Enhancing Older Games Through Newly Released Emulation Software: WideGB Released, bsnes updated with HD Mode 7 Support and Tom vs. Jerry: The Chase Is On, an unreleased SNES game, is now available for download online!
In the emulation scene, a lot of time and effort is spent on improving performance and accuracy. However, this time, we’re going to discuss some releases that attempt to make games better rather than more faithful to the original experience. These releases include WideGB and a BSNES update alongside an unreleased Tom And Jerry game for the SNES!
WideGB Released: Playing GameBoy games in Widescreen without stretching the image!
If you’ve ever emulated an older console on a modern display, you’ve probably noticed black bars on the side of the emulated screen or stretched image.
This is because many older consoles, like the NES and SNES, render video at a 4:3 aspect ratio which was the aspect ratio that most TVs used. While many people live with black bars (or horrendously stretched images), others decided to do something about it and so, some folks came up with a solution that makes games look better!
In a nutshell, the solution revolves around saving images of what’s on screen at one point in time so that they can be used later on when a player starts moving around the map. This means that if you’re walking around an open world or a platforming level, the segments that you’ve already been through are saved and displayed alongside the segment you’re currently in thus creating a psuedo-widescreen effect. Obviously, when you enter a new location/level, the scene-checking algorithm detects this and doesn’t display incorrect images alongside the segment you’re currently in. The algorithm ignores sprites so some game elements (like NPCs) may not be displayed else they would appear at the edge of the screen and not look great.
If you want to try WideGB and play some GameBoy games in widescreen, check out this link to grab the binary. Currently, it’s only available for macOS but it should be available for Windows soon and the technology could also be implemented in other emulators according to pmorinerie, its developer. There’s also a NES version called WideNES by Daniel Prilik.
SNES Stuff: bsnes gets HD Mode 7 Support and Tom & Jerry: Chase On is now publicly available!
A couple of days ago, Reddit user “DerKoun” released a modded version of bsnes with a feature he named “HD Mode 7”.
This feature makes games that use the SNES’ Mode 7 graphics mode look much better as the feature does not only perform Mode 7 transformations at up to 4x the horizontal/vertical resolution but also improves accuracy when it comes to Matrix transformations so that the outputted image looks better. Now, DerKoun’s work has been integrated into an official bsnes build by byuu (bsnes’ author) with a new release numbered version 107r3 so that you can enjoy nicer Mode 7 graphics in titles like Mario Kart, F-Zero and Dragon Quest III.
To grab the updated version of bsnes, check out byuu’s Tweet with the links for the executables. Note that performing Mode 7 transformations at 4x requires a very powerful CPU so you might have to be content with 2x if your computer isn’t cutting edge!
In other news, another prototype of an unreleased game has been made available online and this time, it’s of Tom & Jerry: Chase On for the SNES.
This game was in development sometime in 1994/1995 and appeared in a couple of magazines but it never saw the light of day possibly because the game’s publisher, Hi Tech Expressions, closed its doors in 1995. Until today, not much was known about the game although some prototype cartridges were sold in the past but their buyers didn’t dump the ROMs. Now, The Hidden Place user ‘drx’, who also dumped Atmosfear prototype ROMs, has dumped ROMs of 2 different prototypes of the game online and can be downloaded and run in an emulator of your choice!
To learn more about the prototype ROMs for Tom & Jerry: Chase On, follow this link.
If you want a more technical insight about HD Mode 7, make sure to check out Ars Technica’s article on the matter. On the other hand, there’s also been some recent work on rendering stuff at higher resolutions in Sega Saturn emulators so you should also keep an eye on that!