Game Review - by James Allen
The only console my family ever owned was an Atari 2600. From our first 386, I've always been a PC kind of guy. Scoffing at the consoles that come and go, I'd note that the PCs of the time always had better graphics, and much more massive multiplayer. But every now and then, a game would crop up that was only available on a certain console, and Mr. PC was out of luck. One of the most popular consoles ever, the PlayStation, has spawned some quality games that have not appeared on PC or Mac. Along comes Connectix to save the day. Equipped with their emulator (a program that makes your computer think it's a PlayStation), you can insert a PlayStation CD into your drive and voila! But, how well does Virtual Game Station emulate a PlayStation?
Virtual Game Station's main competition is another emulator I shall call Meelb (don't sue me!). Most of the comparisons in this review will be made between the two products, and with the PlayStation itself. Virtual Game Station's simplicity of features is it's finest attribute. You can use memory cards, set up any controller (like a gamepad), and change sound and music levels. And that's it. No messing with graphics options or anything else like that. Virtual Game Station emulates a PlayStation, and nothing more, which makes compatibility almost across the board. I've only found one game that does not work in VGS, even with playing some games that are not listed in the compatibility list. I'm surprised when games do NOT work in Virtual Game Station, as opposed to Meelb, where not working is the rule. Although the features in VGS are bare bones, their minimalism is their elegance.
Again, sound is taken directly from the PlayStation. There really isn't much you can change sound-wise anyway. There have been some occasions of missing menu audio, but nothing that you'd ever miss or cry over. During the game, I've never found missing or altered audio, so Virtual Game Station does a competent job.
I've only experienced a couple of slow downs while playing on VGS, and this may be caused by my computer, and not the program itself. Game speeds are analogous with those found on the PlayStation itself. Meelb suffers from slow down, especially in 3-D mode and on moderately fast computers. As long as you have a minimally required computer, you'll be fine, and nothing will hamper your gaming experience.
Since VGS is a direct simulation of PlayStation, there are no graphics advantages over the console. The same resolution is seen here. Meelb uses 3-D acceleration, which usually doesn't work, or is buggy as heck. Which would you rather have: the same graphics as you would get on the console and a working game, or beautiful graphics on a game that doesn't work. You make the call.
Virtual Game Station is the best PlayStation emulator available. Its compatibility is not matched in any other emulator on the et. You'll be hard pressed to find a game that doesn't work well. If you want to cash in on that great PlayStation title you've been dreaming of, Virtual Game Station is for you.