By Daniel_Newton 18 Comments
No, it's not completely redundant, before some of you try to tell me it is. There are still a few Wii games and the odd GameCube game I like to play on my Wii. Actually I have a handful of Wii games I bought and haven't played through yet, but now maybe I will.
Why you ask? Because in the past few days I've been playing around with Dolphin, the Wii/GameCube emulator for the PC. Now that I have a decent PC I can run it, and man, it runs well. I had no idea just how far along it is, it's the best emulator I've ever tried and it's made some of my Wii and GameCube titles feel fresh and look crisp. Games run in proper, real 1080p (as opposed to games on the 360 and PS3, which if you didn't know, mostly run at 720p with upscaling) and I can even use my Wii remotes (through Bluetooth) and my wireless 360 controllers, no more wired GameCube controllers, brilliant.
Oh, and I can put shortcuts to each game into Steam, I like putting all my games into Steam and having them all listed in one place. And Ajay totally flips out when he sees what I'm playing, which is always entertaining.
This post is intended for healthy discussion, not pirating. I will not provide links to any Wii or GameCube games, this is simply a post about Dolphin for those interested.
So, here are some of the games I've had working at full speed so far (each game works best with different settings):
In short, the game is better than it ever was on the Dreamcast or the GameCube, and probably better than it's inevitable release on Xbox Live Arcade, though don't be surprised if I buy that anyway...
Soul Calibur IV, but I fancied giving II a go on my PC anyway, it still holds up well and doesn't feel all that different to the new game, plus I can play as Link, which is pretty cool, he fits in much better than freakin' Yoda. That's something else I don't have to worry about either, running into Yoda in arcade mode and having to deal with the tiny bastard. While the character select screen is a little jumpy, the actual game runs perfectly at 60fps, and that's what matters. This game also runs fine with some anti-aliasing, which is always nice to have.
So basically, if I fancy a few rounds of sword-slashing, booby-bouncing fun I can boot this thing up in seconds instead of having to boot up my 360, put Soul Calibur IV in, switch my monitor from my PC to my 360, yadda-yadda.
Either way, this game runs super smooth, with even more anti-aliasing than the other games, the only problem I've run into is that the regular coins seem to be still sprites instead of 3D spinning coins, there may be a way to fix that, I don't know, but if there isn't it's really no big deal.
How about some nice new skins for your high-def fighters? There's some pretty cool shit out there, like Iron Man (Samus) and Bayonetta (Zero-suit Samus), and some totally bat-shit crazy stuff like Awesome Kirby and Manchu, oh and of course, Shadow the Hedgehog. You can also get custom movesets (glitchyness may vary), custom levels... custom menus, almost anything.
There are some sites out there that even go as far as to bundle lots of changes together to change the entire game, most notably, Brawl+. This introduces changes to the game mechanics, physics, all sorts of stuff to make a more balanced, more competitive game of Smash Brothers. I personally won't use it because I'm trying out custom movesets for characters and so on, but I think its really cool that something like that is out there and supported by lots of people.
Emulation-wise this game runs just as well as the others, there are a few graphical glitches but it's just minor thing like the text for the stats after a multiplayer battle (how many times you died, how many kills you got, that stuff), the little images inside assist trophies are messed up and the beam sword projects black onto you, like I said, minor things that you barely notice after a while anyway. They'll probably be fixed at some point. I'm not using anti-aliasing with this one though but I consider that a bonus anyway.
I haven't been able to use this awesome character select screen yet which kinda bums me out, it needs cheat codes that aren't supported by the emulator just yet so I'm having to stick with the regular version (without the extra characters) for now, but it still looks kick-ass.
Proof I own this stuff Yeah, I do own these games actually. Just in case you were wondering.
Pretty sure the case for Sonic Adventure 2: Battle was destroyed at some point though, I should replace that. Oh, and I'm aware that's the PlayStation 2 version of Soul Calibur II and not the GameCube one, sue me. I originally had the GameCube version anyway, traded it in and now I have the PS2 one, which was a dumb move. Link is a much better Soul Calibur character than Heihachi, what's his weapon anyway, his sandals?
Right, well if you did read all that I hope you found it useful or at least somewhat interesting. If you want to see the screenshots in their full 1080p, uncompressed glory, check them out here.