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Built a couple of Retropies

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So, Nintendo pissed me off with the NES Classics impossibility to have gotten and the SNES Classic shaping up to have similar difficulties so I built a couple of Retropie systems.  Pretty happy with them, giving one to my sister.

 

Fun fact is that I would have preferred going the 100% legit route of buying the NES and SNES Classic systems but Nintendo apparently didn't want my money badly enough and I'm not paying scalpers.

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I'm going to be building a retropie soon

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I did the same. After not being able to find an NES classic at all anywhere, and the ridiculous marked up prices online, I just built myself a retropie as well. Enjoying it.

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I actually built a RetroPi almost a year ago.  My impetus for doing so was not the availability of the NES/SNES classics, but the fact that there was so much market hype over what was clearly an inferior product: 1) a limited number of games, 2) no ability to download games, 3) you don't get to pick the games.

I just can't get excited about a product I don't believe in, even if the majority of the people are.

The RetroPi still gets played regularly when I have 1-2 friends over.

The only limitation that I've experienced so far is that some of the late fourth generation to present consoles don't usually work, for example, SegaCD (The New Adventures of Batman and Robin) and PSX (Bust-a-Move 2: Arcade Edition, or even basic launch titles like Arc the Lad) simply won't run.  Other PSX games like Grand Theft Auto I & II still work, so I don't think it's the emulator as a whole, as much as it is how the emulator interacts with the roms.  Now, I've also had trouble running Arc the Lad on FPse, but it worked fine until you got into battle.  Who can say if it's the rom or the emulator?

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It's 33/33/33 on Either rom, the emulator, or the model of your raspberry pi.

I have a model 2 I made my retropi on. It can't run a lot of N64 and PS1 games, but it can run some randomly and well. I made one for a co-worker. He gave me a pi 3 to work with. It runs all N64 games I put on it very smoothly.

Anecdotal, but it was using the same emulator set I put on mine. It was just a newer model. 

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Interesting.  Presumably the more powerful Pi the easier the emulators will run.

I don't remember what version mine is off-hand, though I seem to recall it being 32 bit and wondering why I was able to emulate Mario Kart 64 so smoothly.

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Retropie is such a pain in the ass that in the 2 plus years I've had one, I've been so frustrated that I wind up just saying f*** it, and turn it off  unplug it and stop using it for months on end until it's been long enough that I forget the hassle and decide to try it again. Mine's on a pi 3, so no issues with the hardware, and the online "help" is near worthless and the community, well, I hate the term but "toxic" is fairly apt, no help in any event. :(

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My only real complaint besides specific games (mostly PSX) just not working is the standard HDMI lag for oldschool NES games. This makes games like Battletoads, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, or on Genesis: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker virtually impossible to beat anymore. Because most modern emulation devices (even official ones like NES Classic) or Retron 5 have an HDMI connection this problem affects all of these systems. If I build another Pi I would figure out a way to add an RCA connector for a CRT TV--if that's even possible.

Edited by Liamland

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1 hour ago, Liamland said:

My only real complaint besides specific games (mostly PSX) just not working is the standard HDMI lag for oldschool NES games. This makes games like Battletoads, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, or on Genesis: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker virtually impossible to beat anymore. Because most modern emulation devices (even official ones like NES Classic) or Retron 5 have an HDMI connection this problem affects all of these systems. If I build another Pi I would figure out a way to add an RCA connector for a CRT TV--if that's even possible.

Why would HDMI only cause latency for one console's games on any system, but not cause latency for any other consoles?

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The "twitch-response" delay is found for all consoles and emulators connecting to HD TVs, instead of oldschool CRT-TVs. If I suddenly find a game I had no trouble beating in the 80s/90s being now cripplingly difficult in terms of play control I start to wonder beyond the "am I just getting old?" frame of mind, and most of the time it seems to fall back on the controllers not being responsive enough due to this high-def TV issue.

It's PSX games where I find the most recurring cases where they just don't load properly at all in RetroPi. And this may be due to the lack of an actual disc, for example if a game is attempting to reference CD tracks that aren't going to be found in a rom, like with Bust-A-Move 2: Arcade Edition. It's a fairly simple puzzle game that I would expect to work, but the Retropi can't load it at all. Or it could be something else entirely, like the hardware or software being unable to support PSX properly. I've seen some funky bugs when trying to emulate PSX in general, even with launch titles such as the battle menu and movement options not functioning in the original Arc the Lad. I haven't tried that one on the Pi yet, but FPSe runs ATL horribly. PSX also doesn't scale well for HD-TVs and may appear far more pixelated than they look on an old CRT-TV.

When RetroPi runs other systems like N64 it will still play most games--Mario Kart works, but it's better in 2 player than 4. You notice some choppiness more in 4-player split screen. Same with Goldeneye. However, my RetroPi is a 32-bit hardware emulating a 64 bit console, so I shouldn't expect too much. For flawless play it's still better to play the original on a CRT-TV, but if you just need a taste of nostalgia RetroPi is definitely good for that. Just don't be surprised if play-control on some games seem harder than they were 30 years ago. It's not always just that we're out of practice or that we got older.

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If you're ripping PSX games for use in emulators and ISO isn't getting the CD Audio tracks, try ripping to a *.bin/*.cue pair. This should preserve the audio tracks.

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I don't think they're ISO files, if I remember correctly. I didn't rip them myself, but I have the actual PSX discs. I can try researching it and give that a shot. Thanks!

Edited by Liamland

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Quote

"If you're ripping PSX games for use in emulators and ISO isn't getting the CD Audio tracks, try ripping to a *.bin/*.cue pair. This should preserve the audio tracks."

Didn't know that. Thanks for the tip! :)

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On 1/10/2019 at 12:43 AM, KennethBeth said:

Didn't know that. Thanks for the tip! :)

Glad I could be helpful.

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It would be interesting if you could Twitch stream from a RetroPi, but the work-arounds and software installs to do it natively (without hardware) sound really labor intensive.

https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/1962/is-it-possible-to-stream-retropie-to-twitch/16

I might try the USB capture card route that was also suggested on the thread in this URL.

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I have to look into this some more,but for a while I have been considering learning to build 1 or 2 of these.But I have a couple of question regarding them.

1.I can build 1 or 2 of them and use them as multi system emulation stations?

2.Since its using emulators I can run games that can't actually run on physical hardware like Final Fantasy III NES using the Chaosrush translation on my TV with a controller if I wanted to?

3.If I wanted build 1 or 2 of these which would be the best base to start with for maximum storage and performance especially when including games and emulators for multiple systems and the frontend for ease of use?

4.Around which generation of system emulation does it cut off around in terms of performance?

5.Can anyone recommend a good beginners guide for either building and using a RetroPi or reliable person to buy a premade from ? If such a thing exists.

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https://retropie.org.uk/

If I were to rebuild on I'd try to figure out how to get the hardware to out-put via RCA cables instead of HDMI, so I could hook it up to a CTR-TV and prevent the HD-delay, the twitch-response lag between the controller and screen. The lag is most noticeable for some classic games like Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, Battletoads or Ninja Gaiden, where a fast-paced controller-response is required.

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