Welcome to my blog - Read and enjoy

Thank you for visiting my Scooby1970 blogspot. I update whenever I can and when I have something interesting to share. You will also find published work of mine at Gaming Illustrated. Gaming Illustrated is where most of my work now takes place, but I will transfer some of my more popular articles from there over to this blog, in extended format.

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Enjoy the blogs, and relive my ups and downs in life, view some interesting reviews and just enjoy the site. If you are interested in learning something about some of my favourite music then click here it's the official Jan & Dean Site that has taken me and my friend from across the sea, June many years to keep updated.

:) Mark

Friday, 6 November 2015

iPega 9023 Review

iPega running Tekken 3 on ePSX Emulator

Having used mobile gaming devices for many years, the power of modern day tablets and mobile phones led me on the quest for a joypad/gaming stick that I could use with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 or Tesco Hudl 2 Android devices.

At first, I tried using both a PS3 and Xbox/PC gamepad, which although worked fine meant that the Note 3 or Hudl 2 had to be placed somewhere secure on a stand, so I could play the game properly. Wouldn’t it be ideal if I could mimic some like the Nintendo DS or Sony PSP consoles!

My search led me to research many different gaming pads, all of which meant the tablet or phone would need to be a separate entity. That was until I found the iPega range of bluetooth gaming pads. A pad that encases your phone and makes it look like a large PS VIta, or even your tablet making it a huge handheld device.

iPega 9023 running GenPlusDroid on Hudl 2 8" Tablet

The iPega 9023 is a large looking device when not connected to anything, the reason for this is that you can slip your mobile phone or tablet into it’s cradle, and then the controller parts surround the edge of the device. The iPega 9023 can take device’s from 5 inches through to 10 inches which makes it perfect for phablets and tablets alike.

The iPega stretches open, and the device is placed into the centre of the pad. The device of your choice is held snugly in place with rubberised edges of the pad, and there is also a clip at the bottom of the pad to help hold larger screens. The iPega snaps shut with it’s locking system, and a further switch under the pad locks into position to stop the pad expanding. It’s very easy to use and the pad can be ready in seconds.

The layout of the pad is very much like a cross between a PS3 and Xbox controller. It has the usual buttons found on a modern controller, including the front lower and upper triggers. The pad also has the select, start and home buttons, plus a brilliant d-pad and a selection of button that allow volume control and play controls for music etc.

The twin sticks have a nice feel to them, with a nice give and plenty of movement. As mentioned, the d-pad is superb, and for older games played with emulation, it is very responsive and perfect for classic 8-bit and 16-bit games. The buttons consist of A, B, X & Y, and again have a sturdy and quality feel to them, without being too spongy.

The iPega 9023 feels good without a device attached, but once something is attached to it, it takes on a whole new feeling, and feels strong and well-made, without having too much weight. The difference from when connected to a device and when not is quite surprising, and when you first get the pad, you’ll laugh at it’s size. Once connected, your laughing stops and the games begin.

The iPega 9023 is simple to set-up. It has four modes, where it can perform differently, these are accessed by holding down the “Home” button in conjunction with either the A,B, X or Y buttons.

Full functioning Gamepad mode is the only mode you really need, and this is accessed with holding “Home” along with the “X” button. Further turning on of the controller is as simple as just pressing the “Home” button.

The other modes are there if you should ever need them, “Home” and the “Y” button puts you in SPP + iPega mode which is used for iPega apps, “A” is Keyboard mode where keys act like certain letters of the alphabet and “B” is for iCade mode. I have never used any of the other modes, or have any software to try them with, so I have no idea how these work.


What good is a gamepad if there is a delay between pressing any of the buttons or joysticks? Well, with many hours of testing with Android games (Asphalt 8, Final Freeway 2, Modern Combat 5, Raiden Legacy, Sonic 1 & 2), plus emulator software and games (Playstation, Atari, PSP and MAME) the gamepad worked flawlessly, with no lag between button presses and action on the screen.

The d-pad is especially responsive to the touch, and is one of the best d-pads I've ever used. The buttons have the right depth to them for quick button-bashing and the sticks work perfectly well also. Overall there is no faulting the gamepads performance.


The iPega 9023 us an affordable gamepad that screams quality. It's layout, build and fixtures to mobile devices is second to none, and the package brings a whole new life to playing games.

The majority of games on the Android store, plus all the emulators I tried work well with the iPega. The controller will probably be used most by those gamers wanting to recreate the good old days of gaming using emulators for 8-bit and 16-bit machines. There's no doubt that this gamepad will bring that unique feeling back when used.

This is possibly one of the best gaming investments of the last few years, and should be considered by anyone who has even the slightest interest in gaming.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Bush Spira D1 5.5 Review

Mobile phone technology has come on a long way in the last few years, and while Samsung and Apple like to fly the flag for technology, other companies are making lower cost tech that really has a lot of bang-for-buck.

Bush, through outlet store Argos in the UK have forayed into the tablet and mobile phone market in the past, but have just started a new assault on the public by releasing a couple of new Android mobile phones with the Spira C1 5 and the Spira D1 5.5. This review looks at the latter Spira D1 5.5.


First off, this a 5.5” phone almost identical in size to the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It sports a fabulous IPS display at 1280x720 resolution, which may not be 1080p or 2k, but looks very impressive close up. The screen is bright, and while not as bright as a Samsung panel, it comes pretty close. Colours are also a little more subdued than a Samsung, but a lot of people will appreciate that.

The Spira D1 comes with 1GB of ram, a Mediatek ARM-64 processor clocked at 1Ghz and just 8GB of internal memory, 4GB of which is left for the user to install apps. As standard the phone comes with a 16GB Micro-SD card, which of course you can move apps to to save phone space.

The Spira D1 can take two SIM cards, and you can allocate which SIM to use for each task, such as for mobile data, texts or calls. This is a very nice feature, and one that more and more lower-end phones are doing, while more expensive phones seem to be ignoring the feature altogether. SIM slot 1 can handle 2G, 3G and 4G SIM’s while SIM slot 2 only handles 2G. The phone is unlocked to any UK network

The camera on the D1 is a 13 megapixel shooter, and the front facing camera is a 5MP. The camera performs admirably for general shooting, and the front facing camera does a good job on Skype calls and selfies. For the money, the camera is very impressive… And at this point I must point out that the 5.5 version of the phone is only £129.99, plus comes with £10 free credit on a Lebara SIM.

There are three hardware keys for the usual Android navigation which light up when touched, a volume rocker and power button. There’s a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a micro-USB port. The entire build feels solid, and the phone has a nice weight to it. The speaker is on the back of the phone, although the sound from it is loud and well balanced, sounding nicer than many more expensive phones out there with more bass and clearer mid-frequencies.

The battery is only a 2400mh but seems to last well, although it does take a while to charge up to full capacity.

The phone runs Android 5.1 with no custom overlay. This is pure Android at it’s very best, and because of this it runs very smooth on the phones specifications. The phone comes installed with all the Google Apps you’ll ever need, plus very little else, and the only bloatware is the Argos application, which for some reason doesn’t actually work on this device. That said, everything that was tested on the phone worked perfectly without hiccup and programs such as Facebook, Google Photos and various games just worked. Pure Android at it’s finest.

The Spira D1 5.5 cost just £129.99, is unlocked to any network, has a great screen, pure Android 5.1 Operating System and a quad-core processor. Although it only has 8GB memory, it comes with a 16GB memory card which you can move applications to. It has some great looks at comes with a screen protector, soft case and £10 free credit.

If you’re phone usage is low and you’re not one for downloading tons of app’s, then this could potentially be the mobile phone for you.