EmulationStation Reviews

Promising. Unfortunately, also seemingly dead.

Positive Review by Anamon
about EmulationStation and GameEx, HyperSpin, Retropie Apr 2017

I've been around the emulation world for a good two decades, and probably tried just about every emulator frontend at one point. A few years ago, one type became particularly popular: fullscreen multi-emulator frontends, heavy on graphics and animations, themed to reflect different emulated systems depending on which game list is being browsed, often even playing video previews and music taken from the currently selected games. The push to popularity was thanks to the spread of HTPCs (home theater PCs), and other low-cost computers such as the Raspberry Pi, which users connected to their TV sets for various entertainment uses.

GameEx and Hyperspin are the most widely known. However, in my personal opinion but by a large margin, I've never seen any of the alternatives reach the level of quality design and aesthetics that EmulationStation comes with right out of the box. Other frontends often go way too far into sensory overload, screens are too busy and irritating, and they could do with some serious improvement in the typography department. If you want to impress with, and be impressed by, a visually appealing multi-emulator system, EmulationStation is the way to go.

It's true that configuration is a bit of tedious manual work. The configuration interfaces of other frontends are completely missing at this point. Systems, emulators and game paths first need to be set up by editing a few configuration text files. It's largely painless, though. Modifying a handful of lines per system is usually enough, and the documentation is good. Complete computer newbies will have some trouble, but everyone who knows their way around a text editor and maybe has even edited an INI file before, should be fine.

Everything else is very simple in comparison. Setting up a controller happens right in the interface, most everything from there on out is done through pretty and simple menus. Scrapers allow you to download game metadata, descriptions and cover artwork from online databases.

Availability of add-on themes is lower than for other frontends due to fewer people using it at this point, and there are some small but bothersome bugs. Unfortunately, it seems that work on the software has stopped. The last version was released over two years ago, and no pull requests have been handled since. Thankfully, it's open-source, so work continues on various forks. The ones I found seem to focus on either the Pi or Linux platforms. However, if you look for a bit, you can find that people are successfully running, and sometimes offering Windows builds of, one of the most active Pi-focussed forks around, RetroPie. Here is one such.

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nice interface, not easy to setup 1 Helpful

Positive Review by redlolzgaming
about EmulationStation Apr 2016

Now don't get me wrong, EmulationStation is great!
But, it is hard for first timers to setup, the first time i installed this on my pc it was too complicated to setup.
So this is for the people who want to give it a shot!

1) download and install ES
2) put youre roms in C:\roms sorted with the names below (make this folder if it is not there)
3) download Retroarch and put it in the sytems folder of .emulation (located in C:\Users\.emulationstation)
4) open es_systems.cfg in a text editor and paste code 1 in there, change with your windows username
5) get into EmulationStation and test it!

code 1

```


nes
Nintendo Entertainment System
C:\roms\nes
.nes .NES
C:\Users\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\fceummlibretro.dll" "%ROMRAW%"
nes
nes

<system>
    <name>snes</name>
    <fullname>Super Nintendo Entertainment System</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\snes</path>
    <extension>.smc .sfc .SMC .SFC</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\snes9x_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>snes</platform>
    <theme>snes</theme> 
</system>

<system>
    <name>n64</name>
    <fullname>Nintendo 64</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\n64</path>
    <extension>.v64 .n64 .N64 .z64 .Z64</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\mupen64plus_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>n64</platform>
    <theme>n64</theme>  
</system>

<system>
    <name>genesis</name>
    <fullname>Sega Genesis</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\sega32x</path>
    <extension>.bin</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\genesis_plus_gx_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>genesis</platform>
    <theme>genesis</theme>  
</system>

<system>
    <name>gbc</name>
    <fullname>Game Boy Color</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\gbc</path>
    <extension>.gbc .zip</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\gambatte_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>gbc</platform>
    <theme>gbc</theme>  
</system>

<system>
    <name>gba</name>
    <fullname>Game Boy Advance</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\gba</path>
    <extension>.gba</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\vbam_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>gba</platform>
    <theme>gba</theme>  
</system>


<system>
    <name>gc</name>
    <fullname>Nintendo GameCube</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\gc</path>
    <extension>.iso .ISO .gcm</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\dolphin\dolphin.exe --batch --exec="%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>gc</platform>
    <theme>gc</theme>   
</system>

<system>
    <name>mame</name>
    <fullname>MAME</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\mame</path>
    <extension>.zip .ZIP</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\mame_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>mame</platform>
    <theme>mame</theme> 
</system>


<system>
    <name>wii</name>
    <fullname>Nintendo Wii</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\wii</path>
    <extension>.iso .ISO</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\dolphin\dolphin.exe -e "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>wii</platform>
    <theme>wii</theme>  
</system>

<system>
    <name>psx</name>
    <fullname>Playstation</fullname>
    <path>C:\roms\psx</path>
    <extension>.cue .CUE</extension>
    <command>C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\retroarch.exe -f -L "C:\Users\<username>\.emulationstation\systems\retroarch\cores\mednafen_psx_libretro.dll" "%ROM_RAW%"</command>
    <platform>psx</platform>
    <theme>psx</theme>  
</system>


```

all the names are below
NOTE: These are case sensitive.

3do
amiga
amstradcpc
apple2
arcade
atari800
atari2600
atari5200
atari7800
atarilynx
atarist
atarijaguar
atarijaguarcd
atarixe
colecovision
c64 - commodore 64
intellivision
macintosh
xbox
xbox360
msx
neogeo
ngp - neo geo pocket
ngpc - neo geo pocket color
n3ds - nintendo 3DS
n64 - nintendo 64
nds - nintendo DS
nes - nintendo entertainment system
gb - game boy
gba - game boy advance
gbc - game boy color
gc - gamecube
wii
wiiu
pc
sega32x
segacd
dreamcast
gamegear
genesis - sega genesis
mastersystem - sega master system
megadrive - sega megadrive
saturn - sega saturn
psx
ps2
ps3
ps4
psvita
psp - playstation portable
snes - super nintendo entertainment system
pcengine - turbografx-16/pcengine
wonderswan
wonderswancolor
zxspectrum
ignore - do not allow scraping for this system; will remove this system from the scraping list and remove the "scrape" button in the metadata editor.

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