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Anbernic RG351V

by coxy
June 28, 2021
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I bought an Anbernic RG351V.

After seeing someone mention retro gaming on Twitter, I suddenly thought about all the many hours of gaming I’ve enjoyed over the years.

My brother and I shared a second-hand Commodore Vic-20 and played on a black and white TV. Once you plugged it in, you had to tweak a dial on the TV to tune it in, then load games from cassette or massive cartridges – or better yet – code them yourself by copying code from a magazine.

A picture of a Commodore VIC-20, that I stole from the internet.

Years later, when my brother was out of the house, I would creep into his bedroom to play his Sega Mega Drive. At some point I got a handheld console; a Sega Game Gear that I used to play under the bedsheets instead of sleeping.

Later still, I saved up and bought a red Game Boy Pocket with Pokémon Red. Then a yellow Game Boy Color with Pokémon Yellow. I love first generation Pokémon.

I had a Sega Dreamcast, and bought a Microsoft Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One – all on launch day. And probably a Nintendo Game Boy Advance SP and Nintendo Wii along the way too.

I’ve had a lot of consoles over the years. It’s where I spent all my pocket money, the money from my paper round, and earnings from my first few jobs. I don’t think any of them were gifts. I earned them.

A photo of my brother and I playing a Sega Mega Drive in the 90s.

Most consoles that I have owned in the past, I still own now. The Sega Mega Drive, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Wii and Microsoft Xbox One have all found a home under my TV until recently, on rotation. The rest are packaged away in cardboard boxes, collecting dust in the basement here in Norway or of my childhood home.

…until recently.

I packed them all away in the basement to replace them with a custom built gaming PC to sit beneath the TV.

But, reading about retro games on Twitter gave me the itch. The itch to play some of the old classics that I remember. And I gave in. I scratched.

A quick internet search for the best handheld gaming consoles available today brought up this YouTube video by Retro Dodo and it wasn’t long before I was hovering over the buy button for an Anbernic RG351M in matte black.

Only, I spent 5 minutes doing some more research and convinced myself that the Anbernic RG351V was the better choice. Mostly because several people online had claimed it to be their “daily driver” but also because the aspect ratio of the screen is closer to almost all retro games.

A photo that I took of the Anbernic RG351V running Mario Kart Super Circuit.
A photo that I took of the Anbernic RG351V running Mario Kart Super Circuit.

This neat little handheld can play pretty much any game from the 1980s through to 2005 – where it starts to struggle with Sega Dreamcast games.

When you purchase the console it comes with a bunch of games pre-installed. But, it only takes a little technical know-how to add more. Simply download the games (called ROMs) from the internet, slot the SD card from the console into your computer, and copy them across.

Around 2001, I owned a Game Park GP32 – which did something similar. And later in 2005 a Game Park GP2X. But these two handhelds were nowhere near as polished. The Anbernic is one solid piece of hardware and a joy to use. Now I can have 100s of old classics in the palm of my hand.

What are your favourite games from retro consoles? Leave a comment below with some recommendations of titles to load onto the Anbernic RG351V.

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