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Monday, December 17, 2018

Bandai Namco Flashback Blast! Video Game Controller Review

Are you a fan of retro arcade games? AtGames Digital Media recently released a series of HDMI dongle and wireless controller bundles featuring eight to 20 classic titles per model:
I recently had the chance to try out the last one.
Setup of the unit was harder than it should be. The instructions are written by someone whose first language is not English. The way to setup.... 
  1. Place two AAA batteries into the handheld unit.
  2. While pressing the A button on right and up-arrow on left of controller, turn on the controller with the on-off switch on top. Continue to hold both buttons down for about five seconds, until the power indicator lights starts to blink.
  3. Connect the dongle to a power source. You do get a cable in the packaging, just not an AC adapter you can connect it to on the other end. I chose a powerbank as it was the easiest thing to connect the unit to. 
At this point, handheld controller should stop blinking indicating the dongle and handheld controller are paired, just like a Bluetooth headphone is conencted to most moden day mobile phones. You can then connect the dongle to the back of your TV. It will fit right into one of the TVs HDMI connectors. Remember which HDMI port # you connected to on the back so you know which input source to set on the front side.
With the unit I received, I had my choice of eight games to consider playing. I chose a game called Xevious first. I remembered playing this game growing up and it took me a little while to get the controls understood, but I eventually broke through the initial high score. The controller has one nice feature some might consider cheating. You can rewind your position in the game to a few seconds back. Basically, if you die in the game, just skip back however many seconds and you can continue and try to not die in the same place again. This is good for when you keep getting stuck in the middle of a game and don't want to repeatedly get to the same without having to repeatedly due tht early stages/steps.
In addition to Xevious, I also had the chance to play Pac-Mac and Galaga again. The remaining games built into my controller were Dig Dug, Galaxian, Mappy, Sky Kid, and The Tower of Druaga. Five of the games I played considerably growing up. Three, not so much so, but, they're still fun to play.

Playing the games was a great flashback to my younger years. I envision the product more so for the middle-aged parents out there than for their kids. The games are just too simple to keep the interest of the kids, but their parents will enjoy the stroll through memory lane. At under $20 per controller, their a relatively inexpensive option for under the tree. One tip, they'll too big to fit in a normal-sized stocking.

Disclosure: I received the above mentioned product for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions stated are my own and may differ from yours. See my disclosure policy for more information. Java John Z's is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

*Read my Disclosure


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