Retro games & emulation

Discussion in 'Computers, Electronics, IT & Gaming' started by spudmunkey, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I've seen a fair amount of mention of old-school games in the "Games that should get remade" and "What game are you playing" threads, but no topic focusing just on them. I also though it could be an appropriate place to talk about how people are playing them, including new "compatible" consoles like the Analogue NT (and similar) and even emulation.



    To start it all off, I've been playing emulated old-school NES, SNES, Genesis etc games on my PCs for 20 years. I've been getting into it a little more lately. i've been binging a lot of SNES Drunk's videos lately about games that were never released in the US, and so many look like so much fun. About 2 weeks ago, I just finished Mega man VII on NES, which signified me going through every mega man NES game, in order, and beating each of them without using save states, for the first time in my life. I had MM3 on NES as a kid, but never beat it...untill recently.

    I've thought about picking up a couple of the "official" mini consoles from Nintendo and Sega...but there's just not enough games on them, and then with multiple systems, it's a bunch more USB and HDMI cables to manage, multiple controllers, etc.

    I see a metric shit-tonne of, what I assume are, just raspberry pi in cases with retroarch on Ebay, etc...but I know the Pi can struggle with quite a lot of games/consoles.

    Short of buying a whole PC, is there something out there, hardware and software, that makes the most seamless, high-performance emulation console? The "seamless" aspect is really what I'm looking for. To look as much like a purposefully-designed, refined, retail product, with minimal futzing around with expeimenting with multiple emulators, switching controller settings, etc etc.
     
  2. DudeManBrother

    DudeManBrother Hey...how did everybody get in my room?

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    I quickly found a tutorial for reflashing the little mini retro NES that came out a couple years ago. It maybe took an hour to download all the games/box art and go through them. I ended up loading maybe 100 games into the system, but have another 300+ saved and can add them in minutes if I were so inclined. It loads and plays exactly like the stock 30 game console did.
    8514658D-31B4-4C1E-8AA7-3568F594FC44.jpeg 8CA89280-90B7-4832-84D0-9661E6444131.jpeg

    It won’t play all the other consoles games, as the 2 button controller is limited, but you could easily get sega, ps, and snes games to work on one of the mini ps or snes retro consoles. There is probably even an aftermarket controller for the mini nes that has enough buttons to load those now that I’m thinking about it... hmmm might have to look into that myself :lol:
     
  3. Choop

    Choop n______n

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    Modding an older console is an option also--an old xbox or a wii could make a good retro game station for not a lot of money. I had considered using a wii for a while since it has the classic controller which is a pretty nice perk.
     
  4. NotDonVito

    NotDonVito molesta la breastas

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    I picked up a Wii model 2 for like $10 recently with controllers and everything. Don't have much use for it since I've got a Wii U, so I'll probably be modding it soon.

    I have modded a Playstation Classic, totally recommend that system for the cost, but also it's more powerful than the other mini consoles. You can run anything from Atari up to Dreamcast on them(although some of the more technical Dreamcast games like UT99 won't run). I've seen some places selling them as low as $20 new. All you need to unlock it is a USB stick. Basically the program(autobleem) lets you access the emulator on the system and load your own PSX ROMS, but then you can also put a retroarch folder on the drive to play other games. The retroarch program comes with a shit ton of emulators pre-installed, everything from SNES to shit like 3DO and Jaguar.

    The only problem I had with PS Classic is that you have to use one of the controller ports for your USB stick, so if you want to play 2 player games, you need a splitter. The system conveniently comes with 2 controllers, good quality ones too. Although they lack analog sticks, so like N64 games need something else plugged in.
     
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  5. SamSam

    SamSam GAS problems

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    2nd the PS Classic, it's a great emulation platform
     
  6. M3CHK1LLA

    M3CHK1LLA angel sword guardian

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    guess im old, but i enjoy playing the retro games on the orig consoles with the orig controller in my hands.

    the only thing i would change is adding an extension cable to the controllers so i don't have to be 3ft from the tv lol
     
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  7. SamSam

    SamSam GAS problems

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    I agree, although that can quickly become rather pricey and using modern televisions is another hassle.
     
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  8. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    Honestly, I find that the Retroarch image runs quite nicely, it just depends on what you're trying to play. All 16 bit systems run perfectly, it's just that when it comes to N64, Dreamcast, etc.. where it starts to choke. Now that they've come out with the Raspberry Pi 4 with a better processor and more memory, perhaps it'll run emulation a bit better than the old one.
     
  9. experiment_one

    experiment_one SS.org Regular

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    I would highly recommend one of the newer Pi 4B+ models with retroarch installed on it. I've set some up for friends of mine and have seen more games run without frame drops compared to the older Rasberry Pi 3B+. Setting it up isn't too different from installing it on one of the NES/SNES shitboxes.
    I think this would be the way to go. The extra graphics punch and RAM finally loosen up the bottlenecks that were on earlier versions of the pi.
     
  10. WarMachine

    WarMachine SS.org Regular

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    Pick up a Dell optiplex 3010 on eBay anywhere from 50-80 bucks. Gets you emulating up to the gamecube/Wii with the dedicated GPU and leaves u with upgrade options, if you want to (and you will lol). You can download a program called Batocera that acts like its own OS on the internal HDD or a flash drive if you don't want to have it take over as an OS. It comes preinstalled with RetroArch on the majority of the emulators. It also has Kodi built in as well. Something to think about. Also, if you decide to keep windows on it, you could pick up a gt 1030 for less than 100 bucks or if you can go the extra on some cash pick up a gtx 1650. Either can get you up to 1080p and up, plus you could start throwing some past and current PC games on there as well. I did this last March and couldnt be happier. Good enough for me to sell off my PS4 about 4 months or longer ago. A majority of its games and Xbox 1 games are on there as well. Most playing at a higher quality than on the consoles. Plus if you get the SFF version it looks like a console lol.
     
  11. NotDonVito

    NotDonVito molesta la breastas

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    Holy god damn fuck. So I came into this shitty Intel atom mini pc recently. It’s completely unusable as an actual computer, so I decided to turn it into a game console. Just a heads up for anyone looking into these, this specific line of Atom machines(from companies like beelink, chuwi, minis forum, ect..), do not have Linux compatible WiFi OR Ethernet. I have never come across a computer where I couldn’t use Linux over and Ethernet connection. So Lakka and Batocera are almost completely unusable as permanent plug and play interfaces. Batocera won’t install without a network, it’s previous fork Recalbox doesn’t seem to have installation options at all, and I can’t figure out how to get roms onto Lakka since the official documentation only has instructions for transferring files over a shared network, which this POS isn’t on. Retro arch is out of the picture too because on a non Pi system you apparently have to run it over an existing OS(Windows or Debian for example). I’d rather not do that for the sake of performance and having to boot into a desktop environment beforehand.

    TLDR don’t buy a cheap atom machine for emulation.

    BTW, if anyone knows how to transfer files to Lakka offline please let me know. I understand how to scan the file directories off an external USB or SD card. I played Castlevania and Megaman X6 off of a USB last night, but I would like to transfer these ISO files to the primary storage where Lakka is installed. (it’s a fork of retro arch btw)
     
  12. NotDonVito

    NotDonVito molesta la breastas

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    Got my Wii homebrewed a few weeks ago. There's a google doc file that's got everything that was released on the Wii shop, so I've got all the good 1st party N64 games(and they're not emulated jank), lots of SNES games, some PC Engine stuff. There's even a few decent Wiiware games like Cave Story and Megaman 9/10. It also plays Gamecube and Wii ISO's natively. Wii games are a bit of a pain as most Wii ISO launchers require USB(which costs more per GB than SD), but the Gamecube launcher can play games off an SD card just fine.

    So most of this isn't emulation per-say, but there are some emulators for the system. The Nintendo ones(Gameboy/GBA/SNES/NES) all work great, but I prefer playing the Virtual Console versions of games if it's availible. Unfortunately Nintendo didn't release any GB or GBA games for the OG Wii shop, so you have to use an emulator in that case.

    Every other emulator like the various PC's(MSX, C64, ect..) and "newer" stuff like DS and PS1 run like garbage. Real shame too, I really wanted to play PS1, but only a small amount of games are supported.

    edit: Here's Simpsons Hit & Run running in "HD" off an SD card. Played with a Wii classic controller.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ID5SU81XHGlFlhanAwzB1Crf_FuI7AkF/view?usp=sharing

    tbh you can probably do all of this much easier on a PC running Dolphin and get better results, but the goal here is to have a plug and play machine I can setup at a TV area
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2020
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  13. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    Does anyone have any suggestions for a controller that can be used with emulators for Android phone - google pixel 2 to be specific? Currently using My Boy! For gba stuff & retroarch for everything else.

    The touch screen controls work well enough for rpg's & other turn based games with lots of menus, but just wouldn't cut it for platformers or other input heavy games. I just wanna play some metroidvanias & the MegaMan Zero games.
     
  14. Choop

    Choop n______n

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    I imagine the 8BitDo SN30 should work--it'd be what I would get for an emulation controller.

    https://www.8bitdo.com/sn30-pro-g-classic-or-sn30-pro-sn/

    They have several models of wireless controllers!
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I've got the 8bitdo Zero paired to my phone (which is also a Pixel 2), and it works fine for this purpose. It makes mobile gaming bearable.
     
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  16. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

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    The Wii Classic controller should work since the Minis use Wii controller connections.
     
  17. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I've been trying to use an old Acer Nettop for the last little while (because I already had it), but at 2GB Ram, a windows, and a 1.3GHz processor...it just ain't cutting it.

    I just recently got a Raspberry Pi 4 delivered this morning. Won't have the SD card until next week, but trying to wrap my head around the software.

    Even when I look at "beginners guides", they still seem like one step beyond what I can get my brain to "click".

    I've probably watched 2-3 days-worth of videos on it, but I still feel like I'm one step removed.

    Not really looking for help, just venting. Ha!
     
  18. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    I build a Raspberry Pi 3 for someone a couple years back, and I remember having to follow the step-by-step carefully because winging-it didn't work out. I used this: https://retropie.org.uk/docs/First-Installation/

    The most frustrating part was getting the disk image-type ROMS to show up correct. IIRC I had one where the .cue file had the image name in lower case where the image was in upper case and it didn't work- something stupid like that.

    Then the person I built it for just uses it to play Gameboy games. :lol:
     
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  19. wankerness

    wankerness SS.org Regular

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    So, Nintendo is doing a limited-time release of an HD collection of Super Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, and Mario Galaxy. I'm REALLY hyped for this! I've been wanting to play Mario 64 again for a while, but the awfulness of the display on the N64, the looseness of the emulated Mario 64 on Wii-U, and the ungodly touch controls of Mario 64 DS all put me off in a big way. Mario Sunshine I've also thought about, but that one put me off cause I didn't really want to buy another copy (I sold it a long time ago to make a fast buck since they were paying a whole 30 bucks for it at gamestop or something way back when GC was still a current system). Mario Galaxy was the only one I might have played, and this will just make it all the better, since I find wiimotes to be annoying and the controls to that game to not really seem to require it anyway, unlike Skyward Sword. Pretty much was just aiming for gimmicks with picking up star fragments (seems like that could be eliminated) and shaking the wiimote to do a spin attack (just map it to a button!).

    Apparently it's already selling out everywhere (for the physical version), so I just ordered it to be a bandwagon jumper. I figure digital's slightly more convenient, but that it will be nice to have it, especially cause I'll probably be able to resell it at a profit somewhere way down the line if I ever want to.

    A lot of people are whining that the digital version is also advertised as limited-time only. I don't really get why Nintendo'd do that, but whatever. Not going to stop me!!
     
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  20. p0ke

    p0ke 7-string guitard

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    I've messed around with emulators for the better part of 20 years. The first emulator stuff I played was A Link to the Past for the SNES, which I got on a floppy disk from one of my dad's friends. I went "WTF, there's no Zelda game for PC", but then inserted the floppy and found ZSNES.EXE and the rom file on there.
    I already had a game controller that had basically the same layout as a SNES controller (some Logitech pad, I believe it was nicknamed "Batman pad") and managed to get that working with it, and that's basically the first time I got to play Zelda properly. It had some glitches still, for example there were some layer problems so the dark areas were pitch black (that got fixed sometime later) and the audio was pretty bad. But still playable.
    Fast forward a little bit and I figured out how to acquire more roms, and soon I had basically all SNES games running.

    These days SNES emulators are basically feature perfect and have filters that make the games look good even in HD and on quite modest hardware (probably for like 10 years already... ). I'm running mine on an Android TV box, with wireless Xbox 360 controllers (I also have a SNES -> USB adapter but I prefer wireless) and it works very nicely. It just works out of the box too, I didn't even have to configure the controllers.

    PS1 emulation has been pretty near perfect for some time too, and using graphics plugin filters the games even look much better than they originally did - same with N64 games, with a few exceptions. Back when I had a modded original Xbox, it was able to run both of those emulators, and I even beat FFVII, Zelda: OT and Mario 64 on it :lol: I haven't tried PS1 emulation on the Android TV yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll work too.
     
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