Emulators and Roms: An Overview
Hello once again my fellow Calm Down Tom readers, Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) here back from a (far too long) hiatus due to lack of internet to talk to you all about the vast number of Emulators out there for the PC.
An Emulator is a program that gives you the ability to play games from old school consoles and even last generation consoles on your PC. Newer console emulators such as PCSX2 (which is the Playstation 2 emulator) require a fairly beefy computer in order to play at a solid 60 frames per second. Quad core or higher with a decent video card is recommended.
There are emulators for just about every console and handheld system including Nintendo DS and PSP. The PSP emulator is still in early development however. The only console that doesn’t have an emulator as of right now is the Xbox and the newer consoles.
Roms on the other hand are the images of the games which come in various file types ISO’s for PS2 games as they use a disc, and .z64 for N64 games for example. The PS2 emulator also allows the booting of PS2 games from your disc drive as well if you don’t want to create an ISO file. Emulators are also able to improve game graphics by a large degree by using graphical improvements such as anti-aliasing, a large number of texture enhancements and the ability to change internal game resolutions comparable to the stock console settings. For example you can play PS2 games at 1920×1080 resolution or higher. 1080 being an HD resolution, enhances the games graphical quality by a large amount and anti-aliasing removes any jagged edges that would be in the game due to the stock consoles limitations.
There are a large number of different Emulators out there but my favourite ones include Project 64 for N64 games (with the Rice video plugin you can improve game detail by 10 fold) and PCSX2 for Playstation 2 games. PCSX2 requires you to dump a Bios from a PS2 yourself, but there are a number of tutorials on how to do this, and Google is your friend on this matter. PCSX2 has a large game compatability list on their website PCSX2.net as well so be sure to check this to make sure the game you want to play is fully compatible.
Also good is ePSXe or Enhanced PSX emulator for Playstation 1 games. This one also requires a Bios to work properly and you can find tutorials on how to dump yours around the net as well. Dolphin Emulator is great for Gamecube games, and what’s nice about the Dolphin Emulator is it’s able to play Wii games as well as regular Gamecube games. Another thing about the Dolphin Emulator is it allows you to play both Gamecube and Wii games in full HD; something the consoles themselves cannot do. It also allows you to use a regular wii-mote on your pc to control the games, or you can just use your mouse as an emulated wii-mote like me. Another note on the Dolphin emulator: playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl on your PC is killer fun!
I also use Snes9X for Super Nintendo games, the Super Nintendo being my all time favorite console for a large number of reasons. This emulator (like the others) improves the graphical quality of the games by improving saturation as well as removing jagged edges and enhanced texture filtering options. The final Emulator that i use quite often is Visual Boy Advance which is a Gameboy Advance Emulator. This emulator also plays Gameboy and Gameboy Color games as well.
There are also a large number of other emulators for the NES, Sega consoles, old Atari consoles, Commodore 64, DOS, and Arcade Boxes. I’m a large classic Nintendo fan myself so I tend to only play those Emulators and the Playstation ones.
Here’s a short list of some classic games I highly recommend playing at least once.
Suikoden 1 and 2, Tales of Destiny 1 and 2, Xenogears, Legend of Mana and Legend of Dragoon for PS1.
Tales of Phantasia, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Lufia Fortress of Doom, Super Metroid and Star Ocean for Super Nintendo.
Tales of Symphonia for Gamecube
Persona 3 and 4, Xenosaga episodes 1-3, and Okami for PS2
That’s all I’ll mention for now lol. Thanks for reading everyone and I hope you enjoy playing the emulators if you happen to try them out.
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) out!