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Adventures in RetroPie

Started by Sliver X, December 16, 2021, 05:59:41 PM

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Sliver X

A couple of months ago I ran across an article about something called the "GPi Case" made by a company called Retroflag: It's a DMG clone with four face buttons, two "shoulder" buttons on the back above the battery compartment and a nice (But low resolution, 320x240) LCD for a Raspberry Pi Zero board. It uses three AAA batteries, though I eventually soldered in a small NiMH charging circuit that allows recharging them in the device itself when connected to a DC power adapter: Paired with good (I use Eneloop Pro) batteries this actually isn't that bad of a setup.

I bought one for $80 and a Zero for $15, got it set up and basically threw it in a drawer since the Pi Zero's performance was so anemic it made even SNES emulation difficult with any emulator that had reasonably decent accuracy.

About a month ago, though, the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 was released with over twice the performance and multiple cores: Basically it's a Pi 3 shrunk down to the Zero's form factor. So I got a Zero 2 and installed it, but support for the board was sketchy due to how new it was: I ultimately downloaded RetroPie and started working on making it function properly. This then resulted in making a full blown image for it (Including themes) after about a month of work.

I'd never used RetroPie before, but due to being based on Linux I was able to start doing a lot of things immediately, like writing bash scripts to fill in gaps for functions I wanted that don't normally exist in the system. Overall I was pleased with how customizable it is, and it's absolutely minimal on resource usage despite having a fairly nice frontend (EmulationStation).

At the end of the day, this case with a Zero 2 is a really neat handheld that can run a lot of systems really well: PSX and down is great, but N64 is hit or miss and Saturn is unusable. After modifying the case to expose the HDMI port (And getting a couple of Gameboy themed 8bitdo Pro 2s to pair via Bluetooth) it can also act as a console when connected to a TV. For the approximately $150 I ended up dumping into it (And about 120 hours of my life developing the OS install, lol) I'm pretty pleased with the result


Heh, what do you think I've been using as an internet PC for a few years now? That's why my posts in the Metroid Dread thread are odd(this browser hasn't had an available update in a long while).

If memory serves, this one is a 3B+. Same situation, PS1 is surprisingly good, N64 is decidedly not, everything pixel oriented is great.

I've got my RetroPie OS set up to a Retrobit Genesis pad, actually has enough buttons for Saturn, so no issues with SNES using this thing. Obviously feels great with 6 button fighters :P.

You can do Turbo CD, even though it's not listed. Just put the ISO's in with the PC Engine roms(personally I make folders that begin with "!" so that the folders are the very top of the rom listings).

As for arcade, I would suggest doing Capcom and Sega with Final Burn, as MAME can be as tricky as ever, especially since in my case, 2016 was the latest they had to offer(took 3 hours for it to compile, too. Kinda worth it, a lot of the games do run better, some actually run best in the 2003 version, it gets odd to work with). You can do CPS3, but they have to be the Final Burn roms(no CHDs).

This one can't handle more than 2 video filters(even if one is a combination of 2 effects) at a time. I don't know what the issue is, if some of the animations end up too slow, or too fast to see, whatever it is, you fail to see some frames, and it messes up your ability to react properly, and suddenly you're struggling with games you normally ace. I went with blur and scanlines. I like the screen curvature filter as well, but if you gotta ditch one, I prefer the other 2.

Sliver X

I ended up defining Turbo Grafx CD as a separate system (As seen in the image I posted): Nice that I can use the ISO+Ogg rips I made years ago just fine under the Mednafen core

I'm using FBNeo for Neo Geo and CPS (Both are also defined as custom systems in my es_systems.cfg) and can handle CPS1/2/3 great with the exception of the fading in the intros of the two JoJo games, for some reason.

For non CPS/Neo Geo I'm using MAME 2003 Plus, which is much, much faster for most things than MAME 2010 is, while supporting a lot more games than vanilla 2003 does.

This device only has a 320x240 resolution screen, so most filters are pointless as I don't have enough pixels to double anything: Generic bilinear filtering while stretching to aspect works great, though.