Emulation News: Visual Boy Advance-M 2.1.4 released with numerous fixes, community tips on how to get better performance in PS1 emulation on the 3DS and macOS 10.15 breaks Dolphin!
Thanks to the work of many dedicated developers, a good deal of consoles/devices can be emulated pretty well but emulator maintenance is a very important thing to keep things running smoothly and improve accuracy. In this article, we’ll be looking at an update to VBA-M, tips on how to get better performance in PS1 emulation on the 3DS and Dolphin’s warning about updating to macOS 10.15 Catalina!
Visual Boy Advance – M 2.1.4 released with many fixes
Owing to its high degree of popularity, the GameBoy Advance has many emulators available for it with 6 different ones being included in the RetroArch Wiki alone.
One of these emulators is Visual Boy Advance – M (VBA-M) which was forked off the original Visual Boy Advance in 2004 after development on it stopped. Similar to other GBA emulators like mGBA, VBA-M comes with many features including save state support, GameBoy Printer emulation, original GameBoy and GameBoy Colour support and the ability to use Super GameBoy screen borders. Furthermore, VBA-M has the ability to link with Dolphin (GameCube; link leads to guide) and has a pretty nice debugger which are two reasons why some individuals use it over other emulators.
Now, VBA-M 2.1.4 has been released and it comes with:
- Faster code for xBRZ filters
- Translation for more strings is now supported including the words Open, Quit and Browse
- Cleaning up of code by removing dead code making it easier to debug
- Many fixes including:
- The emulator no longer crashes when setting weekly updates on Windows
- UTF-8 issues on Windows were fixed
- L/R Trigger auto-fire got fixed
- Odd behaviour in the Memory Viewer got fixed
- Some RetroArch-related fixes
- For the full list, check out its changelog here
To get VBA-M 2.1.4, follow this link to get executables for 32/64-bit Windows and macOS
Community Tips on how to get better performance in PS1 emulation on the 3DS & Dolphin Team advises against upgrading to macOS 10.15
Last week, the PCSX ReARMed core for the 3DS version of RetroArch received some significant updates in order to make PlayStation 1 games work much better and even make some playable on New Nintendo 2/3DS consoles.
Ever since then, hacked 3DS users on Reddit have been scouring around the internet to find settings and BIOS files that make games run even better in order to push some titles past the playable line.
From three Reddit threads and some comments, the following tips from the community were elicited:
- Disabling Lighting from Advanced Settings
- According to TwinHaelix of Reddit, this made Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 playable (55+ FPS) on a New Nintendo 2DS XL
- Disabling Dithering might also boost performance although no examples of where this happens were given
- Using the PSP’s PlayStation 1 BIOS
- There’s dispute as to whether this improves performance or not but if you have a PSP lying around from which you can get the PS1 BIOS file, there’s no harm in trying it
- Fiddling with audio settings made Castlevania Symphony of the Night playable on a New Nintendo 3DS
Moving on to the last item for the article, the folks behind Dolphin advised Macintosh users not to update to macOS 10.15 if they wish to use their emulator. macOS 10.15 Catalina, the GM build for which was released yesterday, apparently breaks Dolphin in a pretty problematic way so fixing compatibility may take a while; the Dolphin Team said they’ll be publishing more information on it in the future.
Other than the stuff above, Bottlenose got renamed to Nostlan (Nostalgia Launcher) and also received an update to version 1.3 + a new logo. Furthermore, the folks behind Dolphin tweeted out that they’ll be probably be publishing their upcoming progress report within the next 24 hours which is usually a worthwhile read even if you’re not that into Wii emulation!