I spent much of today scouring the internet (it wasn’t that hard) for ROMs. I have NES and SNES on lockdown, I believe I have 99% of the NES and maybe 85% of the SNES. Choice Genesys, 32X and during my last ROM run a few months prior I even found Dreamcast and PSX. I have all these systems, but they’re in storage, all nicely tucked away not taking up any actual room. I’ve been wanting to play some older stuff but they’re so low bit being blown up to modern TV size doesn’t really make it any more visible. We had to use our imaginations a lot back then, and low / fuzzy res kept that in check. Having it all clear as day is pretty glaring.
So I love old games, I do — and there is no question they all play wonderful but a lot of them I have played, the newer ones I usually had one system out of the generation. For instance, I recently picked up an N64 last year at a tag sale. It had all the best games — plus the expansion pack that was needed for a better looking Rebel Assault. It plays not too shabby and I had never played many of the games. It was impressive for what they could do. I figured I’d explore a little more so grabbed some of those this time too to see if the emulator would do any better than the analog RCA video plug. Those don’t translate too bad to the screen, they’re at least visible polygons but you can really see what a difference the textures make when you get a look at a sub 100mb N64 game.
What really blew me away were the options available for the PSX emulator. It completely transformed the graphics, rendering them with actual hardware 3D. You can take rather low textures and play them out at modern resolutions, all smoothed and playing fast as can be, with smart aspect ratio scaling to 16:9 stretch or no. Not only that but you don’t have to use a ROM/ISO it will play it direct from the original disc!
PSX got me curious so I had to try PS2 — even more impressive. I’ll just start right from there with one of my forgotten favorites: Sled Storm. I love racing, and EA Big was a golden time for them — SSX Tricky started it off and they followed up with Sled Storm.
So here is the emulator, the video settings I was using (I took everything off for performance, I couldn’t figure what was wrong but it was using a single thread for rendering. I set the rendering to only 4 additional threads and it ran like buttah — no problem, graphical glitches were gone and everything looked superb.