VG Pocket Max Video Game ConsoleDate Published: 2/21/08
Handheld gaming technology has improved to the point where new consoles can enter the market with a unique design, a large list of games, and a good price right off the bat. That's the niche that Performance Designed Products (formerly Pelican Accessories) is hoping to fill with their VG Pocket Max video game console.
It's not a GameBoy or a PSP, but the VG Pocket Max doesn't have to be. With its low selling price and 75 games pre-installed, this video game console isn't trying to take over the handheld gaming market, but it might appeal to casual gamers who will play while waiting at the bus station or during a flight.
Many of those games share a similar feel, and many use similar background music, but it remains an impressive collection. Perhaps what is most impressive on this console is the 2.5-inch full color TFT screen. It's not as sharp as a PSP screen, but it holds its own against GameBoy Advance graphics, with good resolution and quick refresh -- even in the 3D games. (One caveat: the screen can get scratched quite easily, so you might consider a protective screen cover if you'll be carrying this video game console in your pocket.)
The games themselves bring back memories of original NES or Commodore 64. They're better than what you'd find on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision retro machines, but not as polished as Super Nintendo. The top-down racing games especially feel the same, but there's still plenty of variety. Action games such as Jump and Penguin Island feel like old arcade titles, and there's an ample collection of forward scrolling-shooters like Earth's Starfighter and Starcraft Attack where you blast everything that comes at you while trying to avoid incoming fire.
Included with this video game console is an AV connector to hook up to your television and play on the big screen. You can't have both screens at once, but the games hold up well with a full-screen image.
The VG Pocket Max is a great diversion for older gamers and all the games are appropriate for younger games, making it a quality video game console rated E for Everyone.
Pros: Good collection of games, sharp screen, can play on TV
Cons: Screen can get scratched