31 мая 1996

Part 6 - Emulator reviews.

<b>Part 6</b> - Emulator reviews.


I  thought  as  the  magazine  is entitled
"Emulate"  it was high time we took a look
at  some  of the Emulators currently doing
the rounds on the web pages, FTP sites and
BBS's around the globe!
As   more   and   more   computers  become
obsolete,  more  and more emulators appear
to  start  people "retro-computing" in the
hope  of bringing back the memories of the
days   when  games  were  playable,  cheap
(well..some  of  them!) and were above all
good  fun!  (Stop  me  if I begin to sound
like an old fogey!) So, I have scoured the
web and have come up with short reviews of
a few of the newer emulators, not only for
the  humble  Speccy,  but  also  some  for
computers  which made the Speccy obsolete,
now  having  been relegated to the bargain
shops themselves!!

I  start  with a Speccy emulator which has
just  been  released on the Internet. When
this  emulator  was  announced recently on
C.S.S, it took me slightly by surprise - I
had  heard  no  mention  of  it  before  -
therefore  it couldn't be very good, could
it? How wrong I was...
This  new  Spectrum  Emulator  for Windows
3.1/95  is  top class. It runs in a window
which  can be re-sized as you wish, and it
even multitasks under Windows 95 (well, as
much  as W95 can multitask!) It recognizes
and  can convert between nearly all of the
Spectrum  file-types,  even  including TAP
and SLT support.
The  version  I  have  tried  shows  great
potential.   There  are  several  features
missing  which would make it a major rival
to  Z80,  the main one being 128k support.
Currently,  you  cannot use 128k snapshots
with   it,   although  the  emulator  will
bravely try to load any snapshot you throw
at  it,  giving  you the appropriate "This
probably      won't     work"     warning!
Nevertheless,  you can take a good look at
a  128k  game's  title  screen  before the
emulator  crashes, and I am sure that 128k
support  will  appear  in a later version.
Another  drawback  is  speed. The emulator
runs  at normal Spectrum speed on my 7SMhz
Pentium  while in a small window. Enlarged
to  a whole screen, the emulator does drag
quite  significantly.  Also,  there  is no
option to alter speed, although the author
may  be  saving this option for registered
users     (though    the    emulator    is
freeware...at the moment!).

Finally,  there  are  no  real  "advanced"
features  implemented yet, such as Plus-D,
Microdrive or Tape-File editing.
If  you  just use your emulator for games,
download  this  gem immediately, otherwise
stick  to  your  DOS  emulator  until more
features are added.


A  complex Commodore Emulator, PCбЧ offers
a  massive  amount  of features, including
support  for  Disks  and  Tapes,  with the
option of connecting up to 8 external disk
drives. However "complex" is the operative
word  and  after a few hours usage, I felt
that I still hadn't got to grips with most
of  it's  features.  However  it is a well
designed  DOS-based emulator, although I'm
sure  no readers of Emulate! will be using
it - if only out of principal!!

The  "Virtual  Gameboy"  is  the  first of
several   console   emulators   that  have
recently  appeared. There are versions now
for  Unix,  Windows  and DOS, although the
latest Windows version is not very nice to
use,  as  a big "Register this or die" (or
words to those effect!) message is printed
across  screen  at  all  times! I know the
idea  of  shareware is just for trial, but
surely  it  would have been better just to
disbale some features? Anyway...
The  VGB is a nice emulator, running about
85%  of  gameboy  games  at a near perfect
speed on my P75. It is hard to make copies
of   Gameboy  carts  yourself  without  an
expensive piece of equipment, although you
need   look  no  further  than  the  newly
created  Alt.Binaries.Gameboy newsgroup to
find  enough  games  to keep you happy for
many a day!

Another  console  emulator,  this time for
the   Sega  Master  System.  I  have  fond
memories  of  this, as the MS was my first
step  away from a Speccy (boo..hiss I hear
you  say!) This emulator has only just (by
a  matter  of  days)  been  released  in a
playable form with version 0.2.
The  previous  version  0.0  (!)  was only
capable  of  playing  the  soundtrack of a
game  (Bet  that was gripping stuff!), but
the   latest   version   is  looking  very
impressive.  I played two games (Alex Kidd
and Wonderboy) and found that the emulator
run  at  an  excellent speed, with perfect
sound.  The  only  problem  is  the sprite
update  in  some  games,  which causes old
sprites  to  be  left  on the screen. This
should  be  fixed shortly according to the
readme  file.  LATEST  - It has been fixed
with version 0.3!

Another  console  emulator,  this time for
the  Super  Nintendo.  When run, it looked
fine.  It  only works under Windows 95 and
seems  a  bit  slow, but the game I loaded
(Kick  Off  3)  seemed to run perfectly. I
couldn't  fathom  out  any  of the control
buttons,  but I never let that put me off!
Also,  there  is  apparently  no game that
runs  100%  and  very  few  games that run
better than 50%, but I'm sure that will be
improved   upon  in  future  releases.  My
advice  -  leave  this  one  alone until a
later   version   (and   also   when   the
instructions  have  been  translated  into

They  said  it  couldn't  be  done....they
shouted   it   couldn't   be   done...they
SCREAMED it couldn't be done...but it has!
The  subject  of  many  a  debate  on  the
Emulators newsgroup was the possibility of
creating  a  functional Amiga emulator for
the  PC. Well, after many false starts, we
finally  have  an  emulator  that is worth
downloading.   The   Unix  Amiga  Emulator
(previously   called  the  Unusable  Amiga
Emulator  due to the fact that it couldn't
even  boot!)  is now up to version 0.6 and
looks set for a proper release soon. A lot
of  games  still  do  not  work  with  the
emulator,  although  Monkey Island and The
Bards  Tale amongst others, work fine. The
emulator  is still quite slow and there is
a   slight   problem   with   the   screen
centering,  but  this seems to have proved
all the doubters wrong!

Anyway,  thats  enough  emulators for this
month.  If you want to download any of the
emulators listed above, you can find links
on the Emulate! Web Pages.

NOTE: The Amiga Emulator requires an image
of  the  KickStart ROM to be able to boot.
This  can  be  obtained  by  using a small
program  supplied  with  the emulator on a
real  Amiga.  Alternatively, check out one
of  the  warez  newsgroups  as  they  will
probably soon be doing the rounds there (I
didn't say that!!!)


Другие статьи номера:

Intro - Contents.

Part 1 - Editorial.

Part 2 - Playing tips.

Part 3 - Snapshot Pack VI.

Part 4 - The ritman interview.

Part 5 - The spectrum database.

Part 6 - Emulator reviews.

Part 7 - Faster than basic.

Part 8 - 16/48 Index (Part 1).

Part 9 - A-Z Of Spectrum games reviews (part 6).

Part 10 - Spectrum on the Net.

Part 11 - Adventures.

Part 12 - Past, present and future.

Темы: Игры, Программное обеспечение, Пресса, Аппаратное обеспечение, Сеть, Демосцена, Люди, Программирование

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