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The Pros and Cons of Console Emulation

2010-01-31 22:51:56 by HadoukenDude

Warning! Possible controversial topic!

What is a Console Emulator? Well, according to Wikipedia: "A video game console emulator is a program that allows a computer or modern console (cross-console emulation) to emulate a different video game console's behavior."

I'll have to admit that, since 2002, I've been experimenting with a wide variety of emulators and, in my opinion, I don't see console emulation as a bad thing. Now, before this post starts some kind of uproar(let's hope not :S ), I'd like to point out few things bout it.

1) Yes, it's Illegal to download a game ROM for an emulator if you don't have an official copy of the game, but when you think about it, downloading an illegal copy of a game is no different than downloading illegal videos and/or music from other sites.

2) If it wasn't for console emulation, we wouldn't have Xbox Live Arcade, The Playstation Network, nor the Wii's Virtual Console. The Video Game industry,in a way, owes it to console emulation for bringing back classic games and introducing them to a new audience but in a more traditional manner through emulated ports like the classic NES series on GBA for example.

3) Fan translations in video gaming play a pivotal role in console emulation. The perfect example of this is Final Fantasy V, a game that was never released outside japan during the SNES era due to localization issues among other things. The continual canceling of the localization pissed off many fans and a small team of programmers and translators decided to take matters into their own hands and make their own fan translations through emulation. Interestingly enough, Koichiro Sakamoto, a game producer from Square Enix, found out about fan translations and he actually considers this "encouraging" because this movement was mostly out of fan demand.

4. Sometimes poorly advertised games can get praise and even achieve a cult following over a certain period of time through emulation. Example:"Conker's Bad Fur Day"

Now, of course, Emulation does have it's drawbacks:

1) Some ROMs and emulators are known to be glitchy and can crash on rare occasions, that is, if they're not programmed properly.

2) Emulators can get laggy at times, especially if you're using an N64 emulator or higher like a Dreamcast emulator. This also depends on the type of PC you're using to play them

3)There will be occasions where you feel like you missed out on a specific game. I can relate to this at times with games like "Chrono Trigger", "Conker's Bad Fur Day" and "Resident Evil 2" (N64 port).
These games were so awesome that I sometimes wish I bought the original copies instead.

4) The controls are difficult to get used to at first, especially if you're playing a game with a keyboard instead of a USB controller. However, in console emulation, you can adjust the controls to your liking if necessary.

Overall, even though console emulation is apparently frowned upon by most of the gaming community, I don't have a problem with it. Don't get me wrong, I do support the gaming industry and I currently have an N64 and a GameCube at home (I want to get a Wii too, but money's kinda tight for me these days). I used to have an NES, a SNES, a SEGA Genesis and an old Game boy too, with a good collection of games I might add. But unfortunately, I had to give them away a long time ago. It's kind of a personal thing that I don't like to talk about very often, but it happened... :(

Anyway, I personally think of emulation as more publicity for other people's work. Also, I should point out that nowadays, I'm more of a Retro gamer and I like to check out and maybe even review games I never had a chance to play before. I've also developed my own gamer motto over the years: "Play it however you can".

Now apart from playing games, I also use emulation for flashes (obviously) and whenever there's something in a game that I want to use for an animation, I borrow a set of sprites or backgrounds from the game and later give proper credit afterwards. It's thanks to emulation that I'm able to entertain my audience.

In conclusion, whether you want to try console emulation or not, even though it's "illegal" depending on where you live, that's your call. However, I wouldn't reject the idea of buying an original copy of a game either, so buy the original game if you can and support the video game industry.

As for me, well, If I had the time and the money, I would probably have a huge collection of games like the Angry Video Game Nerd's video game collection, but one can only dream though...

Thanks for reading, and please don't make a big deal about it. This is my opinion after all.

2009 My year from hell.

2009-12-31 12:29:24 by HadoukenDude

I don't know if any of you guys had a tough time this year, but to me it wasn't very productive. This year a lot of things got in my way for some reason and the development on FSM 7 eventually collapsed on itself during the first 5 months.

Basically this is what I had to go through in 2009.

1) Me feeling burned out and unmotivated after making 2 back to back episodes in 2008

2)Having a few problems with some of the castmembers due to money issues (thanks to the global recession), thus causing them to "pull a Houdini" on me on a few occasions. I'm not giving out names here for obvious reasons.

3) My family going through a bit of a financial crisis.

4) I'm still unemployed despite going job hunting during the summer time. I mostly got offers from Herba Life, but I'm not interested in buying their product...

5) Ouka's Hard drive crash affected the development of the episode a few months back, that and other things are getting in his way. I don't blame him really. He's a very talented and busy guy after all.

6)My Laptop's hard drive also crashed on the 16th. It's hard to recover after such a loss, thankfully I made a backup of FSM 7 though. I also decided to inform my fans on youtube about the situation, and thankfully they've been supportive about it.

7) Me going through a bit of depression late this year due to financial issues and bad grades this semester in my university. I know each semester gets tougher, but DAMN! I was having trouble concentrating in class for some reason.

Now despite most of the bad stuff, some good things have come out of this

1) MK Mishaps Gold was made after much fan demand, though it only lasted 2 days on the front page due to Madness Day. Bad timing, huh?

2) Developing a few side projects, one was this one and there were others where Osuka was involved. We were both working on a top secret project code named "RR". Click here to check out what he's upto.

3) I got my first ad revenue payment this year. It may not be much, but it was something.Thanks Tom.

4) Working on another Queen+LoZ Flash, but left it on hold in favor of FSM 7. You'll see it eventually.

Overall this year was a pretty bumpy road for me and I hope 2010 makes up for it. I got to be optimistic about all this. Sorry for the long rant though. Just thought I'd explain my situation to the rest of my fans here and wish you guys a Happy New Year.

If things go well, you might see some pretty interesting surprises in 2010. You never know.
Again, happy new year.

I've noticed over the years that are two notable types of critics these days in and out of NG: the ones who enjoy someone's work for what it is and the ones who are aggressively constructive critics. I had may share of both.

But I must ask one thing. How Nit-picky can you get, people? There's always some A-hole that points out an imperfection no matter how big or small it is. I don't mind it every now and then,I do it too, but often it gets annoying when you're trying to please a specific audience.

When it comes to a person's work, critics would complain about stuff like for example the animation qualiy, the sound quality, spelling mistakes (damn you grammar Nazis!) audio & video editing and even the main plot. Why do people insist in searching for imperfections all the time?

People,we're humans! We make mistakes! It's part of our nature! We're not robots. Why do we strive for perfection all the time? Nobody's perfect in everything unless you're God and even he has imperfections, depending on how you look at it of course.

I understand that's the purpose of a critic, but do they really have to dig that deep just because something isn't to their liking? What ever happened to suspension of disbelief? Come to think of it, I'm being nit-picky myself just mentioning this stuff.

Do you go overboard as a nit-picky critic or do you prefer to accept things the way an author intended it to be? This question is simply out of curiosity of course.
What do you guys think?

An update regarding FSM 7

2009-11-01 10:36:16 by HadoukenDude

For those who haven't noticed, I constantly update the episode's progress every week or so on the left side of my userpage. Most of the episode is almost done, however, a few things still need to be completed:

1.I need to finish animating one final scene for the episode.
2.Osuka's part for the flash is still in the works. It's a scene that was inspired by a rant that I was going through based on a certain anime (believe it!).
3. Kuro-chan's artwork for the ending credits is about halfway done. Initially, We had other ideas in mind for the ending, but they were later scrapped due to timing issues and other things.

I should also mention that FSM 7 will contain medals, about 8 or 9 total. The medals will be either hidden easter eggs, or bonus scenes that are scattered throughout the episode. This wasn't originally going to be in FSM 7, but Osuka kinda talked me into it and decided to include some random gags in there for the hell of it. In a way, I like to think of this episode as the "Majora's Mask" of the series. In other words, it has a short story but with a lot of hidden content.

When will it be ready? I really can't say. It's a question that I can never answer because anything can get in the way of this project and I had to put up with a 6 month hiatus at one point cause of events that were completely beyond my control. I am hoping to have it done before the end of the year, but anything can happen. In the mean time, have some patience with this. I'm not one to rush things cause rushed projects don't always turn out very well in the end.

Wish us luck with this episode. Here's a sample of what to expect for the ending (courtesy of Kuro-chan). Can you guess what the theme is this time around?

An update regarding FSM 7

Underrated, Overlooked.

2009-10-01 01:02:28 by HadoukenDude

Over the past few months I kept noticing reviews in and out of Newgrounds saying that my FSM series is "underrated". If people really think that way, I don't mind at all. In fact, I actually have to agree with those comments. However, I've also noticed over time that I'm losing my audience for some reason and I find this very odd.

I mean, I dedicate my time to develop the story the way I want it and entertain my audience. Fans ask for more episodes and I give them more. However, every time I make a new episode, it gets even less views than the previous one and I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. If people supposedly like this series, then why are less people viewing the latest ones? Do viewers really have short attention spans these days or are users rejecting it cause it's a "sprite movie"? I don't want to get into that topic all over again... it blew up in my face twice before.

Let me give you a clear example of what I'm talking about: if I compare the views from ep. 5 and ep. 6 respectively, It's clearly noticeable that roughly 103,000 viewers either missed out or wasn't interested in episode 6. Seriously, so much demand for new episodes and in the end I'm busting my ass for nothing? What the hell? People ask for more, I give them more, but I get less in return. It doesn't seem fair, does it?

Just to point this out, I'm not the kind of person to make weekly or monthly episodes, even if I wanted to. I don't have the time for that, considering the fact that I'm studying for a career in telecommunications and that itself is time consuming. That and sharing a computer with 4 other family members can be a total pain in the ass sometimes, but there's not much I can do about it.

As for ep 7 well, I'm still developing it and I want to have it ready before the end of the year, but I fear it might end up sharing the same fate as ep. 6: critically acclaimed, yet completely overlooked. I'm not really sure what will happen with this one.

Overall, I sometimes feel disappointed and maybe even a little frustrated by this. I don't know whether to continue the story or let it phase out unfinished into oblivion like other flashes have over the years, but if you guys REALLY want this series to continue, spread the word about it. People are really missing out on something interesting here and I don't want to let all this effort go to waste.

Ode To The Fairy Goddess

2009-08-31 16:42:06 by HadoukenDude

Hey guys. Remember when I said I was working on other projects to make up for lost time? Well, the video posted below is one of them:

/* */
Yes I know this doesn't count as a flash,It's an AMV, but this was a different idea that I had in mind and was something I've been wanting to get off the ground for quite a while.
You see, based on the original instrumental song entitled "the Goddess Appears", I felt inspired to write lyrics for this song years ago, but I couldn't find the right person to sing it for me. Rina-chan was out of the question cause she's already well known as Zelda and I wanted to give someone else a chance for once.

Anyway, A few months ago I met another girl, Shiraikigu ,aka Beeku on Youtube and Deviantart, who wanted to audition for FSM 8(after I finish FSM 7 of course). While auditioning I asked her to do this little favor as a side project and she gladly accepted to sing my lyrics while I did the mixing and editing. We both liked how it turned out at the end and she later thanked me for giving her the opportunity to work with me. Also, I should point out that I will be using a small clip of this song during the scene selection screen for ep. 7, just to see if anyone else is interested in it. Beeku will also make a cameo appearance as Malon in the end of the episode too, so don't miss out on it when the episode is finished, though it will take a while.

Aside from FSM 7 I'm also working on 2 other flash projects and I'm hoping to release at least 2 of them before the end of the year. so keep an eye out for them when they're done.

I don't know if this has annoyed anyone else outside the US or Canada, but one thing that has really gotten my attention over the past few years are the ridiculous location restrictions that some sites are applying nowadays.

Take for example VEOH. It was originally a video site like youtube but with better video quality. Then one day the idiots working on this site decide to make their service unavailable internationally except for a good 33 countries in order to "focus on markets what have the most viewers" Total bullshit.

Now Youtube is apparently doing the same thing, although from a different perspective. In other words, if my IP address isn't from a specific country(US, Canada, UK etc.), I can't watch the videos. I consider this totally unfair since I live in South America and I watch a lot of English speaking programming.

I understand uploading copyrighted content in video sites is a big deal nowadays, but there are occasions that certain shows that I want to watch aren't available on Cable or DirecTV in my country and the only way I can watch them is through Video sites or P2P Networks. If I had the time and the money to move to another country and view their content I would.

In my opinion, Video sites are obviously made to share all videos internationally, are the restrictions REALLY that necesary when you actually have viewers in another part of the world? It's not always about the money you know, even the creators of South Park are in favor of people downloading their episodes and watching them online no matter where other people live.

Seriously though, to me, Internet politics have gotten extremely picky over the past few years. If people want to watch your stuff, let them view it, don't block them.

Normally I don't reveal this publicly, but I might as well say this right now. FSM 7 has been somewhat delayed for the past few months. The reason for this is because of a few factors regarding one of my voice actors, an animation sequence and a credits scene that are still labeled as WIP (work in progress) and I hate to admit this, lack of inspiration from my part.

Don't get me wrong, I want to continue the story, but over the past few months I felt mentally exhausted after finishing the epicness that is FSM 6 and wanted to take a short break from flash. Also, I should mention that I've been busy in my University over the past few months too and haven't had the chance to work on anything new here, (apart from the Street Fighter collab where I voiced 4 characters in Osuka's scene). This is one of those days that your personal life interferes with a personal hobby of yours. I'm sure this has happened to many other users too.

But on the bright side, I'm slowly working on other projects to make up for lost time. I'm even writing a draft of the script for FSM 8 and introducing new characters in the story. I think I'm about halfway done with the script, but you can never tell.

Hopefully when things get under control, I'll have FSM 7 ready sometime this year (not sure when though), so please bear with me on this and have some freaking patience for once. I know you're all desperate and I left you guys hanging with the story, but it really isn't that easy to put all this together. It is fun to see the finished results though.

Keep on the lookout for anything new later on.
See ya!

My flashes in retrospect.

2009-05-29 22:20:51 by HadoukenDude

Over the years, I've made a decent amount of flashes. But during a certain time you start to realize that some projects don't have the same charm as they used to back in the day. Let me explain this from my POV, When you're a flash author, musician or a guy working on any other project, one tends to experiment a lot with different ideas. Some are good, some are bad and sometimes some are overwhelmingly popular. Now, when the third option tends to pop up, you sometimes regret making something so popular.In short what I'm trying to say in this post is that most of the stuff that I made between early 2004 and mid 2005, as popular as they were, are now, well... crappy and somewhat embarrassing. Yes, I know everyone goes through a developmental part in their hobby/career, but there are times that one wants to be remembered for another project rather than your earlier works.

Take for example one of my earliest flashes: "Hey ya! VG style!" it was a random experiment I made in 5 days involving repetitive sprites dancing to the Tune of "Hey Ya" by Outkast. Back then, what I made was innovative (kind of), it was different, it was catchy, it got everyone's attention and to this day it's still one of my most viewed flashes reaching over 750k views. However, after a few years pass, one starts to look back at his/her work and read its reviews and realize how lame and embarrassing it is nowadays.

It's kind of hard to explain sometimes. it's like, based on the negative criticism the flash has gotten over the years, you feel forced to hate your own creation. That's how I feel with "Hey ya" right now. I now officially hate the song and regret making such a weird flash... And it's all thanks to the haters themselves who just had to leave insulting remarks about it. Same goes with my other earlier projects. But in my defense, I was a noob and I only made that stuff for fun. I never meant to offend anyone with my animations.

Now with all that aside, the flashes that I'm truly proud of right now are my MK Mishaps and Four Swords flashes (excluding the original FSM pilot). These flashes are the only ones that seem to stand out above the rest of my animations for some reason. I can't really point it out, but these flashes tend to have such a high replay value and I sometimes find myself watching and enjoying my own creations that were able to make others crack a smile or just plain out ROFLMAO, if you know what I mean. This is the type of stuff that I'm thankful for nowadays, Especially on youtube where most of my works have somewhat of a cult following, despite most youtubers not knowing that I made that stuff.

Looking back after all this, I still remain optimistic with any future projects that come to mind whether it be a series, a music video or a handful of random gags, etc. I'm still looking forward to entertaining my audience. Hopefully I'll come up with something mindblowing sometime soon. and Why not? Maybe experiment with something original at some point. Only time will tell.

Well, I guess that's enough for this month's rant, keep an eye out for my future installments of MK Mishaps and Four Swords Misadventures. Maybe at some point I'll come up with something new as well.

Til next time.

Hi. Just to clear things up, the whole Cease and Desist order was an April Fools joke that I made up based on the legality of sprite movies in general by flash "purists" who keep bitching about how unoriginal sprite movies are these days because of their "stolen content" . In the end, Sprite movies still qualify as Fair Use in this flash site. If that wasn't true, then Tom Fulp wouldn't allow pixelled video game parodies in his site. I'm surprised by how many people fell for my little prank, not knowing that it was actually posted on April 1st.

Also, to avoid further confusion, Four Swords Misadventures will continue. However, Episode 7 might take longer than expected. The reason? Well, Osuka and I are working on a top secret project at the moment that will be revealed at a later date. After that project is finished, He will again animate a scene for me in FSM 7. I'm not going to reveal too much information about that either of course. When will it be ready? I don't even know,I don't put release dates on my flashes. However, I'll have it done sometime this year hopefully.

Another common misconception is that many are speculating that ep. 7 is the final episode. It's not true. It's the final part ***of the story arc trilogy project*** (meaning ep. 5, 6 & 7). I'll keep the story going after that. How many episodes will I make? Again, I'm not sure either. I never planned an exact amount. Anything can happen.

Keep an eye out for this and a few other surprises later on. Til next time!