Here’s a video about the Warrior 64 – A kit for Nintendo 64 consoles that offers HDMI output. The new case is pretty cool, but the video circuit is one of the worst I’ve ever seen designed. I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to do this review at all. My gut told me it was going to be terrible and that I should be spending my time working on positive reviews for reputable companies. Oh well.
Check out the written post below for some backstory not discussed in the main video above.
Warrior 64 Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2134113860/warrior-64-console-gamepad-and-diy-kit
Other relevant links:
RGB Mods for each model N64: https://www.retrorgb.com/n64.html
RetroTINK Products: https://www.retrorgb.com/retrotink2x.html
Lag Testing Retro Scalers: https://youtu.be/7VOsOuQ5mhM
The Worst Scaler In Retro Gaming: https://youtu.be/ZUrqWN4AcJc
Testing Audio Voltage: https://youtu.be/DHoA2vVZh8Q
Here’s the full story of our history with the Warrior 64, as well as why I felt I “had” to review it:
(Note: This is my (Bob’s) story and I stand behind it 100%. I have indisputable proof for every word written. My thoughts and opinions may not necessarily reflect the opinions of other RetroRGB contributors)
Ugh, the Warrior 64 :/ Everyone here at RetroRGB was massively skeptical about it when it was first announced and I contacted the company personally on September 23rd to inquire. Alex prepared his thoughts on the matter, but I heard Modern Vintage Gamer was scheduled to get a demo unit that Monday the 25th, so I asked Alex to hold off on posting to give Intec Gaming the benefit of the doubt. I’d never done that before and in hindsight, it was clearly the wrong decision.
Young from Intec Gaming responded to me over two weeks later on October 8th. Young was responsive and we exchanged a few messages. One response from Young was promising:
“I have no equipment for the lag test so I am not quite sure the lag result.
But I have tested the console with 240P test suite and the chip should treat the signal right because it’s ok on the Drop Shadow Test and Scroll Test. 🙂“
That was an interesting response. First, I’ve proven time and time again how easy it is to test lag using basic methods like two TV’s and a cellphone camera – While my test methods have gotten far more accurate, you could at least detect within a frame of lag, so it was disappointing to see…however the fact that Young was aware of the 240p Test Suite and said the kit passed the drop shadow test was really promising (but a blatant lie, proved in the video)! Young offered to send me a unit to test, so I asked Alex to hold off even more before posting, until I confirmed with my own set of tests.
I never received a tracking number, so I followed up a week later. Young responded that they’re still “preparing” the unit…and then asked if I wanted to test some bluetooth controller adapters as well. Kinda weird.
Finally, on October 28th – More than a MONTH from the original email – I saw Intec Gaming was telling people on social media that I was getting one to test. I thought this was incredibly misleading, as many people were contacting me asking “what I thought of the sample they sent”. I messaged Young and voiced my concerns that they were promising a RetroRGB review without lending me a unit…and that by the time the review unit actually showed up the kickstarter campaign would already be over, making the review pointless. Young seemed frustrated with me and said they’re still “preparing” the unit.
I then told Alex to go ahead and post his thoughts, as MVG never received his either. I also spoke my honest opinions about the situation in that week’s podcast and then messaged Young with the link: https://youtu.be/MM0KhAUrOhs?list=PLNG-S9dRk8vIcNehGtsd2eyp4WqkxGCc-&t=888
To no one’s surprise, the moment Young realized I wouldn’t blindly shill their product, all communications were cut off. A few weeks later, Metal Jesus posted a review and confirmed our fears: It was just a LevelHike cable in a fancy case. Luckily, many people cancelled their pledge after the review went live, but it was too close to the end of the campaign; 28 people purchased the very misleading “plug & play” kits and 243 people bought completed units.
After his review went live, MJ offered to send me both a Warrior 64 kit and completed unit to test. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t want to test these units. I knew they’d be terrible and I’d end up spending too much time on them, as I take negative reviews really seriously.
Posting a positive review with some basic mistakes is embarrassing, but totally harmless. Posting a negative review with mistakes could seriously damage the reputation of a company. If I’m going to post something negative, I’m going to double, triple and quadruple check all my testing, ask other people to verify my results…and then go back and test my test equipment to make sure I didn’t accidentally slander a product.
After Young seemingly tried to use my name to sell units, I felt obligated to check it out…and after MJ was gracious enough to send me the two units and even pay for shipping, I kinda had to. The video posted is a result of over a week’s worth of testing, verified by some of the brightest minds in retro gaming.
I think the entire history of this project, Young, LevelHike and Intec Gaming is all incredibly clear to me now. I’ll refrain from posting my speculation on that, as I don’t want all the (provable) facts in the video and post to be potentially tainted by any guessing on my part. Maybe I’ll discuss it in a podcast sometime, but for now I’ll invite you to make your own conclusions.