RetroArch Issue List

  • Crashes the entire emulator if a core is misconfigured (missing a BIOS or other required file).
  • No configuration GUI available for specifying BIOS files or other required files for cores that require them (again, remember that this is supposed to be an all-in-one frontend emulator, not some simple launcher); given that cores should have their own options and don’t, this is inexcusable.
  • Cores that need extra files cannot find those files if you do not specify “expected” content (e.g. PrBoom requires its own WAD file loaded with the standard Doom WADs, but unless you launch only the downloadable Doom shareware version from its own Add Content option, it will not find the extra WAD file and will crash the emulator on launch).
  • Buggy file selector will at times rapidly switch back and forth between a directory and its parent over and over until you continually hit either Back or Select for a few moments.
  • Vulkan driver extremely buggy and slow and makes the newer N64 Vulkan-based core (ParaLLEl — more like ParaLOLOL) a slow, laughable, crashy mess when compared to the solid, just-works Mupen64Plus.
  • Unorganized, random mess of options means you’ll have to wade through several levels of unrelated garbage just to find what you want the emulator to do, and sometimes (as stated above regarding the configuration of cores) that option doesn’t even exist.
  • Near-useless “scan directory” option supposedly used to give you a list of core-specific ROMs to choose from is slow, unreliable, and doesn’t work most of the time.
  • In-game, ESC key is bound to “exit RetroArch completely”; seriously, what?  Sure, it can be rebound, but this is a dumb default option for an emulator that is supposed to act like a HTPC-like frontend for emulation.
  • Does not behave like it acts like it should.  RetroArch acts like it should be a real frontend and an almost HTPC (home theater PC)-like one at that, but the insane defaults, the bugginess, not asking for confirmation on exit (or in fact, anything) and crashing on misconfiguration goes completely against this.
  • Is trying to become the “standard” of emulation with some emulators for PC defaulting to being cores for RetroArch instead of being their own, standalone emulators (e.g. ParaLLEl and Genesis Plus GX) with all of these horrible, broken problems.
  • And worse, people actually accept this and continually use and support this horribly broken emulator and encourage its “standardization” of emulation by it becoming the only outlet for certain emulator cores on PC.

RetroArch is a travesty and a blight on modern emulation and anyone who supports it is supporting bad software and the downfall of emulation.


Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun (Genesis) is the Retro Game of the Day for 24 July, 2016

Another late one today.  Been busy the last couple of days.  The recording above is a raw, unpracticed recording that I did the other day because I didn’t have time to do a recording of anything today.

Dungeons & Dragons: Warriors of the Eternal Sun is a traditional RPG (non-JRPG, non “modern RPG” which I liken to basically a Western copy of JRPG elements) for the Sega Genesis that I instantly fell in love with back in the day and somehow made it through and beat (and it’s been a long time since I’ve played, as indicated by my confused performance above).  It is a game based on the D&D Hollow World campaign and features a castle that falls into a valley of an eternal sun (hence the title) that you must find your way in and uncover the mystery of this strange place you and the inhabitants of the castle now find yourselves in.

The music in the game is absolutely fantastic, and one of the few games that I find the music truly memorable in and tolerable enough to listen to (usually, music in games are irritating or bad enough for me to want to turn it off, especially in modern games).  The gameplay is fun, the world is compelling, and the setting is just challenging enough to keep you coming back for more.  What a fantastic game.  Play it.

As usual, mednafen serves its purpose well here with a gamepad.


Bump ‘n’ Jump (Arcade) is the Retro Game of the Day for 23 July, 2016

Late entry for today, but it’s a pretty cool one.

Top-down car game that isn’t about racing, but just survival with a car that can jump unnaturally high in the air for… well… no good reason… as enemy cars try to run you off the road (and you, them, as well, either by ramming them or landing on them as you jump) and into obstacles as you try to get through each level.  Also, there are bodies of water you have to jump over.  It’s a pretty cool little game with a simple yet engaging premise and good controls, noting that hitting cars does make you lose control a bit, which is expected, so you have to take that into consideration when you try to ram a car off the road to not only get him out of the way but to get bonus points at the end of the level.

Played in mame using a gamepad, and despite mame warning that the game has no good known ROMset, the game seems to run very much as I remember it from the arcade.

SimCity (Super Nintendo) is the Retro Game of the Day for 22 July, 2016

Since the Super Nintendo version was the easiest version to get up and going, I’m going to focus on that, but pretty much every classic SimCity game is an absolutely great game.  Honestly, I think the series reached its pinnacle with SimCity 3000 Unlimited, but any of its predecessors are great games as well.

Of course, your goal in SimCity is to build a city (building it on rock and roll is unfortunately not available) and manage its growth by placing vital buildings in advantageous locations and properly zoning the city for maximum growth, as well as managing financing.  There is no true goal except for some versions in the series that give you situational challenges; you are mostly just growing your city to see how well you manage it and how far it can grow.  Optionally you can enable disasters (natural and, well, not so natural disasters, including King Koopa (Bowser) in the SNES version to trample the city) and rise to the challenge of repairing the city afterwards.

It’s a game like The Sims and Civilization that you can absolutely get lost in and hours have past before you’re even aware of it.

Played using mednafen and a standard game controller.  No issues.

Vanguard (Arcade) is the Retro Game of the Day for 21 July, 2016

Vanguard is a horizontal shoote–

Oh wait, it’s a vertical shooter, too.  Vanguard is a horizontal and vertical sho–

Wait, there are the Rainbow Zones.  Crap.

Ahem.  Vanguard is a shooter that has multiple stages, some of which are horizontal, a couple vertically, and a few actually go diagonally.  Either way, you use your ship that can fire in any of four directions (using buttons dedicated for each fire direction) to fend off the enemy ships while avoiding their fire and other obstacles, including the levels themselves.  It’s a really fun and memorable shooter with good music, including the intro music which many recognize as the Star Trek: The Next Generation theme song.

Unfortunately, the emulation in mame has some audio issues, including your ship’s lasers and a lingering noise from the force field on one of the levels.  Not a huge deal but can be annoying.  Otherwise, the gameplay works just fine as long as you have a gamepad or control method that can simulate the four-direction firing method (cross button gamepads like the Playstation pads work just fine).

Gyruss (Arcade) is the Retro Game of the Day for 20 July, 2016

Okay, okay, no more Atari 2600.  I’ll just go back to posting 99% arcade games. (Heh.)

Gyruss is the spiritual successor to Galaxian and Galaga that moves your ship from the bottom of the screen to a circular path around the play area, fighting enemies that come from the center and off the play field.  You trek through our solar system (and Gyruss knew, even back then, that Pluto wasn’t actually a planet, as it started at Neptune), fighting off groups of enemies that come into the play field either from the center or from the outside of the screen in formations specific to the planet you are approaching (kill enough enemies before they all come to the center of the screen and you’ll get a random planet’s attack).  After you make it to each planet, you get the then-standard bonus wave of specific attack patterns, getting a huge bonus if you shoot down everyone.  Orbs that materialize part-way through the wave will give you a double shot to help out (and if you already have a double shot, the orb will just be another one of the orb’s protector enemies and you will just get points for killing it), and that’s pretty much all the help you get.

It’s a fun romp through our solar system, all set to Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue for all you classical music fans.

Played in mame with a gamepad; a bit rough to use since the rotation you did with the arcade game’s joystick gave you more of a sense of control than the standard gamepad controller.

Kaboom! (Atari 2600) is the Retro Game of the Day for 19 July, 2016

I think I’m about finished with my recent Atari 2600 obsession, but I had to get this one in here.  Using the paddle controllers, Kaboom! requires you to defuse a mad bomber’s bombs by catching them in buckets; miss and you lose one of your three buckets, making it more difficult to catch them.

Ah, good old “you’re failing, better make things harder” games.  Gotta love them.

Just like most 2600 games, it’s simple, but really, there’s a lot of fun and gameplay in that simplicity, which is the polar opposite of today’s overly complex yet dumbed down “games”.  Proof that we should be playing more 2600 games and not garbage like Dota 2 and especially Pokemon Go.  You want to “catch them all”, Pokemon fans?  Play Kaboom!, and you’ll have to catch them all… all the bombs.  And you will actually have fun.

Played in stella using a mouse as a substitute for the paddle controller.  Not too bad if a bit loose-feeling at times.

Adventure (Atari 2600) is the Retro Game of the Day for 18 July, 2016

It’s the early 80s again, and Atari rules the console world!

Well, I guess it does here on RGotD, anyway, as we again highlight an Atari 2600 game because, well, I’ve been on a 2600 kick.  Today is Adventure, the closest you’re going to get to a fantasy adventure game for the 2600.  Move around, find sword, kill dragons, get keys, open castles, get magic chalice, bring it back to the first castle, win.  And with the third game mode (played above), everything is randomized, making it much more difficult, but I managed.

Again, played in stella with a gamepad.