Video Game Consoles

Review of Evercade VS: A Vintage Novelty With Some Innovative Ideas

Blaze Entertainment has made consoles that use plastic cartridges to play vintage games in an effort to mimic the chunky thrill of retro gaming. By inserting games into the system (and no, blowing the cartridge is not necessary), the Evercade VS impressively upscales its retro game collection to 1080p, allowing you to play numerous ancient games on your modern TV.

The Evercade VS doesn’t quite get going as cleanly as the Evercade EXP, Blaze’s handheld retro system, as there are a few obstacles to overcome during initial setup. Even after setting up the VS on your TV, the console leaves a bad first impression thanks to its poor controller, which is a long cry from the sturdy construction of the system itself.

The Evercade VS’s major advantages are found within. Very literally. The company has made fascinating use of the console’s ability to hold two Evercade cartridges at once to go above and beyond. And don’t worry if you already have a collection of cartridges for the Evercade EXP portable. All of your cartridges from there also function on the VS.

Design VS Evercade


A toploader NES or a Famicom would look well at home next to the Evercade VS’ robust plastic exterior and excellent aesthetic details. The four USB controller ports and the cartridge dust cover are separated by a strip of RGB lighting, giving it a stylish, contemporary appearance.

The power status of the VS is represented by the RGB strip and is controlled by a large power button off to the side. Naturally, you won’t be able to do anything if there are no cartridges in the VS (unlike the Evercade EXP, the VS have a collection of pre-installed games). The two cartridge slots are tucked away under the dust cover.

The controllers for the Evercade VS lack that quality. With its rectangular shape and simple button layout, Blaze Entertainment’s pad is reminiscent of the Famicom. Regrettably, the controller’s majority of components have problems.

The four shoulder buttons are uncomfortable close together, the d-pad feels a touch too rigid, and the face buttons lack tactile feedback. The cable is its one saving feature; it’s long enough that playing games while sitting on a sofa away from the TV shouldn’t be a problem.

Thank goodness, the Evercade VS works with different controllers. After I switched the VS pad for an Xbox Wireless Controller, my console usage significantly improved. If you have a collection of USB controllers for other systems, you can use those instead of purchasing a set of Evercade VS gamepads because the console also supports four pads.

VS: Evercade features

Several devices exist that enable you to play simulated games on your TV, but the Evercade VS stands out thanks to its dual cartridge slot, which enables you to enter two Evercade cartridges at once. This not only lessens the frequency of cartridge replacements, but it also conceals a great secret.

Secret games can be unlocked by inserting precise combinations of cartridges into the Evercade VS. As a result, if you want to use the feature, you’ll need to purchase more Evercade cartridges, but it is a fantastic perk for assembling an Evercade collection. And let’s face it, if you intend to purchase an Evercade VS, you’ll probably want to make a future purchase of at least a few additional cartridges.

The Evercade VS has a nice feature in the form of a rotating, free monthly game. Similar to the free games provided by PlayStation Plus, you’ll find a new game installed onto your system each month from an upcoming Evercade cartridge. I adore the motivation to visit the VS at least once every month; having a new independent game to play occasionally keeps things interesting for long-time owners.

Similar to the Evercade EXP handheld emulator, the Evercade VS allows you to toggle the scanlines and adjust the game’s resolution (original ratio, compact pixel-perfect mode, or fully fit screen). While the scanlines are a distraction when blown up to 1080p on your TV, whereas I wasn’t a fan of the mimicked graphical aberration on the smaller EXP screen.

Performance VS Evercade

Emulation on the Evercade VS is as reliable as it is on the Evercade EXP. Games both appear and function as they should. I tested a wide variety of arcade games, but I was unable to find any glaring visual anomalies, lag, or game-breaking bugs. Due to this, playing arcade games on the VS is an authentic experience.

The boost to 1080p resolution initially scared me since I thought it could blur or distort the mimicked visuals. Although that might happen if you choose to stretch the image to 16:9, the original aspect ratio and pixel-perfect alternatives both still look fantastic. If at all possible, I would advise playing on a 1080p screen, or if you must use a larger 4K screen, I would advise maintaining a pixel-perfect aspect ratio.

Unfortunately, the VS and the EXP both suffer from a lengthy bootup process. The VS boots to the menu in about 25 to 30 seconds, much as the handheld. I hope this can be fixed in the console’s future because Blaze Entertainment has been routinely releasing upgrades and modifications.
Evercade is an excellent option for preservation fans because many of its titles are hard to find without using PC emulation.

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