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Games that are better on emulators as opposed to real hardware.

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It's no secret most people here like the genuine hardware from the 70's and 80's. Eventually that will change. But for now dare I ask what games are better in emulation than on the real thing?

 

I have an unofficial list of them, and Enduro is on it.

 

For starters you can have a crystal sharp image with no fuzzy bleed through. This allows you to cut off cars to-the-pixel. Slice right through some of those pesky 4 car "convoys". You have save states, because playing the game for more than 5 or 6 hours straight is crazy making. You can play with a scissors keyboard for even faster and more precise than a loose and flabby joystick.

 

 

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Various games - emulation has advantage of usually much quicker disk access, more virtual drives means where supported you can have most/all of the required disks mounted.

Turbo mode means annoying delays can often be averted.

 

The Alternate Reality games are 2 that come to mind. Turbo speedup is handy for parts of MULE. Fine speed control can be handy for many others.

Then there's save states and pause which come in handy too.

 

Turning off collisions can be helpful in getting through annoying tricky areas of some games.

 

Keyboard substituting for joystick can be beneficial also - for games that use both for input and in some cases using keys is easier than joystick.

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There are lots of games that I'd rather play on my emulation rig than on real hardware--too many to list, actually--but to be fair, it's usually strictly due to the controls.

 

I really hate d-pads for all types of games except platformers. Some of the older joystick controllers are just too uncomfortable for my aging hands to use for more than a few minutes at a time.

 

I love arcade-style joysticks and buttons on a panel that is firmly bolted down, so I don't have to "hold" the controller--I just play.

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D-pads are so 90's.

 

The most responsive joystick I ever used was the Pointmaster. Big enough to use with two hands, and you could speed up the traverse distance easily by a bending action at the joint. But I strongly prefer a scissors keyboard for the short throw.

 

And as someone mentioned before, going from game to game is fast. And you don't have intermittent connections or dirty cart slots to contend with.

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Any Game.com game.The reason why the Game.com games are SOO slow and terrible is because of it's crappy screen(it has to be the worst screen on a handheld ever).If you play the games on the emulator,although there not the best games,there MUCH better than playing them on the Game.com's horrid screen.

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Robotron runs pretty darned well on the XBOX controller using the dual analog sticks.

 

I'm now saying it's better that the arcade sticks -- just really good.

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Robotron runs pretty darned well on the XBOX controller using the dual analog sticks.

 

I'm now saying it's better that the arcade sticks -- just really good.

I've tried that and find the game pretty much unplayable. The twitchy pixel-perfect maneuvers that the game requires are just too difficult with a sloppy analog stick. At least, they are for me.

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In addition to save-states for ALL games being among the features most classic consoles don't offer which emulation does, I also like the ability to cut the speed in half or fourths. Or underclocking. This allows one to get past some difficult spots where timing and precision are unusually demanding. Not all emulators support this

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FLASHBACK. Or at least the Genesis version.

Somehow when playing it on an emulator you can MAJORLY CHEAT! Face a wall. Point away from it so you face away from the wall. Now point away again with the run button held down and IMMEDIATELY pull back towards the wall. Your guy will do a VERY short dash away from the wall, pull back and walk THROUGH the wall! Often times this will kill you (fall through space) or sometimes freeze up the game. But in some places you can make a level a million times easier-- especially the last level! Try it folks!

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In addition to save-states for ALL games being among the features most classic consoles don't offer which emulation does, I also like the ability to cut the speed in half or fourths. Or underclocking. This allows one to get past some difficult spots where timing and precision are unusually demanding. Not all emulators support this

I have to admit... I've been known to do this on Gravitar.

 

Hey -- it's a brutally hard game!

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One other thing that applies to all emulators and games is screenshots. It's very convenient to hit a key and be presented with a photo of the on-screen activity.

 

Years ago, with real hardware, you had to..

 

1- dim the lights

2- tell the kids not to run in front of the tv

3- find a steady object or tripod

4- turn off the flash

5- set the angle right to avoid window glare

6- set the exposure right (or hope for the best)

7- remove the film

8- drive it to a fotomat (or mail it in and wait)

9- pay money and pick it up hours or days later

10- sort through the 5 pictures you took for the best one, without the 60hz black blanking bar.

 

Anybody want to do this all over again?

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1. The N64 / PSX games that work well in emulation have a considerably better framerate/lack of fog/resolution that makes my beaten-by-hours-of-coding eyes feel much happier.

 

2. Many emulators fix the "looks like crap on an LCD" issues as well.

 

3. Some of the older paddles are frequently blister and cramp inducing for me.

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Can't believe I forgot to mention this, but:

 

save states > passwords

save states > battery save as well

 

Save states and battery saves are both data files under any emulator, but there are games where you cannot save your game any time you want. The Legend of Zelda on NES is a good example, IIRC, and there are RPGs that force you to go to specific locations (in towns, mostly) in order to save your game. With save states, you can save and restore at any exact point and time, and ignore the battery save feature of the game.

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One other thing that applies to all emulators and games is screenshots. It's very convenient to hit a key and be presented with a photo of the on-screen activity.

 

Years ago, with real hardware, you had to..

 

1- dim the lights

2- tell the kids not to run in front of the tv

3- find a steady object or tripod

4- turn off the flash

5- set the angle right to avoid window glare

6- set the exposure right (or hope for the best)

7- remove the film

8- drive it to a fotomat (or mail it in and wait)

9- pay money and pick it up hours or days later

10- sort through the 5 pictures you took for the best one, without the 60hz black blanking bar.

 

Anybody want to do this all over again?

 

Wait, there's something from the past that you DON'T like? I thought new tech was the devil and the old way was handed down by the almighty himself.

Edited by AtariLeaf
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I like some new tech as much as old. I may not be as fascinated with it as much as the old stuff though.

 

It's really the idiotic thinking that is (has) become more prevalent in todays things. The short lifecycle of stuff is super stupid. The inconsistent user interfaces. The adoption of fads and trends, monkey see monkey do attitudes.

 

Mostly new tech is made just to see how stupid people can be and how quickly they can give their money away. Sometimes new tech embodies ideas just to be different at a whim, with no thought, and hopefully it catches on.

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Any Game.com game.The reason why the Game.com games are SOO slow and terrible is because of it's crappy screen(it has to be the worst screen on a handheld ever).If you play the games on the emulator,although there not the best games,there MUCH better than playing them on the Game.com's horrid screen.

 

Wow, Has the Game.com emulation progressed? Last I checked it was not working. This is a good thing as I was looking forward to it. Thank you for the heads up.

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OK, I gotta chime in here..... I hope I do not go on a 3 page rant, but I will try to keep it brief. I have been around the classics since day 1. I am 47, and started with a Telstar Alpha in 77 or whatever year it was released. then added an Atari VCS (before it was called 2600), Atari 400, 800, 800Xl, Commodore 64c, Atari 520ST, Atari 520STfm (upgraded to 1mb), Mega 2, Amiga 500 and finally moved to the PC world in the 386 days. This is all when they were the must have systems, not years later as a collector. I loved them now, and love them today. Even though I did not own them back in the day, I knew my way around on a Vic 20, Apple //s, TRS-80 Model xxx, Coco and all the rest. I lived fot this stuff.

 

Today, I have a storage locer with (amongst others) a few Vic 20s, Commodore 64s, 3 Amiga 500s, my origianl Atari 800, Odyssey 2, Atari 800XLs, 600XLs and I dont know what else, but trust me, there is more. I started emulating an IBM PC and a Mac on the Atari ST in 85 and 86 and have been emulating ever since. It has been a VERY long road, and emulation has really came a long way, and I have to admit, I am at the point where I PREFER emulation over the real thing.

 

Want a memory upgraqde or a faster clocked CPU? Not a problem!!

Wanna run PAL games on an NTSC system? Couldnt be easier!!

Slow load times (Commodore 64)?? Thing of the past!!!

Floppy discks rotted after 30 years?? Burn them to a CD/DVD!!

Gameboy screen to small to see because you are getting older? I play Gameboy on a 55" TV!!!

Small apartment? I live in a 760 square foot condo, so space is at a premium, but I can play any game, any time!!

Not the same without real controllers? I have a BlissBox (15 port to USB) as well as an X-Arcade Tankstick.

Monitors? I have a Samsung 27" that rotates to horizontal for the horizontal arcade games, as well as a NEC MultiSync 21" Super Brite CRT for when I really want authenticity!

(I must admit, Vector games on the NEC Superbrite CRT are AMAZING!!)

 

So.... Lets recap...

 

I can litterally plug any controller known to man into the BlissBox and use it on the PC for emulation. The possibilites are ENDLESS.

Sega Saturn controller on Nintendo or Super NES

Atari 2600 joystick on Odyssey 2 or Colecovision. (Wico Bat Handle on Colecovision FTW!!)

(I have a collection of over 200 real controllers for every system imaginable and still looking for more). :)

21" CRT monitor for the true aspect ratio on the classics

PunchOut / Super PunchIOut / PlayChoice 10 on TWO SCREENS the way it was meant to be played!! (I have a real dual screen PC-10 BTW)

I have the entire collection of PSX, Sega-CD, Saturn, CD-i, Amiga CD, CD32, Jaguar and 3DO images all on a hard drive, so Thousands of discs, taking NO PHYSICAL SPACE!!

 

Emulation has progressed enough where it is just as good, if not better than the real hardware. That being said, I am still activily buying new hardware. I am getting a 5200 next weekend, and still looking for a Bally Astrocade. I am dying to get an Atari 1200XL, as there has never been a better keyboard for ANY machine relased anywhere. But for the reasons listed above, I am perfectly fine with emulation. The thing I have to laugh at is the anti-Mame group over at KLOV. They hate Mame with a passion, yet they have a 60-in-1 cabinet. Hello??? It is Mame on a PC-Board!! I guess the real reason is they are not smart enough to configure a front end. LOL.

 

Yes, I love real hardware, but weighing the options, I still prefer emulation.

Edited by scotty
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Emulators are much better, for sure! Save states are indeed pretty awesome to have. As are cheats/input options/snapshots of your game/etc.

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Emulation is timeless. Emulation is elegant. Emulation has the potential to continue to make efforts at becoming better tahn original hardware in more and more ways. Some aspects are already better, as discussed. Some need improvement and refinement. But incredible progress over the last 20 years has been made.

 

I think that people that appreciate emulation are one step ahead. And definitely two steps ahead of KLOV M.A.M.E. haters. Sheeesh, I thought I was full of shit at times, but they take the cake!

 

At any rate, the people that appreciate Emulation are tend to be at the bottom end of the financial ladder, or more toward the top. In general. The poor folks can't afford the space and extra funds to do real hardware. So they do free emulation. The rich and well-to-do folks are powerfully polarized; they either have tons of material in their physical collection taking up full basements and other rooms, or they have evolved beyond that and have decided to streamline completely and go for convenience and features and finesse that only emulation can provide.

 

In any case, you have to be smart and intelligent to set up emulation the way it was intended to be done. A lot of the knowledge won't be found in tutorials and internet how-to's. Most of the unspoken knowledge comes directly from having experiencing the emulated machines in real life back in the day. And then there is PC knowledge. Lots of tidbits and emperical information gained from your own hands-on troubleshooting and observing others figure things out. The ability to oversee tons of details while figuring out what is important and relevant and still seeing the big picture is vital.

 

In short, your average smartphone gamer is gonna be at a total loss when presented with the task of fine-tuning an emulator. Much like those M.A.M.E. haters at KLOV.

 

I've been messing around with emulation since before the days of Mike Cuddy's Gyruss sound emulator. Before the days of Microsoft Arcade. And even earlier than DASA.

 

Emulation allows you to instantly enjoy the classic material without flaky hardware getting in the way or demanding your attention. I can be configuring things, playing something, programming, whatever. And get called away on an emergency that could take days to resolve. No worries about the collection. I just power it all down, and come back next month. And that is a real boon for me.

 

And yep, from time to time I still acquire new paraphernalia for my Apple II, TI-59, and TRS-80 Pocket Computer collections. But I spend more time looking at them then I do screw'n around with them.

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Hybris is better on an emulator that on an actual Amiga 500.

 

Once you map the Enter and Space keys to a d-pad controller, it's a total riot.

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/\/\/\/\

I enjoyed "Another World" in emulation for a similar reason. I could map "Joystick Up" to a button on the controls to let me have an additional button to work with as jump. Actually there are tons of games were avoiding Up for jump is preferable.

 

 

Save states take a lot of the frustration out of the NES and SNES era platformers. Some of those just weren't very good games, and the way they sent you back to the beginning just made me quit many times. With save states I can retry from a specific point without losing all the extra men I've built up.

 

I've specifically had a few games of Metroid and Super Metroid that I think I would have just ended and restarted if it weren't for a save state. Falling in that long pit in the original . . . . I'll just start a new game.

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Light gun games are so much easier when you can use your mouse!

 

Star Wars Arcade is pretty great with the mouse.

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This is a partial cross-post from an Altirra thread, but it's worth mentioning here.

 

Back in the day I always kinda sorta wondered what some of our 8-bit machines would be like with a faster CPU. Just the CPU mind you. Well today you can discover just that. Take for example the Atari 400/800.

 

By cranking up the CPU to 3.58 MHz or higher I noted progressively smoother animation of the 3D particles in Star Raiders' explosions, e.g. when asteroids or ships are getting blown away. The hyperwarp is also smoother and slightly faster. Otherwise the game plays as it should. This faster CPU setting allows for better 3D calculations. The explosion particles in Star Raiders are calculated real time.

 

Now with Ballblazer set the CPU to 10.74 Mhz or higher to get stupid smooth animation and near perfection in the grid scrolling. The game is totally playable and proceeds at the same rate as a standard 400/800 would - down to the 1/10th of a second. This is really something and I believe the original programmers of the game would have liked it to play this smooth; but due to the hardware limitations of the day it wasn't possible.

 

Talk about emulators not being as good as the real thing. Pffaggghhhh! That's hogwash. You have the option to play it like it was, with choppy scrolling. OR you can "upgrade" the specification and play it as it was intended to be played.

 

And this is all on a Pentium III with ISA soundcard and AGP 2x graphics.

 

On another note I find savestates great for some adventure games. Though most text-adventure (interactive story) games would let you save your progress as a matter of course, I like having multiple saves at different parts of the map.

 

Just imagine.. a battery-backed nvram for every game you own!

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