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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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The Weekend Warrior – You Can Take It With You

I would like to thank David for allowing me to take on the mantle of The Weekend Warrior this week.

This week’s installment of The Weekend Warrior is going to be a little different. This column is typically about games and I am going to talk about them but this week is going to see a little more attention paid to hardware. That’s because I have been working on a portable console gaming solution. I do a fair amount of travelling and there have been many occasions when I resume playing a game and have completely forgotten what I was doing before I had left on a trip a week or two before. The Playstation 4 offers Remote Play but that is heavily dependent on the quality of your Internet connection and let’s face it, a high speed connection on hotel wireless is not reliable enough for this feature. Some games on Xbox Ones have Cross Play with Windows 10 devices but there aren’t enough for my tastes. At least, not yet.

What I wanted to do was carry a console with me during my travels. I knew there were options for this as members of the fighting game community are known to travel around with their consoles and accessories. After researching several options I settled on a GAEMS G155 Sentry. It is a tough plastic case with a 15.5 inch screen on the inside as well as enough space to securely carry a console. The screen on this model only supports 720p resolution but I have no issues with that. You do get a refresh rate of 60hz which is more important to me. Those games running at 60 frames per second won’t be an issue with this screen. The Sentry has two straps to hold your console in place and there is enough room to hold all of your cables and two controllers. Game discs may be an issue. My library is mostly digital but if you love your physical media you may need something else to transport your games.

The Sentry has been around for years but now was the time to get one. They are becoming hard to find and resellers are inflating the prices. I did manage to find one for $200 at GameStop and their website said the store across town had a brand new one. I reserved it online and drove to the shop to pick it up. To cut a long story short – the website was wrong. The only Sentry was the one the store had been using for years to test trade-in consoles. The outside of the case was beaten up and scratched and even worse, when the young GameSpot employee opened it there was a cloud of dust floating away as if glad to finally be free from the inside of the case. He offered to sell it to me with a 10% discount. I pointed out that it would take me over an hour to clean it and surprisingly, after a bit of haggling I was able to buy it for $140 and a 30 day warranty.

Now I needed a console. For the record, the 15.5 inch version of the Sentry cannot hold an Xbox One but it will carry a Playstation 4, a Playstation 3 or an Xbox 360. I chose the Xbox 360 simply because I have hundreds of digital games for that system (not counting Games with Gold titles) and there are a lot of them I haven’t played yet nor are they available on Xbox One via backwards compatibility. The Xbox 360 I have at home is a limited edition Star Wars console and I am not about to carry that around with me. I opted for one of the 500GB consoles because of the sheer size of my library. As far as I know there are only three Xbox 360 bundles with a 500GB hard drive – a Call of Duty bundle, a Fable Anniversary/ Garden Warfare bundle and a Forza Horizon 2 bundle. I opted for the last even though I already have Forza Horizon 2 for Xbox One as it was the only one I could find locally and I wouldn’t be able to order the Fable bundle online and have it arrive in time. That meant a cross-town trip to Best Buy so I could buy the Forza bundle. Thankfully, I managed to avoid their overpriced HDMI cables since I have a drawer full of them at home (the Forza Horizon 2 bundle only comes with composite cables.)

I tested my new setup with DuckTales Remastered which I regretfully never got around to playing even though I bought it two or three years ago. I enjoyed my romp with Scrooge McDuck but like a lot of other players, I think I liked the original NES version better. The remastered version just talks way too much and breaks up the flow of the game play but like most platformers from WayForward, it was a blast. My favorite touch was letting Scrooge dive into his pile of coins in the money bin and swim around. My first real challenge for the new Xbox was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas HD. I had beaten this game way back when it released on the original Xbox but it always bothered me that I used chest codes. This is a great opportunity for me to beat the game legitimately. It is great to cruise the streets of Los Gatos with CJ as he rebuilds his relationships with his family and friends, hunts down those Ballas and represent Grove Street again.

The Sentry has been a great buy so far. If you see one I highly recommend you think about buying it.

A congregate profile that has an accumulation of all our work from previous staff who articles were on our site with no name.

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