Saturday, December 11, 2004

Had Daytona USA emulation working on my Pentium 4

Final Fantasy fanatics are silly on the forums of the Unofficial Final Fantasy Site! I mean talking about those silly above average Final Fantasy fan-made art in the signature boxes. I can make one like those, but it’d be too silly to do so! It has everything to do with that silly Square-soft art direction! So I went to this site to read about the old Final Fantasies, and I go in the message board and like many other fan sites of this particular franchise – you’ll be loading 200K worth of fan-made graphics. All I need is the correct font, desktop wallpaper, and use of the magic wand in Paint Shop Pro 9.

My profession is going down the toilet. Yes, you have heard right – school is an utter disaster. I may switch to programming in January. Programming has those fields where all that matters is the code. If your program is buggy than the source code is always the problem, but always the solution to the problem. I also over-heard programmers are more likely to have an interesting in videogames or PC games in general than network specialists. The programming class was the one that set up the Xbox LAN party at the school I go too. The most popular computer language is Visual Basic, which is basically a Win32 graphical user interface that let’s me, the programmer, click on the object in question and insert source code. C++ is 10 years old, and C source code is over 25 yrs old so most people prefer Perl code because it’s newer and less complicated. Programming today is very similar to a webpage developed in Macromedia Dreamweaver or Namo Webeditor by making the program as big as I like by resizing the default perimeters of it, and placing the buttons and text boxes where I like them before I insert code. I believe there is a VB compiler, and an open source alternative compiler called GTK 2x which runs on Glib runtime libraries. These programs compiled in GTK require you to download the Glib executable onto your computer. A great example is the Windows version of The GIMP 2.0.5. I wonder if ‘G’ stands for Gnome? Perhaps the developers of Gnome made this free runtime library for Windows? It’s funny too realize that anyone can make open source VB source code, and it’s legal! Visual Basic is made by Microsoft so this should mean that source code created by it is closed source which is not the case. It must be one of those Microsoft loop-holes.

Screenshots of the SSF emulating Daytona USA on my PC

I tried out the latest version of SSF - SSF 0.07 RC11, and this version improved – it now runs Daytona USA on my Dell Dimension XPS Pentium 4 machine partially emulated. In its day, Saturn was a complex console to develop for, and now somebody in Japan successfully emulated it on PC. This isn’t new news at all – I own about this emulator for 6 months. In fact, I have a post on my last attempt to emulate Daytona USA! Unfortunately, my other Saturn games give me errors messages when I try to boot them. There is an available link on the side of this site to test on your computer. Maybe future releases will emulate sound. Some reasons why Saturn isn’t emulated as well as Playstation is the fact that nobody likes it. Still, it’s pretty amazing when this Japanese programmer had zero source code to start with and he’s emulating it for FREE! That means in his spare time he has been able to software emulate the most complex console ever made up until 1998. Yes, Saturn is harder than the Nintendo 64 to develop software for. Daytona isn’t playable, but it proves that some day it might be. There are a lot of textures missing in the game though. One day when I feel I have too – I’ll resurface all my Saturn games and make them brand spanking new. It’s about $3.50 per disc. It’s steep for a resurfacing job, but it’s worth it if the CD doesn’t work. They all do so it’s not a top priority of mine.

Yesterday, I bought two more PS2 games, Jak 3 and Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal. I was reading the reviews at and the reviewers where ecstatic about both games. They gave both games 9.6 of 10 as high as Metal Gear Solid 2 or even Final Fantasy X. Obviously, no body gives a game 9.6 for a game unless it’s the top 2% on the system. So since the score was unbelievably high – being smart, I looked around at other reviews including Game Rankings (a site that takes all final scores of 10 different well known gaming sites, adds them together, and divides by 2). The winner of this was Ratchet and Clank 3 and ahead by a full 6 points! Yes, that’s right – Jak 3, instead of having very high score of 9.6….now has an averaged score of 9.0. So I was going to buy 1 game, but since I liked Jak 2, I bought both of them for $85. The graphics are one of the high points of both games since both use the same graphics engine and are some of the best graphics PS2 can muster. The only ones ranked above Jak 3 and Ratchet and Clank in texture work are the Grand Theft Autos and the Metal Gear Solids. Jak 3 and R&C3 have succeeded in better texturing than Jak 2 or R&C2 Going Commando. In the end, I personally thought that this was enough reason to buy each game at 40 dollars. Some people may disagree with me, but I heavily rely on well-known cyber-review sites before I buy. I never rent games. Not to mention Jak 3 is the final installment in the Jak series and Ratchet and Clank 3 is the final installment in the Ratchet and Clank series. Naughty Dog Software and Insomniac Software plan to develop future action platform games on the Playstation 3 that are just as good as the their current offerings.

Remember it was Naughty Dog who brought Playstation its first mascot in 1996 – Crash Bandicoot, and sold millions of copies here in the USA. This was until 2000 when Naughty Dog had to give it up to Traveler’s Tales, a UK developer which also developed Sonic 3D Blast for the Genesis, Saturn, and PC! Sonic 3D Blast was not very good at all. Where do you think that put the well-known mascot? Two words…. Multi-platform. Yes, the dreaded two words that will make any developer want to sue Sony Computer Entertainment America! But anyways, Naughty Dog platformers are the best platformers out for the console unlike its ex-mascot’s newest installments. I read that Crash Twinsanity is a bit above average for a videogame and also the first Crash Bandicoot videogame to rotate 360º, but stands no where near the quality of Jak and Dexter which you’ve guessed it – already rotates 360º and are on their 3rd game of the Jak franchise. I am pretty sure this is true having myself played the first two installments. I played the first game to the end.

[Jak 3 Update] I open the game and put the DVD into my PS2 and it starts with a 5 minute long intro that connects Jak 2 with Jak 3. The game looks like a damn Gamecube title which does this game a whole not of justice. When I start out I am thrown into a wasteland (I didn’t complete Jak 2 so I don’t know how it came too this). I was left out too die in the desert when I was rescued by some drifters (also having pointy ears like Jak) when I wake up in the new city. I have to go through this tutorial part where it teaches all the basic moves that jak does (Dexter doesn’t play a commanding role in this game). Dexter was transformed into a muskrat when he fell into a pool of dark ego. The control is very tight – what you would expect from Jak 2. In fact, Naughty Dog most likely imported the gameplay code from the first Jak and Dexter into Jak 3. I am in the part where I completed the first mini-game of the game. The first mini-game of Jak 3 is a timing game which requires the player too hit the four dual shock controller buttons at the precise moment when the Xs, squares, triangles and circles pass over 4 little squares. The whole point of it is to destroy 100 of them moving shapes without allowing them to pass the squares. It took me three times to get it right.

One day I dream I’ll be a great videogame reviewer! One with the skills and have many supporters. You know how it is – buy games, play games, review games, buy more games, play more games, review more games. Does this sound interesting to you? I used to be a big-time videogame reviewer, now I am an ex-videogame reviewer. It gives me a perfect sense of what’s good and what’s bad in terms of videogames. A good game is when you don’t die too much and the game’s controls are easy to control. A bad is simply way too easy or way too hard. It’s way too hard because most of the time – the game is poorly funded and the developers didn’t tweak the control enough and the graphics are horrible because it runs on a middle-ware graphics engine like that popular Render-ware or the designers who made the game spent 6 months with limited knowledge about the hardware so the graphics within the game stunk. Did you know that Gamespot has an award system that awards “The Worst game of the Year!” for every platform? Gamespot had one which is so bad it got all 1.0s and that accomplishment goes to “Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing” for PC.

Other horrible games for console and PC research by

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