Gammes, Gammes! A short illustrated guide to game emulation (with Zombies)
For this latest blog I wanted to highlight a fun hobby of mine which is playing retro console games (which are basically from the computer game systems/consoles that were around when I was growing up!).
I also have an obsession with zombie movies (which also developed as a teenager) so thought I would combine the two and create this short illustrated guide to game emulation (with zombies!).
In short, if you like me love your older gaming consoles, this is like Retro Heaven (and in my best zombie voice impression “gammmes, gammmes”…).
Here in Brighton once I finish my freelance graphic design and illustration projects (or at the end of a long day when I get a spare moment) I like to have a quick gaming session on my newly purchased JXD gaming tablet.
The JXD is a handheld android based tablet that is designed to play the games (or roms as they are known as online) that you can source on the internet. This offers a vast amount of games from the back catalogues of gaming consoles such as Sega Megadrive, Nintendo NES, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast, Playstation 1 and Nintendo 64. It also supports the MAME emulator which plays old arcade classics!
A mentioned, the roms can be found and downloaded from the net in batches or through a gaming portal which is included on the purchased console (should you want to do that). It can be quite tricky to work out initially exactly where these games are saved but if you have a good file structure (organise your bones!) on your system you can accurately manage these.
If you use a mac, you can work out where the files are located on the Android OS by using the Android File Transfer application (which is a free app). This way you can download in batches and fairly easily navigate to the relevant folder to drop the games in. The emulator will then find the games through the gaming portal.
For me I always loved the 2d platform games and was obsessed (not surprisingly) with the graphics and branding used within a lot of the games in this genre. A good example of a platformer game that I love is Rainbow Islands (which featured across many of the retro consoles from Sinclair ZX Spectrum to Sega Megadrive). The game featured cutesy characters as well as great branding. This is really fun to play (although fairly tough underneath the sugary sweet graphics).
Sometimes you will find that you download a rom that doesn’t actually work, these are few and far between and I believe there are only few that are broken and won’t load.
As far as I can see the only downside to the JXD is the battery life. The console is supplied with a charger which isn’t all that great either and takes a while to charge the system. I went on to buy online a USB cable which I can plug into my i-phone plug charger, this seems to work better in my opinion.
Remember to keep your system regularly charged as otherwise when you come to play it you will have a dead battery before you have even got anywhere on say Super Mario Bros!
The JXD really is a great system and a bargain at the price!
OK, so enough of ‘writing’ about the games, I’m going to get on with playing them!