Emulators…welcome to the greyest of the gray areas in gaming.
To some, emulators are a great way to play different systems/games they didn’t have, but to others it’s pirate games that take away from the original games etc.
Originally the .ROM files created of these games were meant to be a backup or copy of an original game you had, but it didn’t take long for people to say “free games…yeah…sure I bought that back in the day.”
Some people say that the original manufacturer is the loser in this scenario, sure it was/is their intellectual property but they no longer make the games/systems and thus are no longer profiting from it. Not much different than a reseller purchasing the physical games and selling them at a profit, while offering no compensation to the original liscense holder.
I know what you’re thinking “damn johnny buzzkill…” so on that note:
ON TO THE FUN PART!!
Emulation is a great way to enjoy some classic gaming without having to shell out the money if you’re just a casual gamer in need of a retro fix. Emulators come on pcs, cellphones, and just about anything that attaches to the internet.
I use emulators from time to time *gasp* and I find them great for trying out new finds before I buy them or getting to experience a system out of my reach for instance: the NEO GEO AES was a toy far beyond the financial means of my parents when I was a kid. I was aware that it existed and played games that looked just like the arcade at home…and obviously that’s awesome in a time when 8 bit graphics had just replaced the atari and nothing compared to those games in your local arcade.
Emulation can never replace the fun of actual, in the wild game hunting and the joy of seeing those cartridges stacked on your shelf, but can be a fun way to play rare games I may not ever see in my collection like for instance, Little Samson. It also has an incredibly fun upside that gets glossed over in many of these arguments….
ROM HACKS!! There is a large community of retro game fans with the know-how to edit these roms creating new, sometimes crappy, sometimes awesome new versions of classic games. Sonic for the genesis and Mario Bros have tons of solid user created hacks. Another great bonus is unreleased games…I do enjoy playing Star Fox 2 on my SNES emulator because well…it’s awesome and isn’t coming out anytime soon and there’s a load of great hacks that improve the game.
One last bonus…some very cool gamers have created english versions of games previously only enjoyable in Japan, or if you had a Japanese system or the ability to play import games. This has opened up a whole new world of games we never had a chance to experience in the NTSC region.
So love them, hate them…emulators aren’t going away and there are systems coming out utilizing this software to play retro games (see: retron5). So I recommend emmulators for anyone looking to enjoy some classic games and great systems, if it’s not your thing that’s cool, so avoid them. Emulation is going mainstream and new games/systems are always being created for computers, phones, and tablets and as long as you’re enjoying some great games and having fun…I say GIVE ER!