Posted Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:48 AM
I bought both tabletops Monday. I've been too busy to spend a lot of time with them but I played with both a few minutes to see what they're like and comparing them to my other vintage tabletops. They pretty well made and run on 2xAA batteries. Both games have been available before in a different form, whether a keychain game or similar. The technology used is a little different. I'm not sure it's VFD like the Coleco's, I'd say it's more like the LCD colorized stuff Nintendo released with their Tabletops (ie: Donkey Kong Jr., Cement Factory, etc...).
The Frogger kinda puzzled me because the screen looks reflected off a mirror, very much like the old Donkey Kong Jr. Tableop if I'm not mistaken. Didn't really see the need to do that honestly. The music sounds almost sampled from the arcade or maybe just recreated, and much better than any of my older handhelds. Joysticks and buttons play great as well. And the game plays pretty good too.
The space invader screen is not refected off a mirror and to me looks more crisper because of it. I have a version of this already and I really like how this game plays. Definitely as good as but not drastically better than Coleco's Galaxian. Sound effects are real good as well.
The artwork on Frogger is almost the same as the coleco version except the "by Sega" is removed, and things were shrunken or enlarged to fit the space better. Excaliber, the company that released these, felt the need to stink up the marquee graphic and put a small version of their logo there. That ruins the look if you ask me. The tabletops are I'd say 5% smaller than coleco's tabletops, the top hood being noticable shorter. Also missing is artwork on the screen itself. That was a real nice touch the Coleco's had and these don't.
Overall I like both machines. I do also feel they are both a little overpriced (15-20 is a better pricepoint), and gameplay isn't really dramatically different than the tabletops made 20 years ago. Should make a good gift for crazy retro game collectors like myself.
I hope they make more of these. Maybe price points will go down once stores other than Spencers (which tends to overprice stuff) gets their hands on it.