YOU'VE GOTTA HAVE A SYSTEM
The world of emulation has been a legal
battleground more or less since the concept was invented. Recent
changes in law by various paranoid and clueless governments
(including, incidentally, the same government which recently let an
ex-Eastenders actor scupper a European anti-spam bill on the grounds
that lots of companies would lose the chance to do legitimate
business by inviting people to visit hardcore animal porn sites and
take part in worthless pyramid schemes) have made it harder and
harder to emulate without falling foul of the plod.
However, even legal emulation has taken a
battering from the big software corporations. Sony recently
succeeded in killing the company behind Bleem!, the Playstation
emulator which ran on both PC and Dreamcast. Even though Bleem! had
been successful in several court cases, Sony exerted so much
pressure on retailers to not stock the company’s products that they
eventually gave up the ghost and closed down.
This would, of course, have been a serious blow
to gamers keen to play definitive home versions of some of the
classic games of the Playstation era, such as Namco’s wondrous
Tekken and Ridge Racer, if it hadn’t been for the conveniently-timed
release of the first alpha version of the as-yet-unnamed Namco
System 11 emulator, by the people who brought you astonishing 3D
beat-‘em-up emu The Impact.
System 11 was the Namco arcade technology set
based on Playstation hardware, and which ran a wide variety of
coin-op games from fighting and racing games like Tekken and Ridge
to odd 2D puzzlers like Star Sweeper and scrolling shooters like
Xevious 3D-G. The fledgling emulator initially supports seven of the
Sys11 games, including Tekken 1 and 2, Xevious and Soul Edge, the
prequel to the hugely-lauded Dreamcast fighter Soul Calibur.
The emulator currently lacks sound due to the
authors’ lack of knowledge about the Namco 195 sound CPU, but now
that the emu’s existence has been revealed and publicly released the
chances are that development progress will be swift. Emulation Zone
awaits the version supporting Ridge Racer with a keenness that
borders on the positively indecent.