The awesome power of hardware


in Geek stuff

Is anyone else surprised by how emulated versions of games originally written for a machine with a 16-bit, 3.58Mhz processor can strain the capabilities of a computer with a 1300Mhz processor? The second machine has 363 more processor cycles per unit time, and a staggering 10,000 times more RAM. Dedicated chips are awesome; hence, the superiority of digital cameras that use hardware interpolation (all Canon cameras, for instance), as opposed to those that use software to interpolate using generic chips.

That said, it cannot really be denied that Super Metroid is the best of the Metroid series, Super Mario World is the best Mario game, and A Link to the Past is the best Zelda. Final Fantasy VII may narrowly beat Chrono Trigger as the best console RPG.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

B October 9, 2006 at 1:34 am

I swear you take delight in making the nerd-centre in all our brains explode every couple of weeks…

I also have the slight suspicion that you enjoyed SMW so much because it actually required you to kill football players.

PS. Nice wiki.

Milan October 9, 2006 at 1:45 am

I also have the slight suspicion that you enjoyed SMW so much because it actually required you to kill football players.

In my SMW experience, you would jump on them once and they would charge off a cliff. It was always more satisfying to trick them than to do anything else.

Seth October 9, 2006 at 4:25 pm

I heartily agree about Super Metroid and A Link to the Past, but I rank Super Mario Bros. 3 at the same level as Super Mario World. SMB 3 presents a wide array of suits and gadgets for Mario to use on his adventure. On the other hand, Yoshi presents a revolutionary gameplay mechanic in SMW, and its level design is slightly better.

I use ZSNES as my emulator and have very few problems with it, but I’ve had an amazingly tough time emulating the Neo-Geo, which isn’t much more powerful than the SNES. I think it all boils down to the differences in the architectures, and the fact that the emulation programmers have to reverse engineer everything from the ground up.

Having said that, I mainly enjoy playing the Final Fantasy games, and Chrono Trigger, which mainly aren’t too processor-intensive, so maybe that’s why I have so little difficulty.

Milan October 9, 2006 at 5:22 pm


Point taken about SM3. The interactivity of the map in ways not tied to levels added some gameplay value. As for Yoshi, perhaps his most important contribution is for those times when you need to drop him down a bottomless pit, leaping off to reach an otherwise inaccessible area.

I am using the Mac version of SNES9x and I rarely have any problems. When too many items are on screen in SMW, however, it sometimes causes lethal stutters. (Lethal to Mario, not the program).

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