More Switch Homebrew Releases: OpenLara ported for some Tomb Raider action, RetroArch Mupen64Plus (N64) core with dynarec released (BETA) giving major performance boosts, and pPlay 1.3 released!
Recently, the Switch and PSVita scenes have been on fire when it comes to releases and so, there are a lot of great new homebrew releases to go around. This time,we have a beta version of the N64 RetroArch core with dynarec, OpenLara and pPlay 1.3!
OpenLara ported to the Switch
If you’re a Tomb Raider fan, then you’ll love this one as OpenLara is an open-source multi-platform game engine for the 1996 Tomb Raider game that started the whole Lara Croft franchise.
The person behind this game engine is XPronger and it’s still in development but it seems to work pretty well since it runs buttery smooth, has audio support and also supports running at higher resolutions among other features.
The Switch port, which was done by OpenLara’s developer, landed yesterday (January 9) and from some videos showing it in action, it seems to run pretty well in both docked/undocked mode and it even supports touch controls for playing without the joycons!
In order to play some upscaled buttery-smooth Tomb Raider on your Switch, grab the NRO/NACP files from this link and copy your game files to /switch/OpenLara on your SD card. If you don’t have a Switch but still want to try OpenLara, you can check it out through a WebGL build found here.
Remember, the original Tomb Raider isn’t freeware even though it’s old so you still have to own it to get the game files! If you don’t own it, you can get it for little money off GOG or Steam.
RetroArch Mupen64Plus core with dynarec reaches BETA stage!
A few days ago, m4xw, who is a Switch developer, told us about recent progress on the dynamic recompiler being ported for N64 emulation on the Switch. A short while later, he shared an NRO file of the BETA Mupen64Plus RetroArch core the dynarec is implemented in so that you could try out the dynarec on your own device.
Obviously, the dynarec translates into great performance improvements due to more efficient CPU emulation. Furthermore, it could let you run games at a higher resolution while still maintaining good speeds so even if the games you want to play run well, the dynarec still has something to offer. Among the games that Reddit users have reported to be working pretty well we find:
- Diddy Kong Racing
- Mario 64
- Super Smash Bros
- Yoshi’s Story
- Some ROM hacks like Banjo Dreamie
- It’s important to note that some titles don’t work with the dynamic recompiler as it’s still in development so crashes/issues are to be expected!
The dynarec will soon be part of Mupen64Plus nightlies created by the libretro buildbot so you should also stay tuned for those!
pPlay updated to version 1.3
Until recently, the Nintendo Switch didn’t have a proper video player although work was being done on various fronts to let you play on the Switch. First, there was PlayerNX in September which let you watch videos, with varying success, but it didn’t have audio so you were stuck with silent films. Then, Joel16 released a development build of NX-Shell with a rudimentary video player that worked much better and had audio but was quite lacking in the control department.
Shortly after the NX-Shell build with the built-in video player was released, Cpasjuste shared his work on the video player he had been working on that’s called pPlay. Now, it is by far the best solution to play videos on your Switch as it has good video support (works with most 720p files and some 1080p ones), subtitle support, HTTP streaming support and also a nice UI. Thankfully, Cpasjuste is still working on making it better and has updated to version 1.3 which brings along:
- Improved audio decoding code which should fix some audio desynchronisation issues
- A status bar with the time and battery level got added
- A pPlay title image was added
- Scanning the media folder is now more reliable as some bugs that occurred while pPlay searched for videos have been squashed
To grab pPlay 1.3, check out this link and install the NRO file on your Switch. Make sure you use an NSP HBL to give the homebrew ample memory for best results!
Fortunately, the Switch homebrew scene keeps on growing and cool stuff keeps being released which really shows how far the dedication of homebrew developers can take a console!
Other than benefiting the Switch, homebrew released for it is also benefitting the PSVita as some recent releases like Postal Vita have been ported from their Switch ports which might start a new era of homebrew game releases for the PSVita!