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Destructoid Discusses! Did someone say emulation?


2:00 AM on 07.07.2008
Destructoid Discusses! Did someone say emulation? photo



Hey everyone, this week I'm taking a suggestion from Hamsa and throwing out the dark topic of emulation. We had some good points of view in another thread when we were talking about Chrono Trigger for the SNES, so we figured there's plenty to discuss. I mean, really, is there even one of us that doesn't have an R4, a stack of "back-up" games, or a modified PSP?

I've been seriously eying the PSP for awhile since it has now become the best portable emulator for just about everything. I find that hilarious that, from what I've seen, more people I know play hacked games on the system more than actual released PSP games.

Discuss! 

Samit Sarkar

*slowly raises hand*

I've never owned any handheld gaming system. But yeah, I used to have NESticle back in the day on my old PC — hell, I was even playing Aladdin and Sonic 2 on this laptop before I had to format it last December. More thoughts to come later.

Dick McVengance

Nope, don't emulate one bit. I've fooled around a bit with an SNES emulator on my PC, but never got very far into anything with it. I can never really handle just having a stack of digital games on my PC -- it doesn't feel like I'm really playing a game unless I've got a controller in my hand.

Emulation of retro games is one of those areas that's moved into the benign, I would say. XBLA and the Virtual Console aren't exactly the vital lifelines keeping Microsoft and Nintendo afloat, so it comes down to your own personal ethics as to whether or not you should download ROMs. And there's not much I can say to change someone's mind. It's been tried already.

Now, moving onto the disc-based era, I think you're well into the wrong pirating these games. I know people who refuse to buy PS2 games because they can just burn them and play 'em for free. "Well, I don't know if I'll like it, so I want to try it out first," is the most common excuse that I've heard. These games are widely available, and at this point, relatively cheap, so you should be able to get a hold of them and enjoy 'em in a legal manner.

Hamza Aziz

I don't really care for doing emulations. I think it's because I've grown up working in a video game store most of my life. Modding has hurt business so the last thing I want to do is support it. That is, when I still gave a shit for this place. Now, I don't care what happens to the store but I still feel the same in regards to emulations.

Plus, it's like a giant lie to me when I play Super Mario World on a modded Xbox. I think the best way to compare it is with Trannies. Look at Poison, she was originally a he. You want to fuck the shit out of her, but you'd know it really wouldn't be the same thing. In the back of your mind, you'd be thinking the whole time that the thing your fucking at the moment used to be a penis. That's how it is with me. So with Super Mario World, it wouldn't feel the same unless it was on a Super Nintendo with a Super Nintendo controller. I can't enjoy myself unless the experience is pure.

I think another thing is the nostalgia factor. I remember the best times of my life were when I was a child growing up with the Super Nintendo so playing the games on the original console makes me remember that time. Just last week, I put in Twisted Metal II into a PS1 (well, PS2 ... same difference :D) and it brought back a really old memory of when I first experience the PlayStation system.

Dick McVengance

I understand your feelings and agree, Hamza, but damn, tone down the creepiness.

Hamza Aziz

LMAO. I couldn't help it. The tranny comparison came out of the blue so I had to use it right then and there.

Oh and this coming from you, of all people. DickGirlMcVengance?

Dick McVengance

Now I'm tempted to, just to see if Dyson includes it in the post.

Dyson

Nothing gets edited from these. If you put up your weird Japanese girls with wieners pics, I swear they'll get on the front page ;)

I can agree with the "How will I know if I like it?" mentality to a certain extent. Taking the high road and saying that game companies should always get your money and support is only contingent that they were always truthful about the quality of their product and a consumer shouldn't have to risk their money for a PR yarn.

Every PR company in the industry tells us that X game is worth your money, but we know that's not true. There will never be a day where a PR person tells you that a game is "just okay," so why should we have to pay good money to buy the game if its quality is undetermined? You shouldn't, but here's the thing: if you do like the game after you've played your stolen copy of it, then go buy the actual copy.

I think that's only fair that if you receive enjoyment from a product you should pay the people that made it. If you don't like it, then no one has lost anything, have they? Maybe the company that made the crappy game who blames piracy for lackluster sales should focus more on making better games first.

Dick McVengance

See, we had that same argument in the fansub post on Japanator, and here's the simple response that one person had: rent it.

For anime, there's Netflix. For games, there's gamefly. If you can't afford the $16 per month that it costs to use Gamefly (or renting a game occasionally from Blockbuster), then you have bigger financial issues to worry about.

Hamza Aziz

What about older games that can't be rented, DMV?

And actually, to Dyson's last point, what about older titles? Nintendo can't make money off of Super Nintendo games anymore so does it hurt anyone to emulate games that aren't made/supported anymore?

Dyson

To contrast that point, no. Going under the assumption that I will purchase the game if I like it, then why should I? None of the money that goes to these rental services goes to the makers of the game.

Think about how many carts your old Blockbuster had of Link to the Past. Two, maybe three? Nintendo sold three carts, but how many people played those carts? The only money going anywhere in that case, is yours to the renter.

With that being said, why should I pay any money to Gamefly, or Blockbuster, or wherever if I can download and try it and then go buy it from the store if I like it. All the money I've spent has just gone directly to  the company that made the game, has it not?

Dick McVengance

Oh sure, you can do that, but by downloading, you're supporting an industry that hurts the market. What you're saying is the ends justifies the means, right? That's an attitude I rarely agree with.

Dyson

Yeah, I was going to get there later, but CTZ has a good point. Where, if anywhere, can I directly give Nintendo money for a SNES game?

Outside of VC, nowhere. 

Dick McVengance

And? Nintendo is expanding their VC coverage. Sure, they're slow as hell about it, but can't you just wait, or go and find a cartridge of the game, if you want to play it that much?

Also, on the argument of not giving your money to Blockbuster or Gamefly, then that means you shouldn't shop at Gamestop either, because when you're buying the used game, all that money is going to Gamestop.

I guess that's why I use Goozex.

Dyson

I'm curious as to how you think my statement is an "ends to the means" one. My pov is going off the assumption that a person is honest and will buy a game if they like it. I know that isn't a reality, and that's what's hurting the market, but to say downloading is inherently a scourge of the industry goes against by its very nature isn't true.

How is there a difference between downloading a demo off of XBLA and downloading the game itself to try off of the Internet? Both are free, aren't they? And if you liked the content and you gave money to the developer later, what's the difference?

Who does the money go to in the case of Goozex? And, no, I don't buy used games from GameStop. I only buy new ones.

Joe Burling

I love Gamefly. Sometimes you don't realize that you don't want to buy a game until you get a good ways into it. Gamefly lets you beat the game, at your own pace, for a very affordable price. If you do decide to keep it, they'll ship you the box and books and everything that came with it for free (in perfect mint condition) for usually around $45 or less. Additionally, they give you coupons just by staying a member.

Gaming has gotten very expensive recently... from $60 games to $400-$600 consoles... Gamefly makes it affordable to play as many games as you want for the same price as it would cost if you bought one game every 3 months.

Dyson

Also, if I want to buy an old cart, that money doesn't go to the game maker either, so your point seems moot. 

Joe Burling

Every pirated copy of a game is one more statistic that forces DRM down all of our throats. So please, if you want DRM on everything, keep pirating games (even if it is just to see if you want to buy it).

Dyson

To clarify, I'm trying to play devil's advocate to Brad's 'all or nothing' take on the subject. Personally, we all know that I work at a game company, so piracy is a very sore subject with me. I barely have any roms of anything on my computer, I prefer to play the actual games, and the only thing I use my R4 is so that I can have one cart that has all my games I've purchased on it.

Shit you not, for every DS game I've liked, there's a physical copy sitting on my bookshelf -- bought brand new. 

Joe Burling

I just wish you could get a demo of every game for free. That would help tremendously. I was thinking about buying Everyday Shooter on the PS3 but there's not a demo so I'll pass for now.

Sidetrack: Why isn't there a demo for every game on PSN?

Samit Sarkar

I suppose that, again, that's in line with Sony's more open way of doing things. Instead of forcing the developer to make a demo for every game (like MS does), they leave it up to the devs. It's interesting, especially in light of that study that said games without demos (i.e., trailers only) sold better at retail.

Also, Everyday Shooter is, without a shadow of a doubt, worth $10.

Jim Sterling

I recently re-purchased a Nintendo DS. So far I haven't bought an R4 for it. That's not to say I won't in the future, I just haven't yet. I've never had a big problem with piracy, though I'll confess that something about the R4 just feels supremely wrong to me. Maybe now that I'm more involved in dealing with the games industry and know people in it, I've changed a little, maybe not. On the other hand, it almost feels silly NOT to have an R4. I mean, if you can choose between never having to buy another expensive videogame again, and continuing to throw £30 - $40 on a game that you're not even sure is worth the cash, what would a sane man pick?

ROMs though, I have a different view on. For instance, I think the Virtual Console is the biggest pile of shit in existence. In this day and age, and I don't care how good it is, The Legend of Zelda shouldn't cost more than fifty pence. It's never going to be worth more than that to me knowing it exists in so many guises, many of them free. The VC is an emulator that you're expected to pay for, and that is backwards to me.

I used to terrorize this one forum I belong to, because every week they'd get excited about the Virtual Console releases and I'd call them all retards for getting excited to play something they could already be playing for free. I've attached a picture of a screenshot I took the day Donkey Kong Country came out. As you can see, the people in the background were very excited for it, and weren't happy with the ironic shot I took.

There's more I could say but I have gone on too long. Basically, I don't see emulation as that big a deal when it comes to old stuff, but something like the R4 where you basically take a console's entire library for nothing unsettles me a little.

 

 

Samit Sarkar

*gasp* Mac-style buttons on Windows XP?! Blasphemy!

P.S. Sorry for the sidetracking, Dyson.

Dick McVengance

Well, it's saying that it's alright to download, as long as the money makes it to the creator's hands. Downloading still adds to the community that exists, and like Joe said, it's another statistic to use for promoting DRM -- which is not the right way to go about preventing people from pirating games. They should focus on targeting the people who upload the games in the first place to the 'net, and punish them that way. Enlist the help of the community to be self-policing and all that.

As for Goozex, the site is charging me $1 to do a fair trade with a user. I send out a game, and get X amount. If someone wants to get that game, they give up X amount. Gamestop, meanwhile, gives me X amount for a game, but then charges someone a much higher amount to someone else for that game, making a huge chunk of profit. Capitalism, greed, call it what you will.

Also, I think it's time to lighten things up a bit.

DMV is a fucking weirdo sometimes

Dyson

Well played, DMV!

DMV

I'm trying to restrict myself to ones that don't blatantly show genitalia. It's harder to do than you'd think.

Dyson

I know that this must be very difficult for you :D

And also, yeah, why the fuck doesn't everything have a demo these days? Especially on the VC. Some of those games are such complete ass, that I'd be pissed if I payed money for them.

DMV

That's my biggest complaint with the VC, apart from my refusal to buy a LAN adapter because Nintendo should've spent $2 to insert it into the console. I'm just glad that I have the RFGO! staff at-hand to answer any of my questions when it comes to VC games, and I keep a mental checklist of which games to buy when I finally get access to wireless Internet again.

Samit Sarkar

Well, that's the old Wii storage issue rearing its head again. And yeah, why the hell isn't there an Ethernet port in the Wii?

Hamza Aziz

There's an external ethernet port you can buy for the Wii, actually, lol.

OK, one more point. The whole reason this topic came about was because of the recent Chrono Trigger news. I really want to play that game on the SNES but it on average costs $100. Now, for me, the money isn't an issue as I'll probably pay some retard $5 for the game whenever someone finally trades it into my store, but what about for the everyday Joe that isn't in my situating? It's so ridiculously priced that one would be forced to pirate the game, no?

Dick McVengance

I don't want to have to pay $20 for an external port that should have been included in the system.

Also, I can't comment on Chrono Trigger because I can just pick up a ridiculously cheap Japanese copy and play that ^_^

Maybe I'll get to that after God of War...

Hamza Aziz

Well fuck you too.

... Sorry. You all know how bad I've been wanting to play Chrono Trigger for the original SNES. Yes, I know the DS version is now coming out, but I want to play the SNES version before I touch the DS version. 

Dyson

DO WANT.

Okay, so what about anyone who isn't Dick "look at me and my fancy Japanese skills" McVengance? Hamsa makes a good point, a hundred bucks is a lot of bucks.

DMV

Hey, I put in 3 years of work in order to get this far. And I'll still need my dictionary plenty when playing through the game.

Samit Sarkar

I'm with DMV. If you have no way to play the game you want to play, be it Chrono Trigger (in English) on the SNES or NHL 95 on the Genesis, by giving money to the original developer/publisher -- whether that's by buying a new copy of the game or downloading it (e.g., Wii Virtual Console) -- then I see no harm in emulating it. But I also agree with Hamza: downloading a ROM of NHL 95 and playing it with a keyboard pales in comparison to using the original three-button Genesis controller.

Hamza Aziz

Also, before anyone says anything: Yes, we know there are controllers you can purchase for the PC. We don't have to use the keyboard/mouse, but again, it's still not the pure/same experience I'm looking for.

Dyson

I agree as well. As I was saying to Hamsa the other day: you can watch a DVD on your computer, but it isn't the same as going to the theater. I see emulation the same way. I want my carts, I want my controllers, I want my purest experience. I'm just mad that the experience will cost me $100 and up.

Topher Cantler

I love emulators and everything about them. 

DMV

Note that Topher also likes Nazis, kicking babies, and tying poor, defenseless women to train tracks.

Orcist

When music piracy was at the forefront of of the news, people tried to justify it by saying that most of the money people pay go to the record company, as opposed to the artist, and that merchandising and concert tickets were a more effective way to support artists. Is there a similar dichotomy in the games industry? Did the money I spent on Okami go to Clover or Capcom? And if you want to stick it to the growing number of mega-publishers -- EA, Vivendi, etc... -- does that justify (or at least rationalize) a certain amount of piracy?

Topher Cantler

I do not like Nazis or kicking babies. 

DMV

In the end, it's still just an excuse. Since I'm still working on Weekend Reading, I'm going to be lazy and copypasta this point from an article on the fansub debate:

"It is illegal to watch the anime I pay for. Therefore, I will illegally watch the anime I do not pay for."

Just like a math equation where you perform the same operation two the values on either side of an equals sign to solve for value X, you can subtract "illegal" from both sides, and it's interesting what you find:

".. watch the anime I pay for. … watch the anime I do not pay for."

Dyson

I do not understand the point the person is trying to make? Also, I watched ridiculous amounts of anime back in the day. I'd say %99 percent of it was bootleg-fansubbed. I feel no wrong in this because, 15 years later, those same animes have still to be released in the US.

DMV

Go through the Japanator Weekend Reading, along with the related posts I mention before the jump, and you'll see the whole thing that it means. The industry has changed a hell of a lot, and we've just seen two companies go under in the past year in the anime industry, plus one in the manga industry. It's quite a bit to explain.

Jim Sterling

Would Topher approve of a giant, Nazi-kicking baby?

DMV

This is Topher's Friday night.

please make it stop

Topher Cantler

Screw you guys.

Jonathan Ross

That is horrifying.

DMV

Yep, I think I killed it.

Justin Villasenor

Ugh, that picture is so wrong.

If it serves as any sort of consolation Hammy, when Chrono Trigger DS releases demand for the SNES version will probably drop, which means that prices should too. Though by how much obviously remains to be seen.

Hamza Aziz

I am going to fucking kick your ass for that. 

Justin Villasenor

:D

DMV

I have a follow-up to that image, you know.

Justin Villasenor

I would expect nothing less.

DMV

Good to know you guys have high standards for me.

Joe Burling

I never downloaded ROMs but I see no issue doing it with a game that
has sunset or isn't  available in your region. The only time I ever
played pirated games was when a guy who worked for my dad sucked up to
him by modding our PS1 and giving us around 20 burned games.

Brad Nicholson

Hey guys, it looks like I'm late.

I've never done such a thing! Never in a million years, especially with dead consoles and games that will never be ported into this generation. How absurd!

(And that's it for this week. I guess it's a good thing this goes up on a late Sunday evening when no one's around. Good lord, that scissor pic was disturbing. And, yes, I did edit part of it. Trust me, you're welcome. Till next week, folks!)






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