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randommz

Best emulator/settings for replicating gba graphics

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I've been playing through the gba titles exclusively through emulators, using VisualBoyAdvance on PC and MyBoy! on android. The fps and overall quality has been similar to the 60fps clips recorded here: 

After watching this video and similar ones to it on youtube I thought everything was performing properly, any slowdown on transitions or flickering was simply because the gba is an old system and it ran like that when released originally. Recently I got a cartridge of fe7 to use with my actual gba and the quality was much better than anything i've seen on youtube, nothing flickers like it does in the video, weather effects are smooth and clear, transitions between everything  happen without any slowdown.

 

Is it just accepted that emulators cannot reach the graphic quality of the gba? Do you change many settings from their defaults? I thought a 20 year old system would work flawlessly on todays computers.

 

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The thing about emulators is they are made with basically reverse-engineered source code from the original console (the GBA in this case). Even if the actual source code is publicly available (from leaks or whatever), which theoretically could allow for a perfect emulator, community emulators legally cannot use it since Nintendo owns it. Because emulators need to be made from scratch, it's pretty much impossible for them to be 100% perfect no matter how old or simple the original platform was.

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On VBA, setting the frame skip to zero and the sound quality to highest (44khz? Can't remember number) are the best enhancements you can do. In addition, if you set your window size smaller than it often looks better. Part of the reason why PC emulators look lower quality is because you're playing in a large window without increasing the internal resolution. With a larger window size, it's easier to see flaws in the graphics when everything is so enlarged. Actual GBA probably has similar issues but because the screen is smaller (and you hold it further away) you simply don't notice it.

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On 3/18/2021 at 7:44 PM, randommz said:

Is it just accepted that emulators cannot reach the graphic quality of the gba? Do you change many settings from their defaults? I thought a 20 year old system would work flawlessly on todays computers.

i think it may be related to position and perception, because i've noticed some differences as well when playing games on emulators via pc or phone.

in some cases, you can eventually get FPS drops on pc too depending on the settings used, screen size and overall performance, while on phones the visuals/sounds tend to have a higher fidelity when compared to the originals, or at least that's my impression with the previous generation of cellphones.

that's also why i stopped playing retro games from the 90's on pc and moved everything on my Huawei, it just feels more natural to play them on phone. that's just me though~

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