I was unfortunate enough to have two different family members gift me these two things. So hey, why not write about them and do something useful with them?
Pocket Player Review
First off, neither of these things are going to be recommended, let's get that out of the way right now. But you probably already knew that.
The My Arcade Pocket Player is a handheld which retails for $40 USD and comes with three games: the original Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, and Pac-Panic/Pac-Attack.
The handheld is a rectangular thing which kind of reminds me of the Neo-Geo Pocket Color. It feels as light as you'd expect a cheap cashin to be.
It can either be powered by 4 AAAs or a Micro-USB cable, either of which you'd need to supply yourself. I'm glad it comes with the second option, as I really don't want to waste time finding AAAs to use on this thing once or twice then never again. Obviously, there is no battery built in, so you would have to stay tethered to a USB port, whether from a wall outlet, computer, or external battery.
The screen is nice and bright, though with poor viewing angles.
Inside is a Genesis/Mega Drive clone, which I'm kind of surprised they didn't just use an NES on a chip like with the arcade machines. I'm not 100% certain, but considering Pac-Mania and Pac-Panic are the Genesis versions, it's safe to assume that's what it is.
Booting up the console brings you to an extremely barebones menu with the three games listed.
Pac-Man is probably the most interesting game on the system, oddly enough. It tries to emulate the arcade version, and does a decent job. You even need to insert your own credits, as a sticker on the back reminds you of (side note, yes you can insert 99 credits, though it will always say 1 player only). Either it uses a homebrew I don't know about, or was made in-house, as it's not based on the version included in Pac-Man 2 or any other existing version, as far as I can tell. I would not be able to tell you if the sound is good or not, as either the speaker on this handheld is the crappiest, most distorting, and quiet thing ever, the sound on my device is broken, or the sound emulation is poor. I wouldn't be surprised if the answer was all three, to be honest. What I can tell you is that for some reason the starting jingle plays upon every single new stage, and not just when you start a game. I would tell you if all the intermission cutscenes are accurate or if it has the 256 bug, but I don't have the patience to go that far on this tiny thing, especially as you can't pause, and I wasn't ever the best at the original game either.
Pac-Mania is, as you guessed by my earlier statement, the original port released back during the Genesis' lifetime. Which is honestly a bummer, as the port already wasn't a great one, and its bad music is made worse by the distortion added by this little handheld. As far as I can tell, the only difference is that the logo screens were removed, since the companies originally involved either would rather not license their name, or are defunct. bringing you directly to a menu screen without any music.
Pac-Panic is the same deal. Removed extraneous copyright screens, leaving only the one on the title screen. For obvious reasons, the versus mode is also removed. I never played the Mega Drive version, so I wouldn't be able to tell you if you could rotate pieces in both directions, but since there is no C button, if you could, you can't on this console.
Overall, even if there was more than three games (come on guys, you couldn't at least add in Ms. Pac-Man or Pac-Man 2 to make there be at least a decent amount of content in this system?) I would not be able to recommend this thing. At least it comes with a lanyard, which Ashens fans are sure to enjoy.
Very quick Blast! review:
It's as bad as you'd expect. No settings, bad sound emulation, smudgy blurry mess of pixels. I don't think it's an NOAC, since the menu, save state, and rewind functions are obviously something the original hardware couldn't do (and yes, it is all the NES ports with the copyrights removed outright), but I don't think it's Android either, so no RetroArch sideload. Shame you can't use the controller on other games, since it actually isn't half bad.
Frankly, I don't care if the above writings are poorly written. I just needed a place to vent about these two crappy things and actually be heard by people.