless, it is not worth the full price. At a more reasonable discount price, it is worth looking into it.

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