Author Topic: Intec Game Screen  (Read 9469 times)

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Offline aoi tsuki

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Intec Game Screen
« on: May 19, 2003, 04:54:34 PM »
Intec Game Screen Review
http://www.inteclink.com

After reading Cube IGN's review (and later Planet Gamecube's own review via Jonathon Metts) of the InterAct Mobile Monitor, i was curious about the quality of LCD screens available for the Gamecube. i've owned the Game Screen for a good six months now. At the time i got it, i was about to move, and knowing i may not have access to my own tv for a month or so and that (at the time) Animal Crossing was soon to be released, i knew i needed an alternative.

Note that the official title of this screen is the Intec Game Screen. Interact (different company) makes the Mobile Monitor. i know most people know this, but i want to clear up any confusion anyone may have while reading the review. For those who are looking at the Mobile Monitor, i really recommend you read this review, as well as all the reviews for the Mobile Monitor and Game Screen you can. i've never seen a Mobile Monitor in use, but from what i've read, the Game Screen blows it away in almost every way. Before you spend your cash, take the time to get an idea of what you're getting, especially since many stores won't return these screens.



The Box

After cutting through the standard annoying blister pack and opening the box was the screen (duh), a cigarette lighter adapter, a breakout cable for hooking up outside video sources (PS2, DVD, video camera, etc.) via composite video input, and the instructions.

Like most electronics with LCD displays, the Intec screen comes with a piece of protective plastic on it. i played with the plastic on for a few days, but removed it because it diffused the light coming from the screen slightly, which made the screen look just a little less sharp.



Design

Unlike the Interact Mobile Monitor, the Intec Game Screen connects to that little space on the inside of the Gamecube handle. It slides down snugly and securely, with tabs at the bottom that hold it into place. By pushing those tabs in and pulling up, you can easily remove the screen. You can still grab the handle from the bottom of the Gamecube to pick it up, you just can't wrap your fingers around the handle. A little awkward, but i like this design better than the Mobile Monitor.

With the screen removed from the Gamecube, the part that slides into the Gamecube handle folds back and acts as a stand. i guess this would be useful if you wanted to use the screen away from your Gamecube, like if you were playing another system on it.

The indigo color of the screen matches my indigo Gamecube very well. (It's also available in black.)

The inside of the screen has four rubber feet in each corner, so that the screen itself doesn't actually make contact with your Gamecube when fold the screen down to cover the Gamecube. With the screen folded down, it adds about an inch to the height of the Gamecube. i wish Intec had mimicked the design of the Gamecube, with it's slightly rounded yet boxy shape, instead of the angled edges the put on the Game Screen. And why they decided to put the hideous "cube" pattern on the back of the screen, i'll never know.



Function

After sliding the Game Screen onto the Gamecube, you connect the AV adapter from the screen into your Gamecube. There's a pass through connector for the power, so you just connect the power cable from the screen to the Gamecube, then plug your Gamecube power adapter into the screen. i wish there was a similar adapter for the AV because i usually disconnect the screen from the Gamecube when i go to someone's house.

My first impression after seeing the five inch screen in action was how good it looked. Seriously. There's no screen lag which means it updates fast enough to enjoy 60fps games. i was constantly shocked at how good every game i put in looked. A few games needed to have the brightness and/or color tweaked, but when i did they looked even better. The brightness and color controls are a little flaky at times; sometimes turning the dial a little will result in a major change and sometimes not. It would be great to could control the red, green, and blue elements separately (and digitally), but then again you wouldn't be getting the screen for $129.

Now, does this mean that you'll never want to play on your tv again? Unless you have a black and white 5 incher, probably not. While the screen does look great, it's not for every game. Read enough reviews for this monitor (and the Mobile Monitor as well), and you may thinking it's like a tv, but smaller. This is simply not true. Some games just don't translate well to the small screen. Mainly games with small details, or a lack of contrast in the colors. You'll also miss out on little effects like blurring, some transparency, and other subtle effects. There's some slight color bleeding, especially reds, which i attribute mainly to the fact that the screen uses the composite output as opposed to a cleaner S-Video or component out. Don't expect the clarity of the GBA screen only bigger.

i've read of people using this and the Mobile Monitor to play Smash Bros... whatever. Maybe when there's only two characters on-screen and they're close, but add another character, or a big stage and forget it. Games like Rogue Leader are impossible to play because laser fire literally disappears. The thing to keep in mind is that the Game Screen can't display enough pixels to perfectly emulate a 640x480 screen. That means that any system that displays at that resolution or higher will have to be resized to fit the screen. 32-bit and older systems look great on the screen.

The sound from the speakers sounded a little better than i was expecting too. Granted it lacks bass, but it sounds very clear, and you can turn the volume up pretty high without distortion. One thing you'll notice, depending on how you play, is that the speakers are placed so you're right in that sweet spot, the area where the sound from both speakers overlaps and you can almost feel the stereo sound in the back of your head. With the sweet spot, Eternal Darkness was actually a little uh... scarier. Mmmm... if only there was more bass...

i didn't use the headphone jacks much (there's two; one on each side of the screen), but they work as expected. Of course, plugging a headphone in either jack silences the speakers.

There is one small nag i have with the screen. Maybe it's just mine, but the LCD screen isn't mounted in the center. It's off by a little less than a quarter inch. Not a big deal; i can still see everything on the screen, unlike on my tv.

Hooking up other systems (especially older ones) to the Game Screen is just as much fun as hooking it up to your Gamecube. Using Like i said, games with a resolution of less than 640x480 (which is basically mostly everything on Playstation, Saturn, and i believe the Nintendo 64) generally look great, provided they don't have a lot of small details or not a lot of contrast in colors.

You can also hook up VCRs and (even better) DVD players to the screen, and the results are overall very good. Again, small objects and text are hard to distinguish, and still scenes have a slight pixelated look, but motion blurs the pixelation and after ten or so seconds you'll hardly even notice it. And though the speakers aren't the best, the stereo effect is quite convincing.

The aforementioned cigarette lighter adapter connects directly to the power input on the Gamecube. Great for those long road trips.



Overall

i'm very pleased with Intec's screen. i didn't think that an LCD screen could look this good at this price. Many games i play look great on the screen, and the ability to play without a television is a definite plus. i haven't used the screen much lately since my Gamecube is permanent part of my entertainment center, but i would love to buy a second cube to use the screen on and keep it by my futon.



Recommended Games

i rated each of the games on a 3-point scale. Games with a 3 are great for playing on the screen, with little to no visual loss. Games with 2 vary; sometimes they're playable, sometimes not, depending on what's going on on-screen. Games with a 1, forget it and just play it on tv.

Animal Crossing - 3 -- The Gamecube with Animal Crossing and a Game Screen is the epitome of the Gamecube -- It's a fun game machine, and portable too. There's not a lot of fast action, and the characters are really big. It can be a little tricky judging colors when designing, so you may wanna fiddle with the color controls, but other than that it's a great experience.

Bloody Roar Primal Fury - 3 -- Some of the best "portable" fighting since SNK vs Capcom on the Neo Geo Pocket. Even during the beast attacks, the game looks great. You'll miss that cool blurring effect in hyper beast mode, but you won't miss the action.

Eternal Darkness, Resident Evil - 3 -- Amazing. i was expecting these games to be too dark, but between the in-game brightness controls as well as those in on the screen, i found them both enjoyable on the screen.

Extreme G3 - 3 -- i was shocked when i started playing the game in the 1000G class. The screen kept up with no lag. The motion blur in the game makes it look a little fuzzy, but it's still playable.

Star Wars: Rogue Leader - 1 -- Same problem as SMS (camera) but with the added problem of a huge detail loss. Enemies and laser shots practically disappear after a certain distance, and flying in tight spaces can be tough too.

Super Mario Sunshine - 1 -- i was really hoping to be able to play Mario on this screen, but the camera is just too dynamic, and at times it's near impossible to see what's going on. The colors are also a little too vibrant for the screen.

Super Monkey Ball - 2 -- The game is basically playable, but the screen really cramps the experience. Normal mode gets more difficult in the later levels when you try to balance yourself on small platforms and thin paths. some of the minigames like Monkey Target would've been easier on a bigger screen.

Super Smash Bros. Melee - 1 -- Again, there's too much detail loss to be enjoyable. You can get lost playing the game on a tv; it's just not worth it on the Game Screen. If you have to have some Smash Bros. action, look at your pictures of Peach and Zelda.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 - 2 -- Seeing exactly what trick you're doing can be tricky, but overall it's playable.  
"Snake felt a hunger for Meryl blossom within his loins."

Offline ZombieX

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Intec Game Screen
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2003, 09:36:46 AM »
Thanks for that great review aoi tsuki!

I'm thinking of picking one up, especially with LAN gaming coming to the GCN...
***The Nintendo Difference***

Offline Bakuryu

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Intec Game Screen
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2003, 11:27:00 AM »
Sounds good

Offline Wolverine02

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RE: Intec Game Screen
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2003, 08:25:27 AM »
Does anyone know if you could you play Metriod Prime or Zelda on the screen?

Offline aoi tsuki

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RE: Intec Game Screen
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2003, 12:51:44 AM »
Yeah, i've played both on the screen, although they're a bit small. It's sometimes easy to miss smaller enemies, and in Zelda mistime jumps, but it's playable.
"Snake felt a hunger for Meryl blossom within his loins."