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 Post subject: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:13 pm 


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Joined: 11 Sep 2012
Posts: 723
Does anyone have any experience with those handheld retro Android devices for playing shmups? I've been eyeing the RG351V.

Would be interested in MAME performace, how far can these things be pushed? Can they play DOJ/Ketsui etc? I think Dreamcast is kinda borderline on these, would Border Down and Giga Wing 2 run well on them?
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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:43 pm 


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Joined: 31 May 2010
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
I have limited experience, but I will share what I know.

I have not owned any Anbernic device, and also not sure if I would in the near future.

Currently I own a GPD XD Plus, bought 2nd-hand for well below market-value. I was fairly pleased with it for a while and it handles Dreamcast well, and even a bit of GameCube with the MMJ builds of Dolphin. It has however, been totally eclipsed by what I will describe next.

What I recommend, is a Snapdragon-based smartphone released in the last three or so years, plus some kind of controller to hold the phone. My current daily driver is a refurbished LG G8 and it runs everything I'm interested in, even 3DS runs OK in Citra MMJ once shaders have been cached. Ketsui and DOJ run just fine. You will probably be disappointed in the performance of any handheld that you get, and will probably purchase several of them. By the end of it, you will have spent enough money to get an old smartphone and a decent Bluetooth or USB-C controller that would spank all of those devices on performance.

And another tangent - being able to do Steam remote play is awesome. Won't really work too well for fast action games, but the value of the service still cannot be understated. I did OK in Fight n Rage with it - definitely not as good as true local, but decent enough to have fun with it.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2021 5:47 pm 


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Joined: 26 Jan 2005
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Location: MD
When I saw "retro handhelds", I was thinking actual retro handhelds like Gameboy, Game Gear, and Lynx. I recently bought a non-SP GBA with a nice IPS screen, as well as an original GB with an IPS screen, so I had game boy on my mind. I love me some Nemesis. I guess GBA is considered retro now? GG only has a handful of shmups. Ariel Assault is terrible (nothing like the SMS version), but the GG Aleste games are good stuff.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:44 pm 


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Joined: 25 Jan 2005
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Location: Nebraska, USA
No MAME here, but the PSP can still do a ton of emulation for older consoles, and that opens up a lot of shmups.
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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:13 pm 


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Joined: 12 Aug 2009
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Location: Minnesota, USA
Got to try out a RG350M once from a local buddy. Arcade games were a bit hard to follow and my play was vastly worse than at home; perhaps objects/bullets are just too small on a 3.5inch screen for a game was originally made for a 29inch screen. But for more casual play it seemed fine. There are active reddits for various Anbernic handhelds, if you want to ask about Dreamcast or Cave stuff on the 351.
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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:06 pm 



Joined: 07 Jun 2020
Posts: 64
I have an rg350. It runs everything that runs in final burn. Runs ketsui. The same problem applies to all of them. The controls are just not good enough for shmups, and you end up using an external controller, and at that point any tablet or phone is a better option.

Ketsui in retroarch on my phone is about 1000x better than ketsui on my rg350. Modern phone displays are fucking amazing when you think about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:21 pm 


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Joined: 21 Feb 2005
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Location: My Island
BrianC wrote:
When I saw "retro handhelds", I was thinking actual retro handhelds like Gameboy, Game Gear, and Lynx.
Those are vintage or just old, not retro. These are not synonyms. Retro means in the style of something old, not something that is actually old, despite this industry bastardizing the hell out of it.

My only experience with one of these is the GP2X, which is well behind the technology curve. I'm happy with its performance with all pre-PSP portables, which is why I got it, but I wouldn't trust CPS2 or Naomi on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:19 pm 



Joined: 08 Mar 2019
Posts: 96
The controls are awful, the screens are awful (lower resolution than many of the arcade games), and the CPU power is laughable (forcing you to run old versions full of bugs)

Honestly some of the worst, most overhyped devices I've ever encountered. There's nothing 'ultimate emulation handheld' about them. Not fit for purpose if you ask me.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 11:42 am 



Joined: 29 Mar 2021
Posts: 15
MameHaze wrote:
The controls are awful, the screens are awful (lower resolution than many of the arcade games), and the CPU power is laughable (forcing you to run old versions full of bugs)

Honestly some of the worst, most overhyped devices I've ever encountered. There's nothing 'ultimate emulation handheld' about them. Not fit for purpose if you ask me.


I think that not everyone will agree with you, because there are game lovers who, for the sake of the gameplay itself, are ready to endure poor graphics and inconvenient controls.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2021 9:16 pm 


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Joined: 11 Sep 2012
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Against the better judgment of the forum I bought a 351p which should arrive tomorrow.

It does sound like its got some issues and limitations, but even so it should be a huge upgrade over my New 3DS XL which is my current emulation system. Excited to be able to run higher spec'd games on it and better features that are out of reach for my 3DS.

Once the next version of the Switch comes out I'll grab that and hack my old Switch for my ultimate emulation machine.

So if this tides me over until the next Switch revision I'll be happy.
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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:35 am 



Joined: 26 Jan 2005
Posts: 7954
I bought a 351p version as well. Cool to learn with a usb-c to usb adapter, you can even use a 3rd-party wired gaming controller like the PDP Switch Afterglow with led lighting controller -- after initial configuration of said controller, it works like a charm (but at the expense of shorter li-po battery duration due to the Switch Afterglow's internal led lighting setup if activated/turned on).

Crt scanline filter + proper 4:3 screen aspect ratio enabled + vertical screen orientation = good as gold on a 351p setup. A 351p surely runs circles over the older Dingoo A320 handheld (circa 2010-2011) quite easily (but the A320 handheld has a proper 320 x 240 resolution lcd screen + A/V output via 1/8" headphone jack setup which are it's redeeming finer merits to take into consideration).

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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 7:09 pm 


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Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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Quite honestly, I'm not sure what the "terrible controls" talk is about. I've got an RG350M and the buttons and d-pad feel far better than just about any other handheld system I've owned, and certainly better than any phone controller I've tried. The screen's definitely small and the power ain't there for much beyond the PSOne, I get those complaints, but the feel of the hardware itself is rock solid.


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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2021 7:33 pm 


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Joined: 11 Sep 2012
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I've been meaning to do a deeper dive on these devices on this forum. I really should get around to that.

The build quality of these things is very high end. The controls are fantastic on the RG351P, and other than my unit not tracking battery life properly, the whole thing feels really premium.

When combined with emulationstation, it becomes something special. Really nice themes, video previews, box art... when taken as a whole its just a really awesome package.
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 Post subject: Re: Retro handhelds for shmups
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:05 pm 


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What we really need is a new-age WonderSwan-like device that can be rotated. Then we need the second coming of vertically-oriented games that are not shmups. Bring on the single-screen platformers and the action puzzlers!
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