MCC-TV - Multiple Classic Computer from Arcade Retro Gaming [HARDWARE REVIEW]


As always we do try to give our readers the latest reviews in retro hardware devices that are a little bit more unusual in the grand scheme of things, from the UCassette, to the C64p, C64SD8bit's SD2IEC and the more recent Super Retro Trio Console. Also to note we will always give an honest review even if some companies prefer we didn't. Anyway, enough about that, today we are going to feature the Multiple Classic Computer – MCC-TV which was kindly sent to us for review by Arcade Retro Gaming that can play both Amiga and C64 titles through your TV.


As per usual the first thing to look at is the contents and what arrived certainly impressed us. For anyone looking for a full package of usefulness, the MCC-TV has it all. With a mini-USB power supply, a user manual, Micro SD full of games, a joypad and an AV cable. No expense was spared and I certainly did not expect this much stuff. The only downside was an AC adapter (US) so we had to use a US-EU adapter, but Arcade Retro Gaming did assure us that we could also use any USB Power Supply from a smart phone or other devices (Top Marks!)

Next up we take a look at the MCC-TV and as you can see by the comparison between the device and the joypad it certainly is of small size but packed full of awesomeness. With the provided USB joypad you can easily play games and even use the joypad for mame titles on your PC. Contained within the MCC-TV is a reconfigurable hardware core, including main CPU, graphic engine, sound engine and integrated SDR Memory 8 Mbytes.


Looking at the MCC-TV on one side it has a usb power slot and AV connection.


On the another side, a Micro-SD slot which is the most important bit for loading games. Although I did find this to be a little fiddly as it wouldn't click in or come out unless I used my finger nails.


Finally another important connection for the MCC-TV are the two USB connections, of which you can plug two USB Joypads into for up to two players!


Now we've taken a look at the hardware, it's time to look at the all important load up screen which you will be using a lot. As you can see below, when you power up the little beast you are given a core menu to be able to select either the Amiga or C64 KBD. Each core system is packed full of 255 C64 games or + 45 AMIGA 500 games, powered by Amiga forever and C64 forever (Cloanto). Just select the system you want and the MCC-TV switches over to that core launcher. You can reset to the core selection in game by just holding in the select or start button. The screen can also be switched between PAL and NTSC using the handy button press on the joypad.


First we will take a look at the Amiga and as we stated before it is packed full of Amiga games directly loaded from the Micro-SD using the Amiga launcher. Each game is easily runnable using the joypad, just select a game and it loads up.


The first game we picked was the rather excellent Exile thus the provided joypad came in handy as it was mainly a joystick game after all. Controls were excellent with good quality graphics and great sound coming out of the TV.  It almost felt like I was loading a real Amiga.


The only thing that did bother me of which will play a part through most of the review was accidentally pressing the wrong button causing the keyboard ui to load up. The way the keyboard ui works is taking away a real keyboard and making it usable through the joypad. Pressing a button on the joypad enables the ui keyboard for you to select options such as Y for yes or N for no. But the issue came about as I'm so used to pressing buttons 1-4 on a joypad in console games that I kept on pressing the same buttons over again and getting myself killed. Fire buttons are the triggers underneath the joypad.

After a few hours of fun usage, we moved on to the C64 and this is where we had most of our issues through our testing. Games loaded up fine but that ui keyboard again played a huge factor mainly because many of the C64 games used their own cracktros which are skippable through certain key presses. Yet they wouldn't always say what button skipped, some were skipped by space and some were skipped by pressing run/stop. Thus it was a case of loading up the keyboard, and joypad scrolling each of the correct buttons getting it to load to the full game.  Then of course some games needed to be configured for controls, so once again I had to open up the keyboard screen. The thing is, the keyboard has to be used, you can't play without one. It's just very fiddly through a joypad, so there's not much that Arcade Retro Gaming can really do about this.

Excuse the camera quality, lighting was not the best today in doors!

Putting that aside, we decided to try out Arkanoid which looked just brilliant, it also ran really well and sounded great. If it wasn't for the fact that my C64 was put aside, It almost looked as if I was still playing it, it was that good.


Now we've tested all the main games, it was time to place the Micro-SD inside my PC adapter and look at the contents contained within. As you can see it has loads of games and what I liked was being able to use my own files. Provided games are in (APPS) and uploaded files are in (USER). Just make sure that for the the Amiga you use *.ADF floppy files as the MCC-TV uses floppy roms just like the Gotek. Each floppy can be placed in it's own slot and swapped using the joypad.



As a great test for user based files, we copied over Retro Asylum's latest Christmas release *.adf over to the User directory. Plugged the Micro-SD back in, loaded up the launcher, scrolled to the right, selected the *.adf file and launched Workbench from within the menu.


Lo and behold, Retro Asylum's homebrew released worked brilliantly. It loaded without fault and sounded great! I was very happy with it.


Now that the Amiga part was done, we moved back to the C64 and this is when we had issues. After turning on the device we heard a click inside and every time the C64 launcher was loaded it turned out green with a hint of blue. I think something may have fried the C64 part of the device as although it did load, the colours were way off.

Please note that even with these issues and unlike the other company we reviewed for, Arcade Retro Gaming were helpful throughout. Not once did they give up in trying to get it fixed, we pretty much tried everything from swapping PAL to NTSC, to using the latest menu.cfg. So I'll give Arcade Retro Gaming big brownie points for doing everything they could in fixing it, oh and for showing us an extra cool menu with JiffyDos for improved loading times. Well done ARG!

Back on track, two different TV's were tried and the same thing, we even tried pushing in the AV connection and still no change. All the games were green with a hint of blue. I even tested my real C64 and that was a beauty, which is a shame because as you can see by Arkanoid further up, when it worked it was just tops!

Two different TV's were tried as reference

We ended up giving up trying to get the colours right and tried to run some homebrew demos and seeing if this device could load up C64 homebrew titles. As per usual we did the PC transfer and made sure that the *.D64 files were placed in the user directory such as AviatorArcade, Donkey Kong JR and Comaland by Censor Design and Oxyron (2014).


Once again we came into issues, we could not get any of the homebrew titles to load up, even though we could load the contained files just fine our uploads wouldn't work. At first I thought it was just Comaland but nor Aviator or Donkey Kong JR would load. Just booted straight back into the main screen after *.d64 selection and nothing happened.

Please note this could be something to do with the C64 issues we were having before or it needed a special keyboard entry which we didn't know about. As all the default games loaded up straight from the launcher, we did expect the homebrew demos to do that as well. Thankfully I have full faith in Arcade Retro Gaming to get this looked into and will probably mean a simple firmware update in which we will update this article.

So with that all out of the way, I'll now list my pros and cons and final thoughts of what I think of the MCC-TV

PROS : 

AMIGA

Great sound quality
Good graphical quality
Precise controls
Easy to load Amiga games, both provided and uploaded homebrew releases

C64

Great sound quality
Good graphical quality (When it was working)
Easy to load C64 games (Provided only)


CONS :

AMIGA

None

C64

Colour issues in final testing, most likely a new firmware release is needed or hardware fix
Very fiddly joypad-keyboard ui, got in the way and frustrating to launch through cracktros
Could not get any of the homebrew user uploaded files to work ( Again maybe user error? )


Final Thoughts :

Overall I did enjoy using the MCC-TV, it is great for Amiga owners who don't have a real Amiga and just want to play original Amiga games, uploaded games or new homebrew titles. The graphical quality, sound quality and control was equally impressive and is well worth it for anyone not wanting to buy a brand new Amiga and just want to retro game on the go. It would be especially fun taking it on holiday with two controllers and playing two player with friends.

As for the C64 I was about to give it a higher mark based on the graphical quality and sound. But it is a huge shame the MCC-TV decided to turn green and the fiddly controls got in the way. The C64 part was the only system that was letting down the entire device because the Amiga part is just brilliant.

Arcade Retro Gaming were also very helpful throughout, with any issue that I had or question to answer they replied straight away with advice. So if you end up purchasing the MCC-TV I can assure you that the company behind the MCC-TV will be there to help you every step of the way.

((Available to buy from the ebay or website store, priced at 79.99 USD))

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5 comments:

  1. Hmmm... F/A-18 interceptor, any lucas arts/ Monkey Island, populous, powermonger, syndicate, any Cinemaware, Fusion (bullfrog), Walker (joystick AND mouse :) ), dungeon crawlers, etc etc...

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  2. ;) Thanks!

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  3. Does a USB keybaord work on it so you can stop using the on screen keyboard ?

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  4. Do u have the updates on this review yet? =)

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  5. No sorry, we've been so busy! However I see they've released some core updates which I should be able to try this week, will be interesting to see if it fixes the colour issue. Cheers

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