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Turn your old stuff into a Fantastic Emulation Machine!


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  • 9 months later...

I've just spent ages trying to load the first level of Duke Nukem Zero Hour. It crashes when the chopper rises in the training facility. Step 1: try RetroArch. It worked! But the frame rate is horrible, controls hard to configure. Back to Project 64 1.6. My first save for it was way back in 2012, also Duke Nukem. Step 2: mess with the settings in Project 64 even though I don't know what I am doing. Nothing changes. Step 3: download every other n64 emulator. None work. Step 4: google if others have same problem. A guy had an idea to use another emulator to move over a level select into Project 64 in a way he described as complicated. Step 5: look for cheats. That actually worked. Debut mode. But I'd messed with the settings so much its framerate was horrible. Step 6: re install Peoject 64 1.6 or look for newer version. Newer version..worked! It's slow to load, wouldn't recognise the controller for 10 minutes making me tyell in frustration and has now just crashed again. But it worked and now to ask myself if I really wanted to play the game or was it just because I literally couldn't. No I do, I do. The time travelling, Victorian setting, the bloody headshots. I loved it. It got 90% in magazines and i remember that because if it didn't I probably wouldn't have played it. 

 

I've been recently playing Extreme G 2, I really liked the original and can't understand why I skipped it given it was my aim to own every good n64 game and I'd go to my friend's house with a bag full of 50 games. A plastic supermarket bag, it was always ripping. Were you imagining a rucksack? I skateboard in and swing it around as the game cartridges fling out? 

 

I think I was a snob, before magazines i played any game, we rented them and cost didn't matter. We could no longer rent and cost did matter and 2 magazines i religiously bought every month gave ratings to games and I began looking at otherwise fun games suspiciously, as though their fun was tainted by a lack of quality and you're at school too every day, grades being enforced you think it matters. I am enjoying XG2 now sort of lamenting I didn't play it then, as though there were strong impressions to be made by this game that didn't occur. Now the sci fi racer is dead, but then it was like 3 years after Wipeout and 2097, it was a year after F Zero X and Star Wars Pod Racer. And Extreme G wasn't as good as any of those. 

 

The tracks are superb, the music a mixture of repetitive and atmospheric. Music culture influencesd games then, its whole aesthetic is industrial, but not the dry dull harbour in a fps kind of way, it's purples and muddy greens, it's swampy and underground. Genuinely underground. That really changed dramatically in the 00s, if you look at THPS as the prime example; as a teenager you can't really grasp the ruinous nature of capitalism in terms of always justifying creativity through expansion and profit. You just see the essence of something be stretched and trodden on. I played THPS 4 disappointed but mostly confused. It was a long time ago yet typifies the state things are still in. 

 

But yeah anyway I think I skipped XG2 because of its reviews, something like 6.7. Which is like a 90s classic late night film rotten tomatoes score. It looks great, looks at those bikes and those weapons, stop being so moody. I'm more impressed now than I would be then. I appreciate the graphics that attempt to create an effect with clearly limitations on the scale to do that. More money, resources, budget,  time, memory, storage, power mostly mean bigger worlds don't they, not necessarily fine details, the little things that pop out. I like the white birds that fly off, contrasting against the muddy greens, I like the basic approximation of a forest, how jarring it is, I like the track twisting like it's entering itself. I've been thinking more about genres and cultures when I watch stand up that's not funny to me but which offers like a different vibe to it. 

 

My one remaining ambition is to make a game, and I've thought about this a lot. I've thought; it'd have to be completely brilliant. But thinking of ideas is not the same as working within design programs, you want to tackle something tangible that's actually there. Now I think that obviously if you're putting stuff on paper you're gonna write: 30 crafts to a race and hundreds of tracks. Because you think those are easy ways to improve it. But the developers then were just working within strict schedules right and if you think; can you not just try to do more with the racing formula of cups and 4-10 races points based tournaments. But did they have time to even look at that. Maybe they did, I dunno. Rare were one of the few developers allowed time and they did it. But even just Rock and Roll Racing, buying parts, planet hopping, buying new vehicles, the sense of progression in that. Really I'm still a child in getting excited by what's next. The game withholds that, and you expect. The third act in a film, the last few episodes of a tv season, the penultimate track in an album. Doesn't always follow.

 

I also recently played Snowboard Kids 2. The first few tracks are lazy badly designed copies of the first game, everything is off. But then suddenly there's a track in space and it's wild and brilliant as if the developers were just too bored to do much with those early tracks. You can jaded, bored, disinterested, seen it all before. But structuring something so you wonder what's next, I don't think that goes away. In Snowboard Kids 2 it's the never hinting at it, the original had you boarding on grass, sand, but space made less sense. With 100 tracks it lessens the sudden leap. Only so many themes. 

 

I also voided XG3 on Gamecube for fucking some reason. Maybe I tied it to the decline of Acclaim, things were never the same between me and them after level 3 of Turok 2. XG3 and XGRA was all white and slick and generally the sci fi racer has never been the same since. Just playing Beetle Adventure Racing, those mountains, those corners, the impression made, it's convincing, I feel like yes I am racing on a beach and yes I did just leap into a volcano. There's real scale there. Those designers really were good. There's an art to track design and I don't think I've ever read an article, interview, forum thread recognising it. Imagine you're a designer just given a track to design, the thought that goes into seems alien, like er what does it need where do you begin. The racing genre is like a lost speciality. Clearly there's a difference between recreating reality, real places you drive through and condensing places into corners and bridges, jumps to create the impression of being really there. Where did this post begin, how have I ended here, I can't remember. 

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  • 5 months later...

Booted up my wii for the first time in a couple of years and the configurable usb prefer seems to have disappeared...the homebrew browser is still there but fails to load...and seem to be missing lots if other channels...suspect the SD card may have developed a fault am going it's that and not some system killing update...

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8 hours ago, mwaawm said:

Booted up my wii for the first time in a couple of years and the configurable usb prefer seems to have disappeared...the homebrew browser is still there but fails to load...and seem to be missing lots if other channels...suspect the SD card may have developed a fault am going it's that and not some system killing update...

Just remod it. So a system update from Nintendo then start over, it's quick and easy and probably more up to date than what you have. See the Wii thread.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I thought about starting a new thread for this but it seems to fit here.

I want to choose a system for playing retro games, mostly SNES/MD and MAME stuff. I bought a PS Classic for this but never managed to get it working and didn't want to spend more money on the "correct" memory stick for it.

I've got a PSP on Custom Firmware, I have a Wii U, I've got an original Xbox with a mod chip, there's a Wii somewhere if I can find the cables and I have a Switch.

I do like the idea of something that's handheld, but with the option of playing it on the TV - so the Wii U is seeming like a decent option but how much hassle is that going to be, compared to the PS Classic or just pulling my Xbox out of storage? Has the scene moved on much on the original xbox? Could I get a nicer front end and stuff?

 

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The WiiU was fairly straight forward to set up. It’s really nice having the option to use the TV or the screen on the controller. The d-pad is nice for retro stuff too, unlike the Xbox OG IMO. 
One game I’ve never managed to emulate correctly on anything other than Xbox is Pilotwings 64 though. Getting that working on WiiU would be the best thing ever!

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That's a lot of potential options there Gaz, though with the 'handheld and on TV' criteria it boils down to the Wii U or Switch. 

 

Do you have a v1 Switch, i.e. hackable? I find this most convenient with a portable RCM loader and Android, and it can easily be dropped into a Switch dock for TV play.

 

The Wii U can be used 'portably', but only within a short distance of the base unit. There are emulator options, however I found the console cumbersome, and have recently moved it to the loft as it just wasn't being used. 

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I think the switch is hackable, it's XAJ70002 serial code but it's likely on a recent firmware.

Reading the guides it seems like quite a complicated process to actually hack it.

I want to set up the Wii U for wii bowling anyway so I'll see how easy that looks for hacking.

 

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The firmware is irrelevant with the Switch, as the flaw is with the Tegra chip. “Mr.Rabbit GameTV” has excellent guides on YouTube (I am not affiliated, I just find them useful), easy to follow. 
 

You could install Android and skip ‘EmuMMC’, then there’s no ban risk as you’re running a completely different operating system. 
 

Wii U is simpler to hack, although I got lost with the mishmash of different guides and emulators for the console. Wii, GameCube and eShop games are easy enough to add though. 

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Most of the guides online use jargon that makes things look like gibberish.  The Switch is super-easy to mod but the guide will tell you that if your serial number is 12345 then you install custom bootstrap 5 with an RCM Jig and your brain says "what the hell does that mean?"

 

But the reality is that you're just following instructions and pretty much all of them are downloading files, unzipping them and putting them on an SD card.  As long as you follow the steps and make sure you're following the instructions to the letter, it's all straightforward.  

 

The Switch  makes an incredible emulation machine.  What you really should do is follow the instructions for backing up your nand and also any save game files.  This is the one area of the Switch that I don't like namely that (if you don't have an online sub) your save games are stored on the console and if you do ever go back to retail you lose anything you didn't back up. But the Switch is powerful enough to do MAME etc.

 

If you want to use your old consoles, Xbox is great but it's big and has wired controllers.  Also it only has a 8Gb hard drive (although it's easy to stick a big one in).  But if you're not interested in MAME and are happy with variable PS1 and N64 I love the Wii. Its small, cheap, plays GameCube and Wii as well as everything up to 16 bit all from a hard drive.  If you want more grunt, the Wii-U is great too and then you'd have better PS1 and mAme.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 14/04/2021 at 17:55, dumpster said:

Most of the guides online use jargon that makes things look like gibberish.  The Switch is super-easy to mod but the guide will tell you that if your serial number is 12345 then you install custom bootstrap 5 with an RCM Jig and your brain says "what the hell does that mean?"

 

But the reality is that you're just following instructions and pretty much all of them are downloading files, unzipping them and putting them on an SD card.  As long as you follow the steps and make sure you're following the instructions to the letter, it's all straightforward.  

 

The Switch  makes an incredible emulation machine.  What you really should do is follow the instructions for backing up your nand and also any save game files.  This is the one area of the Switch that I don't like namely that (if you don't have an online sub) your save games are stored on the console and if you do ever go back to retail you lose anything you didn't back up. But the Switch is powerful enough to do MAME etc.

 

If you want to use your old consoles, Xbox is great but it's big and has wired controllers.  Also it only has a 8Gb hard drive (although it's easy to stick a big one in).  But if you're not interested in MAME and are happy with variable PS1 and N64 I love the Wii. Its small, cheap, plays GameCube and Wii as well as everything up to 16 bit all from a hard drive.  If you want more grunt, the Wii-U is great too and then you'd have better PS1 and mAme.

 

My metric for PS1 games is the x-files fmv video game. And for N64 it's starcraft 64.

 

From my experience those are the trickiest to run, only the Android emulator seems to run then near flawlessly. So maybe the ultimate emulation station would be the Nvidia Shield/pro; with usb, n Bluetooth, streaming n media/android capability in one box.. Probably the best thing out there. Though I like my good ol' Wii .

 

Most 'hacking' involves being able to read thoroughly, and putting files in an SD card/media thing. Then again I broke multiple Xboxes trying to expand the hard drive on it sooo....

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On 14/04/2021 at 17:55, dumpster said:

Most of the guides online use jargon that makes things look like gibberish.  The Switch is super-easy to mod but the guide will tell you that if your serial number is 12345 then you install custom bootstrap 5 with an RCM Jig and your brain says "what the hell does that mean?"

 

But the reality is that you're just following instructions and pretty much all of them are downloading files, unzipping them and putting them on an SD card.  As long as you follow the steps and make sure you're following the instructions to the letter, it's all straightforward.  

Yeah. I looked into it briefly and got overwhelmed so just paid someone to do it (was an SX core so made sense for the guy soldering it to set it all up) but have now read up on it, retrospectively, and could have definitely managed. Messing about with Tinfoil et al has been lots of fun too.

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Not sure if this is the correct thread but.....

 

I've just picked up an older  MSI Trident 3 PC (The one that is the same size as a PS4/Xbox One) It has a Core I5 7400, 16gb RAM and Nvidia GTX 1060 3gb in it.

 

Is this good enough for high end emulation? What can I reasonably expect to emulate up to? PS2, Dreamcast?

 

 I have a more powerful PC (Radeon 6700 XT 12gb with Ryzen 7 5800X) but the Trident has the form factor for under the TV.

 

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11 hours ago, AceGrace said:

Not sure if this is the correct thread but.....

 

I've just picked up an older  MSI Trident 3 PC (The one that is the same size as a PS4/Xbox One) It has a Core I5 7400, 16gb RAM and Nvidia GTX 1060 3gb in it.

 

Is this good enough for high end emulation? What can I reasonably expect to emulate up to? PS2, Dreamcast?

 

 I have a more powerful PC (Radeon 6700 XT 12gb with Ryzen 7 5800X) but the Trident has the form factor for under the TV.

 

That's more than enough for any emulation up to PS3 era I reckon.

 

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1 hour ago, AceGrace said:

Cool. Would that include WiiU?  Switch?

Don't know but my PC is very old and runs Dolphin pretty well.  Yours is a higher spec so give it a go.

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