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Super Pocket review - Capcom + Taito

In this Super Pocket review, we look at both the Capcom and Taito editions of this petite portable powerhouse and whether it can meet your retro gaming needs.

Super Pocket - the Capcom and Taito editions of the Super Pocket along with an iREM cartridge

Our Verdict

The Super Pocket is a compact and affordable retro gaming handheld that comes complete with a selection of great games and the option to expand your library through a wide range of Evercade cartridges. Cheap, cheerful, and full of charm, it may not be perfect, but it’s a strong entry point for anyone interested in exploring retro games, and a great collector’s item for any enthusiast.

While flashy graphics and complex mechanics have their charm, there’s something to be said about the warm nostalgia of revisiting simpler times, and the great popularity of retro gaming speaks to that. Unfortunately, retro gaming can be a pretty pricey pastime these days, but Hyper Mega Tech’s Super Pocket handheld consoles are here to combat that.

In this Super Pocket review, we take a look at the compact Capcom and Taito portable gaming consoles, including their build, performance, game selection, and how they work with the Evercade cartridges, so you can get a feel for these impressive budget handhelds and whether they’re the retro gaming experience for you.

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Pros

  • Strong library of pre-installed games with the option to expand through cartridges
  • Compact and attractive design
  • Easy to pick up and play
  • Decent speakers
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Small screen that struggles with some games
  • Buttons are quite close together making it uncomfortable for bigger hands
  • Only compatible with Evercade cartridges, which can be pricey
  • Can’t remap buttons
  • D-pad and shoulder buttons could be better

Price and availability

Capcom Edition: 

Taito Edition: 

You can purchase both the Taito and Capcom editions of the Super Pocket from several major retailers, including Amazon, with an RRP of $59/£49 each.

You can also pick up additional Evercade cartridges to further expand your Super Pocket’s library with a wide range of retro games including huge names like Namco, Atari, and more. Each Evercade cartridge sits at an RRP of $19.99/£17.99, and generally includes 6-15 games.

Specs

Screen 2.8-inch IPS
Resolution 320 x 240
Size 5″ long x 3″ wide x 1″ deep
Battery 4+ hours
Charging USB-C (cable included)

Super Pocket Review - the front of the Super Pocket Capcom Edition, and the back of the Super Pocket Taito edition

Design

I was lucky enough to get my hands on the Taito and Capcom versions of the Super Pocket, both of which sport the same design with the only differences being the colors (and, of course, the pre-installed games). Compact, sturdy, and highly portable, they sit at only 5” long, 3” wide, and 1” deep, cased in a chunky plastic shell with a simplistic and sleek design that oozes nostalgia.

The Capcom version goes for a classic yellow and blue color scheme matching the company logo, while the Taito version is an attractive black and turquoise. The consoles feature the Hyper Mega Tech logo between the buttons and either ‘Capcom’ or ‘Taito’ edition stamped proudly below the screen, making them lovely collector’s items that would look great on any retro gamer’s shelf as well as in your hand while out and about. To add to this, the packaging they come in is also adorable and would look just as good on display.

The consoles feature the standard four input buttons (X, Y, B, and A), along with a d-pad, start and select buttons, and a function button on the front, as well as four shoulder buttons and volume control on the back. At the bottom of the console, you can find a USB-C input for charging, a power switch, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The build quality feels sturdy and high quality, and most of the buttons have a nice tactile feel – however, due to the small size of the console, they’re also packed quite tightly together. This isn’t an immediate issue for me due to my smaller hands, but I did find it put some strain on my outer wrists with prolonged use, and when my partner took these consoles for a spin, he struggled with some intense thumb-cramping.

The layout also makes the back shoulder buttons feel kind of fiddly as you try to get a grip – but not all games use them, so that might not be an issue for everyone. Additionally, while responsive, the shape and design of the D-pad is certainly not to everyone’s taste. Rather than having a central pivot, you can press the entire thing down like a button, which isn’t always ideal for certain games, especially if you like that rolling movement.

In addition to the built-in games, the Super Pocket is also compatible with Evercade cartridges, which you can easily slip in and out of the slot in the back with next to no hassle. And, if you want to take your console and cartridges out with you but are worried about keeping them safe and sound, you can also pick up a Super Pocket case for a few bucks on Amazon.

Super Pocket review - a picture of the Capcom Edition showing the carousel of games, along with the Taito Edition playing Bubble Bobble

Features and performance

The Super Pocket Capcom Edition features 12 built-in games. They are:

  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
  • Strider
  • Wolf of the Battlefield: MERCS
  • 1942
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway
  • 1944: The Loop Master
  • Bionic Commando
  • Captain Commando
  • Final Fight
  • Forgotten Worlds
  • Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
  • Mega Man

While the Super Pocket Taito Edition comes with 17 games, as follows:

  • Bubble Bobble
  • Cadash
  • Chack’n Pop
  • Don Doko Don
  • Elevator Action
  • Football Champ
  • Growl
  • KiKi KaiKai
  • Liquid Kids
  • Operation Wolf
  • Puzzle Bobble
  • Rastan
  • Space Invaders
  • Space Invaders ‘91
  • The Fairyland Story
  • The Legend of Kage
  • The New Zealand Story
  • Volfield

Hyper Mega Tech was also kind enough to include an iREM Arcade 1 Evercade cartridge including six more games (R-Type, Moon Patrol, Battle Chopper, In the Hunt, Lightning Swords, and 10-Yard Fight). Naturally, some of these games are more well-known than others, but each console and cartridge contains a surprisingly varied array of titles for you to explore, making it great for both revisiting old classics and exploring those you’ve yet to try.

Upon booting up the console, you can browse through a visually pleasing carousel of games or hop into the settings to tweak things to your liking. The Super Pocket predominantly emulates the arcade versions of the games (with only a few outliers, such as Space Invaders ‘91), but with the added bonus of save slots and the ability to choose between normal difficulty for the ‘authentic arcade experience’, or easy difficulty, where you quickly learn that ‘easy’ is subjective and entirely dependent on the game.

In terms of the display, while generally quite bright and vivid, the screens are exceptionally small at only 2.8”. To counteract this, the console offers the option to switch between original ratio, pixel perfect, or full screen, as well as the choice between strong, subtle, or no scanlines. These are very welcome (albeit expected) additions that allow you to tweak things a little, however, some games work better on this small screen than others. This is mostly due to the 320 x 240px resolution, which makes some titles look a bit blurry and squished.

Beyond that, the emulation is pretty darn good, and it’s a great entry point for newbies or an easy way for enthusiasts to play while you’re on the go. The inputs are snappy, the sound is surprisingly good (and loud!), and the option to hook up headphones is great. There are some games that struggle more than others (for example, 1942 and 1943 really don’t look their best), but, while I obviously haven’t had the time to pour hundreds of hours into every game available, I can’t say that any I’ve played are particularly ‘bad’.

Super Pocket review - a picture of my hand holding of the Taito Edition showing the Evercade tab, and the Capcom Edition showing the settings menu

Verdict

Officially licensed, compact, and attractive, the Super Pocket consoles are quite the treat. While far from perfect, they offer a lot for the price, and make for a great entrypoint into retro gaming, or a fun collector’s item for any retro game enthusiast. They’re cheap, cheerful, and above all, fun, allowing you to carry a whole world of games in your pocket. So, if you can overlook the minor drawbacks, I can wholeheartedly recommend them as an affordable yet niche portable powerhouse.

Alternatives

Not sold on the Super Pocket? No worries, there are plenty of other options out there to meet your retro needs. Here are some other strong contenders my PT pals and I have tried out in the past.

Super Pocket review - the Analogue Pocket sitting amongst a selection of Game Boy cartridges

Analogue Pocket

The Analogue Pocket is an equally compact retro gaming console designed for enthusiasts, achieving everything it sets out to do. With a gorgeous screen, a premium feel, and a whole heap of features, it’s one of the best ways to play your Game Boy games today – and while it does rely on you bringing your own collection of Game Boy cartridges to the table, you’re not solely tied to built-in games and Evercade cartridges, either. Your main issue is getting hold of one for a reasonable price these days! Check out our Analogue Pocket review to find out more.

Super Pocket review - the Playdate console sitting on its stand

Playdate

Okay, this one’s a little different, but the Playdate is a truly unique, tiny handheld. With its monochrome screen, simplistic design, and adorable lil’ hand crank, it’s a really cute, compact piece of kit that not only works as a collector’s item but also can keep you entertained for hours. In fact, in our Playdate review, we describe it as ‘the bright yellow embodiment of the joy of playing and indie gaming spirit’.

Of course, if you’re looking for something that reaches beyond the retro gaming scene, we’ve also got a list of the best portable gaming consoles for you to peruse, with a wide range of options sure to suit everyone’s individual needs.

That’s everything in our Super Pocket review. If you fancy exploring something more recent, be sure to check out our lists of the best Switch games and the best mobile games. Or, for some funky peripherals to add to your collection, take a look at our lists of the best phone controllers or the best Switch controllers.