Fans of arcade classics have had a great past several years as nostalgia for the glory days of arcades is in full swing. The AtGames Legends Gamer Pro is one of the better options on the market, at least in terms of price and quality of the build, although its game lineup is fairly weak.
While there have been plenty of full-sized and miniature cabinets on the market – everything from Teenage Mutant Turtles to Street Fighter II – the more practical option for people with limited space at home is something like the Legends Gamer Pro.
Let’s dig deeper into what is included, the ease of setup and use, the quality of the material, and the gamelineup.
What’s in the box?
AtGames includes everything that you need out of the box including built-in games. The most prominent thing in the box is the hefty arcade fight stick. At roughly six to eight pounds, it’s a solid fight stick. But I’ll touch on the quality of the build later on.
Next, we have the Legends Core, which you can think of as the equivalent of a console, although it’s more similar to an Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV than a PS4. It’s a hockey puck-shaped device that you connect to your television with an included one-foot HDMI cable.
Lastly, there is a micro USB power cables for the Legends Core. There is also a USB charging and data cable that is used to both charge the arcade fight stick and send input data between the fight stick and the Legends Core. In the event that you prefer a wireless connection, the fight stick and Core can connect via Bluetooth.
Setting up the Legends Gamer Pro was somewhat frustrating, mostly because the included instructions are not great. The major sticking point was trying to wirelessly pair the fight stick controller and the Legends Core. It is a cumbersome process that really requires two people due to the short length of the included cables.
Another annoyance came when inputting the Wi-Fi login information as you have to use the joystick and buttons to navigate an on-screen keyboard. If you have a strong password with upper and lower case letters mixed with numbers and symbols, you’re going to have a lot of fun!
You’ll also need to create an AtGames account for things like online leaderboards, firmware updates, and the ArcadeNet game streaming service. I’d say it took maybe a half-hour or so to get everything set up. So it’s not the longest process in the world, but it’s also not the simplest.
The quality of the design and the parts used in the machine is where the Legends Gamer Pro really shines. The fight stick feels sturdy and solid, yet it’s still not too heavy to comfortably place it on your lap. Alternatively, if you place it on a table, it’s heavy enough that it will not shift around as you lean in or button mash the controls.
Overall, the fight stick is well designed with two players in mind. It has a set of two joysticks, eight face buttons, a pair of pinball inputs on the side of the unit, and one coin insert button per player. It also has a pause/home button, a rewind button, a trackball, and a power button.
The buttons and joystick feel authentic. The joystick in particular has a satisfying clicking noise whenever you move it around, although the buttons also provide you with a soft click when pressed. The built-in pinball buttons on each side are a nice touch as well.
Importantly, the buttons and the two joysticks are spaced well. A second player can join in on the action without interfering with your play. Plus, it doesn’t feel like it’s about to break if you have an overly zealous friend who loves to button mash.
There are some relatively minor gripes that I have in terms of the overall package. First, the included one-foot HDMI cable is ridiculously short. If you need to recharge the fight stick with the included USB cable, you connect it via the Legends Core or any 5V USB port.
However, if your only option is to connect it via the Legends Core, it’s not ideal since it limits where you can actually put the fight stick. You can also use an AC adapter to recharge the fight stick, but it’s not included. So keep that in mind.
The Game Lineup
The weak spot of the Legends Gamer Pro is the game lineup. Although it includes 150 built-in games and more streamable games through ArcadeNet, most of these are not notable. A firmware update recently added 47 Taito classics, so that’s a start.
Tetris Plus, Space Invaders, and Zombies Ate My Neighbors are the best games that I’ve played so far. Tetris Plus has a cartoony story with an archaeologist who is exploring a pyramid. The goal is to clear his path before spikes at the top of the screen reach the bottom. It’s a clever take on Tetris that I have never played before.
There are a lot of games on here that you probably have not even heard of. And you haven’t heard of them for a good reason. A lot of them are awful and pretty much unplayable for a modern audience. That being said, I did find a few hidden not-quite-gems-but-decent-enough titles.
One of them, 64th Street: A Detective Story, is an arcade beat ’em up from Jaleco that was only released in arcades in Japan. The game feels almost like a clone of Streets of Rage right down to some of the character models, but it’s fairly entertaining compared to some of the other games.
Thankfully, the Legends Gamer Pro has a nice feature called BYOG, which stands for Bring Your Own Games. Although it requires you to download free software to convert your homebrew games and ROMs to a format compatible with AddOnX, there are YouTube tutorials that explain the process. Unfortunately, there are no included instructions with the unit itself, which makes the process more difficult, but it’s also understandable.
Due to the quality, the Legends Gamer Pro is somewhat pricy. At $250, it’s more expensive than the now-discontinued Xbox One S All-Digital Edition and only $50 cheaper than a Nintendo Switch.
That being said, it’s cheaper than some of the single-game arcade cabinets that have come out in recent years. This is not a cabinet, of course. But compared to other arcade machine hardware, it’s priced quite reasonably.
The Legends Gamer Pro is the Cadillac in AtGames’ new Legends Gamer line of home arcade products. It’s a good solution for anyone looking for an authentic-feeling arcade experience for two people without the room for a full-sized arcade cabinet.
At $250, the included game lineup lacks a punch. It has a mix of arcade classics like Space Invaders and Sega Genesis games like Aladdin that play awkwardly on an arcade stick. You don’t get classics like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, or Galaga. There is no real killer app here.
That being said, if you intend to frequently use the BYOG feature, the Legends Gamer Pro becomes a much better value proposition. So if you’re a hardcore arcade fan looking for a two-player wireless couch solution, this is a good option.
Game Freaks 365 received a free review unit.