Emulation is a great way to play your favorite old games, with certain caveats. It remains a legally gray area at best, and simply downloading ROMs from the web is out of the question, whether that’s said with a wink and a nod or not. If you can back up your own classic game collection to ROM and ISO form, though, you can put everything on a single, easy-to-use device. We saw this with the Polymega retro gaming console, an easy recommendation for disc-based games up to the fifth generation of game consoles.
The handheld emulator market is a different story, and is saturated with Chinese-made gaming devices that use Linux or Android to emulate systems. The Retroid Pocket 2 is the first of its kind we’ve formally looked at: an Android-powered handheld with physical game controls and a design that harkens back to the Game Boy Advance. It can emulate games for systems up to the Sega Dreamcast and PlayStation Portable, and it’s available for a very reasonable $84.99. It looks good, feels good, and mostly plays very well, but it isn’t for the technologically faint of heart.
The Retroid Pocket 2 looks better than most Chinese gaming handhelds. It’s available in a wide variety of retro-inspired color schemes, including Game Boy Advance indigo; gray with various SNES, Super Famicom, PlayStation, and even Game Boy-colored buttons; black with black, red, or PlayStation-colored buttons; yellow; blue; and pink.