Monday, January 08, 2007


Upcoming goodness

I think I'll soon be releasing a new version of JEmu2 now that I finally found the (incredibly silly) bug which prevented a number of MSX2 disk games to boot, which include Konami's Snatcher and SD Snatcher (both early Hideo Kojima games of Metal Gear Solid fame).
Both these games are feature more or less the same fantastic cyberpunk story in a 'Blade Runner-esque' setting but are both completely different games: Snatcher is a menu driven adventure game, SD Snatcher is an action RPG game. The rich story really has that Hideo Kojima trademark; thought provoking, intelligent and emotional. People who have enjoyed the Metal Gear games (especially the later Metal Gear Solid games) will know what I'm talking about.

Snatcher has been released on a number of platforms, the most well known (outside of japan) is probably the Sega CD version as that version was the only version to be released outside of japan. To be honest, that version was really much better as the MSX2 version had a few problems: Due to a rushed release, it was actually incomplete; Act 3 was completely missing, making the ending much darker and ambiguous. Because of the rushed release, the MSX2 version was also suffering from long loading times, reportedly partly because of inefficient programming of image decompressing.
On the other hand, the Sega CD version was slightly toned down on violence and some nudity was removed. The MSX2 version can thus be seen as a raw 'uncut' version, which is still worth to be experienced.

SD Snatcher on the other hand more suited the MSX2 and was actually never published on any other platform. It's a unique action RPG game which has some nice surprises in the plot for people who are familiar with Snatcher. Really a forgotten gem! SD stands for 'Super Deformed', which refers to a japanese drawing style where people have strange child-like proportions featuring huge heads and small bodies (see screenshot).

Also a cool game in the upcoming release is Aleste 2, a cool shoot-em up which was also unique to the MSX2 system. JEmu2's MSX emulation shows some minor bugs in this game, fortunately only visible in the introduction sequence. The game itself runs perfect.

Finally, JEmu2 will feature ZX Spectrum emulation in the next release. It's as of yet a fairly simple Spectrum emulator only emulating the 48k Spectrum, but able to run many games pretty well. It does feature emulation of the sound speaker (which sounds quite horrible, to be honest) and Kempston Joystick interface.

The spectrum was a popular home computer from the eighties, which made up its audio visiual limitations (compared to it's more expensive main contender, the C64) with performance: The spectrum was often able to run games at better speed, especially 3D games. Although many spectrum games don't look like much (especially nowadays), there are still many great and very playable games produced for this little machine.

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