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Home / Tips and Tricks / The AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Cabinet is a modder’s dream – Review Geek

The AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade Cabinet is a modder’s dream – Review Geek



Rating:
9/10

  • 1 – Absolutely hot waste
  • 2 – Sorta lukewarm waste
  • 3 – Severely flawed design
  • 4 – Some advantages, many disadvantages
  • 5 – Acceptably imperfect
  • 6 – Good enough to buy on sale
  • 7 – Great, but not best in class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with some footnotes
  • 9 – Shut up and take my money
  • 10 – Absolute design Nirvana

Price: $ 599.99

A close-up of the Legends Ultimate Arcade control deck
Josh Hendrickson

I was to go back and forth on where to start with the $ 600 AtGames Legends Ultimate arcade machine. If I had to sum it up in three words, I would say ‘almost endless options’. If you want an arcade, but limited space or money to just one arcade, then this might be the perfect arcade for you.

Here’s what we like

  • Fantastic service
  • Lots of games
  • You can easily adjust this

And what we don’t do

  • Quite expensive
  • Mediocre speakers

You have probably heard of Arcade1Up and its excellent access to the home arcade market. AtGames is the closest thing to a real Arcade1Up competitor, but the companies couldn’t have approached the concept any differently.

While Arcade1Up focuses on beautiful replica arcade machines that each host a few games, AtGames went for a very generic looking machine that was packed to the brim with titles. And if the 300 (!) Video games aren’t for you, AtGames has made it incredibly easy to add your own games. You can buy add-on dongles, add a Raspberry Pi, subscribe to more games, or stream games straight from your PC. This thing is a mud’s dream.

Only a few assembly required

I can assemble an Arcade1Up machine almost blindfolded because until recently they all followed the same formula. You build an entire closet Ikea style and run cables from the operating platform to the display and lighting. It’s a tedious process.

And while the AtGames Legends Ultimate is still annoying, the company has managed to make the process easier. When the Legends Ultimate arrives, you will get in a box that is at least twice the size of an Arcade1Up box. The reason quickly becomes clear: the entire top half of the machine is delivered pre-assembled.

You do not need to install a display or connect speakers or the illuminated party tent. Instead, you build the bottom half of the cabinet (basically a hollow box), connect the two halves, and connect three cables to the control deck. The most annoying part is the artwork.

Rather than being printed directly onto the MDF sides, the Legends Ultimate artwork arrives as two rolled-up vinyl pieces. In the video above you can see how I take the logical step of inserting all the screws from top to bottom. But that was a mistake and leaves the vinyl pieces floppy.

Instead, you have to follow a set path of driving the screws to get a good fit. Once you do that, the artwork will look great. But I found myself annoyed by the end result until I discovered the correct instructions on the AtGames website instead of in the box.

Still, it took me about 30 minutes in total to build an almost complete arcade machine, and that’s not bad.

300 games, a few of them good

A three-quarter profile with illustrations featuring various video game characters.
Both sides have the same artwork. Josh Hendrickson

The big draw of the Legends Ultimate machine is the sheer number of games you get with the device. While many arcade machines come with three or four games, the Legends Ultimate comes with 300. Certainly with several hundred games, you will find something you like, right?

Yes probably. But don’t hope for gigantic pieces of quality. The vast majority of the collection consists of old games from, among others, Atari. You probably won’t find it Football or Basketball all that inspiring. But that does mean a few classics like Pong Missile Command, and AsteroidsTalk about Asteroids, that “300 games” claim feels a little bloated when you get duplicate games, like Asteroid and Storm, once in the console version and once as an arcade version. No one will ever play the inferior console versions of those games.

On the newer side, you’ll find some Sega listings. That led to some confusion for me. I was excited to see Aladdin and Lion King from my SNES days, but these are the SEGA versions. In front of Lion King, that doesn’t matter much, but the SNES version of Aladdin is vastly superior in my opinion. Oh well.

Despite this, there are plenty of gems to be found – Disney’s Fix-it Felix Jr. game is a favorite in this house, and if you don’t have any Arcade1Ups yet Burger time machine, this machine has all the games of that machine: Burger Time, Karate Champs Caveman Ninja, and Bad guys.

Check out the entire list, but chances are you’ll find at least six or seven games you really like, which is pretty good, especially when you consider the excellent control deck.

A beautiful screen and fantastic controls

A close-up of a tent lit up in darkness.
The light-up marquee is a nice touch. Josh Hendrickson

The Legends Arcade comes with a 24-inch horizontal LCD screen. In a word, it is fantastic. The colors are bright and vibrant, the viewing angles are good (considering you’re playing on top) and games look great. Since it is horizontal some games with vertical layout are like Burger time, is smoothed out a bit to fit. But I prefer what Arcade1Up did; it is the better compromise.

A good screen doesn’t matter if your arcade machine controls are mushy, and I’m happy to say AtGames nailed these. The joysticks get an octagonal limiter and it feels solid. When you need the diagonals, it will be locked correctly. That’s the best choice given the large number of games that require different controls.

They may not be quite Sanwa quality joysticks, but they feel close. The buttons are fantastic too. You can hear the springs when you push the buttons, and they push back with confidence. I don’t feel like I’m going to break them into an intense session.

A top view of the Legends Ultimate control deck, with two joysticks, 12 buttons, two spinners and a trackball.
Those golden spinners are so much fun to play with. Josh Hendrickson

AtGames went a little further than other arcades and included spinners and a trackball. Few games benefit, but the games that do benefit. The spinners are great. Give them a quick spin, and they’ll spin practically forever. Still, they feel heavy and solid, and the finger indentation is a great touch. They are almost a fidget spinner that you don’t even need a game to enjoy.

The trackball is pretty good. It’s a trackball so it’s hard to complain. It has a gritty feel to it when you use it which I don’t like, but it doesn’t seem to slow it down. If you prefer a bit of texture when you’re shifting a trackball, you’ll probably like it.

A weaker point in the hardware are the speakers. The Legends Ultimate has a pair of decent sized speakers just above the screen, and while they get a lot loud, they have no bass. That’s fine for all retro games, but you’ll notice when you start modifying the thing.

Oh yes, you can customize this arcade.

You can modify this arcade without much effort

Includes an HDMI port, two USB ports and a channel button.

Despite coming with 300 games, the real power in some ways is in what you can add to the Legends Ultimate. Look closely at the top left corner of the control deck and you will find an HDMI port, two USB ports and a channel button.

You can connect a device such as a Raspberry Pi or an Android phone to the HDMI port and send the video to the Legends Ultimate’s display. Then you can use Bluetooth to link the arcade controls to your device. This means that you can easily add your own (legally acquired) games to the Legends Ultimate with just a few cables. If you have a RetroPie setup or games you like on your mobile device, you can play them on Legends Ultimate’s excellent screen and controls.

The HDMI port.

But it doesn’t stop there. Buying one of AtGames’ Blast game dongles will allow you to add those games to the system. Or you can subscribe to the AtGames ArcadeNet service, which allows you to add more games to your Arcade via streaming. You can subscribe for free to access 10 games and limited play time, or you can choose from several paid levels that come in at $ 60 per month for 80 games and unlimited play time. And if you’re interested in playing pinball machines, AtGames sells optional pinball controllers that plug into the sides of the controller deck easily.

Do you already have your games on a gaming PC? Then you can install AtGames streaming software and play them on the Legends Ultimate machine. I’ve tried all those methods of adding games, except for the Blast dongles, and they work surprisingly well – depending on your internet speeds.

To help with that, you can connect via Wi-Fi or ethernet. But a word of caution on the former: the Legends Ultimate doesn’t like some routers, especially if you’re using a complicated password with symbols. I cannot maintain a stable connection to my home’s Wi-Fi even after hours of customer service and several firmware update tests. But connecting to ethernet (or changing my password to something with no symbols) solves the problem. I am not willing to change my internet password so I am using ethernet or my phone’s hotspot.

In one last neat trick: once you have your internet connection, you can stream your gameplay to Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. It’s a fun party trick, but since the arcade has no microphones or camera, it seems like you’ll want to tweak your own setup if you’re serious about streaming.

The Everything Arcade for the Single Arcade buyer

So, right down to copper tacks. Should you buy the Legends Ultimate Arcade? If you’re looking for an arcade machine, well. If you have limited space and can only get one arcade machine, this is the one to get. You get the most for your money, even if it looks a little more generic than Arcade1Up’s listings.

The fact that you can modify it so easily and add your games makes this the dream machine that does all things in one solid package. If you want a nice machine to look at, maybe check out Arcade1Up. But for maximum value, it’s hard to beat the Legends Ultimate.

If $ 600 is too much for a large arcade, you could spend less on one of the AtGames Legends Gamer entries. They’re essentially just the Legends Ultimate control deck without the rest of the closet. You don’t get that many games and you need your own TV and speakers. However, depending on the model you get, you can still take advantage of the excellent joysticks, buttons and spinners.

But if you want a big arcade then shortlist the Legends Ultimate. It’s a solid entry into the burgeoning retro arcade cabinet market

Rating: 9/10

Price: $ 599.99

Here’s what we like

  • Fantastic service
  • Lots of games
  • You can easily adjust this

And what we don’t do

  • Quite expensive
  • Mediocre speakers

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