Tuesday, June 15, 2004

I had my Saturn emulator running Daytona USA!!!

If this is your very first time to my site – than I welcome you, if not, I still welcome you! I went to the game store yesterday to see if Baldur’s Gate Deadly Alliance 2 was still there. It’s one of the best used game on the shelf at the time…of course it’s not there! I saw it a week before and someone picked it up since then. Before I go to this store, I read some reviews off IGN, my most trusting place to go for the latest reviews. Sure beats paying for Game Informer. For SNES and Saturn it’s a bit more difficult to find a decent review. For Saturn games I always go to Dave’s Sega Saturn Page http://www.Sega-Saturn.com for the best reviews. Screenshots are always nice to see. I pay of not told you this, but I actually dislike Saturn a lot for the lack of great titles that I know so well on the Playstation. There are a few exceptions (only 2 or 3 outstanding games for it) IGN.com deleted their Saturn section in 2001, so I haven’t had very good resources on the web on Saturn lately. I want the same games everyone else wants (rare titles). The games that’ll go up in value because they are rare finds anywhere. I probably won’t play them. I have this bad habit of collecting games without playing them. In fact, in another entry, I list all my games, which will soon pass 300 titles. One is Panzer Dragoon Saga, the RPG based game from the Panzer Dragoon franchise. Radiant Silvergun (shoot ‘em up exclusive for Saturn) and the all 3 imports of the Shining Force III saga. I would like to download an ISO image off a pear / pear unity when I get the chance. I like in-depth reviews that are 1000 words long at least. Sure, someone can like a game and write about it, but if they don’t describe it well enough, I just go to another reviewing site without much thought. Gamerankings.com makes it easy for me in this way. I have a low acceptance level when it comes to used games, a game must be very good to excellent for me to buy it. Enter the Matrix is a great example of what not to buy. I thought of buying it with my PS2 when the game had a lot of popularity, but 6 months after I never hear about it. I heard the gameplay wasn’t really good which ended up making the game overly difficult, not to mention the camera angles hurt the game. This year has a fair share of games with bad camera systems. I was ready to buy Dino Crisis 3 because it took full advantage of Xbox hardware with it’s above average dynamic lighting and high quality artwork, etc….but than I read TechTVs review of Dino Crisis 3, and the article said the camera angles were so bad that it brought the graphically beautiful game to a screeching halt! (Where’s the Dinosaurs? I can’t see ‘em cause of them damn camera angles! Damn, I died again for the 187th time!) Case and point graphics aren’t everything. The key paragraph I look for in a game is the gameplay score at the bottom of reviews.

The guy I knew must have gone to Japan already, he said he would. The girl there was really nice about getting the games I wanted. Most of the old games are behind the desk so it is hard to see them; I often ask the clerk what they have. She asked me what games I wanted next time I come. I don’t know what her name was (didn’t ask in fear that she’ll take it negatively so I refer most people by “you”) so she’ll go around in the Woodbury, MN store picking up games that I like to buy and make it much easier for me. I gave her some games to look for including these: Panzer Dragoon II Zewi, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Grandia, Mega Man X 2, and Mega Man X 3, Radiant Silvergun. I’ve been playing 5 hours of Panzer Dragoon Orta for Xbox and it plays well. Easily one of Sega’s better titles on any console right now. Super Monkey Ball for the Nintendo Gamecube is a surprisingly good game, it was one of the only puzzle games I own now and the graphics looked better than 90% of Gamecube launch titles. It was also Sega’s first Nintendo title. I have Panzer Dragoon I and II for Saturn and I am looking hard, high and low, for Panzer Dragoon Saga. I’m hoping once Saturone plays games, I can stick in NiGHTS or Panzer Dragoon in the CD-ROM, and play it on the computer with a game pad. It is impossible to play NiGHTs, and enjoy it without an analog controller. I remember trying to play it on the regular Saturn controller. It played awful. How did Tomb Raider fans feel when the Playstation still had a D-Pad? In fact, the analog controller for Saturn is referred as the NiGHTs controller. Have you heard of these crazy unities that let you use Playstation controller with other consoles? Yes it is true that the majority of gamers like PS Dual Shock IIs the most so why not use it with your Xbox! IGN.com wrote an article on an adapter called the “Magic Box” which allows you to do this. http://gear.ign.com/articles/364/364594p1.html?fromint=1 I really would like Sonic Team to make another NiGHTs game in the next five years. NiGHTs was the first fully polygonal action game for Sega Saturn, and it would be nice to have a sequel running in high resolution.

I never thought about inserting Saturn games into Dreamcast. Dreamcast will not play Saturn games, but strangely you can listen to music on a Saturn disc with Dreamcast’s audio player.

[June 16, 2004 8:03AM] I stayed up all night trying to figure out this emulator. The first working Sega Saturn emulator, SSF v0.07 RC10, runs Daytona USA, but still has issues running the game and runs slowly. I was running the latest build on my very powerful Pentium 4, but instead it runs on my Custom PC which is a little confusing to me. My custom PC is 1.2 GHz slower, but it has a Geforce 4 FX 5600. The first game that played was Daytona USA and without sound. It plays the game with a lot of missing frames, for example the sky is missing. I spent all last night looking for this thing the emulator calls a ST-V bios without luck! Darn! I’ll keep looking though.

I also downloaded another emulator called Saturone 1.1p, and for some odd reason WinXP Pro won’t allow my emulator to read MSVCP70.dll (a Microsoft runtime file) required to run all the plugins. I’m positive that if I reinstall Windows XP, this problem will go away. I would loose all my software though and the Windows XP installation process would destroy my Linux partitions. I found out that one great thing about Windows 2000 was that it didn’t delete present operating systems already on the hard drive. Than again that was the only good thing about it.

Leading Saturn Emulators:

Satourne Homepage http://satourne.consollection.com/
SSF Homepage http://home.h01.itscom.net/phantasy

System Requirements for Satourne and SSF

Windows 98SE
Direct X 8.0 or better
CPU at 2.0 GHz
Geforce FX 5200 64 MB
256 MB of RAM (at least)

My configuration

Athlon XP 2600 clocked at 2.1 GHz
Windows XP PRO Service Pack 1
Direct X 9.0a
786 MB of RAM
Geforce FX 5600 256 MB DRR

Here are the games that I found will run on SSF

1. Daytona USA

I guess I haven’t thought about Saturn games running on the Dreamcast. Dreamcast clearly does not play Sega Saturn games, however it did play Saturn CD audio in it’s audio player. I wonder if somebody will port a Saturn emulator for Chankast 0.2a? If you haven’t known, it is a Dreamcast emulator that plays games, only ISOs though.

Front Headlines “DIVX codec package installs bug on computer”

Today went well until I tried to install a codec package with DIVX 5.1.1 on my custom PC, but the package suddenly stopped installing and an error came up so I restarted my computer. It kept rebooting in the middle of the Windows XP loading screen after the error showed. I had an older version of DIVx on this particular computer, but I wanted to install this newer codec package which forced me to repair the file system with the WINXP Pro installation CD. That sucks. Some computers shutdown when the processor gets at a certain temperature, but I wasn’t doing any software intensive work. Today I’m ripping Return of the King for Bob. The problem of using Alcohol 120% to copy the movie to an ISO image, and burn it back on a blank DVD is that the original is using the new duel layer DVD format. Of course, I also have DVD X Copy on my computer so - hehe - I can shrink the image down to under 4.5 GB, and play it on a normal DVD player. I don’t think I want to do this. One day when I get cable Internet (if that ever happens), Bob and I will be able to trade movies over a pear network and smaller files are the only way to do this. Well no, I asked Bob if he would invest his hard earned money into a 70 dollar DVDRW burner, and he won’t do it. He is not a computer geek, I sort of am so how we spend our money is different. He asks me why he needs a DVD burner and I keep telling him to get rid of hard drive space on his small computer. What to know what his answer was to that? He says he likes all his MP3 collection and other stuff on his relatively small 30 Gigabyte hard drive. Looking at his room, he has all his games and software in a drawer bunched up together. I already lost one CD because he couldn’t find it in his mess. He also has a lot less software then I do. Five years ago it was the other way around, but whatever. He wants to get an external hard drive when he can pay for one. Some people like everything on their hard drive. I don’t know why. I learned from experience that something will go wrong with the operating system like viruses or hardware failure, the files will get deleted. When that happens, that Bob will get really angry at it. So I find that regular backups of music collections, movie collections and valuable downloads (like console bios) should be backup on CD-ROM monthly. So when something does go wrong - it’s no big deal. Getting back on topic, the big question is whether or not I should copy a movie onto DVD or to copy the movie on a super DVD (aka movie compressed in DIVX) Unlike me, I don’t think bob will leave his computer running over night encoding movies in MPEG4….he’ll just let me borrow them. I want his Monty Python Holly Grail and Mortal Kombat movies. I found out that I can put 4 or 5 movies on DVDR if they’re compressed in DivX. When ever I listen to the coconut song or Knights of Ni or the killer rabbit scene, it makes me crack a smile!

Software Picks of the Day

1. 1Click DVD Ripper 2.03 – www.soft32.com/download_26183.html - rips and encodes movies in DIVX on the fly. No longer do you need to rip VOBs to 7 GB of hard drive space and than another 1.3 GB for the compressed file. Save lots space with this unity.
2. Divx player & latest codec (5.1.1) - http://download.com....html?tag=kdxfallback
3. Mozilla Firefox 0.9 –http://www.mozilla.o...FirefoxSetup-0.9.exe - a preview of Mozilla 2.0 (next generation browser ???)

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