Earlier in the series, we showed you how to play PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games on your PC. This time, we are taking on some old school consoles. That is, how to play console games on your computer.
Those who’ve been around long enough will be able to recall the days of the good old SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System). Teenagers of the last generation might still remember the Nintendo 64 and (who can forget) the GameBoy Advance. These are the three systems we’re going to take a look at today.
If you’ve followed the previous guides, you’ll be relieved to see that emulation of these somewhat older systems is a whole lot simpler.
How to Play Super Nintendo Games on PC
Let’s start with How to Play Nintendo Games on PC. ZSNES is one of the most advanced SNES emulators on the block. Using some special rendering techniques, it can emulate commercial games that are still a lot buggier with the other emulators. At first, this was a DOS-only project, though it’s been ported to both Windows and Linux. Mac users should try out SNES9x.
Once installed, ZSNES delivers a pretty basic interface. It allows the user to select a ROM (an image of the game, read more about this further on in the article; use GAME-LOAD) and start playing right away.
More advanced users might be interested in some further adjustment of the emulator. The most significant might be the video resolution in the CONFIG-VIDEO menu and the key configuration in CONFIG-INPUT. Just be sure not to change anything if you don’t know what it is.
Play Nintendo 64 Games on your Computer
Now let’s talk about, Nintendo 64 emulation using Project64. The Nintendo 64 was the successor of the Super Nintendo. Even though it had to compete with the Sony PlayStation, it managed to stay on its feet. I still remember going to play it at my friend’s, getting pawned at GoldenEye 007. Maybe it’s about time for a rematch”¦
The graphics of the Nintendo 64 are a little bit more up-to-date compared to those of the Super Nintendo. This means you might not want to try it on your old Windows 98 PC. If you have a computer with a Pentium III with 256 MB or more, you shouldn’t worry.
Project64 delivers a very easy to use, multilingual interface, which even less experienced users should be able to handle. You can select your ROMs using the File menu, but you can also set a ROM directory. This will enable your ROMs to be listed in the main window (read more about ROMs below). Before taking off, you might want to change your screen resolution (Options – Configure graphic plug-in), as well as enabling full-screen in the basic settings menu.
You can use either your keyboard or a gamepad and can up to four different inputs.
How to Play Gameboy Advance Games on PC
When i comes to GameBoy Advance emulation there is a tool called VisualBoy Advance. The VisualBoy Advance is the most successful GameBoy Advance emulator up to date. It allows the emulation of almost all commercial games in a very smooth manner. The VisualBoy Advance should run on all PCs with Pentium III or up. It is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux.
Except perhaps changing your key configuration (Options – Joypad – Configure) you can start playing right away.
VisualBoy Advance offers a wide variety of extra options, like screen capturing (image or video), importingand a Cheat Search.
A ROM image is a computer back-up of your game cartridge. You can either make them yourself, using homebrew on your console, or download them. With old school consoles, a lot of games’ patents are outdated, or in a lot of cases, the company doesn’t mind the online circulation of their games as long as no one makes money from it.
CoolROM is an online inventory of ROMs. You can also download the ROMs that aren’t still protected by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association). Sadly, about all Mario and Zelda games, as well as a major part of the GBA games, are still protected.
Don’t forget though, that if you own a game, it’s nearly always legal (laws may differ from country to country) to download it using torrents or P2P software like frostwire.
What are the best old school games in your opinion? Are you aware of any other ways to play console games on a computer? Are they available on CoolROM? Please let us know in the comments.