Thank goodness it’s Friday! That means that the weekend is finally here. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the weekend then to dig into some  retro game emulators with Nerdy By Nature.

 

Chris here! Thanks for joining me for Game Night. We all grew up playing video games as a kid, right? Ever wonder where  that old gaming system went to? Maybe it stopped working, or perhaps the controller was busted. Perhaps, you sold it for beer money, or to buy the next best gaming system? Whatever the fate, you can still re-capture the same feelings of 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit game play in all its pixelated goodness by using an emulator.

In this emulator episode, I take the crew through some of my favourite emulators and prove how easy it is to operate them ( including mapping the game pad).

 

First, I started retro gaming by using a site called Cool Roms. You can select from a wide range of emulators: everything from Atari, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and even Sony PS2 (for example). There are select links for games (ROMs), but a simple Google search will often connect you what you’re trying to find.

I load up Stella, an Atari 2600 emulator, and quickly mapped the game pad. Very smooth game play, but for some reason there didn’t seem to be a setting to maximize the window. The shell is somewhat clunky and takes some getting used to. Playing dig dug was fun, while remembering the arcade version, the Atari 2600 was very different to that.

 

Next up, “Fceux”, a Nintendo emulator, we got to play battle toads, and guess what? This looked just as cool as Elijah had remembered. While we could have spent hours on that game and Super Mario World, we had to move on.

It’s hard to stop at one game but we had to talk about another classic; Super Nintendo.  The program being used is called “Zsnesw”. We loaded up Street Fighter II. This program is very easy to use, and appears to have a cheat mode built in along with network play.

 

In the episode, I explained how his favorite emulator is “Gens”, for Sega Genesis. It’s important that you take the time to map your gaming pad or joystick, and to save the settings as Chris found out. He loves Sonic the Hedgehog and got right into it. The graphics are spot on, no noticeable lag detected. Plays like the real thing. Very impressive.

These emulators have a lot of settings that allow you to manipulate the programming, cheat modes, network play, mess around with video and sound settings, but as Chris demonstrated it was very easy to have a basic set up and just start playing.

So we talked about game system emulators, and there are a lot out there, but what about DOS? With the use of “DOSBOX”, I was able to mount a directory within a virtual DOS session, and play the original version of Wolfenstein 3D, full screen! So many hours were spent on this game back in 1993 he says. The capabilities of DOSBOX are not limited to just games, in fact you can run a full programs like Lotus 123 or even Windows 3.1.

 

We hope our episode has inspired some nostalgia in you and perhaps you can play some of these oldies and keep the retro gaming scene alive. There is lots of support for each of the emulators we showcased, and some even have forums and links.  What can I say – I love these classics. Don’t you? What did I inspire you to get back into or dust off? Let us know by sharing your comments below or on twitter!

Thanks for reading, listening, and being nerdy! Cheers. – Chris

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