While using an emulator to play a classic video game is technically illegal, sometimes it’s the only way to play an obscure game that’s no longer being sold or supported. Even so, I have to admit that it’s really not the same as playing on the original, intended hardware.
I recently noticed this when I was playing Link’s Awakening on my GBA emulator. Link’s Awakening was one of my earliest Zelda games, and I played it even before I played A Link to the Past. I have so many childhood memories of the game, I thought for certain I would love playing it again.
Unfortunately, without a big grey block to play it on, my mind kept wandering. I’d get wrapped up watching something on YouTube, or I’d go to playing Bejweled Blitz. Or I’d look at porn.
My point is, even though I dearly love Link’s Awakening, the emulated version wasn’t captivating enough to keep me playing.
When I popped my A Link to the Past cartridge into my Super NES, however, I proceeded to spend the next five hours playing event though my cartridge is the French version and I don’t speak French. Yes, I’ve played A Link to the Past so many times that I can literally play it without understanding a single word of text on the screen.
Maybe it’s simply easier for my mind to wander when the tools I use to surf for porn are the same ones I’m using to play a video game. Maybe the original hardware offers a certain type of tactile response that my brain associates with these old games. Or maybe it’s simply that A Link to the Past holds up better than Link’s Awakening.
Whatever the reason, these classic games simply feel better on the hardware they were built for.