Atlas of Judgment

Emulator Reviews & Quick Start Guides Index

DEmul, Dreamcast and Arcade Emulator Review
DEmul, Quick Start Guide
SNES9x, Super Nintendo Emulator Review
SNES9x, Quick Start Guide


Disclaimer: Emulators are curious pieces of software which pull off a remarkable feat of reading software on hardware they were probably not originally meant to! Each emulator for every platform has one, or few, or many unique authors from all around the world who may speak and code in many different languages. Each emulator, along with its individual interface, features, and other sensibilities should be viewed in that context and considered as equally unique as their authors.

With that in mind, the following reviews guide and legend is in no way meant to belittle the qualities of some emulators while putting others on a pedestal. Neither is this guide intended to pass any objective judgment on the quality or lack thereof of coding or technical aspects in emulators, or even any other specific feature or characteristic of any emulator.

This guide is written by a mostly technically uninformed, simple-minded suburbanite and intended to be illustrative to similarly technically unknowing consumers of emulators. The singular purpose of this incredibly subjective guide is to assist other laymen and laywomen end-users to maximize their experience of playing games on emulators.

Emulator reviews on this website will attempt to compartmentalize characteristics of emulators and then subjectively appraise each component for easy understanding by simpleton laymen and laywomen end-users. These subjective “grades” will be included at the end of each review and summarize items which might be most pertinent in the full review for end-users. Keep in mind that some of the grades will be incredibly subjective on my part (such as “emulation accuracy”) while others which discuss the number of features (such as in video and sound) are not assessments of the accuracy in emulation of those features.


Now with all that aside… welcome to the guide, henceforth to be referred to as the Atlas of Judgment (not representative of final version)!


Ease of Use

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Works out of the Box!
    • for emulators which are as easy to use as unpacking and can launch and boot games immediately for an optimal game experience (you may have to adjust your controls though!)
  •  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  That was Easy!
    • for emulators which can launch and boot games after minimal adjusting of settings, may require management of plugins, game saves or memory cards, or native system BIOS files before an optimal game experience (a mostly stress-free experience, may include a helpful wizard to get you started)
  •  ★  ★  ★  – Almost Ready!
    • for emulators which need a moderate amount of end-user input or management through settings or plugins and save games management before playing games optimally (a little bit of a headache to get started, may not include a setup wizard)
  •  ★  ★  – Not Quite There!
    • for emulators which require exceptional or advanced input and manual customizations before launching and booting games for an optimal game experience
  •  ★  – “…What does this button do?”
    • for emulators in which grueling, manual labour is required before playing games! Reserved only for your worst enemies!

Stability

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Works without a Hitch!
    • not known to crash or cause computer problems outside of the rarest circumstances!
  • ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Works Great!
    • may rarely crash and give your computer some hiccups
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Pretty Good!
    • crashes occasionally or in expected circumstances, but usually doesn’t interfere with playing games, might have to share the issue so the problem can be solved
  • ★  ★  –  Call Tech Support!
    • crashing is frequent and interferes with gameplay, might have to report the issue so the problem can be solved
  • ★  –  “…We have a problem!”
    • it’s a mess! Return to sender! Report all the issues!

Games Compatibility

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Critical Hit!
    • virtually every game works from start to finish and with next to no problems!
  • ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Near Perfect!
    • vast majority of games are working well, and the remaining may boot with bugs or slowdowns
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Not Bad!
    • most games work great or reasonably well, but a sizable number of games have significant issues which interfere with gameplay or playing to completion
  • ★  ★  –  Could be Better!
    • most games have lots of glitches or bugs which prevent smooth gameplay or playing to completion, and many games do not work at all
  • ★  –  “…Maybe next year!”
    • past the threshold for frustration! It is almost impossible to have a good game experience with this emulator right now, but maybe it will improve with time!

Performance

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Easy Breezy!
    • performs great on even the weakest hardware!
  • ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Not a Problem!
    • performs great on moderate hardware
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Breaking a Sweat!
    • requires mid-range or better modern hardware to run most games well
  • ★  ★  –  Tough Noogies!
    • requires high-end or better modern hardware to run most games well
  • ★  –  “…I’m Melting!”
    • even the best available hardware has difficulty running most games smoothly!

Emulation Accuracy

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  God/Byuu-tier!
    • you’re bsnes/higan!
  • ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Virtually There!
    • probably does a fantastic job of accurately emulating real hardware idiosyncracies in games performance, video, audio, and inputs
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Acceptable!
    • a layman or laywoman wouldn’t mind as long as the games are running great, may commonly use individual game hacks or rely on inaccurate emulation in some circumstances
  • ★  ★  –  Poor!
    • something is noticeably wrong with the accuracy of the games experience as compared to the games running on real hardware
  • ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  –  Unknown!
    • I have no idea! Looks good though!

Video Options

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Extensive!
    • many options which offer a high level of customization (may include plugin-based emulators or emulators with native support for customizing rendering or output resolutions, texture and screen filtering, post-processing shaders, and more)
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Acceptable!
    • a good number of options which can be used to customize video settings
  • ★  –  Minimal!
    • only just above options necessary to get the games on screen

Sound Options

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Extensive!
    • many options which offer a high level of customization (may include plugin-based emulators or emulators with native support for customizing sound features like latency, reverb, channels, surround sound, and more)
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Acceptable!
    • a good number of options which can be used to customize the sound settings
  • ★  –  Minimal!
    • only just above the options necessary to get the audio playing

Input Support, Customization & Accessibility Features

  • ★  ★  ★  ★  ★  –  Extensive!
    • many options which offer a high level of customization which should satisfy users of most input methods (may include input support through multiple libraries such as SDL, Directinput, Xinput, or others and support easy assigning of axes from analog sticks and buttons, triggers, and even motion control inputs)
  • ★  ★  ★  –  Acceptable!
    • a good selection of options which can be used to customize the input settings
  • ★  –  Limited!
    • may only support few or one input libraries which may cause problems for some or many users

2 thoughts on “Atlas of Judgment

  1. Pingback: SNES9x, Super Nintendo Emulator Review | casualemulationfan

  2. Pingback: SNES9x, Quick Start Guide | casualemulationfan

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