Mednafen: Still garbage after all these years

Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) have been around since the early 1970s.  They are not a new idea.  A well-thought out and proper-functioning GUI is essential to modern computer use.

Think how frustrating it would be if your phone or tablet didn’t have a GUI, and you had to issue a memorized list of arcane commands into it every time you wanted it to do something.

Well whoever is responsible for creating the multi-system emulator Mednafen apparently isn’t too interested in usability.  I keep seeing Mednafen praised to the skies for its supposed accuracy but I have never, ever gotten it to work.

I tried a couple of times before with a frontend called “MedGui” but that accomplished exactly nothing.  That was several years ago on a computer running Windows XP.

I just tried again with a different frontend called “MedGui Reborn”.  And to whoever programmed this monstrosity: just because you can code a frontend doesn’t mean you should.  Please take a course on proper GUI design or something.

I’ll cut to the chase now and tell you that this brief experiment with Mednafen and MedGui Reborn was just as much of a complete failure as the last time I tried Mednafen.  A non-functioning emulator is still useless to me despite what elitist fanboys on the internet have told me.

I do want to make one very specific complaint about MedGui Reborn: It asks to select a “rom folder”.  It expects just one folder to contain every single rom and disc image in my collection, and won’t recognize subfolders.  What the fuck kind of amateur-grade bullshit is this?  While you’re learning how to properly design and implement a functional GUI, you should familiarize yourself with hierarchical file systems.  They’re also a thing, you know.  They’ve been around for decades too.

Bonus rant!

PCSX-R: Still garbage after all these years

I also just tried the much ballyhooed PCSX-R PlayStation emulator.  I figured I’d give it a try on Windows 7 and I also thought I’d try out an interesting version that straightens out some PS1 rendering issues.

Well, back when I tried PCSX-R on my Windows XP computer, the graphics looked like shit and my controller didn’t work.  This time, I barely noticed how the graphics looked because games ran choppy, audio was distorted, and my controller still did not work.  And I couldn’t even get the special graphix-fix version to start.

So I’m going to stick with the three PlayStation emulators I know and love.  I’m happy to report that ePSXe has its own renderer now and compatibility has gone way, way up.  Things don’t look as nice as they did with the old DirectX renderer, but I hope that will improve.