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Author Topic: The Serious Emulator Debate  (Read 3200 times)

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Frocto

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The Serious Emulator Debate
« on: September 19, 2009, 10:46:22 AM »

Okay, Roger is fucking retarded, so I am making this topic for when he asks me which Nes emulator I use for the fourth fucking time (not exaggaration).

Dreamcast

Chankast: Haven't used it; apparently it's good.

Null DC: Interestingly, their downloads page leads to a Muppets video on Youtube. Use this instead of Chankast if you are using Vista. No pad support. I had serious sound issues with it, so I'm not using it, but I will be looking into it some more eventually.

DS

No$GBA 2.6a: I was having some sound issues with this until I chased up No$Zoomer which has the option of Noise Suppression under the Other heading. This fixed my sound issue, happily enough. NO$Zoomer2.3.0.1 is only compatible with No$GBA 2.6a.

Mega Drive/Mega CD/32X/Master System/Game Gear

Kega Fusion: Does all of the above.

Nes

Jnes

Nestopia: In case you need to LP Batman.

Snes

ZSnes 1.42: This is the version that has "functioning" Netplay. You'll need Hamachi to get it working. Get later versions if you want, uh, some snow.

Will add more as they come. These are MY preferences, feel free to add your own.
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yyler

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2009, 02:25:02 AM »

Is there an NES emulator that can map saving/loading states onto a controller? I've been using fceux, which is great, but it can't do that and neither can the five or six other ones I found.

??? pls 2 halp me tia

Why do you use Jnes, by the way?
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Frocto

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2009, 02:46:50 AM »

It looks pretty. No actual reason beyond that, all Nes emulators seem basically the same.
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Detonator

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2009, 10:34:31 AM »

Is there an NES emulator that can map saving/loading states onto a controller? I've been using fceux, which is great, but it can't do that and neither can the five or six other ones I found.

??? pls 2 halp me tia

Why do you use Jnes, by the way?

Looks like Nestopia can do this.
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yyler

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2009, 11:31:16 AM »

I tried it and I don't think it can, but I guess I will look again.

e: Okay it can. I don't think I had the newest version before, somehow, because the entire Input dialog is different.
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Thad

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2009, 08:22:36 PM »

I might move this over to the main Videogames board, because I've been involved in some travails.  Course, I'm not sure how many of you are using 64-bit Linux, so you may not be able to help much.

So far, here's what I've got going:

SDLMAME
Near as I can tell there's really no other version of MAME for Linux worth bothering with; this is the only one still getting development.


Mednafen for NES
I picked this one largely because I had trouble getting the others to work, and because it has Blargg's NTSC video filter.  Configuration's a bit of a pain in the ass; there's no GUI and the only way you're going to work out how to set up basic things like mapping buttons is through the README.  But I eventually got it working decently.  I think.  The lag was probably due to the fact that I was doing a huge filecopy in the background.

On the plus side, it's a multi-system emulator, so if I decide I want to play, say, Game Boy or Master System, I won't have to set up a whole new program to do it.


SNES9X-GTK
Way better than the version of SNES9X sitting in the Jaunty repos.  (In point of fact, Ubuntu is surprisingly poor when it comes to stocking packages for modern repos.  I have compiled more programs from source in the past two months than I have since switching from Gentoo.)


SNES/OpenGL emulators still seem, across the board, to be slightly off on the sound -- it's way better than in the old days, but little things like the fireball sound in Super Mario World get clipped.  I hear Blargg's put together a sound filter that will be in the next version; looking forward to that.


Gens-GS
Best Genesis emulator I could find.  Decent GUI, good options (including Blargg's NTSC filter).  The major bitch about it is that the video filters break when you go to fullscreen.  However, it looks like it's got a pretty rapid release cycle, and I'm not the only one who's had this problem, so hopefully this'll be fixed by the next major release.
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Frocto

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2009, 08:48:34 PM »

For the uninitiated, what's Blargg's NTSC filter?
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Brentai

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2009, 09:48:42 PM »

NTSC is the television standard we have in America (or very rapidly "had").  The filter is basically a TV simulator.  It works great, though I have no idea if it would at all resemble a PAL television.
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Frocto

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2009, 10:08:12 PM »

I know what Never The Same Colour is, I was just wondering how it affected the game. Does it affect the hz or something?
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Brentai

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2009, 10:14:31 PM »

Nah, it's just a rendering filter.  Adds some fake noise, lowers the contrast, blurs it up a little, etc.

It sounds stupid because it's intentionally making the game look crappy but you'll find most console games' graphics were specifically designed to take advantage of the standard television's crappy display.  Square games especially, they loved putting pixels of almost-but-not-quite the same color together, which looks goofy when you see the pixels in perfect clarity (even if you fuzz it up a bit with interlacing or eagle engine or whatever) but when you fully dumb-down the display it resembles tiny brush strokes.
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JDigital

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 02:11:17 AM »

WinUAE

The Amiga emulator. Setup guide here, including lists of what are some top games. Includes its own video output functionality, but you may want to use other capture software anyway.
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Thad

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009, 09:30:46 PM »

It sounds stupid because it's intentionally making the game look crappy but you'll find most console games' graphics were specifically designed to take advantage of the standard television's crappy display.  Square games especially, they loved putting pixels of almost-but-not-quite the same color together, which looks goofy when you see the pixels in perfect clarity (even if you fuzz it up a bit with interlacing or eagle engine or whatever) but when you fully dumb-down the display it resembles tiny brush strokes.

I just downloaded SoM on the Wii; it's the first time I've used the VC SNES emulation and I must say it looks pretty damn good.  Better than the pixellated mess you get with no filter, better than the runny mess you get with Eagle or what-have-you, and about on par with Blargg.  I don't know what voodoo Nintendo's doing with their proprietary emulation software, but it's pretty impressive -- course, given that they're the ones with access to all the original design specs, that sorta stands to reason.

I'd say it's a slightly preferable way to play SoM over SNES9X or zSNES, whose aforementioned audio issues lead to some music tracks dropping out sometimes.  (Of course, if you want Netplay, it's a pretty easy decision given that "official Nintendo product" is pretty much synonymous with "sub-Dreamcast-level Internet options".)
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TA

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2010, 09:52:23 PM »

So is there a playstation emulator that has decent frameskip and savestate thingers?  You'd think a modern computer would be able to do this a lot faster than the base speed.
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yyler

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2010, 11:07:09 PM »

epsxe has save states, not sure about frame skip but very probably. plus it's the only thing that works anymore, pretty sure. worked for me on vista so should be 7 compatible but i haven't tried it yet.
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TA

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2010, 11:11:02 PM »

I was using ePSXe to try to play through Wild Arms a few weeks ago.  The frameskip button was about 1.5x speed during fights, no boost outside of fights, and tended to glitch the audio a lot.
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yyler

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2010, 11:15:54 PM »

There are a handful of alternate audio and graphical plugins; you're probably smart enough to do this already but comb their forums searching about Wild Arms and see what other people did. If I am remembering right, and I admit I often don't, I am pretty sure they had most games working almost 100%. Seems Wild Arms would be a high priority game, too.
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Thad

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2011, 10:52:41 PM »

Got interested in trying Sega emulation again.

Observations:

Gens/GS: Can't get it to fullscreen properly in Windows but it looks and sounds good.  In Linux its audio is choppy and I can't fix it no matter what my settings, but fullscreen works (though you have to hack the conf file manually to set up graphics filters).

Mednafen: Command-line but runs just swell under Linux.  Fan-fucking-tastic for NES.  Not bad for SMS either; doesn't have Blargg's plugin (which it does for NES), but does autopatching and looks decent enough with scanlines.

(Kega) Fusion: This seems to be the one to beat as far as Genesis emulation.  Works great under both Linux and Windows.  No autopatching, and the graphics filter only has one setting in the Linux version and it's just too blurry for my tastes.  (It has two settings in the Windows version, which is a more recent release, and the sharper one looks pretty good on my TV.)  No autopatching, but I didn't even know there was such a thing until a couple of days ago so I can probably live without it.

I've noticed that (the Japanese version of) Phantasy Star sounds a lot different in Fusion than it does in Mednafen; Mednafen sounds more NES-y.  I never owned a Master System; can anybody tell me which one is closer to the real thing?  Or am I making the comparison difficult by using the Japanese version of PS, which apparently had some different audio chips than the US one?
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Thad

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2011, 10:58:48 PM »

Got interested in trying Sega emulation again.

Oh hey, let's look at what I wrote back in aught-nine.

Mednafen for NES
I picked this one largely because I had trouble getting the others to work, and because it has Blargg's NTSC video filter.  Configuration's a bit of a pain in the ass; there's no GUI and the only way you're going to work out how to set up basic things like mapping buttons is through the README.  But I eventually got it working decently.  I think.  The lag was probably due to the fact that I was doing a huge filecopy in the background.

On the plus side, it's a multi-system emulator, so if I decide I want to play, say, Game Boy or Master System, I won't have to set up a whole new program to do it.

Must have been, because I'm finding that it runs just swell now.  Command-line, but it's fan-fucking-tastic for NES.  Not bad for SMS either; doesn't have Blargg's plugin (which it does for NES), but does autopatching and looks decent enough with scanlines.


SNES9X-GTK
Way better than the version of SNES9X sitting in the Jaunty repos.  (In point of fact, Ubuntu is surprisingly poor when it comes to stocking packages for modern repos.  I have compiled more programs from source in the past two months than I have since switching from Gentoo.)

Ubuntu's still pretty limited in terms of emulator variety, but both SNES9X and Mednafen are up-to-date now.

SNES/OpenGL emulators still seem, across the board, to be slightly off on the sound -- it's way better than in the old days, but little things like the fireball sound in Super Mario World get clipped.  I hear Blargg's put together a sound filter that will be in the next version; looking forward to that.

Worth the wait; sounds great.  (Wasn't actually just an OpenGL issue; the Windows version had the same thing going on.)

Gens-GS
Best Genesis emulator I could find.  Decent GUI, good options (including Blargg's NTSC filter).  The major bitch about it is that the video filters break when you go to fullscreen.  However, it looks like it's got a pretty rapid release cycle, and I'm not the only one who's had this problem, so hopefully this'll be fixed by the next major release.

Gens/GS: Can't get it to fullscreen properly in Windows but it looks and sounds good.  In Linux its audio is choppy and I can't fix it no matter what my settings, but fullscreen works -- turns out you have to hack the config file manually to set graphics filters in fullscreen.

(Kega) Fusion: This seems to be the one to beat as far as Genesis emulation.  Works great under both Linux and Windows.  No autopatching, and the graphics filter only has one setting in the Linux version and it's just too blurry for my tastes.  (It has two settings in the Windows version, which is a more recent release, and the sharper one looks pretty good on my TV.)  No autopatching, but I didn't even know there was such a thing until a couple of days ago so I can probably live without it.

I've noticed that (the Japanese version of) Phantasy Star sounds a lot different in Fusion than it does in Mednafen; Mednafen sounds more NES-y.  I never owned a Master System; can anybody tell me which one is closer to the real thing?  Or am I making the comparison difficult by using the Japanese version of PS, which apparently had some different audio chips than the US one?
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Brentai

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 12:27:01 AM »

If it sounds more like MIDI than chiptunes, it's emulating the Japanese version correctly.

Phantasy Star I - Japanese Sega Mark III introduction

If it sounds like chiptunes but everything's warbly and in D-minor, it's emulating the American version correctly.

Phantasy Star - Title

If it sounds like it's actually using the NES sine and triangle waves, it's using MEKA's sound engine.  Turn that shit off.

8-Bit Phantasy Star - Main Title

(I don't think that's an actual example of MEKA's sound output but I have a feeling you won't find it on YouTube.)

Meanwhile, I learned today that the original SMS version of Ys didn't actually sound like shit!  It just played like it.
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Thad

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Re: The Serious Emulator Debate
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2012, 05:29:52 PM »

Oh hey, somebody finished an English translation of PS2 PS1.  So I finally tried out PCSX2.

...what the fuck?  An emulator for a post-1991 console that actually works out of the box without requiring you to track down, configure, and troubleshoot a dozen different plugins?

ANYWAY.  At a very quick glance, it looks good!  Nice PS2-quality sprites, and it's got an automap (which is probably the main thing that kept me from getting into the original version).

The bad: they appear to have taken this opportunity to make the townspeople more verbose (boooo) and added a fucking text crawl (BOOOOOO!).  Also there is a quicksave function, which alarms me because why the fuck does a save-anywhere game need quicksaves?  TELL me they didn't add savepoints to a game that managed to be 20 years ahead of its time by not having them.  Fucking Japan.

Will keep you guys posted if I keep bumming around this one.  But in case anyone was interested, yes there is an English-language version of the PS2 version of PS1 now.
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