Monday, 25 May 2015

Emulation Vs Carts

Anyone who has any kind of interest in older games knows about emulation and where to get their favourite roms.  There are a number of purists who will tell you that carts are the only way to go but how do emulated games stack up to the actual thing?  I'm not here to talk about the legal side of things, that's another topic for another time, I'm just talking about how it feels to play the game on an emulator vs playing on actual hardware.

I for one am all for a little bit of emulation mainly because it's fucking convenient.  I have tons and tons of SNES and NES carts lying around my house but I don't have the space to have those consoles hooked up all the time, which is unfortunate.  Emulation is a good way for me to be able to play all the games from my retro collection without having to go through the effort of digging out the system and hooking that bastard up in order to play it.  Maybe I just want a go on something for 30 minutes or whatever, I don't want to have to go through a bunch of effort for a quick go on something.

However, I do feel like some of the experience is lost when playing on an emulator.  The first thing, at least for me, is comfort.  When I play on my original hardware I can lay back on my couch and just chill but when emulating I have to play at my computer which is significantly less comfortable.  Technical issues will also rear their ugly head when emulating which has led to many a stressful evening.  Sometimes a certain ROM or ISO just doesn't want to function on your emulator of choice and having to work shit out to get certain games to run is a massive pain in the hole.  It sometimes gets to the point where it would have just been faster to hook up my system rather than spend time googling around for configuration setups for specific games.

So while I feel that carts are infinitely better, emulation has a few perks that just makes life a hell of a lot easier.  For me as someone who speed runs, emulation makes streaming a fuckton easier and it makes practicing certain segments of certain games a lot faster and less annoying too.  That said, I'd much rather be chilling on my couch playing my retro games than destroying my ass on my shitty computer chair, but that's just me.  For people that don't have access to older games or for people that just want to keep their old collections easily accessible, emulation is pretty vital and as much as the big companies hate it, it's here to stay and that's a good thing.

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