Play Games With Me, Dag Nab It

 

soniciphone

Sonic looks around before firing up Toe Jam and Earl on a browser.

 

Those of you who read my review of Burning Force may have noticed a small inclusion after the score: a link to play the game in your browser via EmuParadise.

“But wait!” you cry. “ROMs are evil, abominable creatures, crafted in Satan’s very own laboratory!”

Eh, I don’t know. I think ROMs are the only way many of these games will survive into the future, but in fairness, they are technically illegal. Which means if you want to play Burning Force or most of the Genesis, Master System, SG-1000, Game Gear, Saturn, Sega CD, and Dreamcast libraries, you’ll have to find an original system, original games, pay out the nose for them, and hope they work longer than a year or two. But hey, it’s legal! Even though you will pay a re-seller for these games and not the original developer/publisher, because the majority of these titles were released once and never again. Still, legal. That’s a load off.

But what to make of playing old games in your browser? This tactic is becoming more and more widespread, and I haven’t heard an official “don’t touch” ruling on them yet. Unless I’m mistaken? Feel free to correct in the comments.

 

officersonic

“But Officer Sonic! I had no idea!”

 

As of February 2017, EmuParadise provides the option to play Genesis, Game Gear, and Master System games in your browser. So going forward on Sega Does, unless a Sega game is available for sale on an online service, I will be placing links to EmuParadise so that you too may try out some Genesis/Master System/Game Gear games for free. I will not be linking to any downloadable ROMs.

Over time, I’ll also move backwards and place links inside the older reviews. I’d love to find a site that features browser-ready SG-1000 games, but no such luck yet.

The original goal of Sega Does was to have folks join me in this quest. That as I play and review the games, readers would play alongside and leave their opinions in the comments. Since I would never encourage anyone to download ROMs, however, this intention died early on. Being able to play in your browser is a perfect, and more convenient, substitute. No looking for emulators or ROMs, just fire up the game and go.

I hope folks out there find this feature useful! Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

DC

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15 thoughts on “Play Games With Me, Dag Nab It

  1. Emulation is a murky issue sadly – so many games have been lost to time due to licensing/publisher issues.

    Personally, I don’t like ROMS…I want my games to have box art/a nice little image in my hard drive library, not just have a line of text in a Windows folder. Something about getting loads of games for free doesn’t work for me either, I get invested in games I’ve saved to buy as I want to get my money’s worth from my investment.

    I don’t have a problem with emulation though – it’s just not for me personally. I just wish game companies would re-issue more old games. The likes of M2 have actually improved old games when bringing them back on the 3DS. Even adding trophies to old games is a big step forward.

    I can see why you’ve added the links, as you say, part of the quest is readers experiencing the games. The browser system works well too, so it’s a nice touch.

    In short – good idea including browser links, bad idea publishers not making older games more widely available and accessible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t blame anyone for not liking ROMs. There’s just something about having the original game, particularly if it has the box and manual, as originally intended.

      I know there’s a lot of licensing/publisher issues gumming up the works, but mostly, I think, big companies just don’t care. They don’t think the money they’d make from reissuing the projects would be worth it, and sadly, they’re right. But I do believe they’ve done this to themselves. ROMs are so ubiquitous at this point that few want to pay for games they’ve been able to play for years, for free, on their computer.

      Thanks for the comment, GH!

      Like

  2. I am generally in favor of emulation where accuracy is weighed higher than performance (think MAME). I hope this browser based emulator gives an accurate representation of the actual game. I cannot try it because it uses flash and most of my internet devices run iOS.

    I have a hard time with the idea of playing a game designed for a controller in today’s touch screen devices. At a minimum, it should be played on a keyboard, or hand controller.

    Since my time is extremely valuable and I want the best experience possible, I will always try to find the game on original hardware first if it’s a game worth playing. Maybe Sega will drop a bomb and release the Genesis with built in games in 1080i like Nintendo did with the NES classic. Until then, used Genesis systems are a dime a dozen so there’s no excuse for a serious retro gamer not to play the system’s best games on original hardware.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Flash, the bane of iOS users’ existence.

      Yeah, I would never encourage folks play console games on touch devices. That’s just icky. Keyboard at worst, USB controller at best.

      I understand that if there’s a game that’s worth paying for, you should do it. Frankly, most of the games I play do not fall in that category.

      And yeah, maybe Sega will get their act together and release a decent Genny Mini soon. That would be aces!

      Like

      • That would indeed be so awesome. But it needs to look like a scaled down Genesis. The original one, not the model II or model III as those are ugly in comparison.

        Currently the only option are the various minis released by AT Games. These are horrible according to every review I read. Even so I would buy one immediately if it looked like an actual Genesis including working volume slider and haedphone jack.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. A Genesis mini with a cart slot would be incredible. Have the Sega standards (Sonic, Altered Beast, Super Hang On, Columns etc) built in, but have the cart slot so any other game can be played.

    My dream would be a Sega made machine that played MD and MS cartridges, I’m not holding my breath though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Despite the muddy legality, I’m okay with ROMS, because, as you say, many of these games will be lost to time, in their original forms. Sure, one of the TMNT games that game out for PS2/Xbox/GC had an unlockable TMNT arcade version, but it had changes from the original game because of licensing. And forget stuff like TMNT 2: The Arcade Game for NES, Sunsoft’s Batman for the Sega Genesis, etc. ever coming to virtual console, or other services, because those licenses have long lapsed. For that reason alone, emulation and ROMS are worth having around. As a collector, I try very hard to obtain the original cartridges or discs, and aside from cardboard box games, I try to go for complete in box, because I enjoy that aspect of it. With Sega Genesis especially, I try to go for that whole package. That said, sometimes for convenience, I’ll fire up a game I own on my soft-modded Xbox or my soft-modded Wii or PC, just because it’s easier to bang out a 5-10 minute quick play session that way than getting the cart off the shelf. Same goes for my PSP – with custom firmware, I can take all the ROMS for my legally owned carts, and when I travel, play most anything on the road. And of course, as a game reviewer myself, you practically have to use emulators and ROMS to get good screenshots, unless you have a camera that can capture your TV without too much washout and goofy reflections. So from that standpoint, it’s okay.

    All that said, my preference is still original hardware at a minimum (with an Everdrive or something), and original carts or discs, if at all possible. Speaking of carts, let me know if this would be something you’re interested in or not, but there’s a guy reasonably local to me who does SNES and Genesis repros. He does stuff like MUSHA and GrindStormer, which are outrageously expensive at this point, and he does nice boxes with high res art prints, etc. If you can’t obtain originals to play, and would like to play on original hardware for these games, I can get you in contact with him for some of those pricier items that he could repro for you, if you might be interested in something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Josh, thanks for the offer with the repros, though I think I’m good for the moment.

      My biggest issue right now is getting the Saturn and Dreamcast issues settled. From what I understand, Dreamcast games aren’t that tough to emulate (and you practically need to, given the poor quality of the original discs these days), but Saturn games are another matter. I know of a couple different routes I could take, like Rhea, but the maker sells out so quickly, I’ve never been able to score one. Also, if I’m not mistaken, most games work with Rhea, but not all.

      I’m shocked that in 2017, we still don’t have a *decent* Saturn emulator, let alone a great one.

      Like

      • Well, there’s a video on YouTube where a European tech guru finally cracked some major stuff with the Saturn hardware, which should make creating good emulators and/or hardware mods/augmentation much easier to do. I know someone was working on creating a device that would slide into the VCD slot in the back, and then allow you to either use SD cards (or some other similar media), or perhaps connect a hard drive in that manner. If something like that ever comes to fruition, I know I will want to get one. US Saturn games have become prohibitively expensive for all but the most common, or least desirable titles (read: sports games), so even decent games that I paid $10 or $15 for a decade ago are now going for 3 or 4 times that. You can go the Japanese route, because many of the better US games typically have cheaper JPN counterparts, but that’s not always the case, and even with how much better the Saturn did in Japan than anywhere else in the world, even some of those more common titles have started to go up in price. It’s hard being a game collector, doncha know!

        Liked by 1 person

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