On my long list of things to do but gone in the limbo there was a page where I wanted to collect some detailed informations to configure all the japanese RPGs I used to love on the PSX and that are always not too simple to make work flawlessly on the emulators.
Well, it seems I don’t need to do that anymore. I just found out a brand new PSX emulator that is quite amazing (the version I’m using is the 1.2).
Till now every PSX emulator worked with complicated plug-ins that were rather hard to configure properly. This one is the siplest thing you can desire, no plug-ins or configurations at all. It works right away and better than everything out there. It’s great. And, in particular, it’s being actively developed, so it can only get better.
There are actually a few minor issues and things you need to sort out before being able to run games. To begin with you still need to find over the net the original PSX rom (SCPH1001.BIN – if you cannot find it over the net you can try with a filesharing program) and put it the “bios” directory, then you may have problem running the games from the CDs because the program requires a wnaspy32.dll file. Even this file shouldn’t be too hard to get if you see the program asking for it. I had a copy in a cd-burner program and I copied it directly on the emulator root directory and everything worked prefectly. There’s nothing else you need to figure out, if not configuring the controls, memory card and full screen resolution (the emu stutters if not in fullscreen).
The emulator works right away. The image is perfect, the sound is perfect and the full motion videos smooth as silk. No need to dig and mess with obscure options. Just load the CD and play. On my computer the CPU usage of the emu is INCREDIBLY LOW, something around 10% or less. So it should run smooth on every configuration without a problem.
I’ve tried it with various games that usually had many problems or quirks with the other emus. Chrono Cross works absolutely perfect, Legend of Mana is perfect, Metal Gear Solid is perfect, Vagrant Story has very minor problems with a few sounds (like the steps), Dragon Quest 7 has a minor problem with the interface not shading properly (some menus overlap), Valkyre Profile is perfect (and this one always had sound glitches with other emus that I was never able to sort out completely) and Breath of Fire 3 is perfect. I own nearly ALL RPGs that were out on the PSX so I’ll continue to run more test as I have time.
Other annoying general issues I encountered and that I hope will be solved in the next versions are the aspect ratio of the screen not set correctly in some games running in non-standard modes (for example Dragon Quest 7) and some configuration problems with the joypad that seem already know. If I try to configure my joypad with the support to the analogic sticks the game crashes, but it works ok if set it as a “normal pad”.
The emu also works with compressed CD images (.cdz), the program to create them is under the /util subdir.
Important note: The emu stutters and seems to run slow if you play in windowed mode. This isn’t because the hardware is not powerful enough since the CPU usage will always be rather low. If you switch in fullscreen (alt+Enter) the games should run smooth as silk.