#1 Posted by darkjester74 (1597 posts) -

Hey guys...

I've recently become aware of the existence of Dolphin, and I remembered that, while I never was interested in owning a Wii, there were several games on the Wii that I really would have liked to play. Specifically Xenoblade Chronicles and Mario Galaxy 1 and 2. I have also heard good things about Last Story.

Anyway, I wanted to ask if anyone has had experience using Dolphin on a modern PC. I'm at work so I dont remember my exact specs, but I have a Core i7 processor with 12GB of RAM and a fairly decent Nvidia card, running Windows 7. From the specs it seems like it should work ok. I understand Dolphin can emulate the Wiimote using a 360 gamepad and/or mouse. How well does this work?

Before I go running out and dropping $100+ on these games I want to make sure that the experience of using Dolphin to run them will be worth it, so Id appreciate any input you guys have.

Thanks! :)

#2 Posted by JoeyRavn (4983 posts) -

I can confirm that Xenoblade and Mario Galaxy 1 look and play magnificently on Dolphin. I don't know about MG2 and Last Story, but I have to assume that they run without any major problem too. What GPU do you have? The GPU is what will make or break your Dolphin experience.

#3 Edited by AlisterCat (5722 posts) -

From my experience emulating the Wiimote is not good. You can simulate motions and then map them to a button but it's not a good solution over just buying the hardware and hooking it up.

I played Guilty Party which is heavily reliant on gimmicky movements with the controller and I just about managed to get by with a lot of trial and error using a keyboard and xbox controller. I also played portions of Kirby's Epic Yarn and Mario Galaxy using just a 360 controller and both of these games don't really use motion controls so they work really well on a standard controller.

As for the game emulation, the software can take you to the wiki for each game pretty easily where they have listed recommendations for settings that have been tested by the community. There are various settings to play with and if you're in to that you won't mind some tweaking to get a game running right. Ultimately you're still as the mercy of the current build of the emulator. Sometimes games don't run as well on newer versions so you can go and find a different build.

I love emulation but as a replacement for the platform it's too fiddly and spotty. To play a specific game or two it is great (if you look up ahead of time how well they work) but otherwise just get a WiiU and buy the games.

For the record I have an i72600K, 3.2Ghz with 4.2 turbo, 8GB of 1600Mhz RAM and an overclocked GTX670. Most games run at 60fps.

#4 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

Should run great, Dolphin is pretty good on Intel.

Also you can buy a cheap bluetooth dongle, some used Wii Remotes and a sensor bar (you can find cheap USB powered knockoffs out there).

#5 Edited by darkjester74 (1597 posts) -

@joeyravn: Thanks for the info, that's great to hear! I have a GTX 660, so I think I should be ok from a GPU standpoint.

@alistercat: Thanks for the info on the controller! Its reassuring to hear those games work well with the 360 controller. That was a concern for me as well, but it seems like the games I am interested in playing don't make extensive use of motion controls. You are right, I wouldnt look to this as a replacement for the platform, just a way to allow me to play the couple games I am interested in.

You dudes are awesome! :D

#6 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

I love emulation but as a replacement for the platform it's too fiddly and spotty. To play a specific game or two it is great (if you look up ahead of time how well they work) but otherwise just get a WiiU and buy the games.

I'd say that's really only a problem for newer harder. If it's NES or SNES era (especially if it actually is the NES or SNES), chances are the emulation's gonna be really close, if not perfect (why is it that the Super Mario Bros. end-level theme always sounds different in an emulator?).

By the way, anybody know how Dolphin emulates Wii-mote sounds? Or will No More Heroes make no sense whatsoever?

#7 Posted by Fattony12000 (7564 posts) -

Using a X360 pad is mostly fine for the most part for most games, but really it's best if you just try a game and see if it's a good experience or not. Wind Waker with a X360 pad, for example, might be quite nice.

#8 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4488 posts) -

@joeyravn: Don't you mean CPU? Emulators rely a whole lot more on the CPU than anything else

#9 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

By the way, anybody know how Dolphin emulates Wii-mote sounds? Or will No More Heroes make no sense whatsoever?

Last time i tested it was pretty bad.

#10 Posted by TobbRobb (4841 posts) -

Dolphin is an awesome and comparably easy to use emulator, and it should work well on your setup. Beware though, games like Mario Galaxy might require an actual Wii remote to not play like garbage.

#11 Posted by joshwent (2352 posts) -

So... emulators are still illegal, right? Or at best, shady? Even if you own the games you'll play with Dolphin, when it comes to Nintendo, those games wouldn't exist without console sales.

Seems a little weird that people are all cool with this here, but decrying piracy in that other thread.

#12 Posted by AlisterCat (5722 posts) -

@alistercat said:

I love emulation but as a replacement for the platform it's too fiddly and spotty. To play a specific game or two it is great (if you look up ahead of time how well they work) but otherwise just get a WiiU and buy the games.

I'd say that's really only a problem for newer harder. If it's NES or SNES era (especially if it actually is the NES or SNES), chances are the emulation's gonna be really close, if not perfect (why is it that the Super Mario Bros. end-level theme always sounds different in an emulator?).

By the way, anybody know how Dolphin emulates Wii-mote sounds? Or will No More Heroes make no sense whatsoever?

Oh sure, anything pre-PS2 era is emulated pretty well in most cases. I meant for something like the Wii.

#13 Posted by AlisterCat (5722 posts) -

@joshwent: Not the same thing. Most people would say it's a grey area. I have about 14 consoles, most of which can be emulated on the PC decently. I often prefer to use an emulator than set up the consoles and put the games in. It's easier, and a lot of emulators also offer enhancements.

I said I really like emulation. Not as a way for me to play games I don't have. Just as a cool exercise in experiencing games that I can play anyway. Please don't conflate the two issues.

For instance, I spent 200 hours playing Persona 4 on the PS2. Then 300 hours playing Persona 4 on PCSX2 on my PC. Then I spent 250 hours on Persona 4 Golden on Vita. Am I really doing anything wrong? I bought a bunch of consoles and copies of the same game to play.

#14 Posted by joshwent (2352 posts) -

I often prefer to use an emulator than set up the consoles and put the games in. It's easier, and a lot of emulators also offer enhancements.

And this is the huge difference. You're using emulators to play games you own that would have needed consoles that you also own. The OP is specifically trying to NOT buy a Wii, but still play Wii games. Trying to replace patented hardware and software, with a program that is in no way granted rights from Nintendo.

Doesn't really seem like a grey area to me.

#15 Posted by jayjonesjunior (1087 posts) -

@joshwent said:

So... emulators are still illegal, right? Or at best, shady? Even if you own the games you'll play with Dolphin, when it comes to Nintendo, those games wouldn't exist without console sales.

Seems a little weird that people are all cool with this here, but decrying piracy in that other thread.

emulators are legal, the shady part is dumping bios. Dolphin will work without the Wii/GC bios but with reduced funcionality.

I think the lastest version comes with a legal alternative to the GC bios, or something like that.

So, it is totally legal as long as you are using original copies of the games.

#16 Posted by believer258 (12185 posts) -

@joshwent said:

So... emulators are still illegal, right? Or at best, shady? Even if you own the games you'll play with Dolphin, when it comes to Nintendo, those games wouldn't exist without console sales.

Seems a little weird that people are all cool with this here, but decrying piracy in that other thread.

If you own a game, then it's not illegal to back up that copy and play that copy with an emulator. As far as I know, you don't even need the hardware in a legal sense, though you should still buy the hardware if you're emulating a current system. Is the Wii still being produced these days?

@darkjester74 Xenoblade Chronicles is complete-able on the Wii, and I'm pretty sure that Mario Galaxy is as well. You've got a pretty good processor and a good enough graphics card, so you should be fine. This might be a pretty good resource for you, and here's the page for Xenoblade.

#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -
#18 Posted by darkjester74 (1597 posts) -

@believer258: Yep, that's where I am doing my research, thanks! :)

#19 Edited by Xanadu (424 posts) -

I Have played Mario Galaxy with a keyboard and mouse set up (the defult layout dolphin uses) and it actuall works surprisingly well. You move mario with the keyboard and emulate the wiimote movement with your mouse. Honestly I find this a more enjoyable experience then using the real wii mote and nun chuck. However as some ppl have said dolphin can be really iffy from game to game. Some games work perfectly while others I have tried like Rhythm Heaven Fever and Twin Snakes just dont work.

#20 Edited by Godmil (154 posts) -

Thanks for the heads up about this, I had no idea Wii emulation was so good. I feel totally ethically ok with it as I have a wii, but its disk drive is broken, and I bought several games I've just never been able to play. :D now where did I leave that bluetooth dongle :/

#21 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4488 posts) -

@joshwent said:

So... emulators are still illegal, right? Or at best, shady? Even if you own the games you'll play with Dolphin, when it comes to Nintendo, those games wouldn't exist without console sales.

Seems a little weird that people are all cool with this here, but decrying piracy in that other thread.

Not shady or illegal, just legal.

Using a X360 pad is mostly fine for the most part for most games, but really it's best if you just try a game and see if it's a good experience or not. Wind Waker with a X360 pad, for example, might be quite nice.

It is

#22 Posted by TowerSixteen (544 posts) -

I recall Galaxy 1 at least being hard to get to work properly, but perhaps that's no longer true? It's been awhile. Xeno works fine. As for the controllers, Ive found that how easy or natural it is depends on how much motion and waggles are getting used. Something like No More Heroes or Pandora's Tower was so awkward that I couldn't do it without a proper wiimote, but most are at least acceptable once you've set them up properly.