We've been keeping a keen eye on the Evercade project ever since it was announced, and continue to be impressed with its expanding range of physical carts showcasing many previously hard-to-obtain retro titles.
The two latest carts cover the work of North American publisher Renovation and UK studio Gremlin Graphics. Like previous offerings, these packs include multiple games and represent excellent value for money – perhaps more than is immediately apparent, in fact.
Take the Renovation Collection 1 cart, for example. Sure, it includes the less-than-amazing Mega Drive / Genesis titles Beast Wrestler and Dino Land, but it also boasts El Viento, a title which, in its original Japanese form, is worth a pretty penny these days. Likewise, Gaiares (which is about to get republished on the Mega Drive) sells for many times more than the asking price of this collection. Even the mech action title Final Zone, which is something of a cult classic on Sega's 16-bit system, is well worth a look – and we haven't even mentioned that the pack also features two entries in the Valis series. Oh, and remember Sol Feace, the Wolf Team shmup that was supposed to convince everyone to buy a Mega CD? It's here too, but it's the cartridge version that lacks the animated introduction and CD-quality music.
Gremlin Collection 1 only has half the number of games that the Renovation pack has, but the inclusion of Actua Soccer will be enough to convince many to part with their cash. Like Hardcore 4x4, this is an emulation of a PlayStation title and is, therefore, a lot more impressive than some of the 8 and 16-bit titles seen on previous Evercade carts. Gremlin's famous 2D platformer Zool is also included, which should please Amiga owners everywhere.
The Evercade range has covered the work of Data East, Technos, Namco, Jaleco, Codemasters and more – but which company would you like to see immortalised in an Evercade cart next? Let us know with a comment.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Fri 18th March, 2022.
I've picked up the couple of carts that are going out of print this month, but I haven't fully dived in yet. Hopefully I have some more spare cash in the future and then I can get involved. Of course the Switch will have to stop releasing absolute bangers, so maybe I will just never own an Evercade.
The Evercade is pretty cool, though a lot of its games tend to be "deep cuts." Glad you keep covering it.
I wish Nintendo would do something like this for their handheld library. Better yet, if the cartridges are cross-compatible with the Switch (with the retro handheld only able to read retro-flagged cartridges).
But I would still buy such a handheld in a heartbeat so I can carry it in my pocket in those situations where carrying my Switch around may be inopportune.
I managed to snag an Everdrive VS on the cheap and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the device. The controllers feel really good, the interface is nice and snappy, and hot-swapping cartridges works perfectly, although I don't understand why they chose to use a MicroUSB cable to power it instead of one of those round plugs like the PSP and such. Of course everyone has a hundred MicroUSB cables around the house, but the ports are notoriously flimsy and not built to last.
Some game cartridges I really wonder who they're supposed to appeal to, but most I think are pretty good, and these look like some pretty good additions to the library as well. Like many of the cartridges I haven't heard of or played most of the titles before, but they look interesting and I wouldn't mind playing them for a bit. I do wonder why they wouldn't use the CD version of Sol Feace, it's not like it would run any worse because the Evercade is more than powerful enough to emulate it. Edit: and come to think of it, this is not the first of such strange decisions to include an objectively inferior version of a game when a better version would work just as well. Maybe it's something to do with the licensing.
I know a fair few people snicker at the Evercade because it's "just ROMs on a cartridge", but the original cartridges (or discs) those games were released on were also "just ROMs on a cartridge". Some things still benefit from being played on the original hardware (like Mega Drive games, which never sound as good if played on anything other than a Mega Drive), but otherwise modern emulation outclasses the original way to play in every way.
Removed - off-topic
I enjoy my Evercade, in its handheld and VS incarnations. Rather than just republishing the same old Megadrive (etc) games, they do try and curate less well-known, but still good, games.
For future carts, I’d like to see a pinball-themed cart (eg Pinball Dreams, Fantasies etc and non-licensed IP tables) and a vertical SEU set - as long as the handheld gets a TATE mode!
The problem with the ‘cade is that Blaze is a small company so the juiciest games come at a too-rich price. Or worse, when the IP owners are unknown or in a legal minefield, as with many Amiga-only games, which would be terrific on the system.
@Kiz3000 How do you know what one's are going out of print?
They should up the price to 25 a cart and do solo releases of recent retro aesthetic games like Blazing Chrome, Steel Assault, Infernax etc. At the currents cost there is no way these people will get involved. I would love to see these games on a solo cart, that's a real modern retro experience.
The Gremlin Graphics one is missing the Monty Mole games, Jack The Nipper and the amazing Switchblade!
Below you will find the affected carts and the dates on which they will no longer be produced:
Namco Collection 1 (ends June 2022)
Namco Collection 2 (ends June 2022)
Technos Collection 1 (ends March 2022)
Oliver Twins Collection (ends March 2022)
The above cartridges will still be SOLD past March at retailers, but once the retailers stock runs dry, that's it. I am interested to know what they are going to do with the handheld packages considering they have the Namco 1 Cartridge in.
Sol Feace? Awesome, I had the double pack on mega CD that came with a helicopter game called cobra command or something
@Malanta7 I imagine that's the cost of components going up?
Putting El Viento on there but not reminding the world of Earnest Evans and his hypnotically janky puppet-like animation? (and a game that was weirdly released only on CD in Japan and only on cartridge in America).
@ralphdibny Very confusing that Data East made two different games both called Cobra Command. One was a FMV and the other was a horizontal shmup.
@KingMike oh really? I think the one I had was a side scrolling shmup with the helicopter but thinking about it now, I am sure there were some FMV elements like a clip of a grave stone with funeral music if you died. Kind of makes sense as it was on the Mega CD
@KingMike you know what, just ignore my previous comment. I don't think I've played either Cobra Command or Sol Feace in almost 20 years lol. My memories of both are so vague and I feel like I may be combining memories of both games 😅
@Kiz3000 Thanks for the info. Bought the VS last year and been contemplating getting some more. Didn't know some where going out of print. Got the ones going out of print ordered now ordered now with regular Evercade. Probably going to get the full collection throughout the rest of the year. Gotta collect 'em all.
I'd love to see an Ocean Software cartridge. That would be a very tempting purchase!
@Rambler Switchblade is on the Piko Collection 1 cart.
@Kiz3000 thanks, I missed that some were going out of print. Figured it would happen sooner or later. I'll pick up the two I don't have here.
Just picked up the Indie Heroes collection, have most of the collections released so far.
Love both my VS and Handheld, great systems.
Look forward to grabbing these too.
Dino Land doesn’t stand up to Devil’s Crush or the splendid Psycho Pinball, but if you approach it on its own terms and can deal with the cramped playfield it’s pretty fun.
Most Sega CD and the Turbografx CD emulators I’ve used have needed bios files/supercard ROMs that would need to be licensed from Sega or Konami (which owns Hudson). I assume that licensing why we haven’t seen any Turbografx games yet too. And of course it’s why we may never see software for Amiga, C64, Speccy, Color Computer/Dragon32, or any number of home computers - the bios and system functions are not easy to replace without infringing.
And, hey, what are Granada (or XGranadaX as I thought it was called when I was a kid) and Exile, chopped liver???
I haven’t played Utopia, and I suck at strategy/sim games, but it looks pretty good for a 16 bit console.
@BruMeister I think they’re referring to the fact that some of the games are obscure.
If this thing had a Neo geo collection I’d be all over it
I know the licenses Blaze gets aren't the most expensive ones, and that we won't see Capcom, Sega or Konami here.
I'd love to see an Irem collection or two, and definitely the second cartridge of Jaleco Collection and Data East, also a Data East Arcade 2 and a Jaleco Arcade 1 cartridge.
All those games, but Utopia was the one that really got me. Haven't heard that music in almost 30 years. I always wanted to see what happens as you get further.
Thanks for the heads up! Might look into getting one of these
I still want the Evercade. A collection I'd like to see would be Broderbund and Kemco-Seika. For the former, Guardian Legend and Battle of Olympus need to be on it. For the latter Shadowgate, Deja Vu (Was there a 2?), and Uninvited (didn't this also have a part 2?) need to be there.
@Kiz3000 Well those packages are obviously pre-packed so i guess once they run out, they run out. Namco will just re-release though as they are getting a licence to cover both consoles soon.
@YANDMAN It might not re-release. They are trying to get a new licence, there are no guarantees unfortunately.
Evercade is pretty cool especially for niche and homebrew titles that would be expensive to own physical copies of otherwise. For titles going out of print it's nice to know you'll always be able to play if you own the cart.
For anyone wondering why the best version of some games aren't chosen its usually needing to license a bios. CD games and pc games like amiga need bios files while cart games just need the rights to the game. The fact that they can't afford top dollar licenses has worked in their favor allowing them to have a unique library instead of the same retro collections we've seen a million times.
@Kiz3000 I see absolutely no reason why a company would not re-issue a previously agreed license, allowing them to generate further revenue from games that are thirty plus years old..
@Kiz3000 likely release a different bundle, probably. Question is what will it include once they go out of print
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