Community The Emulation Thread - When That PC Port Just Ain't Happening

Li Kao

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way.
Jan 28, 2019
4,467
8,606
113
Here is what it looks like (the upper parts are the direction keys)

 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
I've been playing and remembering some funky Sega Saturn games because of a discussion elsewhere. It's hard to find good footage for some of it though.

F-1 Live Information/F1 Challenge came out in 1996 and doesn't often get credit but I think it looks pretty good. The Japanese version's Grand Prix mode apes F-1 TV coverage with commentary and a picture-in-picture view of what is happening elsewhere in the track, that a button sets to always on, always off or to automatically pop up when relevant (iirc). You might have seen videos where it seems to chug at a terrible pace, but it's actually the second view (rear view mirror in the world version and/or other modes) causing it, disabling it allows it to perform pretty great (see prior to the timestamp/elsewhere for the chug):

I found an ok longplay (not the greatest player in dodging or remembering the melee and limited grenades) of Gundam Side Story I: Blue Terror (part I of the short episodic The Blue Destiny trilogy). Its final mission shows how the action doesn't miss a beat even with multiple enemies and destructible structures all over the place, thanks to the flat yet fancy VDP2 terrain. They're very simple action games compared to Gungriffon's faux-sim but they're a joy with such smooth action. Idk why they weren't more popular/enough to localise, they look like a Gundam fan's wet dream. In the other games there's a mission taking place in a simple interior area with corridors and halls and the very last mission of the trilogy is in outer space with asteroids and stuff!

Drift King 97 is an awesome racing game in the Wangan/Initial D mould (actually among the first in the former series and a precursor to Dreamcast's underrated Tokyo Xtreme Racer games). After trying it I love how drifting feels, it's like Sega Rally mud slides though you have to be a bit more precise and in control of your lane so you don't crash in either edge or the traffic you're overtaking as you attempt to beat your rival. The timestamp in the first video is a great introduction with some nice footage and I also found a tribute video (which is all gameplay as the game lacks replays). Sounds change when you're going through tunnels and the time of day changes as you progress in the race. The PlayStation port is available in English as Tokyo Highway Battle (which helps a ton when upgrading your car parts) but I prefer how this version feels/looks despite the lower draw distance, mesh shadows etc., as the 2D backgrounds move smoother and there's no polygon warping or obvious seams as on the PlayStation, it also supports the Saturn 3D Control Pad but not the DualShock or Dual Analog controller.

This first came out near the Saturn's launch and has a style similar to the likes of Gungriffon yet moves fast & smooth (even though this video is PAL with the known 50Hz issues, in the US it's called Thunderstrike 2)! Little old Saturn had so many awesome cockpit sim-esque games. I wish AMOK had a cockpit view.

I can't not post the Gungriffons and Stellar Assault SS again, especially the former are classics worth remembering alongside MechWarrior. I keep going back.

And I never really liked Mass Destruction but that 60fps goodness and the water reflected explosions, both missing from the PS port, are worth mentioning.

I also set up supported racing games for analog instead of my 6 face button Fighting Commander and even ugly Sega Touring Car Championship plays well!

On the PlayStation side I played some G-Police. I wonder if that's the first console game to have graphics settings as you try to balance fov/draw distance/fps. The second video is from the PC port (obviously not as it ran for most back then), I'll probably get that as draw distance aside it looks glorious. I think it looks more like games that released alongside MechWarrior 4 in the 2000s. It might control better too as analog controls on the PlayStation version are too sensitive yet it's much clunkier without it. The PC version should support my (any) flight stick and hopefully have decent configuration. Sadly the sequel was console only.
 
Last edited:

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
Those aren't even its best but lesser known good or better than expected stuff (the topic was great Saturn 3D gfx and big ones like Virtua Fighter 2, Last Bronx, Sega Rally, Panzer Dragoon Zwei/Saga, Powerslave, Duke Nukem 3D, Decathlete, Virtua Cop/2, Virtual On, Radiant Silvergun, Thunder Force V, etc. had been mentioned)! Well, for most, to me GG/2 are top. It was also a treasure trove of great 2D games, Capcom's, SNK's, Treasure's & Psikyo's best and more all in one!
 
Last edited:

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
Flycast in RetroArch is near perfect (Sega Rally 2 has one long standing bug where texture filtering doesn't apply, that's about it for issues). It does Atomiswave and Naomi (but not Naomi 2, so Virtual On 2 5.66 is a yes, I was just trying it out earlier actually, but the likes of Virtua Fighter 4 no) as well. Then Demul still.
 
  • Comfy
Reactions: Panda Pedinte

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
Oh, a note I forgot because I'm so used to it. Based on your chosen RA/core api (vulkan, dx12, whatever) and PC it has funky behavior in recent versions that sort of breaks it if you close/switch content. With some it crashes, with others it seems fine until you try to load another Flycast game. It's best to double Esc quit RetroArch itself when you wanna switch games or cores to ensure it will not have any problems in that session. It's a minor inconvenience. I also discovered a weird bug in SoulCalibur. If you do anything within the Yoshimitsu stage (play vs, watch mode, whatever) then go right back to character select rather than exit to main menu, continue to a next fight or similar, it has a momentary visual corruption and some portraits on the character select screen will be distorted for that session. Anyway, it's updated often so I'm sure it will all be fixed eventually. There's also a stand alone emulator version to try, I guess it could be a bit ahead.

Edit: SoulCalibur is fixed as of now, as far as I can tell, but I discovered one game that essentially is unplayable sadly, Le Mans 24 Hours/Test Drive Le Mans.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Panda Pedinte

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
Some 1440p screens of Aero Dancing i on the Dreamcast, released 9 months before the PC game IL-2 Sturmovik for comparison of contemporary PC sims.

It holds up pretty well (and it also released on PC, lol, I forgot for a sec). And it was 60fps as far as I can tell (but of course in 480p originally, not 1440p) :unsure:
 
Last edited:

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
What Dreamcast emulator is the recommended nowadays?
I know I already answered but I only just tried this Redream emu, it might be worth checking out. The latest nightly seems to run SEGA Rally 2 without the bugs of Flycast. But it's only free to use with missing functionality. Like it only gives you one save state per game without paying and you also can't alter many of the graphics settings (no resolution bumping or anything). I didn't fiddle a lot with it since for most of my games I saw no real difference and the interface was super limited. I couldn't even find out how to make it use a proper bios (it runs fine without) and all the things I can do on Flycast like set a different VMU per game to be used automatically and what not for normal saves. Maybe it's there, maybe it's there only for the paid users, maybe not, I couldn't tell you. I'm guessing fans of stand alone emulators over RA (weirdos like I was) might dig it but as I said Flycast has such a version as well, more conventionally implemented (and free).
 
Last edited:

Panda Pedinte

Banned
Sep 20, 2018
2,160
4,667
113
I know I already answered but I only just tried this Redream emu, it might be worth checking out. The latest nightly seems to run SEGA Rally 2 without the bugs of Flycast. But it's only free to use with missing functionality. Like it only gives you one save state per game without paying and you also can't alter many graphics settings (no resolution bumping or anything). I didn't fiddle a lot with it since for most of my games I saw no real difference and the interface was super limited. I couldn't even find out how to make it use a proper bios (it runs fine without) and all the things I can do on Flycast like set a different VMU per game to be used automatically and what not for normal saves. Maybe it's there, maybe it's there only for the paid users, maybe not, I couldn't tell you. I'm guessing fans of stand alone emulators over RA (weirdos like I was) might dig it but as I said Flycast has such a version as well, more conventionally implemented (and free).
Before setting on Flycast I read about Redream and the restriction in the free version made me pass on it.
 

Cacher

Romantic Storm
Jun 3, 2020
1,486
3,886
113
Unrelated to emulation. I really want a retrotink 5x-Pro. I am so jelly towards the people who have got it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lashman

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113

In other updates it seems the PCSX2 core is no longer marked as "alpha" and has implemented various features like speed hacks and half screen fixes. I still get more issues than in the stand alone emulator like crackling sound (I guess it may be due to fps drops but it seems to occur regardless) and performance issues and how the vibration doesn't stop once anything triggers it at all and what not so I guess it will be a while before it's on par and thus preferable within RA.
 

SkyStarblaze

Starlit Entity
Aug 20, 2020
48
38
18
Is Yuzu in a state yet where it objectively is a better experience to play a game on Yuzu than on a Switch itself?
 

Panda Pedinte

Banned
Sep 20, 2018
2,160
4,667
113
I was surprised by how advanced Yuzu is. Even my old ass i5 4440 was able to run Pokémon Sword and Shield though a lot of dips but it is expected, still need to try other games though.
 

Alextended

Segata's Disciple
Jan 28, 2019
3,441
5,468
113
PCSX2 core seems to have improved again (idk when exactly, I'm always up to date but since it was't great yet I wasn't using it much). It no longer gets infinite vibration the moment anything triggers it (though I'm not sure if it's fully correct either, dragging bodies in MGS2 seems to get it at full blast and I'm inclined to think Kojima had that subtler originally) and I'm able to progress in MGS2 without noticing major performance issues even in the first corridors as it was before. It probably does get them depending on the situation. Virtua Fighter 4 gets them seemingly based on the map the match is on, some times it's fine. I haven't really used PCSX2 stand alone too recently to ensure it performs better so try it, maybe if you have a better CPU the core works out fine enough to main it. Aero Elite: Combat Academy (sequel to Aero Dancing i on Dreamcast I mentioned earlier) seemed perfect, Silent Hill 2 had minor glitches including a CG video not playing back properly (maybe the rip in that case as the intro was fine), a couple other games seemed 100% fine. Again, no clue if it's all worse than the stand alone.
 
Last edited: