By Oliver Puschatzki
What's in the package?
While opening the package it comes clear quickly: the optics and the scope of supply are not the advantages of the CC3. The Multicart comes in a simple cardboard box, only accompanied by two stickers showing the words "Cuttle Cart 3 © 2007 Schell's Electronics". Otherwise: nothing. In consideration of the price and the extremely complicated modes of payment for international purchasers the first view of the cart is disappointing. The cart is not directly usable in as-delivered condition, since as a storage medium a Micro-SD card is used, which is not provided. For approx. € 10, - there are such cards with 512MB storage space available. If your PC does not offer a suitable card reader, this acquisition should also be set on the shopping list. Last but not least a cartridge shell must be sacrificed, into which the CC3 can be inserted after the setting-up of the games, because only the “naked” pcb is delivered to the customer.
The stony way to the first play
If the hardware is complete, the memory card has to be filled with data, so that the CC3 can out-play its qualities. The CC3 is not simply a Multicart that can store roms. Beside the roms, it holds the game manuals as text files and offers user definable menus for the assortment of the games. Unfortunately, the way to the optimally set-up CC3 is also quite stony. Chad Schell offers the menu editor software, which is needed to setup the CC3 on his website www.schells.com. Beside this the manual (which is only available as a pdf-file) can be found there, too. The menu editor is needed to arrange and transfer the roms and manuals to the CC3. If you really are an expert, you can also prepare txt-files which contain the data to arrange data for the CC3. All other user will need the menu editor. This software is not usable without an exact view in the manual. The creation of the menus as well as the assortment of the roms are so complicated and user unfriendly that quickly the wish for a ready-to-use package arises (see box on the left). The software is really awful but it has one great advantage: the menu editor has a built-in rom check routine, which seeks out duplicates of roms and discovers the real content of cryptic named roms. That is a very useful function.
Out in the field
After the difficult start the CC3 pleases the Intellivision fan with such a perfect functionality that the extremely complicated setup procedure falls into oblivion quickly. Only World Series Major League Baseball is known not to work with the CC3, all other games work. I used the CC3 with an Original Master Component PAL unit and did not notice any malfunctions. With the use of the hand controller disk for navigating through the menus and rom lists the usage of the CC3 works intuitively. Even long play lists can be scrolled fast and the most frequently used functions "Select" and "Play" are quickly at hand. The menus react racing fast and loading the roms usually does not take much longer than a blink of the eye. I did not notice anything unusual when I played the games, it simply works.
A function used rather rarely by most users is the so-called development mode, which permits the connection of the CC3 to a computer by serial cable, whereby game developers do not have to constantly copy their binaries to the MicroSD card in order to test them. Chad supplies the technical documentation of the transmission protocol in the manual.
The CC3 is a very solid piece of hardware. After the extremely complicated setup process it awards the patient Intellivision fan with perfect functionality. The CC3 instantly becomes first choice when it comes to play the classic console. The high price and the somewhat poor scope of supply regarding packaging cloud the joy a little but should not make any Intellivision collector stay away from the CC3. If you like the INTY, you will love the CC3!