Playing arcade games: MAME versus ports

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Playing arcade games: MAME versus ports

Postby schadenfreude » Wed Jan 28, 2015 9:01 am

...versus PCBs is the correct title, but sometimes we don't have the means or the proximity to acquire boards or play in an arcade.

So that leaves us with MAME and console ports. If a game is well-emulated in MAME and there's also a near-arcade-perfect port available on a home console, the decision here comes down to equipment. If I have something like a PVM and either a good stick or don't mind using a pad, then the console wins by convenience, whereas if I don't mind fiddling with my computer to get the right image (whether that's a video card that outputs a 15khz signal or a 480p image output through a downscaler or a VGA monitor with synthetic scanlines, etc.) and have a nice USB 360/PS3 stick on hand, then MAME wins the battle.

But it's not always this simple. Some games aren't emulated very well in MAME (if I am not mistaken, most if not all Cave games, for example), leaving only home ports. And often the ports have issues such as ugly filters you cannot turn off or 480i output only or wrong resolution/upscaling on sprites or backgrounds, etc.

So every time I want to play an arcade title, I research how well it's emulated in MAME, then see if there are any high-quality ports for consoles. A major annoyance is determining the quality of a console port since most of the "reviewers" of them have no clue what constitutes a good port; they're just not sensitive to things like upscaled sprites and lack of scanlines like we are. My research always produces links to various forum discussions that I then save in various text files, but never have I found a site that's collected all of this information into one place.

My simple question: Does such a site exist? If not, the next-best alternative would be a forum post with all this information gathered into one place, or, if I weren't so lazy, make the damn site and put an end to the Googling tomfoolery.

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