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Retroarch or individual emulators?


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It depends upon the core really for things like Nintendo DS, PSP, Sega Dreamcast and a few others there are advantages of using the stand alone emulator over RA. Mostly the uniformity of RA makes it pretty damn awesome but for some cores they just aren't as good as their stand alones or other stand alone emulators that don't have RA cores.

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CDI is the standard format that all the Dreamcast emulators support but GDI is also an option.

As for stand versus Retroarch it's a question that gets asked quite frequently and people have their own opinions on it.

Individual emulators are easier to setup in general but that isn't true in all cases just like how Retroarch in general is better overall for several reasons but is not true in all cases.

Emulators such as Fusion (Genesis) and Higan (SNES) are fantastic stand alone emulators and are pretty easy to set up if not using a frontend. But once you throw a frontend on top of them they become a real pain in the ass to deal with. Fusion becomes a pain because of how it handles resolution changes and Higans rom manager is very unwieldy.

Personally I use Retroarch for the most part but not everywhere. There are a few reasons why I use it. One being the shaders, I really love its CRT shaders and being able to apply them across all sprite based games gives me a uniform look which I really like. Reason two, the best audio syncing. Reason three, lowest input lag. Reason 4, the "Quick Menu" to manage save states and swap disks. Reason 5, constantly being worked on emulator cores while many stand alones have all but stopped development.

Once you take the time to learn how to setup Retroarch it applies to so many systems and is getting better all the time. Every now again someone makes the argument that stand alone is always better but I find that argument to be baseless. For example just because the stand alone version of bSnes has a higher version number when compared to its RA counterpart it doesn't mean that RA core is not kept up to date. Many times improvements get made to the core and they just don't bother changing the version number.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/20/2017 at 0:03 PM, lordmonkus said:

Reason 4, the "Quick Menu" to manage save states and swap disks.

I have a question with this feature. I am new to LaunchBox, I have always emulated through Raspberry Pi.  From what I have seen I think LaunchBox would be more beneficial for me as far as emulating.  I recently downloaded Launchbox and upgraded to premium right away.  One of the first systems I experimented with was PSX. I transfered Star Ocean 2 over along with my saved data.  The game loaded fine and I was able to load from my old saved data after some trial an error. Mainly because my saved data was on disk 2 and swapping disks isn't exactly the same as the retroarch on the pi. The menu was the same , but my normal steps didn't apply here. Even though I eventually got it to load, I still don't know the exact steps I did to get it to work.  On the raspberry Pi you could also use save states with button combinations, not sure if you can in retroarch, so I did it through the retroarch menu. The problem I ran into here was when I went to load the save state, it loaded, but then through up a disk error that the disk tray was open.  I opened up the retroarch menu, went to the disk options, and instead of letting me fix it, it just said null where it should of said the disk #.  No matter what I tried nothing fixed this issue. 

I am new to this and only have been playing with this since yesterday so maybe I just don't know what I am doing?  I play a lot of RPGs so I know there are multiple games that I look forward to playing that have multiple disks. Any info on the correct steps to load disks, and to the bigger problem how how to get save states to load properly on multiple disk games?  Any info is appreciated. Thanks!

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