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Thread: How Close is MAME?

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    Default How Close is MAME?

    I've been getting into MAME lately. I think the idea of having a MAME Cabinet is awesome, except for one thing, and forgive me if this has been answered several times over but I have to ask: How close is it to the real thing? Currently, I've played dozens of games through MAME and have never experienced any kind of issues whatsoever. I have a great time with it, but it's still emulation so it makes me wonder, if I had Super Street Fighter II Turbo for example running on a MAME Cabinet, how much different would it be? Would it be different at all?

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    They sell cabinets preloaded with hundreds if not thousands of games already on there. I see em on craigslist all the time. Even laserdisc stuff like Dragon's Lair. Pretty sure they're just running MAME with ROMS. I'd like to invest in one of those one day.

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    It has to be taken on a game by game basis. I've had friends run MAME on arcade games I own, and some are dead on, and near impossible to tell any difference. Others have screwy sound or weird glitches. For instance, Konami's Devastators... in MAME, you can walk through many of the cover barriers. On an actual pcb, you cannot. Really, it just depends on how into the games you are. Most games seem pretty accurate, but if you're a purist or just have a game you know inside out, that's when you have issues. Also, just be wary of games that use special controls like spinners, rotary sticks, trackballs, etc. The right controls can make all the difference.
    Last edited by celerystalker; 02-28-2016 at 04:20 PM.

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    Some games are spot-on to their arcade counterparts, and then some games that were running on overcomplicated hardware might not be emulated to 100%. Some games might not have sound because they can't figure out how the original sound chips in the arcade machine worked, some games might have colors that are off from the original. It's a crapshoot, really. Just make sure you track down games for whatever particular ROM set your emulator uses. There are different sets, and a lot of the time chucking in random game files won't always work if they're in the wrong set. For example, on my Macintosh I've recently gotten into OpenEmu, which (in the experimental build) has arcade emulation. And a lot of games I was trying didn't work, until I found out that it needs 0.149 series ROMs. I Googled around for the ROMset in a single download, grabbed it, and now a much higher percentage of the games I try work.

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    Too hard to really say. Each game, each board some games use, they'll be 100% or not. But in general it's very close if not dead on the nose. For years it has been a pain in the ass to configure and those nits for whatever reason for years would seemingly rename entire ROM sets for a game or many/most games on a version which was maddening. Back when they did it and I'm talking over 10 years ago I quit touching it as it became a job. I know it's a far different beast now and far better run, better supported, and more uniform as Fiery said, there's entire modern cabs sold today that definitely use it. They thing is they'll use a very pre-configured menu system so you may not even realize it's MAME, because stock MAME isn't pretty or fun to screw around with. Key I would think is getting the right ROM set for a game you want, then finding one of those fluffy pretty front ends for it so you don't have to do basically anything but turn it on and hit a key/button to pop in a quarter and go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Too hard to really say. Each game, each board some games use, they'll be 100% or not. But in general it's very close if not dead on the nose. For years it has been a pain in the ass to configure and those nits for whatever reason for years would seemingly rename entire ROM sets for a game or many/most games on a version which was maddening. Back when they did it and I'm talking over 10 years ago I quit touching it as it became a job. I know it's a far different beast now and far better run, better supported, and more uniform as Fiery said, there's entire modern cabs sold today that definitely use it. They thing is they'll use a very pre-configured menu system so you may not even realize it's MAME, because stock MAME isn't pretty or fun to screw around with. Key I would think is getting the right ROM set for a game you want, then finding one of those fluffy pretty front ends for it so you don't have to do basically anything but turn it on and hit a key/button to pop in a quarter and go.
    Thank you for your knowledge. In my case, I would only be looking for a maximum of 25-30 games on my MAME cabinet. None of which aren't very well known, so based on what's been said I feel it's unlikely that I'll run into any issues, which is good to know.

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    Kirby (Level 13) Tanooki's Avatar
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    Well if you're looking for just 2 dozen games or so I'd just research them individually and see how well they work. Then find the ROMS, find the newest MAME build, and then get a front end/menu setup so easy a person standing at a cab without a keyboard could use it, and you're set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beiyu View Post
    Thank you for your knowledge. In my case, I would only be looking for a maximum of 25-30 games on my MAME cabinet. None of which aren't very well known, so based on what's been said I feel it's unlikely that I'll run into any issues, which is good to know.
    If it's not prying, what games? There may be a lot of different options available depending in what you're looking at to get the best arcade experience possible, especially if you like DIY projects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalker View Post
    If it's not prying, what games? There may be a lot of different options available depending in what you're looking at to get the best arcade experience possible, especially if you like DIY projects.
    Here are some that come to mind. I frequently play these using MAME.

    Mario Bros.
    Vs. Super Mario Bros.
    Vs. Castlevania
    Metal Slug
    Metal Slug X
    SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos
    King of Fighters '98
    Super Street Fighter II Turbo
    Street Fighter III 3rd Strike
    1941: Counter Attack
    Battle Garegga
    Batsugun

    On top of those, I am a pretty big fan of Vs. Duck Hunt, but I wouldn't know where to begin trying to set up a light gun with MAME.

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    Well, pretty much everything there should run easily in MAME, and most are available pretty close or completely perfect on console already as well. If you have space, eventually picking up an MVS cabinet and a Vs System cabinet would cover half of what you want if you decide to get into the arcade scene. The Raizing shooters, though... no cheap way to do that outside of MAME or a multi-board. Those are super cheap as well, but MAME is cheaper. The non-nintendo stuff is all basically JAMMA, so it'd be stuff you could do with a supergun if you're handy as well, and a simple converter would let you do the Vs stuff. Still, MAME should do you fine for what you want to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by celerystalker View Post
    Well, pretty much everything there should run easily in MAME, and most are available pretty close or completely perfect on console already as well. If you have space, eventually picking up an MVS cabinet and a Vs System cabinet would cover half of what you want if you decide to get into the arcade scene. The Raizing shooters, though... no cheap way to do that outside of MAME or a multi-board. Those are super cheap as well, but MAME is cheaper. The non-nintendo stuff is all basically JAMMA, so it'd be stuff you could do with a supergun if you're handy as well, and a simple converter would let you do the Vs stuff. Still, MAME should do you fine for what you want to play.
    Yeah, come to think of it, SF2 and 3 have pretty much perfect ports on PS2. Batsugun and Battle Garegga are near-perfect on Saturn, too. I could just get arcade sticks for those consoles and eventually get a Vs. system and an MVS cab as you said. As much as I enjoy MAME, real hardware is certainly cooler.

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    As another member said it's on a game-by-game basis. Pac-Man seems to play exactly like the arcade game. Whereas Space Fury and Star Castle seem to play harder than the arcade game.
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    MAME is far better than the job Code Mystics did for Battletoads Arcade in Rare Replay.

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