My Wii is now 99% redundant

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):
 

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

 Always wondered how he's breathing in space...
 Mmmm, Sub Burgers
Yeah I know, anyone who's played Sonic Adventure 2 knows the game is, well... a little broken. The camera can be awful and the gameplay isn't perfect. But it was the first game I had with my GameCube after upgrading from my good old PlayStation and it actually became my favourite game. Yeah you heard me right, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is my favourite game ever. I love the thing to death, deal with it. Even with some anti-aliasing this game runs at a rock-solid 60fps without chugging at all. There's also a widescreen hack option in Dolphin so Sonic doesn't look like he's gained a few pounds and I get to see more stuff around me.

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 II

My sword's on fire, I'll put it out by hitting you with it
 Back off, weirdo
I do own 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.
 

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

 ICE FLOWER POWER!
Ahh New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I watched the quick look on here and got the crazy idea you would be a fun game to play, but even coupled with a generous amount of vodka-mixed drinks, my best friend and my brother, you somehow failed to impress. Maybe you were just having an off day NSMBW, maybe I'll try playing with some friends again some time and it'll be fun, or perhaps I'll play single-player old-school style, who knows.
 
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.
 

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 That's how they're meant to look!
And saving the best until last, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Not just because it looks good in high definition, but because of all the awesome mods and hacks you can use. They don't require Brawl to be played on the PC in order to use them though, you can do the same stuff with the real game, provided you have a modded Wii and an SD card.
 
 Sonic's "Fixed" skin, before and after
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.
 
 Finally
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.
 
 Much better
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

 PROOF!
 Yep, Xbox Live Cam
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.
18 Comments
19 Comments
Edited by Daniel_Newton

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):
 

Sonic Adventure 2: Battle

 Always wondered how he's breathing in space...
 Mmmm, Sub Burgers
Yeah I know, anyone who's played Sonic Adventure 2 knows the game is, well... a little broken. The camera can be awful and the gameplay isn't perfect. But it was the first game I had with my GameCube after upgrading from my good old PlayStation and it actually became my favourite game. Yeah you heard me right, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is my favourite game ever. I love the thing to death, deal with it. Even with some anti-aliasing this game runs at a rock-solid 60fps without chugging at all. There's also a widescreen hack option in Dolphin so Sonic doesn't look like he's gained a few pounds and I get to see more stuff around me.

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 II

My sword's on fire, I'll put it out by hitting you with it
 Back off, weirdo
I do own 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.
 

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

 ICE FLOWER POWER!
Ahh New Super Mario Bros. Wii, I watched the quick look on here and got the crazy idea you would be a fun game to play, but even coupled with a generous amount of vodka-mixed drinks, my best friend and my brother, you somehow failed to impress. Maybe you were just having an off day NSMBW, maybe I'll try playing with some friends again some time and it'll be fun, or perhaps I'll play single-player old-school style, who knows.
 
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.
 

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

 That's how they're meant to look!
And saving the best until last, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Not just because it looks good in high definition, but because of all the awesome mods and hacks you can use. They don't require Brawl to be played on the PC in order to use them though, you can do the same stuff with the real game, provided you have a modded Wii and an SD card.
 
 Sonic's "Fixed" skin, before and after
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.
 
 Finally
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.
 
 Much better
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

 PROOF!
 Yep, Xbox Live Cam
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.
Posted by Atlas

Boy, and I thought I was lazy.

Posted by HandsomeDead

I saw the Mario Galaxy screenshots from the Dolphin and it looked amazing. I run it on my HDTV and it looks like it's made of Lego. And don't be stupid, the Wii will never be redundant as long as you have some papers lying round.

Edited by ajamafalous

No mention of Chao Garden?
 
 
None of your links seem to work. For me, at least.

Posted by Jadeskye

am i crazy or is emulation still illegal even if you own the media?

Posted by ajamafalous
@jadeskye said:
" am i crazy or is emulation still illegal even if you own the media? "
I think it is unless you ripped everything yourself from your own copies?
 
 
I don't know, I think that's how it was back during the N64 era. Everywhere you go to read about the legality of emulation will tell you something else, though.
Posted by Daniel_Newton
@HandsomeDead: It does indeed, unfortunately I've read that both Galaxy and Galaxy 2 currently have sound issues in Dolphin. The background music cuts out after a few minutes, which is a bummer. They're working on it though.
And right you are, it does make a good paperweight, how silly of me.
 
@ajamafalous: You know, I actually haven't tried the Chao Garden, maybe I'll try that.
Also, damn it, I'll have those links fixed shortly, sorry about that.
 
@jadeskye: You're crazy, if you own the console and the games it's perfectly fine.
Kotaku even used emulators to demonstrate PlayStation 2 games in HD once, it's not really a big deal.
Posted by ajamafalous
@Newten:  Haven't tried the Chao Garden? Like, ever?
 
 
You haven't even begun to play this game.
Posted by Daniel_Newton
@ajamafalous: Noooo no no, I played plenty of Chao Garden, just hadn't tried it out in the emulator. Don't worry, I haven't missed out.
Those links should be working fine now.
Posted by Jadeskye
@ajamafalous said:
" @jadeskye said:
" am i crazy or is emulation still illegal even if you own the media? "
I think it is unless you ripped everything yourself from your own copies?  I don't know, I think that's how it was back during the N64 era. Everywhere you go to read about the legality of emulation will tell you something else, though. "
thats the crazy thing about emulation, no one really seems to know and whats more, no one seems to care.
Posted by ajamafalous

You missed 3 links.

Posted by newt

Emulators are stuck in a legal grey-area due to the amount and types of reverse engineering required to produce them.  In general, the emulators themselves are legal, but you must use physical media.  You have the right to make backups of your media, though I do not wish to dredge into whether or not you may do anything with said data.
 
That said, there are also illegal emulators, depending on the measures used to produce them.  Most of it is tied into the DMCA which itself is often used in ways that were likely not intended. 
 
If anyone wishes to further educate themselves on such matters, look into the legalities of reverse engineering and clean room design.  There's some really interesting stuff that's happened.

Posted by Daniel_Newton
@ajamafalous: Right, fixed. Again I'm sorry about that, it got all screwed up.
Also, I can confirm that the Chao Garden works.
 om nom nom nom
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
@newt: Yeah I generally go by the rules that if you own the games and the console, then it's fine, as you aren't doing any harm to the games industry like you would be if you downloaded the game without paying for it.
Interesting stuff, thanks for taking the time to explain that.
Posted by Supermarius
@Newten said:
" @HandsomeDead: It does indeed, unfortunately I've read that both Galaxy and Galaxy 2 currently have sound issues in Dolphin. The background music cuts out after a few minutes, which is a bummer. They're working on it though.
And right you are, it does make a good paperweight, how silly of me.
 
@ajamafalous: You know, I actually haven't tried the Chao Garden, maybe I'll try that.
Also, damn it, I'll have those links fixed shortly, sorry about that.
 
@jadeskye: You're crazy, if you own the console and the games it's perfectly fine. Kotaku even used emulators to demonstrate PlayStation 2 games in HD once, it's not really a big deal. "
Actually i dont think Kotaku used emulators the way you are thinking. They were quite likely using a Bleem style emulator where you dont use a rom/iso but actually put the ps2 game into your computers dvd drive. Those are probably the most legit form of emulator because you aren't stealing any games. You shouldnt make posts like this though because they encourage piracy.
Posted by Daniel_Newton
@Supermarius: They used PCSX2, which may be able to boot the discs directly, but it certainly has the ability to run isos. It's no more "legit" than Dolphin. The only reason you can't boot Wii discs is because most PC DVD drives can't read them.
You won't find an emulator for the PC that runs discs, but doesn't run isos. Bleem is different, that runs on a Dreamcast, you don't have much choice there.

I already made it clear that this thread/blog isn't about piracy. It's about enhancing the games you already own, for those interested in that. Hell, Jeff has mentioned emulators before on podcasts, far more people listen to that than will ever read this thread, so I'm sure that "encourages" far more than this ever will.
 
There's nothing wrong with talking about emulation, lost of people are interested in playing the games they've got in HD or widescreen or with wireless controllers or whatever.
If someone really wants to be a pirate I'm sure they'll figure it out on their own. Google isn't exactly hard to master you know.
Posted by AjayRaz

brawl looks crazy good. though, i'd like to see what Muramasa likes in 1080p. that must be glorious. 

Posted by Willy105

The problem is, playing on Dolphin requires major computer power.
 
You might as well play it on the original hardware, which works better.

Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Willy105 said:
" You might as well play it on the original hardware, which works better. "
It doesn't look as good and you can't mod it with fun stuff.
 
But I believe that it's illegal to play your games on an emulator even if you own the game because you're circumventing some type of protection or something.
Posted by Daniel_Newton
@Willy105: The games I've wrote about in this blog all work at full speed with virtually no problems, but yeah, it does require a fairly powerful PC.
For any games that don't work well on Dolphin, the Super Mario Galaxy games (need a very powerful PC to maintain 60fps, and the background music cuts out after a few minutes) The Wind Waker (music is choppy and desyncs with the game) I'll play them on my real Wii.
 
Just in case anyone is interested, my PC specs are:
AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.40 GHz
4GB DDR3 RAM
ATI Radeon HD 4870 1GB
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
@FluxWaveZ: Exactly, you know what I'm getting at. As mentioned before emulation can be a grey area, but if I've paid for the games I'm playing, I'm not doing any damage to the games industry, so I really see no harm in it.