Earlier this year, Blaze Entertainment announced the Evercade EXP, the next iteration of its retro handheld that plays cartridges loaded with classic games. But you won’t even need (or be able to use) a cartridge to enjoy some of the most exciting games in the Evercade library. Blaze has announced a new partnership with Capcom to offer 18 classic Capcom games to Evercade EXP owners. All 18 of the games will be pre-loaded onto the EXP, so you can play them immediately when you boot up the handheld.
When Blaze announced the EXP, “bonus content” was teased for the Evercade EXP. It’s safe to say that the bonus content is pretty exciting. The 18-game Capcom library is quite impressive, as it includes a bunch of classic Capcom arcade games as well as a few standout console games, including a trio of Mega Man titles. Here’s the full list:
- Mega Man (8-bit)
- Mega Man 2 (8-bit)
- Mega Man X (16-bit)
- Breath of Fire (16-bit)
- 1944: The Loop Master
- Bionic Commando
- Captain Commando
- Final Fight
- Forgotten Worlds
- Ghouls’ n Ghosts
- Legendary Wings
- Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
Some of the games will take advantage of the Evercade EXP’s TATE mode, which allows players to turn the handheld and play with a vertical orientation. Commando, 1942, and 1943 are just a few of the games that will be able to use this feature. 1944 releases as a 4: 3 aspect ratio game, so TATE mode isn’t required for that particular sequel. Of course, many other games in the Evercade library will take advantage of TATE mode, too.
It’s also worth noting that the Capcom games will still have all of the features Evercade users have come to expect from cartridge releases, including save states and scanlines.
Since the Capcom games are pre-loaded onto the EXP, they are exclusive to the handheld. Unfortunately, original Evercade handheld and Evercade VS home console owners won’t be able to play the Capcom library on their devices. That said, you can play the Capcom titles in 720p on a TV or monitor by using the Evercade EXP’s mini-HDMI port.
The Evercade EXP’s Limited Edition all-black handheld went up for preorder in June, but it sold out fairly quickly. A white standard edition will be available to preorder this month for $ 150.
The Evercade EXP has a sleeker design that looks great. It has an improved 4.3-inch IPS display that bumps the resolution from 480 x 272p to 800 x 480p. Under the hood, the Evercade EXP matches the VS home console with a 1.5GHz processor and 4GB of RAM. It also uses USB-C for charging rather than microUSB. All existing cartridges that work on the original Evercade handheld will work (and look better) on the EXP.
We reviewed the Evercade VS home console earlier this year and were mightily impressed with the design and performance. The original handheld is also a stellar piece of hardware. If you’re nostalgic for retro console and arcade games, the Evercade family offers a huge variety of games in physical cartridge formats. From what we’ve seen so far, the Evercade EXP looks to be a marked improvement on the already-great Evercade handheld.
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